YMMV / Soul Series

  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • "Ha ha, this rod shall be your doom!" Um, Kilik...?
    • Soulcalibur II had a knack for this, by some fans' opinions.
      Taki: (groans) "I can feel the evil!"
      Nightmare: "My thirst is endless!"
      Raphael: "Thrust!"'
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • In Soulcalibur and Soulcalibur II, Nightmare's quotes can be ambiguously interpreted as Siegfried speaking through him instead of Soul Edge trying to reclaim its lost shards.
    • The ambiguously canon SCV light novel appears to do this to Tira... somewhat. Was she making sure Pyrrha stayed alive for all those 17 years due solely to keep her around to manipulate into being Soul Edge's host later in life or was there genuine motivation buried somewhere in there to keep Sophitia's final request that Pyrrha would be taken somewhere safe?
  • Alt-itis: One of the largest appeals of the series from III onward was its character customization. Particularly in V, where it was the most complete part of the game. Most of the time spent on it is making as many and as detailed characters as possible (be they Original Characters or crossover, plus "gijinka" if those characters aren't humanoid) and watching them beat each other the hell up.
  • Angel/Devil Shipping: Present with the surprisingly popular pairing of Cassandra, a family-oriented warrior fighting for her sister, and Raphael, a suave, arrogant fencer seeking to create a world suitable for his foster daughter. Since their debut in II, the two have actually interacted with each other a few times in the following installments. Another notable, funny thing about this pairing is how well certain match intro quotes of theirs from Soulcalibur II fit each other.
    Cassandra: "Ugh!! You're definitely not my type!"
    Raphael: "You're quite the rude one."
  • Ass Pull:
    • Soulcalibur V's time skip of 17 years should have allowed for a slew of new characters, and exciting older versions of established series regulars. However, in what is arguably one of the biggest Ass Pulls of the series so far, only Mitsurugi (46), Siegfried (40), Hilde (35), and Voldo (67) have aged naturally out of the whole returning cast. The rest of the returning cast are afforded a variety of contrived excuses for the fact that they look exactly the same as they did 17 years previous — Ivy (listed as "stopped aging at 32"), Maxi, Tira, Cervantes, Raphael, and Kilik all have similarly wafty excuses (or no explanation at all) in their bios to explain their youthful inertia (all of these cases have to do with Soul Edge's influence when you look at it). Overall, this lends the time-skip plot device a half-done feel, as if it was felt too risky from a fan-appeal perspective to allow these characters (particularly the women) to age naturally. On top of that, several characters who did age were replaced by a Suspiciously Similar Substitute or, worse, dropped from the roster completely without any sort of analogue. Compare this to Namco's other premier fighter, which shook up the status quo quite soundly with its third installment, and you'll probably be able to understand where a great deal of disappointment with V's story lies.
    • To add fuel to the fire, game director Daishi Odashima even stated in interviews that the seventeen years time skip was nothing more than an arbitrary number, to which many fans justifiably asked, "Then what was the point?"
    • It's widely believed that Cervantes (who was undead prior to SCV) returned to a younger age upon coming back to life. According to Word of God, however, he actually bodyhopped (somehow) to a younger vessel 12 years prior to V... which inexplicably happens to look like his original body in addition to retaining all of the supernatural powers he had while he was a ghost pirate zombie. note 
    • Strangely, one of the create-a-character hairstyles is Maxi's "Regent" hair-do, but it is an aged grey colour by default, implying perhaps that Namco did originally intend to age him naturally... then rescinded quite late into the game's development.
    • The fact that Patroklos's personality flips on a dime in the least believable fashion possible for the sake of plot advancement and forced Character Development can be considered this. The writers couldn't seem to make up their minds if Patroklos is a conflicted Anti-Hero or an Ax-Crazy sociopath.
    • Did we really need yet another "good force from the beginning is revealed to be a total dickweed with no reason or warning" that is so common in certain JRPG to apply to Soul Calibur?
      • There has been a modicum of foreshadowing for this event, such as Soul Calibur not being in the proximity of the Kali-Yuga or Dvapara-Yuga, the other two treasures responsible for routinely purifying the blade of any negative energies it incurred over the years, Soul Calibur being trapped inside of Inferno for four years after the original Soulcalibur, possibly being corrupted by Soul Edge as hinted by Soul Calibur (Evil) in SCII, and Algol's soul tainting the sword due to his restlessness when he sacrificed his life to forge it, although the common reaction is that this plot point came out of the blue.
    • Soulcalibur V. Story Mode. Chronicle 17. The whole "go back in time to prevent your big mistake" element—never once hinted as an ability of Edge Master's, one that would've been useful at numerous points in the series—is so Deus ex Machina it hurts.
  • Author's Saving Throw: The producers probably felt really bad about tossing Sophitia into the grinder in V. So not only does she get to appear in Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, she returned in Soulcalibur: Lost Swords. Although the canon status of the game is questionable, it's something. Additionally, Lost Swords featured the return of Taki, Cassandra, Amy, and Seong Mi-na. What this holds for their future in the series remains to be seen, but it's looking good for them.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • The Star Wars characters. Everyone likes Darth Vader, but not necessarily as a Soulcalibur fighter. Although they helped introduce new fans to the series similar to Link in SCII (especially Vader), the fact that they come from a futuristic sci-fi setting note  was not taken lightly. Yoda deserves special mention for his height making him rather unorthodox to play as, and because many Xbox 360 users were stuck with him rather than the much, much cooler Vader (until the DLC came out). The fact that many fans had been hoping for Kratos, who only afterwards got to be in the less popular Broken Destiny, did not help matters.
    • Dampierre. He's either a whimsical, hilarious and Crazy Awesome addition to the roster or too wacky and annoying for the series and (like the Star Wars characters) completely out of place.
    • The new Nightmare of V appears to be this, although almost completely from a gameplay perspective. A number of Soulcalibur forums are split down the middle between people that say Nightmare is insanely overpowered and people who don't think he's a threat at all.
    • Tira and Z.W.E.I. also tend to fall into this. Tira is a classic example, being an Ensemble Darkhorse considered the most interesting and competent of the series' villains by a large portion of the fanbase but also The Scrappy for people that don't like her voice acting or her role in Sophitia's Face–Heel Turn. Z.W.E.I., meanwhile, is either considered one of the coolest of the new characters who got shafted in Story Mode for that dick Patroklos or a bizarre, out-of-place anime character that doesn't mesh with the setting and got too much screen time as it was.
    • Algol. Either he's a well-rounded, tragic character with understandable motivations who also happens to be an undeniable badass, an OP warrior who is a complete pain in the ass to fight against and seemingly materializes out of thin air, or is simply a guy who lacks the wow factor of bosses such as Abyss and Night Terror from III. A great deal of fans asked if Algol would be returning in V, but when he was revealed to indeed be in the game, this caused a schism. Then it was revealed that Algol, like several characters, was a non-entity in the game's story. The base was broken even further.
    • Natsu. The reaction on fan forums was frosty at best when she was first revealed. She's either viewed as a plucky, fun take on the usually stoic ninja class, or an annoyingly tacky ninja Barbie, pandering to the very worst Mukokuseki pop culture principles. That, and the fact that she replaced the deadly serious, ice-cold badass and fan-favourite, Taki...
    • Pyrrha. Some hate her because of her timid behavior (not that she can exactly help it, never mind that Pyrrha shows signs of growing into a stronger-willed character by the end of the story). However, some are willing to defend that, unlike her brother, her flaws are more intentional and she is shown to be a better hero than him.
