"Your madness! How it shines like a beacon!"
— Nightmare

Nightmare (ナイトメア, Naitomea) is the main antagonist of the Soul series.

The third character to act as Soul Edge's host and become the Azure Knight, was the current host of Soul Edge, who uses the alias "Graf Dumas". The New Legends of Project Soul artbook implies this host was Raphael Sorel, a malfested French noblemen who woud go extreme lengths to appease his foster daughter Amy and who died after the events of Soul Calibur IV, stating that Soul Edge had the body's memories altered as an experiment to see if it could claim a new host while keeping its preferred physical form.

In Soulcalibur V's promotional material he is referred to as The Symbol of Destruction.


Soulcalibur V

After its destruction by Soul Calibur, Soul Edge was shattered, its fragments scattered across the world. However, minions still loyal to the cursed sword managed to track down the shards, and reassembled as much of the sword as they could. Five years later, Soul Edge regained consciousness and possessed a new host, which it had prepared as an experiment to see if it could maintain its preferred form while taking a new host. Unlike the Azure Knight who had swept through Europe as a genocidal monster, this "new Nightmare" preferred subterfuge and diplomacy. He assumed the name "Dumas", and became part of the inner circle of Emperor Rudolf II of the Holy Roman Empire, impressing the Emperor with not only his combat skills but his knowledge of alchemy and sorcery. Convincing the Emperor that the Holy Roman Empire should reclaim the territories it had lost to the Ottoman Empire, Dumas was named the Graf, or Count, of the Kingdom of Hungary. Cementing his position with a string of unilateral victories, he sent his servants to regain the missing Soul Edge fragments while organizing purges against innocents he deemed "malfested" in order to harvest souls to bolster his strength.

In 1607, "Graf Dumas" manipulates Patroklos into slaughtering "malfested" by claiming to help him search for his missing sister, Pyrrha. Eventually, Patroklos violently leaves his service and flees. Later, after reuniting with his sister, he encounters "Dumas", who has reached his full power and reveals himself as Nightmare. He attacks Patroklos but is stopped by Pyrrha, who becomes truly malfested. With his power restored, Nightmare and his corrupted followers cause war throughout Central Europe. At Castle Denevér, he is defeated and killed by Z.W.E.I., Pyrrha becomes the new host of Soul Edge. Pyrrha is then defeated by Patroklos, and in the end both Soul Edge and Soul Calibur are sealed back inside the Astral Chaos.

Critical Edge

Dark Reconquista: Nightmare holds his sword up, calls for it, saying "Soul Edge", and does one heavy vertical slash to knock his opponent to the ground while saying "Burn them!".

The actual slash is delayed while Nightmare holds up his sword for about 1 second. Attacking him while he holds up the sword will cause a Guard Impact and trigger the slash, which deals about a 3rd life bar of damage. If he's not attacked in the meantime, the slash causes more than half life bar damage, however, it can be easily dodged moving horizontally or stepping back and like most critical edges, can be blocked. Also, due to the delay, it can be canceled by grappling the opponent.

Weapon Arts

Grim Lord: This Weapon Art is basically his Brave Edge from SCV called Grim Lord's Auto-da-fe. It consists of four hits: the first one is a rather strong middle kick attack, which works like a launcher, so that the next high Break Attack can catch an enemy in mid-air. Then, time slows down a bit, and the camera changes its angle as Nightmare is holding his opponent in his twisted arm and then unleashes the most damaging blow with a bursting sound, which is also a new addition, by emitting dark red energy which surrounds him, forming a sphere. After being blasted by this energy sphere, an enemy also receives minor damage by falling on the ground. None of these three moves stun an enemy. During the attack Nightmare says: "No escape" and sometimes adds "Shatter!" at the end. This Weapon Art provides a safe start (you totally won't be interrupted) and a decent medium range. It's abilities to chain combos got a little expanded, since now after its last strike you can follow up with some guaranteed hits, though another Grim Lord, as before, can be avoided by an enemy's Ukemi and after certain attacks, like Shadow Crusher, it can't extend a combo anymore. An enemy's Soul Break (the only one or the last one) may also ruin the most damaging part of the attack in case the first strike misses (or he blocks it) and the second one hits and performs a Soul Break. You can catch an opponent with that attack both when he's in mid-air and lying idly on the ground. It's same punishable as before, as enemies can crouch under the second high attack, but at any rate, now it enables you to interrupt an opponent in the middle of series of his attacks. On top of all, it still has great wall combo opportunities.

