Cervantes de León (セルバンテス・デ・レオン, Serubantesu de Reon) is a character in the Soul series of fighting games. Cervantes made his first appearance as the main antagonist of Soul Edge and has returned in all of the games. He also appears in Soulcalibur Legends as an unplayable boss. In Soul Edge and in Soulcalibur he is nicknamed "The Immortal Pirate" and "The Dread Pirate" by other characters.
Cervantes was designed to be something of a ghost pirate. Starting with Soul Edge, Cervantes had peach skin, long white hair with a violet tint and blue eyes and sported a full mustache. His attire consisted of a traditional pirate captain's uniform. When under the influence of Soul Edge, his skin gained an unnatural purple tint and his eyes turned yellow with the scelera turning black. He retained this appearance with very minute modifications into Soulcalibur. After returning from the dead as a specter, his skin even paler than before and his eyes purely white, although his mustache has grown past his cheeks and reaching his hairline. His attire had also changed to feature lighter colors and armor with the additions of gauntlets and greaves and wore a new jacket loosely on his back.
In Soulcalibur III, his skin pigment became a light purple and his hair turned fully white and becoming spiky. His appearance showed off more skin to reveal impressive musculature with his facial hair now fully forming a long beard. His clothing was now similar to his earlier appearance but has also taken on a purple, more darker sheen, and his gloves are now the same color.
In Soulcalibur IV, his appearance seems to have been even further corrupted than before, with claw-like shoulder pads with purple eye decorations with an additional one on his hat and his coat becoming wing-like with segmented metal linings.
As of Soulcalibur V, Cervantes is mortal again and his look is similar to that of his original Soul Calibur appearance, his hair and skin's pigment returned to their natural color, although he keeps his facial hair and hair length. His clothing returns to a more traditional appearance but now features a red and black color scheme and a Jolly Roger emblem on his boots and belt. His coat opens up to reveal his bare chest, showing off chest hair. His bonus costume on the other hand, gives him a suit of armor but his physical body appears to give off a fiery glow and aura with his face seemingly internally consumed by fire, resembling Soul Edge to an extent.
Cervantes is a callous, evil man whose only goal in life is to satisfy his own ego. Before Soul Edge's corruption, he took all sorts of illegal jobs as a pirate, and he made a name for himself across the seven seas. Upon coming into contact with Soul Edge, however, Cervantes' own soul was stolen, and he became little more than a slave to Soul Edge's will, driven insane by its power.
After being resurrected by Nightmare, Cervantes begins to seek Soul Edge once more, having become addicted to the power it grants him. He does not care whether it takes away his free will, so long as he can steal more souls.
When Cervantes regains Soul Edge, his very life becomes linked to the sword's - if he does not maintain its desire for souls, or if it is destroyed, Cervantes will die with it. As such, Cervantes desperately seeks souls to sustain his existence. He eventually comes into contact with Ivy, his illegitimate daughter, and desires her soul to keep him alive.
In the fifth game, he returns to his old personality, having finally broken free of Soul Edge's control. Judging by his quotes, it is safe to assume that Cervantes believes that because he defeated Soul Edge's influence, he has transcended the power of gods and supernatural forces, deciding to no longer rely on them in his quest for power and glory.
Cervantes is a mid to close range rushdown character who relies on moves that knock down and launch the opponent for heavy damage output with the 2 swords. His attacks are linear and easily avoided, but once Cervantes connects with something he becomes extremely dangerous. The pistol sword is used for small attacks, checking the opponent, and attack throws, while the long sword is used for major blows. He can use both swords to stun the opponent and has a special stance (Dread Charge) used for his most powerful attacks (Geo Da Ray, Dread Slash). Dread Charge is capable of catching the enemy off guard if they don't know what move is next, but it has an extremely slow startup and most of the attacks that come out of the stance are easily punishable, so it should be used with extreme caution.
In Soul Edge, Cervantes was noticeably more powerful than any of his future incarnations due to the sheer power and range his weapons possessed and the fact that his Critical Edge could potentially destroy an entire lifebar. Throughout the Soul Calibur games, however, Cervantes gradually developed into a balanced character. The pistol sword aspect of his weapons was elaborated upon, as he eventually gained the ability to fire an unblockable bullet at his opponent. His Dread Charge setups gradually developed as well, and in the fourth game he gained an extremely powerful tool on the form of the Geo Da Ray Conclusion. When the input for Geo Da Ray is done as fast as possible, Cervantes skips the Charge entirely and goes straight into the move, which deals much more damage than the charged version. Since then, the "instant Geo Da Ray (iGDR)" has become his most important move, defining Cervantes as a character.
Cervantes usually ranks in competitive tier lists as a high-to-top tier character due to his dangerous setups and devastating attack power. As of the fifth game, he is considered to be one of the strongest in the game.