  • Broken Base: Soulcalibur V was on a crash course for splitting the fanbase in two once more and more details were released... and it eventually succeeded in this endeavor (see also: Contested Sequel below). The competitive players loved the changes done to the engine, while fans of the single player modes were disappointed with the slim solo options, not to mention missing/replaced classic characters.
    • Even the new mechanics were not safe from polarizing the fanbase. Many felt that the meter was well-implemented while many others felt that it made Soulcalibur less unique and more generic.
    • The changes to Guard Impacts did not sit well with a lot of older fans. On one hand, they can now repel attacks of any height and are active for a larger number of frames. On the other hand, they now cost meter (25% of the Critical Gauge), can no longer block Unblockable Attacks, and don't provide much of an opportunity for a counterattack due to the recovery frames, while Just Impacts have been abolished completely and the changed input (4A+B+K from 4G/6G) makes it impossible to parry by pressing back + Guard. Some players, particularly those at higher levels of play, will protest that GIs are still as useful as in the last 3-4 games (see Difficult but Awesome on the main page for more details), but many others feel the mechanic was nerfed to nigh-uselessness to make way for Just Guard in another Street Fighter III/Garou-influenced decision by Odashima.
    • Among the widely-debated issues with Soulcalibur V's questionable roster selection is the inclusion of three sword-and-shield users (Patroklos, Pyrrha, and Pyrrha Omega) and, even worse, the inclusion of three mimic characters (Kilik, Edge Master, and Elysium) whereas previous games only had one at most. This is particularly bad when it comes to discussing Kilik, a popular character in all other contexts who fans were glad to see return in V, as the most he, the male character mimic, gets are a few of his old staff moves when copying Xiba's very dissimilar style (which falls far closer to that of the absent Seong Mi-na). By comparison, Edge Master can copy everyone and Elysium, the female character mimic, has their own Critical Edge.
    • The Devil Jin CAS, big time. While certain fans liked the style's dynamic, bare-knuckle moves (which, when combined with Katsuhiro Harada's appearance as a Quick Battle opponent, made for a nice tribute to the Soul series' former producer as well as Heihachi's own appearance in the PS2 port of SCII), there were those who wondered why there was an otherwise wholly unfitting nod to Tekken in the game as opposed to the extra CAS styles from III, dearly missed veterans who were given the shaft, or even Kilik and Elysium not being mimics judging by their renders and CAS animations.
    • The fanbase was also broken over the matter of the DLC character customization packs on the Cepheus Store. Some loved the steady stream of updates to help the game's longevity and the additional options for customization, while others thought the time devoted to the Cepheus Store would have been better spent on updates such as characters or stages. Still others thought that the prices are just plain not worth a few pieces of clothes.
    • Good news! Soulcalibur II is getting a HD re-release complete with online multiplayer! Heihachi and Spawn will even both be available for the PS3 and 360 versions. Wait, you want to play it on the Wii U and with Link? Too bad.
    • The increased T&A with each subsequent sequel, which came to a head with Soulcalibur IV. It's not uncommon to hear debates over whether it's acceptable or past the point of absurdity. One of the few points of praise SCV received was for then-director Daishi Odashima scaling back the fanservice from its predecessor. That changed when Masaki Hoshino was put in charge, who then promptly turned the Fanservice back Up to Eleven in Lost Swords.
  • Cargo Ship: In a series with Empathic Weapons, this was inevitable. This is most prominent with Tira, who explicitly fell in love with Soul Edge and wishes to have her soul consumed by it, but a few other characters have shades of it (such as Ivy and her Valentine).
  • Casual/Competitive Conflict: V suffered heavily from this. Many non-competitive players hated the game for its story, roster, and overall lack of content. However, many competitive players liked the game because of the new mechanics, faster pace, and improved online netcode.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • Hello, Natsu. Due to her speed, combo-friendly nature, and high offensive potential, expect to see this girl a lot in online play. Sophitia occupied a similar spot in IV for the same reasons.
    • Kilik seems to be a favorite of many casual fans; he's easy-to-use, has good reach, and is decently strong, if not somewhat linear in his attack patterns. In fact, many of the custom characters in IV are based on Kilik, though Siegfried and Nightmare-based CASes are also common.
  • Contested Sequel:
    • Soulcalibur V. The competitive/online crowd highly praises this game for finally focusing on what really matters instead of single-player content, while fans of the single-player and story aspects lambaste it for the same reasons, particularly the lack of story content for everyone who isn't Patroklos or Pyrrha. Opinions on the character roster vary even more wildly.
    • To a lesser extent, the fourth game. While the graphics vastly improved thanks to the move to PS3/Xbox 360 and the Star Wars characters were welcomed by the fandom (as characters only; as fighters they're more contested), the gameplay and story still lingered behind II's shadow. Depending on who you ask, IV is either seen as a slight improvement from III (the console version, at least) with a refurbished Create-a-Soul feature or a much slower-paced, turtle-friendly game with a stripped-down CAS system. (The latter boils down to whether the player values the extra weapon styles of III over the extra customization items and skills system in IV.) Not to mention there's a surprising amount of skin visible over there...
  • Crazy Awesome: Does not even begin to describe Broken Destiny's quest mode, The Gauntlet. Any semblance of seriousness is sent flying out the window by Cassandra's sword before being missiled by Hilde's spear.
  • Creator's Pet: Patroklos, who despite his horrendous acts throughout the story, was forced upon the player as the new protagonist.
  • Critical Dissonance: Soulcalibur V received generally favorable reviews, whereas fan reception was far more mixed. The rifts created in the fanbase over subjects most reviewers disregarded as trivial matters, perhaps now irreparable, ensured that SCV would sell poorly, falling short of its predecessor's sales by far. Whereas IV easily sold over 2 million, making Greatest Hits/Platinum Hits status, V had barely made it past 1.3 million as of Q3 2015.
  • Deader Than Disco: Soulcalibur V is essentially this. When it was first released in January 2012, it split the fanbase down the middle. There were people who defended the changes to the roster, the story, and Patroklos himself. Those who argued that these things don't matter in a fighting game, pointing towards the tournament-ready gameplay. Some saw Daishi Odashima as being a good visionary for the series, which led to many flame wars. Fast-forward several years, after Odashima had left Project Soul, few people still defend V anymore. Today, V is seen as the game that derailed Soulcalibur from being an A-list fighting game franchise to a nearly-forgotten series. Patroklos has gone from being a Base-Breaking Character to being one of the biggest scrappies in not just Soulcalibur, but fighting games in general. note  While many are looking forward to what the future has to offer, those same people are hoping that it isn't like V, especially since its director is no longer on the team.
  • Death of the Author: Done selectively with V due to its sloppy handling of the plot. While many story ideas for the game were regarded as having good potential, a number of fans tend to pick and choose elements they like best in regards to their compatibility with where IV left off and outright ignore some of the more controversial narrative decisions by Daishi Odashima (ex. Sophitia's selfless sacrifice to save Pyrrha's life, Taki's "retirement," the complete shelving of most of the previous cast- predominantly the women, etc.), assuming they don't pretend the entire game doesn't exist.
