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"Do not delude yourself, thou wretched fool!"
— Raphael

Raphael Sorel (ラファエル・ソレル, Rafaeru Soreru) is a fictional character in Namco's Soul series of fighting games. First appearing in Soulcalibur II, he can be viewed as a protagonist, but as the series progressed he became an antagonist. He has returned as a starting character for Soulcalibur III, Soulcalibur IV, Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny and Soulcalibur V and as an unlockable in Soulcalibur: Lost Swords. Raphael is well known for his fencing style of swordsmanship and his mocking, contemptuous persona. In Soulcalibur III he is nicknamed "Dark Lord". In Soulcalibur IV is called "Lord Of The Night" and "Creature Of The Night" by other characters.

Appearance

Raphael appears as a fairly young man of French noble descent, having blue eyes and shoulder length blonde hair. In his first appearance, he wore an indigo jacket with black lining and red inner workings, matching gloves and black pants with red highlights. Tied around his waist is a long red sash. In Soulcalibur III, the influence of Soul Edge had changed his body to resemble something of a vampire, featuring paler skin and red coloured eyes, part of his hair swept up with another styled in a fringe that covers half his face, and a slightly more muscular build. He then wore a green jacket with a collared cape, both which feature red inner workings and gold lining with an armor plate beneath. In Soulcalibur IV, he wore a mostly black ensemble featuring a two-tailed high-collared coat with gold lining and an elaborate white frill decorating with a bat emblem on it, making him resemble Castlevania's Alucard. His eyes remained red.

As of Soulcalibur V, it appears he has not aged at all. The outfit he is wearing has a very similar silhouette to his Soulcalibur II costume with the addition of a black widebrimmed hat. He also wears his bat ornaments upside down. The reason for this is still unknown and might never be explained, but it can be surmised the widebrimmed hat is in reference to the Vampire Hunter D artwork done by Yoshitaka Amano. Like D, Raphael is vampiric in nature and, as of Soulcalibur V, can be assumed to be a tormented figure.

Abilities

Raphael is a master at fencing with his Rapier. After being corrupted and turned into a malfested, he became a vampire and as such gained numerous vampiric powers, such as drinking people's blood, and turning others into vampires that serve him. He can also somehow drain energy by touching someone on their abdomen.

Fighting Style

Raphael is a fencer who wields an English sword rapier. His fighting style predominantly accommodates thrusting and slashing attacks, which he specializes in. Raphael is a relatively fast character in terms of attack speed, and as an added bonus many of his thrusting attacks have an added Guard Impact effect, or allow him to dodge attacks entirely via sidestepping and ducking under his opponent's weapon.

Although these thrust attacks are Raphael's main strength, they are very linear and can be sidestepped with relative ease. Raphael's range of horizontal strikes are much less diverse, and the same could also be said for his kick attacks. However, they are thankfully fast, and are therefore able to catch someone at the start of a preemptive evade. Despite their relative quickness, they do not provide the dodging features of his thrust attacks, which leave him open to counterattacks.

Raphael has a reasonable number of low attacks in his arsenal, most of which deal moderate damage and are hard to guard on reaction. Raphael's throw attacks have a noted long range, and are hard to avoid. Superficially, Raphael gives the impression of a very neat and technically correct swordsman in combat.

If played in the manner of a defensive player, using Guard Impact moves and dodge attacks rather than utilizing his speed, he is able to last for an extremely long time against opponents. This makes him one of the fighters, in SCIV, able to run out the clock by "blocking" attacks after the Soul Gauge runs low, which can prove nerve-racking, if not outright annoying, to other players.

Mastering Raphael's evasive maneuvers makes him a good "mind game" character, bested only by fighters actually meant for the job, like Cervantes, Yoshimitsu, and Voldo.

Weapons

Stages

Theme Music

No Turning Back (Soul Calibur II)

No Turning Back (Soul Calibur II)

Raphael's theme from Soulcalibur II

Soulcalibur II

  • "No Turning Back"
Soul Calibur III - Endless Warfare (Raphael)

Soul Calibur III - Endless Warfare (Raphael)

Raphael's theme from Soulcalibur III

Soulcalibur III

  • "Endless Warfare"

Soulcalibur IV

  • "Reign of Doom"
Soul Calibur 5 Raphael's Theme!(Full Version)

Soul Calibur 5 Raphael's Theme!(Full Version)

Raphael's theme from Soulcalibur V

Soulcalibur V

  • "Blood Thirst Concerto"

