- "I will never yield to the likes of you!"
- — Arthur
Arthur (アーサー Āsā?) is a fictional character in Namco's Soul series of fighting games. He makes an appearance in the first Soulcalibur, where he replaces Mitsurugi in countries that discouraged samurai imagery and references, such as Korea, as well as in several arcade machines in the United States.
In his first appearance, he looks exactly like Mitsurugi except with blond hair and an eyepatch, and his weapon, movelist and ending are identical to Mitsurugi's. Arthur is featured as a Bonus Character in Soulcalibur III where he is given unique facial characteristics and a weapon of his own. In this game, he represents the "Katana" Create-a-Fighter discipline. Arthur's Destined Battle in Soulcalibur is the same as Mitsurugi's: Taki. In Soulcalibur III (during Quick Play) his Destined Battle is Mitsurugi, which could be an in-joke on how he is Mitsurugi's replacement in most Soul games. His Soulcalibur III outfit is Mitsurugi's Soulcalibur II outfit in different colors and a piece of shoulder armor (or sode) missing on the right side.
Details on Arthur's childhood are unclear, but it is stated that he did not know who his siblings were. It can be assumed that he was an orphan. He apparently lived as a beggar in the harbor town of Southampton until the age of eight when, at the suggestion of a sailor whom he befriended, he decided to become a sailor himself. For two years he served as a mascot of sorts for the ship until they arrived in Japan where he was adopted by a wealthy merchant who regarded him as little more than a curiosity from the West.
Under the tutelage of his new stepfather, Arthur was taught Japanese and proper etiquette. Still, he was disliked and criticized by many, and his stepfather eventually gave him up to a noble under the excuse that it was to teach him manners. He eventually ended up serving as a warrior for the noble, and because he presented an obvious target, he learned to fight effectively in order to survive. It is also during one of the many battles he fought that he lost his eye.
Eventually, Arthur would find a lover and have a child, but despite his new family, he continued fighting. Frustrated that most people around him saw him only as a curiosity and not as a man, Arthur set his sights on the legendary Soul Edge in order to prove himself and his family in their eyes. Thus he set out on his first quest for the legendary sword.
During his search for Soul Edge, Arthur was unable to find the sword itself and was only able to retrieve a single one of its shards. Still, he was satisfied with his accomplishments and finally returned to marry his lover. He gave the fragment of Soul Edge to his new wife who kept it with her always and returned to fighting in order to support his family.
One day, after returning from a battle, he found his wife ill from a mysterious ailment. He sought help from a physician but was ultimately unable to save her from death. Grieving over the loss of his wife, a man approached him about his wife's illness. In a fit of rage, Arthur drove the man away but not before he heard him suggest that the ailment was caused by the Soul Edge shard.
Feeling responsible for his wife's death, Arthur soon decided on what he must do. He would destroy Soul Edge so that it could no longer cause such tragedy as had befallen him. With his daughter in tow he set out once again, his quest for Soul Edge renewed. It could be said that Arthur traveling with his infant child bears some resemblance to the basic premise of Lone Wolf and Cub.
Arthur does not know who his siblings are. Born in a harbor town of England, he was living alone by the time he realized what life was like. On that street, which was the key point of the Atlantic trade, even a beggar could make enough money to live a day. At the age of 8, by the suggestion of a sailor who became close to him, he became a sailor. Life on the sea as a handyman of the ship was fun. But, his travel as the mascot of the ship, being loved by the crew, was over only in 2 years. When they visited the country of the Far East. In Japan, known as the island of gold, a wealthy merchant, who was trading with them, took him as a stepson.
For the merchant, he only took Arthur in as part of his collection of things from the West, but a 10 year old boy couldn't have understood such peculiarity of an adult. He was very happy to have someone to call father. He learned Japanese and the Japanese manners so as to please his stepfather. The Japanese people disliked and criticized "the foreign boy who acts like a Japanese" and eventually, his stepfather offered him to a noble in the excuse that it was to teach him manners.
In the battlefield, his appearance was a target. Arrows, blades and lead bullets attacked him. To stay alive, he had no other way but to fight recklessly. And one day, after countless battles gave him confidence about his skills, he realized what he was. Neither a Japanese, nor a foreigner, but a swordsman without roots.
The Japanese just look at him with curiosity, not as a man. But there was no way he could be European again, having forgotten his mother tongue already.
An ineffable anxiety and nervousness overwhelmed him.
What to do to be recognized as a man? The only way was to fight. Achieve what no one else can by accomplishing brilliant exploits! Without knowing what to accomplish, he left his home and wandered the battlefields. To become stronger, he risked his life many times. As a result, he lost an eye that people said was like a jewel and what he gained were countless scars, self-confidence that he couldn't lose to anyone, and a lovely woman who used to be a prostitute, who followed him like a shadow.
By the time a baby of mixed bloodline was born, a rumor reached his ear. The evil knight of the West, and Soul Edge. It was like an oracle to him, who didn't know what to do with his life. If he defeats that knight and obtains that sword that's called invincible, this time, people might recognize his skills, then his love and his baby won't be seen as strangers.
Leaving behind the woman and the baby, he went aboard a ship again after 20 years. At the moment a cannon signaled the departure of the ship, the long-forgotten scenery of his homeland came back to him like an illusion.