- Soul Edge (Longsword and Pistol Sword)
- Acheron & Nirvana
- Soul Edge & Nirvana
- Main Gauche
- 3 Bladed Edge
- Heavy Lance
- Serpent's Tongue
- Erlang's Blade
- Soul Edge (Complete) Cervantes
- Imitation Sword
- Erlang's Blade
- The Ancient (Cervantes)
- The Master (Cervantes)
- Valencia Port (SE)
- The Adrian and The Fortress (SC)
- Pirate's Alcove (SC2) (shares the stage with Maxi)
- Pirate Raid (SC3)
- Ice Coffin of the Sleeping Ancient (SC4)
- Sailor's Rest - Twilight (SCBD) (shares the stage with Maxi & Seong Mi-na)
- The Adrian (SC5)
- Cervantes' nickname in Soul Edge and Soulcalibur is "The Immortal Pirate". Story-wise, he's also known as "The Dread Pirate".
- Chronologically, Cervantes is the oldest character in the series barring Olcadan, Algol, Zasalamel and Edge Master who are all immortal in one form or another.
- Depending on the game, he looks alive or undead, with Soul Edge having an undead main and living alternates, Soulcalibur with both costumes with a living skin tone, Soulcalibur II has him back to looking undead and progressing from there to Soulcalibur IV where he looks like Soul Edge has taken over him. His Soulcalibur IV 2P costume is based on his Soulcalibur 2P costume. With Soulcalibur V, he once more looks to be actually alive.
- Cervantes' former English voice actor, Wally Wingert, is known for his roles as Renji Abarai from Bleach, Aoba Yamashiro from Naruto: Shippuden, Rufus Shinra from Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, and Cubot from the Sonic the Hedgehog series. His current English voice actor, Patrick Seitz, is known for voicing Bob Richards from the Tekken series, Jin Kazama in Tekken Blood Vengeance, Ragna the Bloodedge from the Blazblue series, and Scorpion from the Mortal Kombat series.
- Some of Cervantes' alternate weapons are named after rivers in the Underworld of Greek mythology, including Acheron, Phlegethon, Lethe, Cocytus, and Styx.
- Cervantes' Joke Weapon is a wooden model of the swords he used in Soul Edge and Soulcalibur II. The wooden model is called the Imitation Sword, which he apparently carved out himself with great care. The biggest difference is in Soul Edge (Female) which is in the form of Nirvana and is smaller. In Soulcalibur IV, his Joke Weapon is two large shish kebabs called Gurgitator.
- Cervantes was revealed to be the father of Ivy. In the Whole World of Soulcalibur section of the old Soul Archive site, it's revealed Ivy's mother is actually the daughter of the Black Tail inn owner, whom Cervantes raped with the intention of Soul Edge to have a spare host if his current was rendered useless.
- Cervantes' Destined Battle in Soulcalibur and Soulcalibur III is Taki, while in Soulcalibur II, Soulcalibur IV, and Soulcalibur V, it is Ivy.
- Cervantes is one of the surnames of the Spanish writer of Don Quixote, and de León is also the last name of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who searched for the Fountain of Youth.
- In Soul Edge, Cervantes speaks with a slight English accent, in Soulcalibur II, he speaks with a very gruff and evil North American accent, and in Soulcalibur III , Soulcalibur IV, and Soulcalibur V, he speaks with a thick, stereotypical pirate accent.
- His fighting style is based on the Filipino martial art known as Eskrima, also called Kali or Arnis, which can be seen perfect techniques as "round", "double" as well as some of this martial art holds. Additionally, Cervantes uses kicks from the martial art Savate. His stance also resembles that used in Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu.
- He was the only character in the series to bear a firearm until the addition of Ezio in Soulcalibur V.
- His prototype weapon and moveset was originally just going to include a rapier, but the creators thought this was "too gentlemanly", so they moved it to a longsword & a pistol sword. His prototype moveset was later passed on to Raphael in Soulcalibur II.
- In the opening and many artworks, Cervantes is seen in his 2P outfit with a mask similar to the Phantom of the Opera's. However he doesn't wear it during gameplay.
- Cervantes' input ending is the only occurrence where he feels remorse and guilt for his past sins.
- In the Edge Master Mode, Cervantes is the only character who only appears in his own stage, at all times.
- In one concept art, Cervantes is depicted holding a longsword in his right hand and a flintlock pistol with a bayonet dagger attached to beneathe its barrel in his left, as opposed to holding the flintlock in his right hand (insinuating he may have been originally intended to be right-handed). The bayonet-flintlock pistol may also have been an early design of Nirvana that was dropped.
- Cervantes' eyes are completely red in his 1P costume, and are completely white in his 2P costume. However, if the player fights or plays as Cervantes in the Pirate's Alcove stage, then his eyes will be white, and unlike his other costumes in the game, the player can see the outlines of his pupils.