  • Designated Hero: Patroklos is what happens when you try to compress the totality of Siegfried's character progression in the past five titles into one abbreviated story, but ramp up every flaw of his to the point of anti-endearment. Despite SCV trying its damnedest to make you accept him as the series' new hero, it is Pyrrha, his wallflower of a sister, who comes across as a more strong-willed and heroic character, and she's the one who spends most of the game doing Tira's bidding. Yes, the "villain" of the game is more of a hero than its supposed lead. When Patroklos is challenged on the legitimacy of his status as Soul Calibur's inheritor and told that he lacks resolve, one wonders why the sword simply didn't change hands to Z.W.E.I. or back to Siegfried (or why it stopped working for Siegfried at all) as the plot naturally shoehorns in half-baked explanations to continue "justifying" the guy's almost non-existent hero credentials. (Face it, if Yoshimitsu declares you an evildoer, he probably has a good reason to do so.) He does slowly move away from this, though a downright horrific Establishing Character Moment at the end of his first chapter (see Never Live It Down below) makes it hard for many to recognize any subsequent growth as a character from Patroklos. Said character development being poorly paced really doesn't help either.
  • Die for Our Ship:
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Taki was quite possibly the earliest example of this in the series, becoming its first Breakout Character and one of the most iconic female characters in the series (rivaled only by Ivy). Her popularity is attributed to the fact that she's a mature kunoichi (unlike most female ninja in fighting games, who tend to be teenagers, she's a grown woman), her general badassery shown in the story, her fun-to-use playstyle, and... her generous assets as well as her costume. Her likability amongst fans only continued to grow as Taki and her fellow female co-lead Sophitia became (somewhat) less integral to the plot in favor of characters like Siegfried, Xianghua, Kilik, and Hilde. Naturally, quite a stir was caused when she was replaced by Natsu in V, and many welcomed her back when she was announced for Lost Swords, even if the game itself was less-than-stellar. On the popularity poll, she placed second of all characters behind only Talim with 720 votes. In 2016, she was the first character to get celebrated during the series 20th anniversary, despite the fact that she had been cut from the last game. Based on this, her chances of returning in a future game are looking pretty good.
    • In the series' heyday, Sophitia was one of the most popular characters, both for being a stunningly beautiful blonde who got some T&A endings and because critics noted that she was one of the most unambiguously heroic fighters in the story — standing out against a group of anti-heroes. After Sophitia missed out on V (due to dying between games), Lost Swords sold itself nearly exclusively on the fact that she was once again a playable character.
    • Li Long. He was probably the reason many people got into Soul Edge, thanks to his unique weapon and flashy moves. His lack of presence in the other games makes this all the more sad. Thankfully Maxi uses the same weapon — hey, wait... note 
    • After being replaced by the far less likable Yun-seong, Hwang saw a notable upswing in popularity, to the point that fans petitioned him to be included in V. He unfortunately didn't make it, but he and Li Long did briefly return in III, even receiving expanded movesets alongside Amy in the game's Arcade Edition.
    • Seong Mi-na—one of the original three Soul ladies, but the one with the least plot importance by far—was thrust here at some point after V. There was even a short-lived movement, Occupy: Soul Calibur, that tried to get her and fellow darkhorse Talim (see below) into the game as DLC. Like Sophitia and Taki before her, fans were looking forward to her "return" in Lost Swords, but when it was learned that the only means of unlocking her boiled down to buying three sets of x12 Premium Chests (equaling a grand total of $90 USD), they were quick to voice their displeasure.
    • After her introduction in the original Calibur, Ivy quickly became a fixture of the series and ended up supplanting both Sophitia and Taki as the female face of the series — she was the only female character from any of the first three games to appear in V, was featured on the cover of every game in the series released between Calibur and V, and was marketed heavily in advertisements for both V and Lost Swords. The fact that she has an interesting weapon, a mechanically-complex and visually-stunning playstyle, and a tragic backstory on top of being one of the biggest sex symbols in video game history only further endears her to fans.
    • Talim is also very popular due to her kind personality and unique playstyle. Filipino players especially like her, since she's the only Filipino fighter in the series (and was the only Filipino character in any other fighting series out there until Josie Rizal came around approximately thirteen years later). The lack of Talim is cited as one of the reasons why fans dislike V, and then she proceeded to top the popularity poll. Yeah, she's THAT loved.
    • Link, the GameCube-exclusive guest. Singlehandedly got more people into Soulcalibur II than any other system's guest character. In fact, the GameCube version is one of the few multiplatform games in the 6th generation of consoles to sell best there.
    • Shura. Possibly the most popular (bonus) character in Soulcalibur IV, likely owed to her eye-pleasing design, flirtatious, fight-loving personality, and use of Cervantes's fighting style — only with katanas. Harada and Odashima received a lot of tweets asking if she would return. Unfortunately, Word of God stated that she would not be returning in V.
    • Darth Vader has evolved from a Base-Breaking Character into one of these, for being one of the best guest characters to use in competitive play, the only one of the three Star Wars guests to not be broken in some way, and for being, y'know, Darth Vader. Possibly a bigger game-seller than Link.
    • Kratos. Probably the main reason why fans bought Broken Destiny; fans had been hoping for him as a guest character ever since SCIV was announced.
    • Ezio Auditore. Bonus points for being the least base-breaking guest character, as fans critically approved his fighting game debut.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • The Assassin enemies in II were believed to be Hwang due to them duplicating his moveset.
    • There's a somewhat popular theory that Voldo is none other than Vercci himself, simply driven insane by his paranoia and greed.
    • V is just swarming with these. Is Raphael the new Nightmare or (at the very least) a new host for Soul Edge? Is Viola an amnesiac Amy? That's not even getting into the appearance of Ezio, who, by his series' canon, was dead before the Soul series even began, and the Word of God statement that Ezio is in V due to Animus, implying that either Ezio is some sort of "ghost" or that the game takes place within Animus itself. And let's not even get started on the potential shipping/ship sinking debates popping up from the fact that both Xianghua and Hilde are now mothers.
      • On the subject of Soul Edge bodyjacking Raphael as his new host, the idea that Raph himself is a ghost during the events of V is a very popular fan theory. Nothing has been explicitly confirmed, with only ambiguous hints being given in-game. See the WMG tab for more details.
      • When Alpha Patroklos was leaked, many theorized that Setsuka had trained Patroklos when he was little. Not only does he have their fighting style, but he also speaks Gratuitous Japanese during certain moves. This was later confirmed to be true.
      • The rumor that there will be a Nintendo 3DS version has caused some people to think that Link will make a comeback.
  • Even Better Sequel: The general fandom consensus is that Soulcalibur II, the GameCube version especially, is the best game in the series, though this is still widely debated due to the excellent Dreamcast port of Soulcalibur. note 
  • Evil is Cool: Most of the series' villains count, particularly Big Bad Nightmare (who is even on the Project Soul logo) and undead dual-giant-gun-sword-wielding pirate Cervantes.
  • Evil is Sexy:
  • Fandom Berserk Button: Saying that Seong Mi-na is a "female clone" of Kilik when in reality she came first. If anything, it's Kilik who's a clone of Mi-na. Strangely, the series itself is guilty of adding to the misconception. Save for SCIII, Mi-na is always the unlockable character when she and Kilik appear together, and many of the attacks she shares/shared with Kilik weren't added to her command list until after the original Soulcalibur. Mi-na also learns aspects of the Ling-Sheng Su style from both Kong Xiuqiang and Edge Master prior to the events of SCI and SCIII whereas Kilik was formally trained in those arts from his youth. With this in mind, Kilik noting that one of Mi-na's moves is his during her story in IV is technically true.
  • Fanfic Fuel: Soulcalibur V is becoming a potential case of this especially due to the fact that SCV is now a major case of What Could Have Been as the Story Mode was originally going to be a lot larger than it was but ended up being substantially downsized due to time constraints. Basically, if Namco doesn't release a more complete version of SCV (a very likely possibility) then fan writers will probably have a field day with this.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Soulcalibur V's troubled production and divisive new characters, among other issues, made it a controversial topic for fans, many of whom refuse to consider it canon.
