[[quoteright:226:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SoulEdgeCalibur.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:226:Welcome to the stage of history!]]

->''"Transcending history and the world, a tale of souls and swords, eternally retold..."''

The ''Soul'' series (unrelated to [[VideoGame/DemonsSouls the]] [[VideoGame/DarkSouls "Souls]] [[VideoGame/DarkSoulsII Series"]]) is a series of [=3D=] weapon-based fighting games created by Creator/{{Namco|Bandai}}'s team Project Soul, arriving shortly after the success of its other [=3D=] fighter, ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}''.

In 16th century Eurasia, rumours persist of a legendary sword of heroes known only as "Soul Edge." Only a few know that Soul Edge is actually an evil ArtifactOfDoom with an insatiable thirst for human souls. Some warriors seek Soul Edge without knowing the truth, while others seek to destroy it or capture its power for themselves.

To counter Soul Edge, an opposing sword of light was created: the spirit sword, Soul Calibur. When these two swords first clashed, Soul Edge was shattered into pieces while Soul Calibur fell dormant. Now the shards of Soul Edge are seeking to reunite, oozing corruptive power that bestows misfortune on all who encounter them. An epic final battle between the two opposing swords is now fast approaching, with the fate of the world at stake.

The series began in the mid-90s with ''Soul Edge'', one of the first games to feature three-dimensional combat where every character held a weapon. Control was mostly similar to ''Tekken'' and ''VideoGame/VirtuaFighter'', where characters could move along the three-dimensional plane, and could be knocked out of the ring if they were careless. Characters could also deflect each other's weapon attacks, or break them and render them useless if hit enough times.

''Soul Edge'', while mildly successful in arcades (and on the [=PlayStation=] as ''Soul Blade''), was largely overshadowed by ''Soul Calibur'', which revamped many of the original game's aspects, including the three-dimensional movement, character combos and timing, and completely removed the breakable weapon aspect. The Dreamcast port of the game rebalanced the gameplay and overhauled the graphics, becoming its system's KillerApp in the process. It is often placed among game critics' "favorite games of all time."

''Soul Calibur'' has since spawned four sequels, which have been ported to a number of home systems. A spin-off ActionAdventure title, ''Soulcalibur Legends'', has been released for the Wii; ''IV'' has also been ported to the PSP as ''Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny'', which guest stars Kratos, [[VideoGame/GodOfWar the God of War]][[note]]Despite Ares being a character in the series[[/note]].

The latest game in the series is ''Soulcalibur: Lost Swords'', which will be released on February 6, 2013, in Japan. ''Lost Swords'' is a single-player free-to-play title distributed through the {{PlayStation Network}},based on ''Soulcalibur V'', the goal of which is for the player to collect loot through battles. Players can imbue the weapons with elemental properties, such as fire and wind. Virtual item sales will also be offered.

As of ''Soulcalibur III'', the series title seems to be ''Soulcalibur'' in a reference to {{Excalibur}}. The series underwent change in direction after this point. ''Soulcalibur V'' was directed by Daishi Odashima, who said he wanted the game to be named ''Soul Edge 2'', but was rejected. In December 2013, the series again changed project direction, and Project Soul is now under the leadership of Masaki Hoshino.

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!!This series provides examples of:

* ActionMom: The Alexandra sisters; Cassandra's main reason to fight was to spare her older sister Sophitia from doing so since she's a mom, but when her kids are affected, Sophitia comes back to fighting against Soul Edge anyway.
** Taken to a more extreme and utterly ''cruel'' angle in ''IV'' when Sophitia's daughter [[MeaningfulName Pyrrha]] [[spoiler:needs Soul Edge's influence to live, forcing Sophitia to kill anyone trying to destroy it]].
** Hilde, as of ''V''.
* AgeInappropriateDress: Amy, Talim, and Leixia.
* AIBreaker: Anti A.I. moves in the third game, and Astaroth's Discus Breaker (1AB in community notation) in ''Soulcalibur IV''. Also, lying down facing the edge when fighting Algol on Floor 60. In ''V'', the A.I. simply does not know how to block Viola's orb setups. See ArtificialStupidity.
* AlienGeometries: ''V'' has a few infinitely large stages. You can see scenery in the distance, but you can never get any closer to it no matter how far you move.
** This can be rather dizzying if you watch the middle ground, where the ground you fight on blends into the fixed background. Perspective does not work that way...
* AllThereInTheManual: Japan released an artbook guide for ''V'' that explains what happened to many of the characters that did not make it into the game, and heavily expanded the background for those who did.
* AmazingTechnicolorBattlefield: The arenas where you usually face off against some permutation of Soul Edge like Inferno or Night Terror tend to be eerie, distorted planes of existence, some of which are hauntingly beautiful in spite of this. One of the biggest exceptions to date was Tartaros from ''II'', and even that was a FireAndBrimstoneHell.
* AnachronismStew: Supposedly, this game takes place during the mid-to-late Renaissance, but there are certain aspects of the series (mostly the costumes and some SteamPunk elements coming from Illuminati-esque underground cults) that never really conform to a single real-world era.
* ApologeticAttacker: Sophitia, Pyrrha, and Talim.
** Siegfried tends to go into this when fighting non-possessed enemies, as they usually go after him for his past deeds as Nightmare. He accepts that they're angry at him, but he can't die until Soul Edge's done for. So he beats them down, and then apologizes.
* AppropriatedTitle: The series was originally called ''Soul Edge'' but is now better known as ''Soulcalibur''.
* ArmedLegs: The Grieve Edge moveset for custom characters in ''III''.
* ArmorIsUseless: Heavily-armored characters take just as much damage as the characters who can [[{{Stripperiffic}} barely even be considered as wearing clothing]].
* ArtifactOfDoom: Soul Edge.
* ArtificialStupidity: Algol loves to use a certain combo that involves jumping over his opponent's head. He will use this even if his opponent is lying on the ground at the edge of the arena, flinging himself to his doom. Talim also did this a lot with her "Wind Flip" maneuver, particularly in ''III''.
** Soul Edge itself, way back in the original game. Its habit of spamming that charged-up bum rush attack makes it all too easy to simply sidestep or jump over it, sending the final boss clear out of the ring. It's actually the easiest way to beat what is otherwise a major SNKBoss.
* AssKicksYou: Cassandra's Critical Finish, where she literally knocks her foe over with her rear end, then proceeds to violently sit on her opponent's face, the second time using her shield. There is some lampshading when she calls out "[[{{Fanservice}} You like this kinda stuff]]?" while she's doing it. Not to mention all the pink hearts. She also has an attack that involves flinging herself butt-first at the enemy (which is her longest-range attack).
** Rock [[GroundPound does this too]].
** Even more disturbingly, Voldo does this, although not as a Critical Finish.
** Like her sister, Sophitia has two or three of them as well.
** And Pyrrha continues the tradition.
* AwesomeAnachronisticApparel: Setsuka's alternate costume in ''SCIV'', which has been dubbed her "Film/MaryPoppins outfit" by fans, references her European origins but has far more in common with the fashions of the much more recent Edwardian (1900s) era, rather than late Elizabethan era in which ''SCIV'' is set.
* AwesomeButImpractical: Unblockable attacks look very cool, wreathing your weapon(s) in flames for the duration of the attack and darkening everything on-screen aside from the fighters and the HUD, and usually do a good chunk of damage. However, that duration tends to be a few seconds before the attack is actually pulled off, allowing players who notice the attack to generally dodge it with ease. And then punish the attacker right after with an attack of their own. Some of these attacks (such as Ivy's heel drop) leave the attacker open during the prep stages, too, making it very impractical unless the opponent is on the ground. They're really more for threatening a guard-happy opponent, as every character has at least one, and most are easily cancelled. ''IV'' fixes this by giving the characters several different types of unblockable attacks: Some are incredibly weak but come out quickly, others are done after combos to confuse the opponent and others cancel into stances and other attacks.
** Soul Edge in ''II'' and ''III'' often carries elements of this; while generally more powerful than any other weapon, most of its side effects are negative compared to the many more useful abilities offered by Soul Calibur or other weapons. This is notably absent in ''SCIV'', except for certain forms which have the detrimental abilities Slow Feet and Evil Sword Berserk attached.
** In ''IV'', Algol's 214A+B and 4B+K are awesome when they work, but they never will in a serious match. Nightmare's A+B and his 236A+B are also really cool, but are terrible moves.
** In ''V'', Aeon's Critical Edge consists of knocking the opponent down with a Screw Attack, sprouting wings, flying up in the air, and breathing fire over the downed opponent. However, it's one of the least damaging Critical Edges, the fire breath attack can randomly miss due to a bug (which sometimes results in Aeon ringing himself out), and is punishable ''on hit'' by certain characters.
** The Critical Finishes from ''IV'' can only be pulled off in very specific situations: you break your opponent's armor, force them into Soul Crush, then hit all four face buttons while they're reeling back. They're harder to pull off than it would seem, not least because the Soul Crush is hard to predict, and hitting the opponent even once before pressing the four face buttons will end your chance to perform it.
* {{Badass}}: [[WorldOfBadass Basically every character in the game]]. It's a fighting game, what did you expect?
** BadassAdorable: Many of the younger girls, particularly Talim and Ashlotte.
** BadassBack: Voldo legitimately; other characters in ''III'' who [[FakeDifficulty shouldn't be allowed to]].
** LittleMissBadass: Talim and Amy.
* BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil: Ideally the conflict between Soul Edge and Soul Calibur is supposed to manifest itself like this but in reality [[spoiler:Soul Calibur doesn't quite "get it" and thinks the only way to solve the problem of there being too much evil in the world is to freeze it and ''halt all of existence'', making it closer to BlueAndOrangeMorality]].
* {{Bishonen}}: Kilik, Maxi, Siegfried, and Yun-seong are pretty boys, but also [[PlayingWithATrope quite buff]].
* TheBladeAlwaysLandsPointyEndIn: In the intro.
* BlockingStopsAllDamage: Averted in ''Soulcalibur IV'', which raises just as much FridgeLogic as the regular version does when Yoda and Darth Vader take damage from somebody punching them in the lightsaber.
* BloodKnight: Mitsurugi and Algol.
* BloodlessCarnage: You'd think with all the blades flying around, someone would get at least a small cut. It is, however, worth noting [[GameplayAndStorySegregation that this is a gameplay restriction]], and within the story itself, the weapons do cause injuries and even death.