Arthur's journey to find Soul Edge was perilous indeed, especially with such a lack of information in a foreign land. Nightmare eluded him, and he was constantly reminded of his powerlessness. He had begun to grasp the vastness of he world and realized that no matter what, humans were only humans. He now appreciated what was important in his life, and understood that his current goal was trivial and meaningless.
After a year of searching, Arthur gave up and headed back for Japan. The only piece of proof of his journey he carried with him was a single fragment of Soul Edge. When he arrived and finally saw his partner again after so long, he said nothing, and embraced her. He presented her with the fragment of Soul Edge, not needing it any longer. They were married and he returned to his life as a soldier in order to feed his family. No matter how much he accomplished, he was treated no differently. However, the curious stares of the native Japanese no longer bothered him.
For a time, life didn't change. Two years after he was married, a pandemic broke out in his village. Fortunately, nobody in Arthur's family was affected by the disease. His wife was ecstatic, believing the Soul Edge fragment to be a good luck charm. The epidemic passed and the village returned to normal, but his wife became mysteriously ill. One day, Arthur returned home and heard the sound of a body collapsing to the floor. He opened the door to find his wife on the ground with his daughter crying next to her. Her breath was shallow, but her eyes were gleaming with life. Recognizing this situation as an emergency, he brought the best doctor he could find to examine her. All he could do was tell Arthur that his wife was dying. He could do nothing but watch as his wife's condition worsened, until one day she passed on to the next life.
A short man, dressed in strange robes, visited Arthur shortly after his wife's passing. He claimed to be a traveling physician who visited because he had heard of his wife's condition. However, engulfed in anger and sadness, Arthur barked at the man to go away.
"Probably caused by the fragment..." the man muttered as he left. Those words stunned Arthur. He scrambled to call after the man for more information, but he was nowhere to be seen.
After the funeral, he put his crying daughter to bed and contemplated the words he was left with by the physician. If it was true, then the person responsible for his wife's death was none other than Arthur himself! Arthur knew what he had to do. The cursed sword had to be destroyed. In order to undo his wrongs, he must prevent similar tragedies from ever happening again. Arthur prepared for the journey ahead, and boarded a ship with his daughter to foreign lands once again. He had yet to lay his eye on the cursed sword, but his unclouded gaze seemed squarely locked into it.
Arthur does not have a stage of his own, though he can be found on Tales of Souls in the following stages as a "Prepare to Defend Yourself" challenge: Lotus Garden, Sacred Mt. Fuji - Lava Bed, Jurakudai Villa, and Battle in the Strait.
- I will never yield to the likes of you!
- You are not worthy to challenge me!
- I'll accept your challenge anytime.
- It's too late to cower in fear!
- You picked the wrong person to fight.
- Did the pain set in yet?
- This is your last chance to mend your ways.
Arthur gets Soul Edge and is attacked by non-Cervantes pirates, carrying guns. He then proceeds to engage their battles. He's never heard from again.
- Mitsurugi's rival in Soulcalibur III Quick Play mode.
- Arthur's wife's ancestor is responsible for originally sealing Kamikirimusi.
- Arthur was originally designed for an appearance in Soul Edge. He would have been a bonus character much like Seong Han-Myeong. In this early concept, he was written to be a childhood friend of Mitsurugi.
- Arthur appears in Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny as a custom character opponent in the Quick Match mode. He uses Mitsurugi's style. He also has a side dialogue with Cassandra in the Gauntlet, where he is named as Blonde Samurai.
- Arthur is reminiscent of William Adams, an English navigator who traveled to Japan in the year 1600 and became the first western samurai.
- Arthur appears as the "Unknown Soul" in the Grand Labyrinth to characters who have no obvious connection to Li Long or Hwang - for instance, Yun-Seong, and Seong Mi-Na both fight Hwang, because they all trained at the same place, and are friends, Mitsurugi fights Li Long, because they were enemies in Soul Edge, Arthur fights characters who are "left over".
- Arthur was originally a main character that turned minor after Mitsurugi was allowed back into the Korean versions of the game.
- Arthur's eyepatch is available in Character Creation in Soulcalibur IV.
- In the Quick Match mode of Soulcalibur V, one possible opponent named Lobo is a blonde samurai using Mitsurugi's style and sporting a Japanese eyepatch. This may be a reference to Arthur.
- In the gallery below, it shows that in most of his pictures, Arthur lost his right eye, but in his Soulcalibur artwork, it is the left eye that is lost. The reason for this is currently unknown.
- Arthur features attacks which belong to Paul Phoenix from the Tekken series. Paul's shoulder bash is used and instead of it ending there, Arthur follows up with a grab. This grab (unlike most in Soul Calibur III) can be blocked. Coincidently, his face resembles that of Paul Phoenix, too.
- Arthur appears in Soulcalibur VI in Libra of Soul through a sidequest where he is finally made aware of Mitsurugi by the Conduit, eagerly looking forward to the day he could meet him in person, sensing a potential rivalry with the samurai.
- Arthur and Mitsurugi share the same Birthday month and day.
|Bonus characters in the Soul series|
|Soulcalibur II||Lizardman • Assassin • Berserker|
|Soulcalibur III||Abelia • Arthur • Aurelia • Revenant • Greed • Miser • Valeria • Hualin • Lynette • Girardot • Luna • Demuth • Chester • Strife|
|Soulcalibur IV||Angol Fear • Scheherazade • Shura • Ashlotte • Kamikirimusi|