    • Soulcalibur: Lost Swords was poorly received by fans and critics alike, and many fans take Project Soul labeling it a spin-off as a sign that, like its fellow spin-offs Legends and Broken Destiny, it's non-canon.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • While being focused more on violence and Rule of Cool than romance, subtextual or otherwise, some popular pairings as of IV are Siegfried/Hilde, Siegfried/Cassandra, Sophitia/ANYONE but Rothion, Cassandra/Raphael, Tira/Talim, Kilik/Xianghua, and Mitsurugi/Taki.
    • Even if Siegfried is a Chaste/Celibate Hero and Sophitia is Happily Married, a lot of people in the fandom still like to couple them up.
      • This may have some canonical basis. Sophitia collapses prior to the events of Soulcalibur after having a vision of Siegfried as Nightmare (which is how she meets Rothion, ironically enough). In the same game, Sophitia shares a Destined Battle with Nightmare; Sophitia steps forward to challenge him and states her resolve with the words "I want to... save you," possibly implying she knows that Siegfried is Nightmare (or at least that Nightmare is really a tortured soul under Soul Edge's sway). Siegfried also rescues a captured Sophitia early on in the admittedly non-canon Legends (which would be set between Edge and Calibur) and she's one of three women to face Siegfried in his IV story right before his final battle with Nightmare (the others being Hilde and Ivy, who also have strong ties to Siegfried).
    • Not to mention the wars that broke out over Yun-seong/Talim vs. Link/Talim.
      • Someone at Project Soul must've been paying attention to the latter, seeing as Talim's joke weapons in IV are a pair of ocarinas.
    • Hwang/Mi-na and Yun-seong/Mi-na are both fairly popular with the fandom and has resulted in Ship-to-Ship Combat between the two factions. Never mind the fact that Mi-na has said she isn't interested in marrying Hwang note , or that she thinks of Yun-seong as a kid, which is lampshaded twice in SCII: If you highlight Yun's Child Sword, it says the inscription reads: "for children only" and states Mi-na gave it to him because she was treating him as a child. Then, after their Destined Battle, she states, "This isn't a place for kids." Likewise, Yun thinks she's "old" and should butt out of his business. Furthermore, Mi-na officially sees Yun as her surrogate younger brother; the Chain of Souls relationship chart in IV and Broken Destiny explicitly labels Mi-na's concern for him as platonic love. As such, both shipping factions have been arguing over ships that have long since been officially sunk.
    • And of course, Raphael/Amy and Nightmare/Tira.
    • Thanks to some arguable Foe Yay on Setsuka's side prior to Setsuka dropping her grudge after defeating him in a duel sometime after IV, Mitsurugi/Setsuka is palpable. As is Taki/Mitsurugi/Setsuka. In terms of Theme Pairing, more than a few fans have latched onto Arthur/Setsuka due to the fact that the latter could be seen as the former's Distaff Counterpart.
    • In the yuri fandom, any combination of Sophitia, Taki, and Ivy or all three at once is seen as an acceptable choice.
    • Soulcalibur V is giving people a major reason to pair Pyrrha/Patroklos, least of which being the focus that is put upon them to the detriment of everyone else's screen time.
  • Game Breaker:
    • In SCIII, Xianghua's A+K B+K move. The computer almost never blocks it. A few other "A.I. killers," too, with special mention going to the Iron Sword custom character discipline, which is more or less an entire moveset of A.I. Breakers.
    • Sophitia and Taki have "unblockable" attacks which, while still slow to use, have areas of effect which can't be walked around, so you need to jump/attack the other person instead. Sophitia's barely even has the start-up restriction, since another attack leads into it.
    • Natsu is arguably this, as she can take off 50% of someone's health without meter by mashing buttons.
    • Another A.I. killer would definitely have to be Link's A+G throw in the GCN version of Soulcalibur II, which can Ring Out from almost anywhere on the stage.
      • His regular throw is so abuse-worthy to the point that he's used for some of the harder Weapon Master Mode missions. To top off that, he's one of the few characters with an easy-to-perform air combo, and one of the WMM missions involves you only being able to damage the enemy with air combos. Despite his bottom-tier standing, Link's utilities make him a very popular pick for clearing missions.
    • Astaroth was arguably this in III, where he had some of the most powerful throw combos in the history of the series.
    • Setsuka's initial incarnation was very hard to beat, since her fighting style emphasizes quick, hard-to-block strikes.
    • Hilde. Ringing people out with her in IV was so easy that every Hilde player who appeared on the main stage at the Evolution 2009 tournament was booed by the crowd.
    • Any mention of liking Amy on the 8WayRun forums is bound to be met with a boatload of hate.
    • Guard Break attacks, which coat your weapon in electricity, do boosted damage, and stagger foes if they were guarding. They are barely slower than regular attacks, and plenty are horizontal strikes (which means you can't walk out of the way).
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Ivy uses a whip-like weapon and is the daughter of a pirate captain. Another name for the whip-like cat-of-nine-tails is "captain's daughter," according to the Other Wiki.
    • "Pavor Nocturnus," the theme of Nightmare in SCV, is the Latin designation for the sleep disorder known as night terrors, making the song title a clever nod to Nightmare's One-Winged Angel form, which served as the True Final Boss of Tales of Souls in SCIII and, according to the New Legends of Project Soul artbook, is currently aimlessly flying around in Astral Chaos.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Maxi is very popular among Chilean fighting game fans, specially those who played in arcades around The '90s or the Turn of the Millennium. This is for Maxi's uncanny physical similarity to a So Bad, It's Good local singer from these years, which brought many memes to Chile's gaming community. Which led to quite the case of Hilarious in Hindsight in 2016...
    • Taki's biggest fanbase by far is in the west, where she's constantly ranked among the most popular fighters in the series, being voted the second-most popular character after Talim. She has a large fanbase back in Japan as well, but gamers there tend to favor Ivy, another widely popular female fighter, over her.
    • Overall, the series as a whole is more popular in the west than back home. In North America and Europe (especially France), the series is one of the most popular fighters on the market. In Japan, it tends to get stuck behind the shadow of fellow Namco franchise Tekken.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Soulcalibur III's Event Viewer let you change any character's weapon before choosing which scene to watch. Choosing to equip Mitsurugi with Soul Edge and choosing to view his ending could lead to the implication and sight of him being able to wield Soul Edge AND Soul Calibur at once... and then came Soulcalibur IV which introduced Algol, who could do exactly that as part of his story. Even funnier when you learn that Mitsurugi's later story involved him challenging Algol to a duel.
    • A character voiced by Roger Craig Smith who is aided by Leonardo da Vinci? Who are we talking about, Siegfried in Legends or Ezio?
    • In Legends, Yuri Lowenthal voices Michael, an incredibly conceited warrior with blonde hair. In V, Lowenthal voices Patroklos... an incredibly conceited warrior with blonde hair. This has not gone unnoticed.
    • Link and Heihachi are both in Soulcalibur II, but were unable to fight each other due to being exclusive to opposing consoles. In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, Heihachi's likeness is available as a DLC costume for the Mii Fighters, giving players the ability to finally see Link vs. Heihachi fights.