* BodyHorror: Soul Edge can twist the human body quite grotesquely, best seen in the number it did to Siegfried's right arm. [[spoiler:The same corruption later happens to poor Pyrrha]].
* [[BonusLevelOfHell Bonus Mode Of Hell]]: Edge Master Mode, Mission Mode, Weapon Master Mode, Chronicles of the Sword, Tower of Lost Souls, and Legendary Souls, in chronological order.
* BottomlessPits: Some arenas have cliffs, chasms, or are being hoisted into the air by an Egyptian construction crane. These are some of the most common forms of "Ring Out."
* {{Bowdlerise}}: In countries (specifically, Korea) that discouraged references to {{samurai}} due to their histories with WWII-era Japan as well as various invasions from the 1590s, Mitsurugi was replaced twice: first with Hwang in the Korean arcade version of ''Soul Edge'', and then in ''[=SC=]'' with an [[MightyWhitey English-born, Japan-raised "samurai"]] named Arthur, who sported an EyepatchOfPower and wielded a [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana]]. The former became a main by the 2nd arcade revision, the later became an unlockable bonus character in ''III'' as well as making cameos in the introduction for Weapon Master in ''II'' and The Gauntlet in ''Broken Destiny''.
** Interestingly enough, the backstories of the Korean characters involve those very same 16th-century conflicts, so you'd think the Korean audience would cherish being able to beat up a hardened samurai warrior with their national heroes.
** Also, the PAL release of ''Soul Blade'' changes the weapons of Li Long from Nunchaku into Three-Sectional Staffs because of the legal status of the former in the U.K. and other countries.
* BreakableWeapons: ''Soul Edge'' only, although ''IV'' and ''V'' have breakable ''[[ClothingDamage armor]]''.
** In the story mode of ''III'', this becomes the excuse for having a character use Soul Edge or Soul Calibur. Abyss will toss his scythe at you, requiring a [[QuickTimeEvent quicktime event]] to block it. If the character is scripted to end up fighting with one of the Soul weapons, the strike will break the weapon the character is holding no matter what, and then one of the Soul weapons will be launched at the character, which they pick up to finish the fight.
* UsefulNotes/BritishAccents: English aristocrat Ivy is voiced with a suitably commanding [[IAmVeryBritish RP accent]].
* CanonImmigrant: Sort of... A character named Yoshimitsu appears in all five ''Calibur'' games; he's similar to the Yoshimitsu from ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'', but may not be the same person.
** According to his story, "Yoshimitsu" is actually the name of the sword he wields, as well as a ''title'' given to the strongest Ninja in his clan (the Yoshimitsu in ''Soulcalibur'' is the founder and the Yoshimitsu of ''Tekken'' is the current leader); the personality and fighting style are adopted to give the impression that he is immortal (LegacyImmortality, as popularized by ComicStrip/ThePhantom). However, Yoshimitsu is the same guy in the first four ''Soulcalibur'' games, as his story makes constant references to his development in past games; he is replaced by a new swordsman (who refers to himself as "Yoshimitsu the Second") in the events leading up to ''V''. The ''Tekken'' games all feature a single Yoshimitsu as well.
** The ''Tekken 3'' booklet's bio of Yoshimitsu says something like "He may have existed since the 18th Century." If this is true (it's mentioned nowhere in the NTSC-U English manual), it's only an addition of the English translator, as no such mention appears in any of the Japanese profiles.
** Staying within the confines of the series itself, we have Hwang and Arthur. In both cases, the characters were conceived as alternates to Mitsurugi for the Korean market (who have a high distaste for samurai due to their bad history), Hwang for ''Soul Edge'' and Arthur for ''Soulcalibur''. Later on, a second revision for ''Soul Edge'' was released and Hwang was canonized as a real character for all regions and given his own story. Likewise, in ''III'', Arthur was given some back story and added as a bonus character. Arthur has little relevance to anything in the narrative but Hwang has been a prominent player through the first two titles.
* CanonWelding: Possibly implied with ''Tekken'' at the end of [[spoiler:Zasalamel's]] story in ''IV'', which depicts him [[spoiler:still alive in modern New York]].
* CaptainObvious: Since the announcer in ''IV'' didn't have different quotes depending on who won, he could become this pretty often.
-->''Announcer'': "Victory belongs to the last one standing!"
** Especially in Broken Destiny when you end up fighting Dampierre.
-->''Announcer'': "Only those who survive can fulfill their destinies." Well, duh...
* CelibateHero: Ivy. [[GagBoobs No,]] [[JigglePhysics seriously]]. She knows that she has "cursed blood", thanks to Soul Edge (her blood type is even listed as "Soul Edge"), so she has taken a vow to never have children, lest they too be cursed.
** Also Kilik. By ''IV'', he returns Xianghua's love, but says it can never be because he plans to throw away his life to become a hermit/the eternal guardian of both swords, and wants Xianghua to continue and live a full life rather than do the same just for him. She eventually moves on and has a daughter of her own named Leixia. Although, sometime after ''IV'' [[spoiler:Kilik and Xianghua spent a night together, from which Xianghua eventually conceived Xiba]].
* CharacterCustomization: The Create-a-Fighter mode in ''III'', ''IV'', and ''V''.
* CharacterDevelopment: Siegfried turns from a deluded young man, into the BigBad, and finally into TheAtoner and the arguable protagonist/hero of the games. Similarly, Ivy has moved from evil to good. Most of the characters undergo some level of character development between games.
* CharacterRosterGlobalWarming: ''Soulcalibur'' has four "big" characters (Astaroth, Nightmare, Siegfried, Rock) compared to more than twenty others.
* ChekhovsGunman: As Algol is the Hero King who was able to wield Soul Edge and created Soul Calibur, he [[AllThereInTheManual has been mentioned]] [[ChekhovsGunman since the beginning]], they just gave him a name in ''IV''. But to those unfamiliar with the backstory, he would appear to be a GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere.
* CherryTapping: The Joke Weapons since ''II''. All of them make a light squeak sound effect when they makes contact with the opponent. CherryTapping indeed.
* ChivalrousPervert: Raphael and Dampierre both fight over Amy dolls and constantly make {{Double Entendre}}s in ''Broken Destiny'', while trying to keep their honor.
** Maccoi, in the same game, ''really'' would like to feel you up (and it's implied he does each time you lose), but still gives you hints and tips when fighting him, out of a sense of duty. And molestation.
* ClockPunk: Clockwork cogs are theme in many arenas (more prominently in Zasalamel's stage in ''III'', which ''is'' inside a clock tower). Yoshimitsu has a clockwork cybernetic arm (with wooden parts!), while Ashlotte in ''IV'' is a clockwork robot.
* ClothingDamage: ''IV'' has this in spades, for all characters with the exceptions of the bonus characters and the ''Star Wars'' exclusives. Kratos in ''Broken Destiny'' is also an exception. ''V'' retains the feature, though it only can occur once (as opposed to the High, Medium, and Low areas of equipment in ''IV'') and only if the finishing blow of a round is a sufficiently strong attack.
* ComebackMechanic:
** ''IV'' allows players to assign skills to custom created characters. Among them are Will Power and Hysterical Strength. Both are passive abilities that activate when the player's health dips below a certain point. Will Power requires the player to be in critical status (low health) and causes the character to glow red when active. It sharply increases the user's stats for the remainder of the round. Hysterical Strength only requires that the player's health drop below half and only offers a boost in attack power, noted by a greenish yellow glow when active.
** In ''V'', if a player is one round away from losing a match, they receive one free meter stock.
* ComicBookTime: Although a conflict of this nature would take copious amounts of time, ''not a single character'' has celebrated a birthday since ''II''. In fact, ''II'', ''III'', and ''IV'' all take place within the same year.
** Averted in the first three games, which took place in real time, as the passage of years between the plots (3 and 4) coincided with the games' initial releases (1995-1998-2002).
** Also averted with ''V'', which takes place [[http://twitpic.com/4w7me6 17 years after]] ''IV''.
** Especially silly in the story mode of ''III'', which has the characters travelling back and forth several times between Europe, Asia and northern Africa, which in their age should have taken many years.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: The A.I. of ''III'' blatantly reads your controller inputs, leading to things like a nigh-100% success rate in parrying basic throws (where there should be a 50% chance of failure), the ability to guard impact any attack, and never reacting incorrectly to any mix-up or cancelled attack. This makes anti-AI attacks a ''necessity'' to use.
** There is one challenge in ''II'' where, in order to get to one of the special areas, you have to break your opponent's guard within a certain amount of time. Taki re-guards too fast after breaking her guard.
** Back with a vengeance in ''V'' (at least in Legendary Souls mode and the harder opponents in Quick Battle). In addition to reading inputs, being immune to mix-ups, and abusing its own lack of needing input by executing complex moves faster than a human could ever do it, this A.I. will also flawlessly space your characters (staying close to long range characters and keeping away from short range ones) and perfectly confound all attempts at horizontal containment.
* ConfusionFu: Voldo, Yoshimitsu, and Dampierre. Xianghua and her daughter's movesets also rely on feints to a much lesser extent.
** Voldo gets a particularly honourable mention since, thanks to his incredible speed and moving like as though his skeleton is made out of slinkies, even his own player will need practice to figure out what exactly he is doing.
** The rock-paper-scissors-style game mechanics (guards and sidestepping can only null certain types of attacks each) encourage mix-up tactics in general.
* CoolSword: Soul Edge and Soul Calibur.
* CosmicChessGame: Soul Edge versus Soul Calibur.
* CounterAttack: Several characters have these. Some attacks just have frames at the beginning that cause a Guard Impact, which would make the rest of the attack sort of like a Counter Attack, but there are moves that genuinely won't do anything unless the opponent lands an attack at the proper frame of the animation. All attacks do more damage if they hit during the start-up or cool-down frames of an opponent's attack.
* CoversAlwaysLie: Usually in game covers, ads, and merchandise, Ivy is usually shown lined up with the other villainous characters, because of her rather [[MsFanservice interesting]] appearance. Even though at one point she committed murders in the sword's name, she's been trying to destroy it for most of the series.
** ''Soul Edge'''s cover shows Mitsurugi duel-wielding katanas. He has never done this in any game in the series.
*** Technically, he does it once, for non-gameplay reasons. In his ending in ''III'', if he meets up with Taki then he will have taken Soul Edge away from the last fight, and it will manifest into his in-game weapon while he still has the sword that he used since the beginning of the Tales of Souls story mode.