Bloody Invasion: That's yet another Nightmare's Brave Edge and Break Attack at the same time. Its SCV name is Bloody Lord's Invasion. At the beginning he raises his hand and then hits it heavily against the ground saying "Run if you can" and creating a tremor. It always stuns an opponent and it causes Guard Burst if an enemy guards against it. The range of this Weapon Art is short, though due to the tremor you may call it medium. It has a completely safe but rather slow start, too slow to use it several times in a row. In fact, the only combo it can extend is a wall combo. If this single attack is landed successfully on a standing opponent, you won't be able to create any combo after it (besides a single lower kick), but if an enemy is damaged by it while lying or in mid-air or just stunned by the tremor, you'll have a chance to continue attacking him.

Soul Wave: It's his regular single attack, but now it works and looks in a slightly different way. At the beginning of the animation the camera zooms in, Nightmare bows down, crossing his hands and storing energy, as we can see electric bolts gather around him. A stage starts to shake and by straightening up and shouting "Hate!" Nightmare releases a crimson energy sphere now accompanied with an additional ring of light and explosion sound. If you have a closer look at this move in SCV, you'll see, that in case Nightmare is damaged during its activation, the sphere will change in terms of looks and distance. And that's the sphere that we have here, more broad and less bright. This attack doesn't stun an opponent and provides medium range, since a shock wave may affect him even at distance. Now it has an immediate safe start and Guard Impact goes off once a single hit activates it, saving Nightmare from receiving any damage. By the way, it can be activated both before and after the animation, and it works even with low moves, so you certainly won't be interrupted. Whether Guard Impact has been activated or not, the damage remains the same. Its start is now way quicker and you can use this Weapon Art in the middle of a combo, but you won't be able to add anything guaranteed after it. Nonetheless, if your enemy is hit by it while in mid-air, it will be possible to follow up with some guaranteed combos and another Soul Wave will be a guaranteed hit too. Lying opponents can be damaged by it as well, though without a combo opportunity. Moreover, this Weapon Art can cause a wall hit (only with standing opponents), works nicely you are attacked from behind, can be used to extend a wall combo, hitting an enemy against the wall once again and cannot be punished in contrast to its SCV version, so don't be shy to use it randomly.

Death Row: This is a part of a Brave Edge move called Death Lord's Annihilation. There are two hits in this Weapon Art. The first one is a high punch which knocks an enemy down and then goes a middle long-range stabbing Break Attack with Nightmare whirling his sword in colored flames and saying "Ravage!". He pushes forward twice (during the first and the second strike), which makes the range of the first attack medium, but it's a long-range Weapon Art judging by the second strike, that is more damaging by the way. If the second strike is delivered successfully, bursting sound can be heard, the camera angle changes and time slows down for a while. It has quite a quick start, the attack itself takes a little time, and in addition you can't be interrupted by any of the coming attacks. Though there's a chance you'll interrupted between these two attack in case the first one misses. However, you surely won't be punished if an enemy blocks the second attack. Both of the attacks will be performed even if they miss. With the first move from original Brave Edge removed, now it turns into a guaranteed combo if it hits an enemy in mid-air, but it requires perfect timing, as you may slip under an enemy because of its quickness. Enemies on the ground still won't be affected by it and it's hard to extend wall combos with. It will be possible to perform guaranteed combos after it if the whole Death Row is successfully performed on a standing opponent. None of its attacks stun an opponent and both of them can hit him against the wall (only while standing).