    • As said above, Maxi is rather popular in the Chilean fighting game community because he looked almost exactly like a Chilean kitsch singer that was very popular in The '90s and the Turn of the Millennium. In 2016 said singer, René de la Vega, ran for mayor in a Santiago commune... and won.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Possibly Voldo for Vercci, also conveying Nightmare Fuel because Vercci is dead. This trait gets taken advantage of by Soul Edge, who impersonates Vercci's voice in order to bend Voldo to his will.
      • Voldo knows and realizes it's a trick. He goes along with it anyway because he's so happy to have a new purpose in life. In his own heart, he serves only Vercci. Furthermore, in Voldo's ending, he becomes the guardian of Soul Edge, which kind of works as a double-edged sword for Nightmare. On one hand, Voldo kills anyone trying to take or destroy it; on the other hand, since Soul Edge no longer has a body, it can't absorb souls anymore.
    • Although it shouldn't be taken seriously, Cassandra has a one-sided case of Les Yay towards Hilde in the gag comics explaining the new features in IV. Works surprisingly well considering her battle quote "Ugh, you're definitely not my type!" is only used against males.
    • In a rather demented demonstration of Les Yay, Tira seems fond of calling Pyrrha "Pretty Pyrrha" ("Pyrrha-chan" in Japanese) and threatens to give her a spanking in her intro quote when fighting her. She also screams out "Feels good!" when KOed by Pyrrha.
  • Internet Backdraft: In 2016, when they were to celebrate 20th anniversary of the franchise, Namco strangely didn't say much for the majority of the year. That alone got the fanbase pretty agitated. But then in November, they finally broke their silence to reveal... a pachinko machine. To say the fandom went nuclear in a matter of moments would be an understatement, considering how well this mirrors Konami's treatment of its own franchises.
  • Iron Woobie: There are a few characters who fulfill the requirement like Siegfried and Kilik, but none perhaps more so than Hilde. She was a young girl of eleven when Siegfried took hold of Soul Edge and unwittingly unleashed the Evil Seed upon the world, an event that caused her father Georg to lose his sanity. Hilde was forced to rule Wolfkrone in her father's stead, and had to sacrifice any sort of ordinary childhood in the process. At one point, Nightmare comes knocking, and while Hilde is successful in fending the Azure Knight off, three close friends/members of her royal guard are turned into Malfested — and those are the casualties explicitly mentioned. Then, Hilde discovers that Wolfkrone is no more following the destruction of Soul Edge, with her father having gone missing. Hilde, now a mother of two, spends her time negotiating land for her kingdom's survivors and replies to Siegfried's summons against the forces of a resurrected Nightmare, knowing that this is a battle she may very well not return from but a battle she must fight for the sake of her people and her children. In some form or another, Hilde has been warring nonstop for over two decades of her life, yet possesses so much resolve, willpower, kindness, and determination that she ends up being the one to absolve Siegfried of his sins during her ending in IV... after he outright tells her that putting an end to his life would be for the best, given his bloody past.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Tira probably "wins" this one hands down. Raised by cutthroat assassins from a young age to become one of their tools, her rite of passage within the organization was to kill the woman she saw as a mother, leading to the creation of her split personality. After a fateful incident allowed her escape, Tira was adopted by a kindly family and began to think she could enjoy her new life... only to murder them in a fit of rage. As she was conditioned to enjoy killing, Tira convinces herself that she absolutely cannot live like normal people do and wanders the land in search of some purpose to her tormented life. This leads her to Soul Edge, which Tira views as a kindred spirit able to understand her. And so, Tira throws herself into the role of Nightmare's deviously crafty Dragon, committing heinous acts in the name of a master who cares nothing for her. Her ending in IV has Tira heartbroken and devastated, pleading to not be left alone when it seems that Soul Edge will perish; this is widely seen as a moving scene by fans. Despite all this, Tira's genuine love for Soul Edge, and her effectiveness as a villain, it is rare to see Tira get the Draco in Leather Pants treatment by the fandom, perhaps because of the magnitude of her villainy while doing Soul Edge's bidding.
    • Siegfried started out as one of these himself, only to develop into an Iron Woobie/Stoic Woobie in the interim between Soulcalibur and SCII and again once he was freed from Soul Edge's control for good in III, though his disposition ultimately improved enough after IV to push him mostly out of Woobie territory.
    • A more sympathetic analysis of Patroklos' character arguably paints him as this, too (emphasis on "sympathetic"), but he's heavy on the "Jerkass" portion of the trope.
  • Jerk Sue: Patroklos is frequently derided as one, for reasons explained in Designated Hero above.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • The games that featured guests (Link, Heihachi, Spawn, Vader, Yoda, The Apprentice, Kratos, Ezio) included them for the soul purpose of introducing people who wanted to use them in a fighting game to the series.
    • Additionally, the Create-A-Soul feature from III has become a staple of the series, and the reason why many otherwise non-fans buy the game. Taken to a new level in V, where the new-and-improved creation system is more-or-less the main selling point.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Siegfried is this among the het ships, though his main five "partners" appear to be (ordered roughly in terms of pairing popularity) Sophitia, Hilde, Ivy, Tira, and Cassandra.
    • Sophitia is this among the yuri fandom; people have hooked her up with Taki, Ivy, Tira, and even her younger sister Cassandra. Project Soul has not helped her case either, particularly with this render of the Grecian holy warrior at Ivy's mercy and Tira canonically stalking Sophitia's family while on the prowl for a new host for Soul Edge.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Raphael. Quite possibly this trope's embodiment in the series. He also has quite a few similarities with Lelouch of Code Geass fame.
    • Not if Tira has anything to say. She's very good at playing many of the characters, particularly villains, for suckers. The only thing really holding her back is actually being loyal to Nightmare.
      • And as of SCV, Tira is no longer loyal to Nightmare. And without that tethering her, Tira firmly cements herself as such. She spends the majority of V manipulating Patroklos and Pyrrha so that Pyrrha can become a Malfested, thus causing Pat to abandon her and Pyrrha to turn to Tira in response, giving Tira the perfect opportunity to make Pyrrha Soul Edge's newest host. And when all's said and done, Tira flees the scene without even getting so much as a comeuppance.
    • All of the above are nothing compared to Zasalamel, especially in his debut. He successfully manipulated everyone else on this list and more in order to do something nobody has since Algol — control both swords at once. And, in every path of every character, he succeeds.
  • Memetic Badass: In some circles of the internet, Mitsurugi is this. Both in-story and in-gameplay, the samurai is noted for his ability to defeat anyone.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Voldo, Ivy, and various other questionable attacks can pertain this status. These two just dominate the competition.
    • To a lesser extent, Tira, thanks to her Critical Finish in SCIV, which involves her forcing a kiss of death to her opponent. Her non-input ending in SCIII also contributes due to how easily taken out of context it can be.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moe:
    • Word of God says Pyrrha's timid demeanor was meant to make her more appealing to Japanese audiences.
    • If you can find the love between a Yandere and an Evil Weapon touching, then Tira counts as well.
    • Talim, with her innocent demeanor and positively adorable appearance.
    • Leixia seems rather moe as well, being a younger but no less bubbly version of her mother Xianghua.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Patroklos crosses it in his Establishing Character Moment when he sights a homeless man and accuses him of being Malfested. When the man claimed his innocence, he stabs him with his sword donning a Slasher Smile, and smugly tells him that it's unfortunate that he can't prove it, implying he knew full well the man wasn't Malfested. If he didn't cross it then, then he definitely crossed it when he deemed the newly-Malfested Pyrrha a lost cause and vowed to kill her the next time he saw her.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • "JUST KIDDING!" Not only because of Xianghua's shrill voice, but also because it alerts a feint move meant to let the opponent's guard down. Leixia inheriting it doesn't help.