* CreatorCameo: Katsuhiro Harada can be fought in the Quick Battle mode of ''V''. He wears a turban and a sleeved version of Heihachi's black dogi, and fights with the Soul of Devil Jin (i.e. Mishima-style karate + FrickinLaserBeams). Appropriately enough, he appears under the name "Harada_[[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} TEKKEN]]" (which is the Twitter username he uses for Tekken-related tweets).
* {{Crossover}}: ''II'' includes [[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Heihachi]], ComicBook/{{Spawn}}, or [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Link]], depending on which console you use.
** ''IV'' includes ''Franchise/StarWars'' characters Darth Vader and Yoda, as well as the Apprentice from ''VideoGame/TheForceUnleashed''. [[note]]Yoda was initially exclusive to the Xbox360 version, while Darth Vader was originally exclusive to the [=PS3=] version; both eventually became available as DLC for the other version. Starkiller has always been available in both versions.[[/note]]
** ''V'' actually includes a character who makes sense within the context of the series' story and time period: Ezio Auditore, from the ''Franchise/AssassinsCreed'' games. Well, story maybe, but time period, most certainly not; ''V'' takes place over a century after ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'' and ''[[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood Brotherhood]]'', wherein Ezio is in about his 30s; ergo, he should already be dead by the time the game's story rolled by. And, even considering ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII'' had been released before ''V'', having Connor as a GuestFighter wouldn't normally have made sense, as he would only be born about 50 years later (same century, different timeframe).
*** The backstory explains that Shawn Hastings deducted a jump in Ezio's timeline thrusting him about 100 years into the future and then back again after he found a artifact. So the same could happen to Connor, Altaïr or [[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIVBlackFlag Edward]] if the Animus malfunctioned again.
*** Also, Heihachi's appearance in ''II'' is explained by him having found a shard of Soul Edge in a dig site which thrust him back in time -- he'd only return after beating Inferno.
* CrystalPrison: Soul Calibur likes to pull this as of ''IV'' whenever it trumps Soul Edge in certain character endings. [[spoiler:(And it has no qualms about doing it to fighters who ''oppose'' Soul Edge either, who, in effect, helped it reach that point. One example, in Ivy's ending to ''IV'', it does this to Nightmare, but also tries to inflict the same fate on Ivy; she's willing to accept it as punishment for what's she's done, but is [[HeroicSacrifice saved when her own sword destroys itself to save her]], convincing her she still has purpose.]]
* CuteClumsyGirl: Talim becomes this when you use her running "kick" attack, which is more of a "trip and fall" attack. One of Xianghua's attacks when she is on the ground has her throw a tantrum. Dampierre is prone to falling in some of his attacks (when intended), and blocking will often get him to fall over in pain. In fact, in The Gauntlet, he's constantly accidentally activating his daggers into his own flesh. In ''Broken Destiny'', the first assassin sent to try and kill you is so clumsy that your character ''allows themselves to get hit, out of pity for her.''
* CutShort: ''Soulcalibur V'''s Story Mode.
* DamnYouMuscleMemory: Namco LOVES this trope. [[DifficultButAwesome Voldo]] is a particularly JustForFun/{{egregious}} example; from ''II'' to ''III'', his moveset remained the same, but the inputs changed.
** Ivy is practically a completely different character in every game. This is especially noticeable in the transition from ''IV'' to ''V'', where she goes from having four stances to zero.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''IV'' has many formerly-good characters -- not to mention the pure Soul Calibur -- take a swing into the dark side. These include Sophitia (forced to protect Soul Edge, with deadly force if necessary, to save her daughter's life), Maxi (driven to wield Soul Edge to destroy Astaroth by Tira), Taki ([[spoiler:her ending has her murder Siegfried to prevent his attempt to create a utopia going horribly wrong]]), and Siegfried himself (his own storyline presents him as becoming increasingly suicidal, and his ending implies that Soul Calibur may have frozen the entire human population in crystal stasis, not to mention killing him).
** ''V'' deals with the massacre and persecution of those who are and are accused of being "Malfested."
* DifficultButAwesome: Guard Impacts. The requirement (pushing forward and guard right as an opponent's attack is about to hit, plus knowing what height to use) plus the consequence (there is no "fallback" if you miss, you will take damage) are demanding but execute one and your opponent's only response will be to do one of their own, bound by the same condition.
** Several characters fall into this as well; Ivy and Setsuka are both extremely difficult to learn but utterly devastating when mastered. The Grieve Edge style from ''III'' could be considered this, too, as it was heavily reliant on expert timing for attacks and Guard Impacts but was extremely powerful when executed with proper precision, in addition to looking really awesome.
** Just Guard in ''V''.
* DifficultySpike: The third Chronicle in Tales of the Sword mode; once you get a to a certain point, the A.I/ goes from just gradually increasing to difficulty to flat out jumping to an insane level, and it's like that for the rest of the mode.
* DittoFighter: Edge Master, Charade's ''II'' incarnation, and [[AscendedMeme Olcadan]]. Inferno also acts this way in his appearances, save for his very first one (where he was just a pumped up Cervantes named [=SoulEdge=]). In '' II'', he switches styles in the ''middle of the fight'' and has a super move regardless of style.
** In ''V'', Edge Master returns as a mimic character, along with [[spoiler:Kilik and newcomer Elysium]]. The difference between the [[spoiler:three is that Edge Master can mimic all characters (except for Ezio, Algol and the Devil Jin style) while Kilik and Elysium can only mimic male and female characters respectively. Additionally, Kilik gains back his Kali-Yuga and some of his old moves with his rod if copying Xiba. Elysium, if using Pyrrha Omega's style, alters it to more closely resemble Sophitia's in past games. She's also the only one of the three to possess her own Critical Edge (usable regardless of who she's currently mimicking).]]
* DivergentCharacterEvolution: Hwang & Mitsurugi had the same moves in ''Soul Blade'' until Hwang developed his acrobatic, one-handed style in the sequel.
* DropTheHammer: Some of Astaroth's weapons, as well as Rock's maces, include hammer-like weapons.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[spoiler:Poor Sophitia. While most of the old cast that don't appear were merely PutOnABus, Sophitia herself was stated to be killed off casually by a Malfested in the past, thus it's not just on Patroklos' mind that she's dead]].
** [[spoiler:According to the artbook however, she actually gave her life so that Pyrrha could live without Soul Edge. This may have also happened to Cassandra, who disappeared into Astral Chaos after being knocked unconscious by her sister]].
* DualWielding: Cervantes, [[VideoGame/GodOfWar Kratos]], [[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia Lloyd Irving]], and Shura all dual-wield swords, as well as Talim, who [[DualTonfas dual wields Tonfas]]. Taki and Natsu dual-wield daggers for certain attacks, and Algol's hands transform into Soul Edge and Soul Calibur, as well as double bubble cannons. Maxi can dual-wield nunchaku as an extra kata in ''Soulcalibur''.
** Aeon Calcos (Lizardman), as of ''V'', duel-wields axes.
* DummiedOut: Daishi Odashima, the game's director, [[http://train2game-news.co.uk/2012/03/26/train2game-news-soulcalibur-v-story-mode-one-fourth-of-planned-size-each-character-was-to-have-own-story/ reported]] that ''SCV''[='s=] Story Mode was supposed to be ''4 times bigger'' than that of the released product, and each character would've had their own chronicle instead of just focusing on Patroklos and Pyrrha; time constraints and lack of staff made the plan go down under. They even had fully voiced lines ready for the extensive Story Mode that, in the end, weren't used.
* EarlyBirdCameo: The Apprentice/Starkiller/Galen Marek from ''Star Wars: The Force Unleashed'', in ''IV''. Amy makes a short cameo in the second game's intro (of course, she's part of Raphael's backstory, and he was introduced here).
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: ''Soul Edge'' features concepts like [[http://youtu.be/BclqcGaz4P4 the Weapon Break meter and Critical Edge combo,]] stuff that was never revisited in later installments of the series. It also lacked the 8-way Run movement system that would become the trademark of the later games and as a whole, was slower and played closer to ''Tekken 2''.
** A move called the [[FinishingMove Critical Finish]] showed up in ''IV'', but seems to be unrelated. The Critical Edge itself returns in ''V''.
*** InNameOnly. The Critical Edge in ''V'' is a conventional [[LimitBreak super move]], governed by a gauge, instead of a long string of attacks.
*** The Critical Edges in ''Soulcalibur V'' are actually quite similar in principle to the ones in ''Soul Edge/Blade''. The original Critical Edges were essentially ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}''-style 10-hit combos, but rather than using a long complex 10-part input string, they consisted of two half-combos with an a single input for each half. Pressing all three attack buttons initiates the first half of the combo, and a second (character-specific) input finishes the combo if pressed during the final hit of the first half ([[http://youtu.be/s3H6KtCMoY0 shown here with inputs]]). In ''V'', only Algol's Critical Edge still functions in this manner; the rest of the cast use [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ebaw83w2R9o a single universal command.]]
*** Additionally, both versions of the Critical Edge consume meter when performed. The key difference is that in ''V'', the meter starts at zero and has to built up during the fight, as is common for super-combos. In ''Edge/Blade'', the meter starts full, as it doubles as the weapon's defense/HP gauge, and is reduced by blocking attacks or performing Critical Edge; if depleted, the weapon will break and the character must finish the round unarmed.
*** In a sense, the Brave Edges (enhanced versions of particular moves comparable to the EX Moves in ''VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}}'', ''Street Fighter'', and the like) could be seen as faint spiritual successors to the first game's Critical Edges.
*** Similar to above, characters have a Weapon Gauge of sorts in ''V'' as well, which is similar to the Stun gauge in ''Franchise/StreetFighter'' and other series. Repeatedly guarding attacks will eventually cause their guard stance to shattered, leaving them completely defenseless for a brief moment. The Weapon Gauge resets immediately afterward.
* EasterEgg: ''V'''s Quick Battle mode gives players the chance to fight Katsuhiro Harada, the producer of ''Tekken''. Harada uses a Create-A-Soul exclusive [[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Devil Jin]] fighting style. Defeating him allows the use of the Devil Jin style for created characters.
** It's also possible to to assemble [[VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}} KOS-MOS]] in ''III'''s Character Creation.
** ''V'' has DLC items that reference other Namco games, including accessories of ''VideoGame/{{Pac-Man}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Klonoa}}'', costumes from ''Tekken'', and even the [[VideoGame/{{Splatterhouse}} Terror Mask]].