Dark Reconquista: That's Nightmare's Critical Edge with a few technical alterations. During this single medium range vertical Break Attack he says: "Soul Edge, burn them!". A noticeable feature is that the sword always has a yellow flame when Nightmare delivers a blow. Basically, it works the same way as in SCV, but now it doesn't have a long version and there's no more cracks under his feet. The attack triggers almost immediately after pressing, so now it can pretty easily extend a wall combo and catch enemies in mid-air or on the ground. This will lead to further stun (or just stun) and that's when you can extend a combo and even use this Weapon Art twice consecutively. Otherwise, it will have the same effect as in SCV and you won't be able to add anything after it. Guard Impact won't go off if an enemy's attack is low, and its start can be regarded as slow, because you may be interrupted by all sorts of attacks before the animation, so be careful with timing. Its damage remains the same regardless of Guard Impact activation, but it improves greatly under the influence of Counter Attack. Dark Reconquista has become more easy to use in combat in terms of chaining, but it has lost its Guard Impact potential, since now it wouldn't work on low attacks, and isn't really safe in general, although if an enemy blocks it, there's no way you can be punished.

True identity of the host

It is heavily implied, almost confirmed, that the true identity of "Graf Dumas" is in fact Raphael. As stated by the new artbook, Raphael died after the events of IV and his body was used by some of Soul Edge's minions as it's new host which confirms it somewhat but due to Raphael's willpower was so great The Soul Edge itself had to rewrite some of his memories to make him somewhat a replacement for Siegfried.

  • Nightmare has Raphael's character model underneath his armour.
  • Nightmare's armour in Soulcalibur V has a bat theme, which is related to Raphael. It was stated by the developers that Nightmare has this bat theme for a reason.
  • The current body for Nightmare is a host that was kept underneath Ostreinsburg Castle, this is where Raphael woke up prior to Soulcalibur V, with no memory of how he got there. Raphael is also a malfested vampire, who had previously been influenced by the sword, so he would fit as a host.
  • Nightmare and Raphael share the same voice actor in both languages in Soulcalibur V.
  • Nightmare and Raphael have the exact same height (5'10"), just like his predecessor did with his former host Siegfried.
  • Nightmare's fighting style was also changed to "What the sword desires". New Legends of Project Soul clarifies that Soul Edge is using Dumas as an experiment to see if it can claim a new host while retaining its preferred zweihander form, leading Nightmare to use his "previous" fighting style instead of the host's, explaining why Nightmare wouldn't use Raphael's usual style.
  • Nightmare groans in pain upon defeating Viola, who is implied to be Amy.
  • Raphael is said to suffer from amnesia in Soulcalibur V and random waves of pain, Soul Edge is said to have replaced his current host's memories, which would explain Raphael's affliction.


Theme Music

Soulcalibur V

Soul Calibur 5 Nightmare's Theme!

Soul Calibur 5 Nightmare's Theme!

Nightmare's theme from
Soulcalibur V

avor Nocturnus"