    • Xiba's death cry of "FOOOOOOOD!" is also very, very high in the running for most annoying sound in the game. Christ, we GET IT, he's a Big Eater!
    • "Squirm! More Souls! With this... you BURN!" If you are playing Arcade Mode in V on Standard, you will hear this exact sequence of Nightmare quotes (while waiting for him to stop beating on your prone body so you can get an attack in edgewise) every single round you fight against him unless you prevent him from attacking at all.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • Hearing "The Deed Is Done" upon completing Taki's Edge Master mode play through in the first game. It contains That One Level where you have to beat Sophitia with Taki's Critical Edge, a nightmare if you don't know how the timing works and tough even if you do given her tendency to just block it, and you get 3 shots tops. Some of the other levels are tough too, and the whole path could be considered the most difficult thing in the entire game. So if you do manage to get this song, you can definitely say you've earned it.
    • The various victory fanfares, first introduced in SCII, are bound to bring a smile to any player's face, especially after a hard-fought battle. Special note goes to the original, which has been a mainstay in every single main installment since in some form or another.
    • Likewise, the staff rolls are majestic, sweeping compositions that hammer home the end of an epic journey. "Path of Destiny," featured from SCII to SCIV, is particularly notable in this regard.
    • The composers working for Project Soul had a knack for creating sentimental pieces for even the most mundane aspects of the game. "Going to Where the Wind Blows" from Calibur (the basis of the aforementioned "Path of Destiny") and "Healing Winds" from II/III are used for in-game galleries, and IV's "Winds and Memories" and "Entwined Destiny" are perhaps wasted on the Event Theater and Chains of Souls features.
  • Narm:
    • Voldo's Soul Edge ending, emphasized by bad PS1-era voice acting.
      Vercci's Spirit: "Voldo... you fulfilled my wish... Good for you!"
    • And this rather bizarre and erroneous statement uttered by Tira in SCV. It should be noted, however, that this was part of Tira's manipulation of Pyrrha in order to lead her astray.
      Tira: "Normal humans don't go around killing people and burning towns!"
    • The random create-a-character option in III is a wonderful source of this, because no matter what an amazing fighting background you give them, no matter how epic the background music and how dead serious the battle-lines are, nothing is going to add seriousness to a battle where, say, a bald, blue-skinned guy in a mix of samurai getup and a jester's outfit that is continuously dancing in a silly fashion with tambourines in his hands is fighting a half-naked, bespectacled mute old lady that beats things to death with a giant piece of meat.
    • In V's ninth chapter, Viola compares human souls to grapes. It's a sensible metaphor that sounds good on paper yet utterly fails as ominous dialogue.
  • Narm Charm: "The Edge of Soul," the Khan Super Session opening theme for Soul Edge, is fondly regarded despite its arguable (inarguable?) cheesiness. It helps that the strings invoke a feeling of whimsy and grand adventure fitting for the time period. "Our Way Home," conversely, is a genuinely moving song, much like the other ending themes found in the series.
  • Never Live It Down: Patroklos doesn't stay a bastard forever, but murdering an innocent man on the accusation of being Malfested with a Slasher Smile is kind of hard to let go. When the man claimed his innocence, Patroklos stabbed him with a Slasher Smile, claiming that it was unfortunate he couldn't prove it and thus implying he knew full well that he murdered an innocent man.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: A sad case for Soulcalibur V, as an unfortunate result of time constraints, cut funding, and perceived directorial ineptness. It is one of the most finely-tuned titles in the series in terms of Competitive Balance and all pre-release material had the markings for a compelling tale in line with what you'd expect from the previous Soul games. The actual story, a 20-chapter excursion you can breeze through in no time flat, promptly went nowhere with any of this, to the dissatisfaction of many.
  • Polished Port: At the time of its release, the Dreamcast port of Soulcalibur was highly-praised for being not arcade-perfect, but drastically arcade-superior!
  • Porting Disaster:
    • As noted in Broken Base above, this is the common view on SCII HDO. For many fans, it seems like the HD "remaster" stripped away features from the original game for no reason, barely tweaked what was left in, and tacked on a shoddy online experience for good measure.
    • The XBLA port of the original Calibur, while otherwise very competent, was a victim of Microsoft's at-the-time 200 MB size limit on XBLA games note . As a result, every character was unlocked from the start, the game lacked the Dreamcast original's Story Mode, and there was no online play.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Averted with Cassandra, who was intended to be Sophitia's Suspiciously Similar Substitute, but has been quite well-received (perhaps because popular demand brought Sophitia back as well, meaning the fans gained a new sword and shield character without sacrificing anything). Played perfectly straight with Hwang's "replacement" Yun-seong, however (though Hwang's moveset was closer to Mitsurugi and Xianghua). There are a LOT of people who far prefer Hwang to him.
    • A good number of people see a majority of V's cast like this. Since they get almost zero story development due to no story elements in the arcade mode, they are more or less reskins. The exceptions to this are Z.W.E.I., Viola and Ezio, for having original fighting styles at the very least, plus Ezio's status as a Guest Fighter.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Although Tira and the various Tier-Induced Scrappy characters get quite a bit of hate, the most universally hated character in the series appears to be Rothion, Sophitia's NPC husband. Mostly for Die for Our Ship reasons, as people prefer to pair Sophitia with characters of either gender such as Siegfried, Taki, Cassandra, or themselves. As of V, he's finally dead due to illness. But then so is Sophitia. You can't have your cake and eat it too, people. Fortunately for him, reception towards him actually improved in V, but that's largely because the fans hate his son Patroklos even more (see below).
    • Yun-seong. This is a "hot-blooded" teen who has been shown, told, and even experienced that Soul Edge is nothing more than pure, unadulterated evil that would only possess him and force him to destroy everything he has ever loved. So what does he do? Return home to fight for his country? Or even to continue his training? No. He searches for the damn thing anyway! In fact, Seong Mi-na's only role in the series these days is to stop him from being so incredibly stupid, even if it means attacking him with a bladed weapon. His English voice is also seen as a factor by some. note  Fortunately for him, his absence in V seems to have done a lot to help his reputation, especially considering that the main character Patroklos is far, far, more hated than Yun-seong ever was (see below). In the popularity poll, he placed a respectable #14 out of 45 characters and even outranked his master/idol by a single spot.
    • Necrid. Widely thought to be the most broken character in the Soul series (albeit debatably; many see him as a Game Breaker, although some consider him to be a Skill Gate Character), with a spam-happy, clumsily cobbled-together movelist consisting almost entirely of moves stolen from other characters. Fans did not hide their dislike. The fact that he comes literally out of nowhere doesn't help.
    • Even with the Replacement Scrappy issue aside, Xiba is not being particularly well-received by the fandom. His backstory is basically nonexistent, and his only personality traits are constant hunger and being as dumb as a sack of hammers. Even if you like his playstyle, the fact that 99% of his quotes are about how much he wants to go eat will start to grate on you very quickly. That Xiba is Xianghua's child with Kilik as opposed to Leixia is also contentious — while fans of the pairing are happy that, between Xiba's existence and other story materials, it's strongly hinted Kilik and Xianghua continue to hold strong feelings for one another despite the circumstances that split them apart, there is frustration that the son of a very beloved couple has no depth whatsoever beyond his voracious appetite.