* EldritchLocation: Astral Chaos, the dimension that Soul Edge retreats into whenever it gets too damaged.
** Its predecessors Valencia Port - Chaos (''Edge/Blade''), Chaos (''Calibur''), [[FireAndBrimstoneHell Tartaros]] (''SCII''), and Chaos - Spiritual Realm (''SCIII'') are no slouches in this department, although the latter two Chaos stages are implied to be alternate planes of existence within Soul Edge where one does battle with Inferno as well as an extension of/one in the same with Astral Chaos. Similar to Valencia Port - Chaos, Astral Chaos later bleeds into the real world when [[spoiler:Pyrrha Omega uses Soul Edge to tear open a rift in the sky above Denevér Castle, turning the stage into Denevér Castle: Eye of Chaos]].
** Ostrheinsburg Castle and the surrounding area is implied to have become this in ''IV'' after Nightmare decides to use it as his base of operations and transforms the city into what is known as Dark Capital Ostrheinsburg using Soul Edge's power.
** The Lost Cathedral in ''III'' is a more benign version, crossing over with LostWorld: it's a breathtakingly beautiful palace of pristine water drawing from all forms of European architecture which can only be reached by "those with a strong will and a willingness to bet their own lives." Algol's Tower of Remembrance in ''IV'' (particularly its "Degration" version) and Tower of Glory in ''V'' could also qualify, with the latter explicitly residing in Astral Chaos.
* ElegantGothicLolita: Amy. And then ''IV'' has Setsuka's alternate outfit and Ashlotte, a ''[[RobotGirl robotic]] [[ClockPunk clockwork]]'' gothic lolita.
* EmpathicWeapon: Soul Edge and Soul Calibur. Ivy's Valentine WhipSword is also alive, which is why it can do all those improbable things in battle. Yoshimitsu's katana is shown to have a a level of sentience as well, especially in his ''II'' ending.
* EnemyWithin: Inferno.
* EnemyWithout: Nightmare to Siegfried, after a point.
* EpicFail: Admit it, anyone who has played this game was able to ring themselves out by accident at least once.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TbYZzJ7FE4 Like this guy did!]]
* EvilOnlyHasToWinOnce: So far, Soul Edge has been shattered or destroyed at least three times (''Soul Edge'', ''Soulcalibur'', ''Soulcalibur II''), twice by Soul Calibur. What happens each time? The sword just breaks into pieces (each one every bit as evil as the whole sword) and eventually reforms itself, stronger than before. Now, what happens in ''every'' ending where the Soul Edge wins instead? The world gets '''''hosed''''', that's what. Even worse, in ''IV'', we learn that Soul Calibur is actually just as evil, but with a penchant for order rather than chaos.
* EvilWeapon: Soul Edge. Soul Calibur during the period where it was corrupted by Soul Edge's evil; it's normally a holy sword meant to oppose Soul Edge. [[spoiler:''IV'' reveals that Soul Calibur can actually be considered just as evil, when it reaches its full power and sentience. Unlike Edge, which revels in chaos, destruction, death, and torment, Calibur wants peace, harmony, and safety -- by ''freezing the entire world so that no one can move'']].
* {{Expy}}: In ''V'', many characters deemed too old or are dead are replaced with characters who have the same fighting style. Examples include Natsu for Taki and Pyrrha for Sophitia.
* {{Fanservice}}: Most female characters' breasts [[FanservicePack were enlarged]] for ''IV'', for no apparent reason other than probably this trope.
** It's been there since the beginning. In ''Soul Edge'', Sophitia appears naked in the opening (censored overseas, of course) and Taki has JigglePhysics. On the original {{PlayStation}}. Which is hilarious. Not to mention the ClothingDamage aspect added into later games and the ability for players to create intentional [[MrFanservice Mr.]] and MsFanservice characters via the "Create a Soul" system.
** Algol's costume in ''V''. Seems like he and [[VideoGame/StreetFighterIII Gill]] shop at the same outlet.
* FinishingMove: The Critical Finish in ''IV''. Don't expect to pull this one off all the time; it's mostly there to keep people from spamming guard the whole match. The fanciness is lost on Yoda though, who is too short for most of the animations, and thus Critical Finishes on him are simply the character performing an unblockable attack on him.
* FixedFloorFighting
* {{Flynning}}: Can be seen in the attract mode for ''III''.
* FragileSpeedster: Taki and Maxi.
* GaidenGame: ''Broken Destiny'''s story mode starts by stating that its plot is based on "obscure fables" and therefore isn't canon. ''Legends'' was also referred as such in the early press releases.
* {{Gainaxing}}: Very much.
* GameBreakingBug: ''III''. Save file wipe. If you moved or deleted any other save file on your memory card, it's impossible to save in Chronicles of the Sword (and therefore to play that mode properly).
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: Changing weapons no longer changes anything gameplay-wise to the characters in ''V''. [[spoiler:So characters acquiring Soul Edge and powering them up does nothing in their matches]].
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Siegfried and Kilik.
* GlassCannon: Possible in ''IV'' with custom characters. Several characters have weapons with extremely high damage but low health.
* GrailInTheGarbage: Charade's backstory in states he bought shards of the Soul Edge from a random merchant.
* GrappleMove: Grab moves can be canceled by doing your own grab move so that it connects with the opponent's. Later entries even allow you to ''counter'' an opponent's grab so you grab them instead. Both require [[SomeDexterityRequired A LOT of Dexterity]].
* GratuitousGerman: With bad grammar.
* GroinAttack: Sophitia, Kilik, and Seong Mi-na.
** Note that the Alexandra sisters have a tendency to attack ''using'' their groins.
*** Pyrrha continues the tradition, while Patroklos takes Sophitia's groin knee attack {{up to eleven}}.
*** Ivy as well. She has a stomping move. If performed on a downed opponent she rubs the tip of her foot on them. This counts if her foot lands on their groin, which is almost guaranteed to happen if they're lying face up. This is quite similar to a move of Nina's in ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}''.
* GuestFighter: [[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Heihachi]], [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda Link]], and ComicBook/{{Spawn}}, who were each a console-specific character in one of the versions of ''II''; [[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia Lloyd Irving]] in ''Legends''; [[Franchise/StarWars Darth Vader, Yoda]], and [[VideoGame/TheForceUnleashed the Apprentice]] in ''IV''; [[VideoGame/GodOfWar Kratos]] in ''Broken Destiny'', and [[Franchise/AssassinsCreed Ezio Auditore]] in ''V''.
** KOS-MOS appears in a roundabout fashion in ''III''. She appears as a special set of items for Character Creation that creates a character with her appearance when put together.
** ProductPlacement: Adding the Apprentice from ''Star Wars: The Force Unleashed'', a game that was going to come out a month after ''IV'', was totally this.
** Also, a bunch of anime/manga designers were hired to create an original character -- and by "original character" we mean "they look different." Each of their individual fighting styles are copied from another character. They don't even have their own voice sets (using the ones from Create-a-Character mode instead), although several of their lines are unique to those characters.
* GunsAreUseless: The only firearm in the game (Cervantes' "[[MixAndMatchWeapon pistol sword]]"); while the strongest attack that uses it deals decent damage (between a 4th and 3rd of health), it is very telegraphed, and can be dodged by simply moving to the side once. Back in ''II'', the only attack that involved it was a weak, easy to miss, anti-air attack grab (which is as useless as it sounds). (Of course, the game ''does'' take place in the 16th Century; firearms were rather primitive back then.)
** Ezio's hidden pistol in ''V'' is even more useless than Cervantes's pistol sword. While unblockable, it takes a whole second to fire (although he can cancel it if needed).
* HitAndRunTactics: Conceivably possible with Spawn's signature fire/acid ball move. Any competent human or AI will be able to sidestep the fireballs, but against the easy and the inexperienced, you may be able to wipe the enemy health gauge clean before the enemy can so much as close for combat. Same goes for Link in the same game (except in the [=GameCube=] version only). Can also be attempted with Ivy's whip and Kilik's staff to a lesser extent.
* HoistHeroOverHead: One of Darth Vader's grappling moves in ''IV''. Two of Hilde's throws also do this.
* HornyVikings: The Viking Helm in ''IV'' is an example of this.
* ImpossiblyLowNeckline: Many of the girls' outfits, including Amy and Ivy.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Plenty, even without counting anyone's JokeWeapon. Tambourines, anyone?!
* InfinityPlusOneSword: Each character has one; also inverted in Soul Edge itself, which may count as an AwesomeButImpractical InfinityMinusOneSword, as it often drains the health of its possessor.
* InstantFlightJustAddSpinning: Yoshimitsu can do this to set up a SwordPlant.
* InstrumentOfMurder: Talim of ''IV'' uses a pair of ocarinas as her joke weapons.
* JailBait: Talim is 15 years old, and gets more and more sexualized in each game. She is now straddling people with her thighs while wearing translucent pants.
** Amy, who's probably younger than her.
** And then we have Leixia and Natsu in ''V''.
* JigglePhysics:
** Almost all female characters, especially Taki and Ivy (although there are [[JailBait exceptions]]).
** In ''IV'', Cassandra's alternate costume applies this to her ''thighs.''
** ''III'' also has Valeria the shopkeeper, and more of the girls have this in ''IV'', including Sophitia, Setsuka, and pretty much every female Create-A-Character, [[ClothingDamage especially since they'll end up in their underwear anyway]]. [[{{Golem}} Astaroth]] has ''chest'' jiggle physics, and Xianghua has ass jiggle physics.
** In ''II'', Lizardman's thighs jiggle!
** JigglePhysics is even customizable for custom characters, where (reasonably) undergarment choice affects bounce. The strapless bra will have more jiggle than what is essentially a leather sports bra.
* JokeItem: Each character has one.
* KickingAssInAllHerFinery: Several outfits the ladies wear are very fancy and elegant.
* LampshadeHanging: Seong Mi-na + bladed weapon + GroinAttack + "Bye bye" = not pleasant[[TradeSnark ™]].
* LargeHam: Nightmare's taunts before a battle and after winning a match. His lines could be very scary, if he didn't sound like he was trying so hard. "Have a taste of my darkness!" Also [[BoldInflation The]] [[PunctuatedForEmphasis Narrator]] at times.