- The "Soul of Cervantes" discipline is available to created characters of the Pirate class.
- According to Lloyd Irving, he is famous in other worlds.
- During the opening movie, it shows one of the player's custom characters fighting off three fighters. It then shows Cervantes walking in preparing to fight. For unknown reasons, he is not wielding his swords the same way he does in the game.
- In an alternate version of the intro, he shoots Valmiro, one of the members of his crew.
- In the Character Creation, creating a character with Cervantes' moveset is the only one which gives your character a line after his or her Critical Finish.
- When Cervantes wins and battle and performs the victory pose where he crosses his arms with swords in hand, he has Nirvana in his left hand and the longsword in his right, as opposed to Nirvana being held in his right hand and the other in his left.
- After the events of Soulcalibur IV, Cervantes has freed himself from Soul Edge's control. Due to this fact, some fans have speculated that he might have become an anti-hero as opposed to the villainous role he played throughout the series. However, there was no significant change in his personality apart from the fact that he has a character specific line when fighting either Nightmare or Elysium. There is the fact that before he found Soul Edge, he was a ruthless pirate, leaving him as a lesser evil at best.
- Cervantes' alternate costume is similar to his 2P costume in Soulcalibur III. He also has a bonus costume that gives him an appearance similar to Inferno/Soul Edge, with a fiery aura around him; it is only available to be played against during Legendary Souls mode.
- In the artwork, his 1P boots are longer than they appear in game. These boots rise up and stop just before his knee; however, in game, they are just underneath his calves.
- Cervantes' special intro against Taki is a call back to their Destined Battle in the original Soulcalibur, although Taki doesn't reply with "Let's do this." instead replying with "Brace yourself, slave of an evil blade." in response to Cervantes' "You'll feel...this pain, too!"
- Father of Ivy, who he was defeated and destroyed by before the events of Soulcalibur V.
- Defeated by Sophitia and Taki in Soul Edge and before Soulcalibur VI. Siegfried, who happened to be nearby after the battle, picked up the remaining Soul Edge.
- Defeated Li Long, when the latter wanted to have Soul Edge in Soul Edge.
- Urged by Tira to find Soul Edge and destroy Soul Calibur before the events of Soulcalibur III.
- Fights the Custom Character in the custom Soulcalibur IV intro.
- Maintains a business relationship with Dampierre, selling him looted goods.
- Fatally wounded Yoshimitsu before the events of Soulcalibur V.
- In Volume 1 (Act.1), Cervantes kills every pirate crew from the first scene. He wields Soul Edge, in the form of two blades. He was later murdered by Taki. When Cervantes' Soul Edge (Secondary) was broken by Sophitia, it suddenly shattered and pierced through Sophitia's body. Cervantes however still uses his other Soul Edge (Primary) to duel with Taki. He uses his Soul Edge (Primary) to slash and destroy Taki's primary blade. However Taki then quickly draws her secondary blade and pierces through Cervantes' head. Taki and Sophitia then flee as Cervantes begins to self-destruct. Cervantes' Soul Edge (Primary) is however still intact and is found by Siegfried.
- Soul Edge (sub-boss; unplayable in Ver. I, playable from the start in Ver. II and home version)
- Soulcalibur (Dreamcast version only; unlocked by clearing Arcade Mode ten (10) times)
- Soulcalibur II (unlocked by clearing Stage 4 of Chapter 3 in Weapon Master Mode)
- Soulcalibur III (unlocked by either defeating him in Tales of Souls Mode or fighting six-hundred twenty-five (625) times)
- Soulcalibur Legends (unplayable boss)
- Soulcalibur IV (unlocked by purchasing him in Character Creation Mode for 4,000 Gold)
- Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny
- Soulcalibur V
- Soulcalibur: Unbreakable Soul
- Soulcalibur: Lost Swords
- Soulcalibur VI
|Main characters in the Soul series|
|Aeon Calcos | Algol | Amy | Astaroth (Original, Mass Produced) | Cassandra | Cervantes | Charade | Dampierre | Edge Master | Hilde | Hwang | Ivy | Kilik | Leixia | Li Long | Maxi | Mitsurugi | Natsu | Necrid | Olcadan | Patroklos (α Patroklos) | Pyrrha (Pyrrha Ω) | Raphael | Rock | Seong Han-myeong | Seong Mi-na | Setsuka | Siegfried | Sophitia | Soul Calibur (Elysium) | Soul Edge (Inferno, Nightmare, Night Terror) | Taki | Talim | Tira | Viola | Voldo | Xianghua | Xiba | Yoshimitsu (First, Second) | Yun-seong | Zasalamel (Abyss) | Z.W.E.I.|