    • Similar to the above, Patroklos is quickly being placed amongst the least liked of the new characters, if not the most hated character in the entire series. What makes it worst is a notable combination of Designated Hero; Spotlight-Stealing Squad; an Establishing Character Moment where he murders an innocent man in cold blood because Patroklos thought he looked Malfested right after saving the town; and the Ass Pull introduction of a new Deus ex Machina ability that Soul Calibur had never used before this game. These coupled with everyone else being Demoted to Extra and the brief and story mode don't exactly help Patroklos' case. To give you an idea of how hated he is, the official Facebook popularity poll held in May 2015 had him placed at nearly the bottom of the poll, with only 32 votes... out of over 10,000 votes cast in total. He placed #37 out of 45 characters, meaning that the "hero" of V had less votes than characters like Hwang, Lizardman, Rock, Li Long, Algol, and Dampierre; above only the mimic characters. Even the staff was impressed. And furthermore, Patroklos was considered so bad, it caused people to take another look to other hated characters and then warm up to them, including Yun-seong and even Rothion, basically making Patroklos the measuring stick of "character badness" (by which these once-reviled characters ended up falling short).
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • IV's take on Character Creation has Attack, Defense, HP, and the five parameters (Power, Impact, Gauge, Boost, and Special, which you need for using skills) tied to the weapons and equipment. This leaves you with several unfavorable options: either you play with a hodgepodge of ill-matched items cobbled together at random, a cool-looking warrior who is poorly-suited for tackling challenges that require better stats (Tower of Lost Souls in particular), or the basic 1P/2P costumes for each character which can only equip special equipment gems (they affect two of the five parameters, although they provide both generous amounts of skill points and stat boosts) and whose color is the only thing you can customize in the vein of III. CAS builds that are both eye-pleasing and practical do exist, but prepare to spend a lot of time jumping through hoops to get there. The feature has been dropped in V, giving the player more freedom in the customization area, without ever minding about pros and cons. The trade-off for this is the unfortunate lack of effects on the extra weapons, a staple in every previous game barring Soulcalibur.
    • V offers the incredibly frustrating mechanic of equipment destruction. To elaborate, if a character is defeated with a particularly hard-hitting attack, bits and pieces of their outfit come off. Standard characters may lose their shirt or a gauntlet, but custom characters are only left with their pants intact. It begs the question as to why Namco would implement such a complete character creator, only to have your painstakingly crafted outfit smashed to bits.
    • In Lost Swords, the Equipment Box at the Character menu. Players only had a finite amount of space to hold spoils from missions, and whenever it hit or exceeded maximum capacity, they had to sell or craft items to lighten their load before they could go questing again. While this number would slowly increase through inventory expansions given out as daily login bonuses, once the player hit 180 slots, they originally had to buy any additional expansions. (The maximum amount was previously 200, and only increased to 250 with the 1.5 Million Download Campaign, with a few expansions continuing to serve as login bonuses.) On top of this, while equipment and accessories were counted separately, soul stones, which served no purpose beyond crafting materials for weapons and armor, were included in the equipment total. Then there was the matter of items being awarded through login bonuses, by clearing missions, or by ranking high enough in Soul Edge Scramble events; while anything sent via item mail could be stored (almost) indefinitely as long as the mail remained unopened, the same couldn't be said for the others, many of which were unique, one-time only acquisitions. A common solution like a storage system for depositing and withdrawing items using the in-game gold never existed. It all served to make item regulation in an already sluggishly-paced and meandering game extremely tedious.
  • Sequelitis: Soulcalibur was praised for having excellent lore and a long-lasting, fun single player campaign in the form of missions and art galleries. While II was arguably an Even Better Sequel, III was a mixed bag (mainly due to gameplay-related bugs that would not be ironed out until much later with Arcade Edition), but still well-received by fans who appreciated the single-player modes and story. IV's bonus mode, the Tower of Lost Souls, was considered boring compared to the single-player modes of the previous games. V... lacked a single-player mode other than the maligned Story Mode, which simply had players alternate characters on a nonsensical storyline, and Legendary Souls, a daunting gauntlet of input-reading SNK Bosses.
    • Furthering the above Broken Base entry is the fact that V is seen by many players, detractors included, as having gameplay mechanics at least on par with II; a substantial portion, if not the majority, actually deems it to be superior in that aspect. Essentially, even with the controversial roster changes could V have been a great game that appealed to both crowds if not for its skimpy, terribly mishandled narrative. IV might have backtracked in terms of single player content (and Tower of Lost Souls was viewed as a poor replacement for Weapon Master Mode), but the sense of closure the story aimed for (as IV was originally going to be the Grand Finale) is more than what one can say for its sequel. All of this, coming from a series lauded for having a well-told story in a genre typically not known for such a convention.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: You're surely going to spend a lot of time creating characters and hardly actually fighting.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The general consensus of V, at least for those who don't outright hate it. It's a passable fighting game with fun, fast-paced gameplay and a good character editor, but its marred by a severe lack of content, its roster leaving out series staples, and the Story Mode being one of the worst things about the game.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • Long after V was released, Project Soul released a site chronicling character biographies, tweaked a bit that it might look like a minor reboot for the lore. When it comes to Patroklos, however, the bio slams him out, portraying him as someone who utterly failed at Sophitia's heroic lineage, and secretly knows it as well; he just won't admit it out loud.
    • Patroklos only got a measly 32 (62, if combined with Alpha Patroklos) votes on the popularity poll hosted on Facebook and placed nearly at the bottom of the poll. Someone at Namco noted how they were "impressed" that the hero of Soulcalibur V placed that low on the poll, even below characters like Dampierre.
  • That One Achievement: Wind of Battle in V. The player's required to move over 87,600 total meters across the stages in-game. It's made worse than it should be by the limited offline content. It has taken some players YEARS to earn the achievement. This gets even worse when you realize that the number is so ridiculously high simply to play on the company's shorthand numbering. Compare this to the much more manageable "Distance will not Betray" Honor in IV, which only required the player to exceed 10,000 meters in total movement distance.
  • That One Boss:
    • Setsuka is a stone-cold bitch to fight when she's a computer in Soulcalibur III.
    • Colossus is this a bit, but it's not terribly fake difficulty or cheap A.I. He's a goddamn giant statue that deals extra damage and is hard to block. For once, it's a reasonable point that he'd be hard.
    • NIGHT TERROR. There is a perfectly good reason he serves as the True Final Boss of Tales of Souls in III; you need to be flawless if you want to win.
    • The Apprentice, despite not being a broken character, tends to be a pain in the neck to fight against.
  • That One Level: In the first game, Taki's Edge Master Mode against Sophitia. You can only damage her by using a Critical Edge — something you only have three chances to do in a fight.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • The series has been frequently accused of going this route ever since IV, but this is even more prevalent in V since several characters don't appear in the story (and of the ones that did, few had a significant role) and there are no character-based endings in the Arcade Mode at all.
    • Unlike the other Ditto Fighter characters, Charade wasn't limited to a humanoid form. Its Weapon Demonstration was it flying around in a comet shape, before reforming. Its event match in III showed that with the Grieve Edge discipline, it didn't even have to be a whole body. And it even had eye beams. None of this was ever used again.
      • Possibly justified in that, by the time of IV, all of the shards and permutations of Soul Edge (Charade included) returned to Nightmare to reform the sword.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Lizardman's Rage Against the Heavens plotline starting in III was largely forgotten, and Lizardman eventually became no more than a vehicle of Plucky Comic Relief by the time of IV. However, Lizardman's bio (or should we say Aeon's) in V shows that this is slowly beginning to reverse itself.