** Kratos in ''Broken Destiny'', [[UpToEleven even more]] than in [[VideoGame/GodOfWar his own series]].
** Cervantes is extremely hammy as well.
** Abyss in ''III'' actually has some pre-battle lines that are so lengthy that they get cut off/run into the other fighter's!
** Everything Astaroth says is incredibly melodramatic.
** No mention of Yoshimitsu? For shame!
*** Yoshimitsu is in [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg a category all his own]].
* LeotardOfPower: Ivy, particularly in ''II''. Cassandra in ''IV'' has a coat on over one of these.
* LighterAndSofter[=/=]DenserAndWackier: ''Broken Destiny'''s Gauntlet Mode contains massive amounts of LampshadeHanging (ranging from one of the wild creatures asking why their wolf protector is suddenly walking around on two legs, to the characters constantly asking each other, and themselves, why they keep giving hints to the player when they fail a mission), a few personality changes, starting with Cassandra being a GenkiGirl, no one getting killed, aside from the wolf you eat in the beginning, Nightmare becoming a good guy, anime-style illustrations (including a [[Memes/{{Touhou}} Yukkuri shiteitte ne! cameo]]), with all the standard visual gags.
* LightIsNotGood: The titular blade, Soul Calibur. It was shown in ''IV'' that it wants to freeze the world in crystal, thus creating a WorldOfSilence. Soul Calibur's justification is that if nobody can move, there won't be any more war. Granted, [[WellIntentionedExtremist it's still insane]].
** Reinforced in ''V'' [[spoiler:when its spirit presents itself as Sophitia to manipulate Patroklos into killing Soul Edge's wielder, his sister Pyrrha.]]
* LightningBruiser: Siegfried and Nightmare hit hard and fast naturally. Ashlotte, Astaroth, and other slow-but-strong characters can be modified into this through the Step Speed Up and Run Speed Up abilities. Hilde's movement is among the fastest in the game, and she also has the two most powerful attacks (her 30 second charge attacks), both of which are near [[OneHitKO one hit K.O.s.]]
** Darth Vader in ''IV'', which is rather true to his portrayal in the ''Franchise/StarWars'' universe.
* LimitBreak: The Critical Edge attacks in ''V'', complete with their super meter.
* MagicRealism: All games in the series are set in the [[RealLife real world]], and there are plenty of historical references to real life events and people of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. Story Mode (in ''III'' and ''V'') features a world-map of Eurasia that the fighters traverse. This, however, is all juxtaposed with the use of [[MagicAIsMagicA "magic" powers]] (especially in the Critical Edge super moves where energy emissions are fired off), as well as fantasy creatures such as golems (Astaroth) and animated skeletons (Revenant). It all works rather well, though, and it doesn't cross the line ''too'' much into ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' [[HighFantasy territory]].
** Although arguably ''V'' has taken the series into the realms of HighFantasy -- despite retaining a real-world map, two of the new characters (Viola and Zwei) use weapons and fighting styles that are ''completely'' fantasy-based, namely a [[WrongContextMagic floating crystal ball and a floating were-wolf torso]] respectively...
* MalevolentArchitecture: Abound in ''Legends,'' where even '''LeonardoDaVinci's house''' is full of swinging blades, rolling boulders, and puzzles.
** Considering the role played by Leo in ''[[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII Assassin's Creed II]]'', this might be intentional...
* ManaMeter: ''V'' has one (with multiple stocks at that), and it's used to power the Brave Edge and [[LimitBreak Critical Edge]] moves.
* ManipulativeBastard: Zasalamel in ''III'' manipulates Nightmare, Siegfried, Ivy, and a bunch of {{Mooks}} as part of his plan to raise both swords' powers back to full. Also, in each character's own story mode, there's one path in which he baits said character into his clock tower, tests him/her in battle, and then either directs him/her to Nightmare (so he gets a chance to feed the sword with a strong soul) or curse him so he'd not become a nuisance later.
** Also Tira in ''IV'', as she convinces many of the characters to seek out Soul Edge to meet their goals, most notably manipulating Sophitia into working for the side of Nightmare by saying that her daughter was at risk if Soul Edge was destroyed.
** Dampierre in ''Broken Destiny''. To get two men into his service, one of which attempted to shoot him earlier, he reveals his hideout to the police, and later saves them when they are cornered. This act, plus a claim of greatness and his impressive counterfeit collection, are enough to turn them into his lackeys.
** Iska in ''Legends'' fits this trope perfectly as [[spoiler:he makes the character do the whole story then attempts to kill them]].
* MasterOfAll: Edge Master, a proclaimed master of the art of fighting, who has [[MultiMeleeMaster supposedly mastered every fighting style known to man]] to the point that he can teach others and [[DittoFighter utilize them himself if need be]]. It's also noted that he has clashed with the Warrior King Algol and perhaps was the one person who fought Olcadan to a draw. Especially enforced in ''Soulcalibur V'', where he is the only character able to mimic every style, while fellow [[DittoFighter mimics]] [[spoiler:Kilik and Elysium]] can only copy male and female fighting styles respectively.
* MeaningfulName: Pyrrha, Sophitia's daughter. You just know there's [[PyrrhicVictory only one way]] for that whole mess to end.
** It doesn't help that her other child is named Patroklos, as in the man who wore Achilles' armor in the Trojan War.
** Also Amy, coming from the old French Amee, means "beloved"; this is played up with the mission you need to complete to unlock her in ''III'', named "Beloved."
* MechanicallyUnusualFighter: Both Voldo and Dampierre's main attacks largely involve being able to block due to their stances, be they facing away from the enemy or being downed on the ground.
* {{Meido}}: Lynette, one of the three shopkeepers in ''III''. In ''IV'', we also have Marienbard and Jacqueline, Raphael's servants.
** You can also create characters with maid costumes in ''III'' and ''IV'', though in the latter case it requires a DLC to do so.
** Pamela in ''Broken Destiny'', who also serves as an assassin. A really bad one.
** Pyrrha worked as a meido until she was implicated in a murder. Probably the first example for a main character in ''Soulcalibur''.
* MightyGlacier: Astaroth, Rock, and Ashlotte.
* MightyWhitey: Subverted with Setsuka; she's a woman of European heritage, who was orphaned and ended up being raised in Japan. Because of her appearance, however, she was shunned and distrusted by the majority of the native people around her.
** Played a little straighter with Rock, an English boy lost in a shipwreck who grew up in America, who became a fearsome giant. Still mistrusted and feared though, because, y'know, GIANT.
*** Despite this Rock isn't even all that big, standing at only 175cm and weighing 85kg. Cervantes in ''SCV'' is both taller and heavier.
** Arthur as well: an orphan who ended up in the care of a Japanese merchant and was raised in Japan. He was despised by his peers, which made him the preferred target for projectiles in the battlefield.
* MiniDressOfPower: Sophitia, Cassandra, and Amy.
* MorphWeapon: Soul Edge and Soul Calibur. Normally, they take the shape of a [[{{BFS}} really big sword]] and a jian, respectively, but they can morph to fit just about any weapon shape. In ''II'', three characters (Xianghua, Nightmare, and Talim) could use Soul Calibur, and ''every'' character had a Soul Edge version of their weapon (Nightmare had ''three'': Soul Edge, Soul Edge [Growth], and Soul Edge [Complete]). By ''III'', Siegfried has Soul Calibur, and it too becomes a {{BFS}}.
* MortalityEnsues: In his input ending of ''III'', Zasalamel succeeds in becoming mortal and spends the rest of his life as a scholar, chronicling everything he experienced.
* NaginatasAreFeminine: Kilik and Seong Mi-na are built off of the same moveset. Kilik uses a SimpleStaff while Mi-na uses a BladeOnAStick, including one weapon simply called "Naginata."
* {{Ninja}}: Taki, Natsu, and Yoshimitsu; Yoshimitsu's fighting style is classified as that of a Samurai, but his backstory indicates that he was part of a Ninja clan.
* NoSidePathsNoExplorationNoFreedom: Granted, we don't expect those things from the main fighting games, but it seems like a cop-out in ''Legends''.
* OminousPipeOrgan: "Hellfire" begins with one. Also, "Forsaken Sanctuary" is full of it.
* OneHandedZweihander: Nightmare uses his sword like this. Averted by Siegfried, who uses both hands to swing his {{BFS}}. Most of the time.
* OneManArmy: Mitsurugi in his backstory and certain endings, Nightmare in the introduction to ''III'' as well as a character with a discipline with a good anti A.I. move in Chronicles of the Sword.
* OneSteveLimit: Averted. ''III'' contains both Eurydice Shrine (a stage) and Eurydice, a character in the Chronicles of the Sword sub-game.
* OnlyAFleshWound: Siegfried sometimes makes the claim "I avoided your vitals. You'll live," after winning a fight in ''III''. Apparently the brain isn't a vital area.
* OperaGloves
* OrderVersusChaos: If Soul Calibur's own ambition to freeze the world in crystal is its actual motivation, then the battle between Soul Calibur and Soul Edge is more this than good vs. evil. Both will do bad things to the world, it all comes down to how they bring it about (Edge wants violence and terror, Calibur wants order and serenity through nothingness).
* PaintedOnPants: Very possible in Character Creation, and is pretty much your only alternative to fighting in underwear after ClothingDamage in ''IV''.
* PantyShot: EVERY female character who isn't wearing pants, shorts, or full armor. One of Cassandra's outfits in ''IV'' is even lacking a lower half entirely to begin with.
* PatrioticFervor: Figures into the backstory for all of the Korean characters in the ''Soul'' series. Hwang is a soldier in the Imperial Navy seeking Soul Edge in order to stop Japan's invasion of his country. Seong Mi-na is trying to prove that females can be as capable soldiers as male recruits, and Yun-seong's out to prove his worth to Hwang and his country. In later games, they realize that the sword is evil and instead fight to destroy it, with the side goal of proving the nation's strength.
** Yun-seong, in his ''III'' pre-boss fight (the one where you fight someone who has to do with the character's backstory), has him walking into the room, taking one look at Mitsurugi, whom he has never seen before, and yelling something along the lines of "Enemy of my homeland, prepare to die!"
** Ivy also exhibits this, but visually. In her ''IV'' costume, her shoulder pauldron and the various metal clasps on her costume incorporate the Tudor Rose of England motif, which is a traditional symbol of her native England and also probably serves as a medieval example of WearingAFlagOnYourHead.
** Hilde: "My people give me strength! For our homeland!"
* PersonalityBloodTypes: Blood types are listed in the character profiles.
* PimpedOutDress: Quite a few of the outfits.