Soulcalibur V

  • Soul Edge... Burn them! - spoken during his Critical Edge.
  • The Nightmare will devour your soul!
  • Your madness! How it shines like a beacon!
  • You cannot defeat me, now or ever! - Spoken when engaging in battle against Siegfried.
  • Fall into...the abyss!
  • With this... you burn!
  • Relinquish!
  • Not Enough!
  • Spark!
  • What?
  • What's wrong...
  • My blade...
  • You're nothing...
  • Hate!
  • Damn!
  • Struggle!
  • Drown in darkness!
  • Time to die!
  • Give me, more power! - spoken when time runs out.
  • Behold Soul Edge! A weapon without equal! - Spoken after defeating Z.W.E.I.
  • Blood! Darkness! I shall drown the world in both!
  • Now, Soul Edge! Grant your master his wish!
  • You only exist so that my sword skewers you!
  • Ah, your suffering, how it does soothe me.
  • You still insist on fighting?
  • Out of my sight, filthy cur!
  • What?! - spoken when hit by a tremor.
  • Finally, none are left with the strength to oppose us! - Spoken after defeating α Patroklos or Elysium.
  • You fight like a mewling child.
  • Soul Edge! Grant me strength! - spoken when taunting.
  • Pathetic! - spoken during Ring Out
  • I won't forget this! - spoken during Ring Out
  • Splendid work as always, Patroklos. Very well done indeed. I am impressed. - Spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
  • There will be no order as long Soul Edge and those abominations, the malfested, exist. - Spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
  • Ah yes, the malfested that kidnapped your sister. - spoken in story to Patroklos.
  • Search Klausenburg next. My informants suggest you do so. - Spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
  • A man stopped you? - spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
  • Z.W.E.I.! Damn that cursed werewolf! - Spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
  • That man stands in the way of ridding the world of the malfested. - Spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
  • Get rid of him. - Spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
  • You just need to kill those I say to kill. - Spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
  • It seems you are unable to obey my orders. - Spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
  • I've had enough. Leave my sight at once and never return. - Spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
  • A dog such as you has no business making demands. - Spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
  • How absurd. You are nothing more than a dog. - Spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
  • I couldn't care less about what happened to a pathetic dog's family. - Spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
  • She is probaly already dead in some alley. - Spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
  • The azure Nightmare stands before you now! -Spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
  • You haven't realized it yet? -Spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
  • So a puppet controlled by a fool intends to stop me? -Spoken in story mode to Pyrrha.
  • Is that all? -Spoken in story mode to Pyrrha Ω.
  • Those I ordered you to kill were nothing but weak and foolish humans like you! - Spoken to Patroklos in story mode.
  • Scream for me as I end your exsistance! -Spoken in story mode to Z.W.E.I.
  • Your time, is up! - Spoken when taunting in battle against Elysium
  • You will stand aside, or die like the rest! - Spoken when engaging in battle against Elysium or α Patroklos.
  • Your puny existence ends here! - Spoken when engaging in battle against Z.W.E.I.
  • What's wrong, puppet? - Spoken when performing Grim Lord's Auto da're on Pyrrha
  • Surrender, werewolf - Spoken when performing back throw on Z.W.E.I.

Soulcalibur: Lost Swords

  • Your madness! How it shines like a beacon!
  • Soul Edge... Burn them! - spoken during his Critical Edge.
  • You fight like a mewling child.
  • Relinquish!
  • Blood! Darkness! I shall drown the world in both!
  • Your sufferings, how it does soothe me.
  • You only exist so that my sword skewers you!
  • Now Soul Edge, grant your master his wish!


  • Interestingly, after being defeated by Elysium, Nightmare's death cry isn't heard.  Whether this is intentional or due to a bug in the game, it is unknown.
  • Much like Astaroth, Nightmare was defeated and destroyed by his nemesis Siegfried at the end of Soulcalibur IV (as Astaroth was destroyed by his respective nemesis, Maxi, as well). He was succeeded by an identical version.
  • Nightmare's music theme title, Pavor Nocturnus, is the clinical name for night terrors and most likely a reference to the hidden boss from Soulcalibur III, Night Terror.
  • Nightmare's 2P costume resembles his 2P costume from Soulcalibur II, except for his mask that prevents you from seeing his face.
  • Nightmare has a special costume featured in Legendary Souls mode - his Soulcalibur IV 1P. Unfortunately it is not available to players at this time except through hacking.
  • His 1P costume is a modified version of the same from Soulcalibur II, with elements from other versions added in.
  • It is possible to see Nightmare in his Dumas persona in 3D by creating an original costume for him in Create-A-Soul mode. His character model's face is that of Raphael with Dumas' mask from the story mode artwork, called the Persona of Deceit in the creation menu. On top of that, when recreating Nightmare, you can get a very good glimpse of his face when equipping certain items: the Prayer Helm, Warthog Bascinet, Nightmare: Torment, and Nightmare: Misery hide the mask, leaving his eye area, and thus complete face, visible.
  • In early demos, Nightmare had an alternate theme which included vocals. This was excluded in the final version of the game.
  • In the artwork, "Graf Dumas" had red hair, but in story mode seems to be blonde.


  • Somewhat confirmed to be Raphael Sorel as the new vessel for Nightmare.
  • Gained political authority as "Graf Dumas" after his resurrection and tricked Patroklos Alexander into killing humans under the lie they were malfested
  • Defeated by Z.W.E.I. and falls to his possible demise during the events of Soulcalibur V.

Current servants

Series' Appearances

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