    • In general, the story for V was rampant with this, with many characters not appearing and many more barely making a cameo. Even Viola, who was was stated to be very important prior to release, had a total of three lines. The game not mentioning anything about the rivalry between Edge Master and Algol, Maxi training Natsu, Leixia and Xiba while traveling the world, Z.W.E.I. and Viola's backstories (not to mention the latter's supposed connection to Amy) and Ezio's appearance in the Soulcalibur universe only make things worse. It's very telling that, according to Daishi Odashima, the story mode of SCV was only one-fourth of the planned size.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Hilde, not really for her ranking (there are characters ranked higher than her) but rather for how easy it is to win via Ring Out with her. During the Soulcalibur IV tournament at EVO2k9, every time a Hilde player was featured on the main stage, the entire ballroom would be filled with people booing.
  • Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny: A major thing most people use the character creation feature in III and IV for.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Many agree that II is where the series peaked, so every game since is this by default. Still, there are a great deal of fans who will take the original Soulcalibur and SCIII as acceptable answers for one's favorite entry in the series alongside SCII.
  • The Untwist: Raphael is, in fact, the new host body for Nightmare/Soul Edge in Soulcalibur V. This is made more clear by the facts that their bodies are the same size, they share the same voice actors in both English and Japanese, and their faces are identical (though viewing Nightmare's face requires equipping specific items in the character editor. Supplemental material, including an artbook released shortly after Soulcalibur V, do everything but outright state it.
  • Villain Decay: Lizardman goes from being enslaved by an evil cult, to wishing to destroy the God Hephaestus with Soul Edge, to simply wanting his human soul.
    • Mind you, none of these things are necessarily bad reasons for villainy. The reason the decay took over is because of the direction Namco took his character in; III and IV saw Lizardman used more for comedic purposes, with his quest for vengeance and sympathetic qualities mostly glossed over.
    • Of course, V implies Lizardman has taken a level in badass, and is now a winged, fire breathing, dual-wielding monster back to hunting down holy warriors. It doesn't hurt that his moveset now takes a few cues from none other than Kratos. Not to mention the implication in his bio in V that he killed Kratos and ate him.
    • Lampshaded in Broken Destiny, where one of the early levels consists of the player beating the shit out of him, while it's obvious he's The Woobie.
  • The Woobie:
    • Sophitia in IV. The emotional turmoil she has to endure due to the villains targeting her loved ones is so great that even her artwork shows Sophie in tears. By the gods, does this woman need a great big hug.
    • Her daughter Pyrrha continues the trend in V. People who try to get close to her all die, causing many to see her as a bad omen. She's then sold into slavery. The noble that bought her turns out to be not that bad and they fall in love, making things look like they're improving... only for him to be murdered the same night he proposed, leading to Pyrrha being imprisoned. What makes this worse is that this is the same girl Sophitia fought and possibly died for in hopes of giving her a better life.
      • In her Time Out quote against Patroklos, Pyrrha will even sadly voice her opinion that she doesn't deserve a family. Great Hera.
      • Not only does Tira manipulate the poor girl, but Pyrrha eventually turns into a Malfested (i.e. Pyrrha Omega) due to being misguided into killing innocents, causing Patroklos to run off in fear. Pyrrha, shunned, hurt, confused, emotionally fragile, and only wanting someone to tell her "You Are Not Alone," decides to place her trust in Tira (who was planning on all of this) and is made the new host of Soul Edge. It doesn't help that Patroklos is lured by Soul Calibur/Elysium's trickery, almost becoming a Knight Templar; in fact, he would've killed Pyrrha had he not conveniently been given a Reset Button by Edge Master. In the end, the two siblings get a happy ending (with Pat even being able to accept her as a Malfested), but good gravy...
    • Aeon Calcos. It doesn't help that with each game, he gets further away from his humanity as opposed to making any progress in getting it back. It makes his fans wish the writers would throw him a bone for once.
      • Aeon himself decides to go the Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds route out of spite for Hephaestus (who appointed Aeon as a holy warrior tasked with destroying Soul Edge in the first place, which arguably led to his current predicament). Can't say we blame him.
    • He may fall into the Jerkass Woobie category, but Raphael Sorel qualifies. He killed a man who was possessed by an Evil Seed out of self defense and was immediately cast out of his family and sentenced to death. He only managed to survive thanks to Amy and then decided to dedicate his life to create a better world for her. He actually FREES Siegfried from Soul Edge's control but loses his humanity from the battle against him and gradually loses himself as he becomes Malfested. According to Word of God, he dies at some point during SCIV, and in V, his body becomes Nightmare's new host.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: The characters' outfits have become more and more ridiculous with each new entry. Soulcalibur IV was the lowest the series ever got, with Soulcalibur V recovering at least some common sense in this area. That being said, quite a number of the designs (both default and alternate) in V have received mixed reactions, with some of the newcomers being hailed as too "anime-esque" (in particular, many note that Z.W.E.I. looks like he walked straight out of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, which is only exacerbated by E.I.N. more or less acting as his Stand, whereas Natsu is commonly ridiculed for being a "female Naruto"). IV was criticized more so for blatant fanservice (most notably, the increasingly Stripperiffic and/or top-heavy female characters and the Clothing Damage feature) than the actual character designs themselves as a whole.


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

  • Cliché Storm: The Chronicles of the Sword mode in III cheerfully uses a lot of tropes and character archetypes you should be familiar with if you're into eastern Turn-Based Strategy or generally eastern military fiction.
  • Epileptic Trees: In II's Weapon Master Mode, one of the three gates main antagonist Veral is trying to destroy in order to release the full power of Soul Edge is guarded by Tristy, Guardian of the Soul, who appears as Kilik in the story. In the epilogue, Tristy notes that the powers of the two soul swords have made them them immortal, and as such, they'll spend the rest of their existence recording the history of the world. Most fans came to the same conclusion: Tristy is the past identity of Edge Master, with additional "backing" seen in Olcadan recognizing Kilik's style (it's heavily implied that Edge Master and Olcadan fought to a draw in the past). This is despite the fact that Weapon Master Mode appears to take place in its own continuity much like Chronicles of the Sword (if the world map is anything to go by) and, more importantly, it is easy to miss that Tristy is actually a woman (which is only revealed by a single pronoun in the Chapter 9 Scenario text).
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Did they just set the character editor to random for creating the characters in Chronicles of the Sword? Even Strife fails to be threatening, mostly due to his hair.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Those who slogged through Chronicles of the Sword usually feel that so much more could've been done in both the story and gameplay departments.
    • Besides the Cliché Storm mentioned above, the use of custom characters arguably removes any attachment to the fixed story characters, making one of the highlights of the story, wherein the player's previous allies are possessed by Soul Edge shards forced onto them, much less effective.
    • The gameplay is an attempt to merge RTS and the 1v1 battles of a typical Fighting Game, making encounters a choice between full fighting game matches or RTS-style battles. With different characters and conditions, it looked promising, and the first few levels are actually really fun. However, after that, the RPG elements come in, along with SCIII's already infamously cruel A.I., and COTS goes from fun and challenging to unfair and grueling. Basically, you're either breaking the A.I. horribly spamming the same moves over and over every battle, with the RTS elements amounting to how you get to the next slog, or stuck in a ruthlessly difficult battle that will have the A.I. blocking about 85% of your attacks no matter how well you play. And finally, if you used a Memory Card that has COTS data on it for any other save, the data will likely be corrupted thanks to a Game-Breaking Bug, meaning you can't beat it.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/SoulSeries