* {{Pirate}}: [[NinjaPirateRobotZombie Cervantes]]. Maxi may not look the part, but he's a pirate from Ryukyu.
* PrayerPose: Often invoked by Sophitia in her {{victory pose}}s, particularly in ''Soulcalibur IV'', including one where she kneels and clasps her hands together, bowing her head, as she implores the gods for their divine protection.
* PressXToNotDie: Tales of Souls in ''SCIII'' features several [=QTEs=] during a few of the more important storyline battles. Failing to input the right command usually results in the character getting tanked by a sneak attack at the expense of health and, in one case, affects the outcome of a battle between two other [=NPCs=] during endgame. Likewise, each character's ending in [=ToS=] abides by the same principle, although the consequences there range anywhere from [[HilarityEnsues comedic]] to [[DownerEnding fatal]].
** Special mention goes to Seong-Mina's ending in III where you must match ''several'' QTEs in succession.
* PrettyInMink: A few outfits with fur trim. Amy's outfit in ''IV'' has a fur neckline.
* PublisherChosenTitle: Supposedly what transpired after producer Daishi Odashima tried to name ''[=SoulCalibur=] V'' "''Soul Edge II''."
* RainbowPimpGear: To get the best possible statistics in ''IV'''s CAS mode, your fighter ''will'' be horribly mismatched. Just go with it.
** To be fair, you can still color-change most of the clothing, so you can make it less horrible.
* RecoveryAttack: Generally averted, but played straight with Heihachi's guest appearance, since he comes from a series that ''does'' have recovery attacks.
* RecurringRiff: "Path of Destiny", titled "Recollection" in its first appearance, is the ending theme to every ''Calibur'' game prior to ''V''.
* RepeatCut: In ''Soulcalibur V'', scoring a knockout blow strong enough to [[ClothingDamage destroy part of the other fighter's clothes/armor]] results in this.
* RevenueEnhancingDevices: Incredibly, Namco managed to restrain themselves in this regard. ''IV'' has costume packs and the ''Soulcalibur'' soundtrack available for DLC, plus [=PS3=] owners can download Yoda and Xbox owners can download Vader. [[WhatCouldHaveBeen Now, why couldn't they have offered the custom weapon disciplines from]] ''[[WhatCouldHaveBeen III]]'' [[WhatCouldHaveBeen and some more characters...]]
* RingOut: The other major fighting series to employ the trope (''VideoGame/VirtuaFighter'' being the predominant entity). Unlike ''VF'', there is EdgeGravity in this series so it's not as easy to throw yourself out of the ring (though it is possible through a number of ways).
* RingsOfDeath: Tira wields one huge bladed one.
* RoadCone: Every character's ending inevitably ends with them doing something with Soul Edge and/or Soul Calibur. ''Soulcalibur'' takes elements from a handful of the endings of ''Soul Edge'': Sophitia gets her ending where she breaks one of Cervantes's Soul Edge swords, but becomes injured in the process, leaving Taki to come in and finish Cervantes off, at which point Sigfried shows up and gets his ending where he becomes Nightmare. ''II'' takes mainly from Xianghua, with elements from Kilik (he fights Nightmare and his mirror breaks) and Nightmare (Siegfried recovers his senses after facing his dad in a dream). ''III'' takes the basic setup from Nightmare's ending (Siegfried recovers his mind, but seals Soul Edge with Soul Calibur instead of throwing it down a dark pit), as well as a bit of Raphael's ending (he pierced Soul Edge's eye).
* RunningGag: ''Never'' ask an Alexander how much they weigh.
* {{Samurai}}: Mitsurugi. Arthur is an interesting case: being an England-born orphan, he was raised and trained to serve as a samurai by his Japanese master (who previously bought him).
* SceneryPorn: A lot of the stages.
* SculptedPhysique
* SeriesContinuityError: During a flashback in ''V'' of Tira kidnapping Pyrrha, Pyrrha is shown as a baby when she should have been three years old.
** Then again, [[UnreliableNarrator that could be how Patroklos imagined it]].
* ShipSinking: When Leixia's profile was released, many a Kilik/Xianghua fan panicked that Project Soul was doing this, due to the news that Xianghua had married a general of the Ming Empire and had two children with him. Possibly averted by later information which implied that she was forced into the marriage and that she still loved Kilik; [[spoiler:later, it was truthfully averted with the Japanese official artbook, which revealed Xiba as being their son, so by proxy Kilik and Xianghua had upgraded their relationship, even for a brief moment]].
* ShipTease: Someone on the team noticed that the fans ''really'' dug on [[FanPreferredCouple LinkxTalim.]] So much so that in ''IV'', Talim's joke weapon is a pair of [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime ocarinas.]]
* ShockwaveStomp: Night Terror when he stabs the ground. A few other characters have ground stabbing moves that make one, and Xianghua has an actual stomp.
* ShooTheDog: Kilik tries several times to keep Xianghua from following him, because he doesn't plan for his quest to end well. This is also the case for Hwang in ''Soul Edge'' and the first ''Calibur'', who keeps sending Seong Mi-na home when she follows him out.
* {{Shotoclone}}: The Dagger moveset for custom characters in ''III'' includes a [[{{Shoryuken}} jumping uppercut]] and [[HurricaneKick spinning midair kick]], with and bombs as a projectile in place of the [[EnergyBall Hadouken]].
* ShoutOut: Gameplay-wise, most of the new additions and systems in ''V'' come from Daishi Odashima being a fan of ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII: 3rd Strike''.
** The Just Guard system, however, is more or less the Just Defend system from ''[[VideoGame/FatalFury Garou: Mark of the Wolves]]''.
*** The whole TimeSkip setting of ''V'' seems to be a ShoutOut to both games. That or ''Tekken 3''.
** Several characters in ''II'' have costumes that reference characters from other video games:
*** Mitsurugi's 2P costume makes him strongly resemble [[VideoGame/SamuraiShodown Haohmaru]].
*** Sophitia's bonus costume is a shout-out to [[VideoGame/TheTowerOfDruaga Princess Ki]].
*** Cassandra's bonus costume is a shout-out to the eponymous heroine of yet another Namco game, ''The Legend of Valkyrie''.
*** Voldo's bonus costume looks a lot like an Franchise/{{Alien}}.
*** Ivy's bonus costume is a shout-out to [[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Anna Williams]].
*** Raphael's ''IV'' 1P costume resembles [[Franchise/{{Castlevania}} Alucard]].
** Iska in ''Legends'' mentions learning/using alchemy in some of the dialogue sequences; he's even voiced by [[Manga/FullmetalAlchemist Edward Elric]] in both [[Creator/RomiPark Japanese]] and [[Creator/VicMignogna English]].
** In ''V'', there's a Quick Battle opponent named Diego Umeharez, as in Daigo Umehara.
*** More specifically, it's the screen name used by a Daigo impersonator.
** One particular shout out is the part before Natsu begins a battle, one of her lines is [[Manga/{{Naruto}} "Man, what a drag."]]
** Siegfried plays homage to [[NorseMythology Nordic folk hero Sigurd]]; his namesake is [[Literature/{{Nibelungenlied}} Sigurd's German]] [[Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung counterpart]] (in-universe, [[NamedAfterSomebodyFamous this was deliberate on Frederick's part when it came to naming his son]]), one of his extra weapons is named Gram, and Siegfried even squares off against a dragon by the name of Fafnir in ''Legends''. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), the eight members of Hilde's [[AmazonBrigade all-female]] [[PraetorianGuard royal guard]] in ''IV'' [[note]]CAS characters [[WhipSword Gerhilde]], [[RoyalRapier Siegrune]], [[BladeOnAStick Waltraute]], [[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe Schwertleite, Grimgerde]], [[RoyalRapier Helmwige]], [[BladeOnAStick Ortlinde]], and [[CarryABigStick Rossweisse]], the last three becoming Malfested due to an attack on Wolfkrone by Nightmare prior to the events of the game[[/note]] [[ShoutOutThemeNaming are named for eight of the nine]] {{valkyries}} from ''[[Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung Die Walküre]]'', with Hilde being partially named after the ninth, Brünnhilde.
* SkillGateCharacter: For the most part, averted; a number of the easy-to-learn characters like Talim, Kilik, and Mitsurugi are so deadly because they're even ''worse'' to fight against when mastered. Those that don't consider [[TheScrappy Necrid]] completely broken argue he falls more into this category, since the majority of people play him for his stupidly cheap spam attacks without regard for how poorly this fares against players that know what they're doing.
* SNKBoss: Night Terror, Algol, and the Apprentice in Arcade Mode.
* SoulCuttingBlade: Soul Edge.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Seung Mina and Yunsung? You mean Seong Mi-na and Yun-seong?
** The title of the series since ''Soulcalibur'' has been subject to this a few times, evidenced even by this very wiki and this very page. At first, it appeared to be two words like the titular sword (i.e. ''Soul Calibur''), up until ''Soulcalibur III'', where it became one word (which in turn retroactively affected the titles of the previous games). [[http://www.soularchive.jp/ The official website supports this spelling,]] although you'll still see ''Soul Calibur'' being thrown around, as well as ''[=SoulCalibur=]'' due to the title font for every game other than ''III'' and ''Legends''. All of this, of course, excludes those who spell the name of the game as [[RougeAnglesOfSatin "Soul Caliber."]]
* SplitPersonality: Tira in ''IV'' switches between [[SlasherSmile Slasher Smiling]] psycho to [[KubrickStare Kubrick Staring]] psycho when her health is half-depleted (or by using Gestalt Madness -A + K-), as a side-effect of prolonged exposure to Soul Edge.
** She was also a lot like Harley Quinn in her first appearance, except oddly, switching between grinning and not at random.
** Also, oddly enough, Soul Calibur is like a split personality of Soul Edge, since it was created from Soul Edge -- one's a KnightTemplar and one is TheHeartless.
* SpotlightStealingSquad:
** Siegfried in ''III'' and ''IV''. While he was arguably the main character in the very first game, he comes back with a vengeance in the third game, becoming the wielder of Soul Calibur itself and the one who has to destroy Soul Edge.
** Even more so is Patrokos in ''V'', where the entirety of the game's story mode is centered around him. At least previous games had story modes for other characters.
* TheStarscream: Astaroth, in ''IV'', as detailed in his Story Mode profile. This started as far back as the first ''Calibur'' game, where he joined Nightmare to help him restore the sword just so he could claim it in perfect shape for his true master.
* StoryBreadcrumbs: Single-player modes do spill some of the story, but it's hard to separate the canon from the "we needed a few more scenarios for Character A, so we put him in Character B's role" scenarios, and almost every character's ending contradicts the bulk of the cast's. Practically all of the story information comes from [[AllThereInTheManual story, weapon, and stage profiles and the official site]], and those still require some context work to piece together.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: Women wear everything from skirts that flip up at the slightest provocation, to battle thongs, to ornate dental floss, with heels being standard. Men tend to go shirtless but are otherwise adequately dressed.
** According to WordOfGod, [[JeanneDArchetype Hilde's]] character design was intentionally made to [[DefiedTrope avoid this trope]]. Pyrrha dresses comparatively sensibly as well.
* SuddenSequelHeelSyndrome: This happens to Sophitia Alexandra in ''IV'', where she's made to defend Soul Edge in order to save her daughter's life.
* SurroundedByIdiots: Hilde (and you) in ''Broken Destiny''.
* TakeThat: Dampierre's reactions to Sophitia's married status in The Gauntlet mode of ''Broken Destiny'' could be seen as this to those who refuse to accept that she has a husband.
* TheyChangedItNowItSucks: In-universe example: Tira's reaction in ''V'' to the new Nightmare being a manipulative warmonger instead of the sociopath OneManArmy it previously was.
* ThongOfShielding: Several of Ivy's costumes.
* TimeSkip: A major feature of ''V'''s story, which is 17 years forward of the events of the last canon installment.
* TitleScream: A random character or the announcer will do this.
* [[WritingAroundTrademarks Titling Around Trademarks]]: The reason ''Soul Edge'' was renamed ''Soul Blade'' -- and the reason the series eventually became ''Soulcalibur'' -- was Tim Langdell's questionable (and now invalidated) trademark on the word "Edge" in relation to video games. After the trademark was invalidated, ''V''[='s=] director wanted to rename the game to ''Soul Edge 2''; Namco executives wouldn't let him.
* TogetherInDeath: Kilik is determined to destroy Soul Edge even if it costs him his life. Xianghua makes it clear that if he succeeds, he won't be alone.
* TookALevelInJerkass: Taki becomes a bitch between ''III'' and ''IV''. Her treatment of Ivy and Siegfried, who have both become TheAtoner by this point, is particularly grating.
-->[[KickTheDog "You're your father's daughter after all."]]
** Though worth noting, Taki has no reason to know that they become atoners. Ivy and Taki especially have a history of not getting along very well.
** Inverted with Patroklos, who starts a Jerkass and later takes a more heroic route.
** This happened earlier with Siegfried, who ''also'' started out as a self-serving jerk unable to take responsibility for his own actions. Like Pat, he slowly matures into a force for good, although his character progression involves him tangling with a loss of lucidity to truly horrific extents and taking several more games before his transformation into a man looking for penance finally culminates.
* [[{{Irony}} Tragic Irony]]: Siegfried frees himself from the control of Soul Edge, cleansing himself of his sins. Then he takes Soul Calibur, believing it to be a holy weapon of pure good to counter Soul Edge's evil. Unbeknownst to him, Soul Calibur is a KnightTemplar that intends not only to freeze him and Nightmare into crystal, but the rest of the world as well, and Siegfried's adamant claim "never again will I bend to anyone's will" has been subverted without him realizing it.
* TrappedInVillainy: During the events of ''Soulcalibur IV'', Sophitia Alexandra is threatened with the death of her daughter Pyrrha if anything happens to Soul Edge, and ends up fighting anyone who would destroy it.
* UnderwearOfPower: Though none of the main characters use this (even Ivy just wears a very, very skimpy leotard), this can be done in character creation, and is a must in ''IV'', where clothing damage often reverts characters to their underwear anyway.
* UnexpectedGameplayChange: The Gauntlet, ''Broken Destiny'''s campaign mode, is pretty much a memory/timing puzzle, except with fighting. It's strangely addicting.
* UnreliableNarrator: When confronting Tira in ''V'''s Story Mode as Patroklos, the narrator refers to her as [[spoiler:"your mother's murderer"]] seemingly confirming that Tira [[spoiler:killed Sophitia]]. This was later disproven in the [[AllThereInTheManual official sourcebook]].
** The implication is that the narrator was voicing Patroklos' interpretation of the event, similar to how [[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Jin believes Jun to be dead]] despite WordOfGod saying only that she's "missing"/"in hiding."
* UnusualEars: ''IV'' bonus characters Kamikirimusi and Scheherazade.
* UpdatedRerelease: ''Soulcalibur II'' is getting this treatment in the form of ''Soulcalibur II HD Online'' for the [=PS3=] and 360.
* VariableLengthChain
* VirtualPaperDoll
* WalkingTheEarth: Every characters travels all over Europe and Asia in search of the Soul Edge for their personal reasons.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Raphael's life was saved by a little girl named Amy. After they appear to get [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampiric symptoms]], he attempts to change the world by spreading it since it doesn't accept them, as opposed to attempting to cure themselves.
** Zasalamel can be seen as this in ''IV'', since in order to attain his goal of "leading humanity into a bright future", he's more than willing to torture, murder, or destroy the life of anyone, either for obstructing him or because it helps move his plan along.
** Soul Calibur itself is a holy weapon created by Algol to keep the evil Soul Edge sword in check. However, the sentience granted to Soul Calibur has allowed it to come to the conclusion that the world is full of chaos and violence and the only way to save humanity from itself is to crystallize the world and all its inhabitants.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: The whole reason why Zasalamel brings the two swords together -- he's tired of living forever. Reversed in ''IV'', when Zasalamel decides he does want to live forever after seeing humanity's future, which apparently is so awesome that he also performs a HeelFaceTurn. He's still a {{Jerkass}}, however. There's a odd kind of MoralDissonance to his speeches on human potential versus his sociopathic comments before fights. He also has a tendency to make people fight those who were important to them [[spoiler:before they died, like Siegfried's father Frederick, Kilik's adoptive sister Xianglian, and Algol's son, THEN fight completely-dead versions of them]].
* WeaponOfChoice: Every character has his/her own trademark weapon:
** AnAxeToGrind: Astaroth, Rock (formerly), Lizardman, Ashlotte, ComicBook/{{Spawn}}
** {{BFS}}: Siegfried, Nightmare, Strife
** BladeBelowTheShoulder: Dampierre, although he doesn't rely only on it
** BladeOnAStick: Seong Mi-na, Hilde, Girardot, Angol Fear
** CarryABigStick: Rock, Kamikirimushi
** CoolSword: Everyone that's mentioned in the sword tropes here, plus Hwang, Xianghua, Yun-seong, Shura, Leixia, Z.W.E.I. [[spoiler:and Alpha Patroklos (if an iai version of Soul Calibur counts)]]
** DropTheHammer: None as a main, but Astaroth and Rock have a few hammers in their arsenal.
** DualTonfas: Talim
** DualWielding: Cervantes, [[VideoGame/GodOfWar Kratos]] and Lizardman in ''V''.
** FemmeFatalons: Viola, although she relies more on her crystal ball.
** FightingWithChucks: Li Long, Maxi
** GoodOldFisticuffs: [[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Heihachi and anyone with the Soul of Devil Jin.]]
** KatanasAreJustBetter: Mitsurugi, Yoshimitsu, Arthur
** KnifeNut: Taki, Chester, Natsu
** LaserBlade: Darth Vader, Yoda and the Apprentice [[Franchise/StarWars (for obvious reasons)]].
** LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe (coupled with a sword): Sophitia, Lizardman, Link, Cassandra, Patroklos and Pyrrha.
** MultiMeleeMaster: Edgemaster, Olcadan (both are proficient with ''any'' weapon), Inferno (who can manifest the forms of any other weapon), Charade and [[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood Ezio]].
** ParasolOfPain: Setsuka (though she doesn't actually use the umbrella itself, given that she's a IaijutsuPractitioner)
** RingsOfDeath: Tira
** RoyalRapier: Raphael, Amy, Scheherazade
** SimpleStaff: Kilik, Hualin (also a TelescopingStaff), Xiba
** SinisterScythe: Zasalamel (and Abyss, [[SuperpoweredEvilSide by extension]])
** SwordAndGun: Cervantes
** WhipSword: Ivy
** WolverineClaws: Voldo
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The Story Mode for ''V'' focuses, for the first time, on the actions and destinies of only a few characters. As a result, many characters never have their reasons for being in the game stated and some, like Zasalamel, Talim, and Cassandra (who's the aunt of both the main characters no less), have disappeared entirely without explanation.
** WhatCouldHaveBeen: ''V'', whilst praised for its great gameplay and visuals, was met with criticism (justifiably so) for the fact that the story mode only concentrated on and showcased the fate of a handful of characters. Even Arcade Mode has no endings for any of the characters, leaving a good deal of storyline elements [[LeftHanging hanging]]. Annoyingly, when this was brought up in an [[http://train2game-news.co.uk/2012/03/27/train2game-interview-soulcalibur-v-game-director-daishi-odashima/ interview]] with game director Daishi, he stated that "Our first plan on the storyboard was that we had every character's story, and actually we do have it in the studio, but time-wise, man power-wise we weren't able to do it and only one fourth of what we planned to do is in the game"...
* WorldOfBuxom: Thanks to the incremental {{Fanservice Pack}}s the girls have been receiving since ''II''. (You'll notice that everyone was more modest in cup size back in ''Soul Edge'' and ''Soulcalibur'', although the non-canon ''[[{{Interquel}} Legends]]'' nullifies that where Taki, Sophitia, and Ivy are concerned.) When Project Soul's director Daishi Odashima [[http://twitpic.com/4vvlbz/full released an official height and breast size chart]] on his Website/{{Twitter}} account prior to ''V'', ''seven'' of the eleven playable females in ''IV'' were ''at least'' D cups (though they appear to have recanted where [[TokenWholesome Hilde]] is concerned); the only ones who didn't qualify were Seong Mi-na (slightly smaller than Tira), Xianghua (who makes up for her more petite bust with junk in the trunk), Talim (who's 15), and Amy (who is even younger than Talim and likely prepubescent). Part of this falls under DependingOnTheArtist, as Takuji Kawano (the lead character illustrator from ''II'' to the current day) tends to draw the women larger, regardless of how chesty they really are (such as Tira and Viola). Like the clothing choices themselves, the new additions in ''V'' backtrack on this; of the five girls joining vets Ivy, Tira, and Hilde, only Pyrrha and [[spoiler:Elysium]] are noticeably endowed.
* WorldOfHam
* WrestlerInAllOfUs: Among many shining examples, Astaroth's powerbomb and Nightmare's dropkick.
* YetAnotherStupidDeath: [[SNKBoss If]] you beat the Colossus in ''III'', do '''not''' just stand there!
* YinYangBomb: The Soul Embrace (which is what happens when Soul Calibur and Soul Edge merge) in ''III'' and ''IV'', and Kilik's weapon Kali-Yuga which absorbs both good and evil energies.
* YouGoGirl: Seong Mi-na.
* YouKilledMyFather: Siegfried's original motivation. [[spoiler:Although in this case it's more like [[TheKillerInMe I Killed My Father.]]]]
** In ''V'', Patroklos seeks revenge on the Malfested for his mother's death.

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!!The alternate universe single player modes, Weapon Master and Chronicles of the Sword, have examples not found in the main games:

* AllThereInTheManual: The Japanese website gives (gave) a good deal of backstory for Chronicles of the Sword.
* BonusBoss: Weapon Master has a bonus chapter gained by fighting enough battles to reach the rank of Edgemaster, with four very difficult opponents to fight. Chronicles of the Sword has the main universe characters appear at a rate of 1-3 a chapter, and do not require the player to fight them to finish the level.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: How you get your old friends back from [[spoiler:Soul Edge-induced mind control]] post-time skip in Chronicles of the Sword.
** Also, there are two sets of two possible party members, the one who you beat first joins you. The other waits for NewGamePlus.
* DualBoss: Lanbardy and Hobb at the end of the Underground Juno.
* EasyLevelsHardBosses: The Chronicles of the Sword mode in ''III''.
* FakeBalance: Different unit types in Chronicles are supposed to have difference balance, such as being better for out of combat battle or being slow but destructive, however AIBreaker combined with the odd mechanics of the RTS means that choosing thief means you get speed and the ability to take down bases faster, while all battles are fought by the player.
** In the final Chronicle, where there are ''no'' bases/revival points, making all your units Infantry and fighting on the map is often better than manual mode.
* FiveBadBand: In Weapon Master we have...
** BigBad: [[TinTyrant Veral]]
** TheDragon[=/=]DarkChick: [[TheRival Minerva]]
** EvilGenius: [[MadBomber Hobb]]
** TheBrute: [[AnAxeToGrind Lanbardy]]
* GaidenGame: Neither Weapon Master or Chronicles of the Sword take place in the same world (seeing as how the ''Soul'' series takes place on an alternate Earth), but share a few similarities (the presence of Soul Edge and Soul Calibur, for example).
* GenreShift: The Chronicles of the Sword sub-game in ''III'' mashed strategy and fighting together.
** That is, unless you're strong enough to crush multiple enemies outright. There is perhaps one Chronicle in which strategy is needed: a rescue mission. It's often impossible to do anything else in some levels, as the enemies favor rushing you (while it ''is'' their best option, as this forces you to face everyone at once and you can't recover between them, it tends to make the rest of the map fairly boring).
* GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere: In Chronicles of the Sword, on the second-to-last level, the stronghold right next to your main stronghold is guarded by a '''level 99 BossInMookClothing''' named Ende. He is never referenced prior to this, is the first enemy to have a purple health meter (the highest [=CotS=] goes), and has exactly one line of dialog when you bring his stronghold down, apparently referencing the fact that he is just a mercenary. He also has a unique weapon for the Katana discipline of CharacterCustomization, the Kokuenra. Beating him allows you to use it as well... Too bad his stronghold has the habit of slowing your falls, allowing him to juggle you mercilessly with his sword.
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: Aurelia is the final boss of the first half of Chronicles of the Sword, has tried to TakeOverTheWorld, and wields "BlackWidow."
* HeroicMime: In both modes, your character will think to themselves between chapters, but never actually say anything.
* InstantWinCondition: Averted in Chronicles of the Sword, a ring-out will only take a large chunk of a combatant's HP.
** Played straight on one occasion. There is one stronghold in the game where falling to the floor means instant death. And your opponent is a Level 60 character. Thank your lucky stars that he isn't immune to the stage's effect, unlike other occasions in the game.
* LethalJokeCharacter: The Dancer class in Chronicles of the Sword fights with a pair of tambourines as its first weapon. Did we mention the most basic attack from these tambourines utterly breaks the A.I.? Or that their fast attack rate is paired with a weapon that regenerates health with every swing? Swordmaster using tambourines is better because of much higher stats, but impossible to unlikely to use for a first playthough.
* LouisCypher: Wonder what Demuth Beel Zebus Halteese could mean...
* LuckBasedMission:
** Merope Monastery's bonus mission in Weapon Master is dependent entirely on if the AI moves the right way, as you have ~15 seconds to defeat each of the 6 foes, only truly possible with a ring out while over 3/4 of the stage is wall.
** In Chapter 8 of Chronicles of the Sword, you have to rescue at least 3 of 5 allied units on the field from the enemies. Outside of a NewGamePlus (where you can get through fortresses much quicker with your higher strength units), the A.I. decides if you can rescue the three named ones that will join you as well as your ability to rescue the two generic ones for bonus points, as if they attack any unit with more than one of theirs, they are going to die.
* LukeIAmYourFather: Her name, backstory, and dying words all but outright say that [[spoiler:Mooncalf]] is [[spoiler:Luna]]'s mother.
* ManipulativeBastard: Chester [[spoiler:has three out of the four kingdoms under his strings]] around the end of the first half, part of his EvilPlan to [[spoiler:become king himself]].
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: [[spoiler:Abelia]] in Chronicles of the Sword. You befriend this out of her.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Lanbardy, Marauder of Slaughter.
* NewGamePlus: Chronicles of the Sword; either this or a fresh game is required to get all of the create a character parts (as at least one part will be unlocked by picking one OptionalPartyMember over the other).
** Weapon Master Mode has [[PlayableEpilogue special chapters]] unlocked after defeating the BigBad, which offered a {{sidequest}} set after the plot's end.
* NominalImportance: Averted in Chronicles of the Sword; most named characters are merely EliteMooks (opposed to the {{Red Shirt}}s who are named for their affiliation).
* ObviouslyEvil: Many, many characters in the main series apply, but Emperor Strife in Chronicles of the Sword is a conventional example. The nature of [=CotS=] leads most GenreSavvy players to suspect that you'd end up fighting him right from the start, if the brutal orders he issues you and that 90% of your allied units end up rebelling against him didn't seed that already. Oh, and the small fact that his name is, y'know, '''EMPEROR STRIFE'''.
* OneManArmy: Chronicles of the Sword. It's even lampshaded, with generic soldiers thinking your character is a War God(dess).
* PerversePuppet: One appears in Weapon Master that can only be defeated via ring out.
* {{Pirate}}: Alfred, king of pirates in Weapon Master, as well as his crew.
* PlayerMooks: An option for Chronicles of the Sword over preset characters. They are stupidly broken due to the ability to put them into a strong class and use any "reliable" weapon of your choice, plus you don't lose them during the TimeSkip.
* PuttingTheBandBackTogether: You do this post-timeskip in Chronicles of the Sword (see above).
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: Luna and her subordinates in Chronicles of the Sword (named "The Klessirpemdo"). Their quirks only go as far as elemental theming due to a lack of development.
** AmazonBrigade: All 5 of them are women.
** DegradedBoss: For a single chapter, all 5 are fought at once, rather then the 4 minibosses and 1 boss fashion they use in their other appearances. They are back to normal in a few chapters.
** TrueCompanions
* RiskStyleMap: Weapon Master
* TheRival: Abelia in Chronicles of the Sword.
* RivalTurnedEvil: Quite a few in Weapon Master. Justified; they were seeking Soul Edge, a sword that has a tendency to turn people evil.
* SceneryGorn: The Castle of the Dead, as well as anywhere Veral has been once he acquires Soul Edge.
* SceneryPorn: Chronicles of the Sword's levels are rather well detailed.
* {{Sidequest}}: A few optional chapters in Weapon Master.
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold: The end of Weapon Master tells you that whatever your choice was when confronted with Soul Edge, it was never put into history. Indeed, the BigBad of Weapon Master is said to have only been a footnote in the Soul Edge's long and colored history, and you're completely forgotten.
* ThemeNaming: All the areas in Weapon Master (and a lot of the main story's characters/places/etc) are named after stars: Aldebaran, Mizar, Castor, Pollux, Regulus, Antares...
* ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman: Link, for a few of the Weapon Master levels due to his proficiency with ringouts (and for 1 stage, ability to get a high number of hits) he excels, even though he is placed on the bottom of the tier list. ([[DemotedToExtra That happens to]] [[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros him a lot.]])
** Obviously, these stages aren't as easily gotten around in the Xbox and PS2 versions.
* TimeSkip: In Chronicles of the Sword.
* TrainingBoss: The first level of Weapon Master. The first two chapters of ''Chronicles of The Sword''.
* WakeUpCallBoss: Luna's first appearance in in Chronicles of the Sword (Chapter 3). Before this chapter, the A.I. is passive and fairly weak. Now they will rush you on multiple fronts with overleveled troops ''and'' there is a "main universe" character on the field for the first time (they are level 60 when you are 5 at best, learn to avoid them).
** Beating them all makes you feel badass. But, if you have enough skill, then you can overcome the level gap and defeat all of them, even without the use of A.I. breakers, because despite being competent, they don't use any of the A.I. special tactics too much, meaning that they are as defeatable as an average human player.
** Not to mention that "main universe" characters can be exploited, if you know what you're doing. Note that losing still gives you experience... just have one guy protecting your base (particularly one you're good with), send the rest to fight the level 60. Sure, you'll likely lose easily, but you'll see them gain levels EXTREMELY fast. Not to mention beating said character gives the biggest level-up chain ever for that point. This can quickly become a GameBreaker.
* WarGod: One chapter of Chronicles of the Sword has your character note they overheard someone call them this once.
* WeaponsKitchenSink: Chronicles of the Sword has katana wielders fighting side by side with people who wield claymores, Chinese swords, rapiers, and nunchucks.
* WeCannotGoOnWithoutYou: A few Chronicle Missions, including the final one.
* WorthyOpponent: Luna says you are this during the first fight with her, and her dialog throughout the rest of the game supports it.
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