Trivia

General

  • Ever since Soulcalibur III, fans have assumed that Raphael has become a vampire. This supposed nature is made clear in his Critical Finish animation. He also bites characters' necks as a grapple move. On the second stage of the Yoshimitsu's Story Mode in Soulcalibur IV, the player faces Raphael and his servants, Yoshimitsu inquires at the beginning of the battle "What art thou? A spectre?". Also, during Siegfried's Destined battle against him in Soulcalibur III, he says "You are no longer human, are you?". This line is repeated by Kilik in Raphael's Story mode in Soulcalibur IV. Raphael returns in Soulcalibur V but he seems not to have aged. This could reinforce the fans' speculation about his vampiric nature, although it was confirmed that he died. However, many legends retain the concept that a human must first die before being risen as a vampire.
    • Despite the above characteristics, the word 'vampire' has never been used to describe Raphael within the series itself.
  • Raphael's eye color changes quite a bit throughout his appearances. He had blue eyes in Soulcalibur II, amber in Soulcalibur III, and red in Soulcalibur IV and Soulcalibur V. This fact makes him and Amy the only two characters in the series who have changed eye color throughout the installments.
  • Many of Raphael's weapons are designed almost exclusively for stabbing, including his signature rapier. In spite of this, the majority of his attacks are slashes. Furthermore, his fighting stance is exactly that of a sabreur.
  • Even though many of his swords have names of actual historical weapons, almost none of these resemble their historical counterparts.
  • Raphael has the most destined battles of any character in the series.
    • In Soulcalibur II, Raphael has a Destined Battle for Nightmare and for the three guest characters: Heihachi, Link, and Spawn. He shares his own Destined Battle with Nightmare.
    • In Soulcalibur III, Raphael is the Destined Battle for five characters: Cassandra, Talim, Kilik, Siegfried and Nightmare. He shares his own Destined Battle with Talim.
  • Raphael, along with Cassandra and Heihachi, is an unlockable character in Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2.
  • In Soulcalibur II and Soulcalibur III, he searches for Soul Edge in his quest to create a world for Amy. However, in Soulcalibur IV, he is instead searching for Soul Calibur; this is likely because of the Holy Stone's impact on his plans, and his subsequent research on the spirit sword.
  • His alternate costume for Soulcalibur III was also used as his Soulcalibur IV alternate costume but his skin is not pale.
  • During one of his throws in Soulcalibur IV and Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny, he will bite female fighters on the neck. If his opponent is male, he will instead clench their stomach with his hand and say "Agh! Disgusting!".
  • Some of Raphael's battle skills were based on moves from the movies The Mask of Zorro and The Legend of Zorro that were performed by Antonio Banderas.
  • In regards to his fencing style, it should be noted that Raphael is a left-handed swordsman. During the timeframe of the games (Which plays with notion of Raphael's Vampiric nature without directly stating so), a left-handed swordsman was deemed an abomination.
  • Despite his cold and cruel personality, he seems to love and adore Amy with all his heart.
  • Raphael should be written Raphaël. Without the dieresis, it would be pronounced Rafél.
  • In Soulcalibur IV and Soulcalibur V, during the Strigoii Envelopment move, if the player presses a direction (only left or right), Raphael is able to teleport nearer to or behind his opponent, leaving them open to a hit for a few seconds.
  • Raphael is the only character introduced in Soulcalibur II that was playable in Soulcalibur V.
  • The famous left handed painter Raphael has a painting for his lover called 'bakers daughter’ strangely bakers daughter is one of Cassandra joke weapons,however it is unknown if project soul is aware of this.
  • Raphael can be customized over Lee Chaolan in Tekken 6.

Soulcalibur II

  • Raphael was infamous for his Triple Botta in Tempo combo (Forward + B, B, B). This combo is infamous for its ability to trap and potentially kill any unsuspecting players.
  • Despite being the main cause of the incident at the end of the game, Raphael does not seem to realize (nor seem to care) that the Azure Knight now exists as two separate individuals: Siegfried and Nightmare.
  • Some view Raphael as the protagonist since he's the one who freed Siegfried from the control of Soul Edge.

Soulcalibur III

  • The Soul of Raphael discipline is available to created characters of the Knight class.
  • The description for Raphael's stage mentions Vlad The Impaler. Vlad's Romanian surname can be spelled as "Dracula", although several alternative spellings exist. This may coincide with Raphael's "vampire-esque" characteristics.
  • Siegfried's Destined Battle with Raphael is malfunctioned - Raphael has no lines if he wins, despite the subtitles clearly saying "You're too weak to stop me!". Furthermore, in Nightmare's Destined Battle, Raphael does not have a "set" line if he wins, and it will just be a random victory line.

Soulcalibur Legends

  • The guest character Lloyd Irving, from Tales of Symphonia, uses a dual Queen's Guard as his ultimate weapon. It is the same as Raphael's from Soulcalibur II, who uses just one.

Soulcalibur IV

  • It appears as though all of Raphael's followers have been "turned" because they all have yellow eyes.
  • In Raphael's ending, he has two servants that he kills to make the world only for Amy and himself. The servants are Marienbard and Auguste, but in Amy's ending the followers are Marienbard and Jacqueline.
  • As of this game, Raphael has two moves which should catch the eye of any Vampire fan. The first, Vurkolak Envelopment, is no doubt a play off the Slavic Vampire known as a Voukodlaks whose spirit is tainted and corrupts the body. Afterwards, the Vampire will seek young girls out until he finds his perfect mate. The second, Strigoii Envelopment, is no doubt named after the Romanian Vampire.

Soulcalibur V

  • As seen in his artwork, Raphael is holding a skull ornament that was attached to Amy's pigtails in Soulcalibur IV, which suggests he is most likely looking for her in this installment. What happened to her is still unknown, which could strengthen the speculations about Viola's true identity.
  • When Raphael was revealed, it was mentioned that he had died during the events of Soulcalibur IV. How he is still around, and what this means, is currently unknown.
  • Raphael's second outfit bears a strong resemblance to Sephiroth's from Final Fantasy VII, except it is mostly colored red instead of black.
  • During his attack "Mermet de Vec", Raphael seems to be able to sense other characters' link to Soul Calibur: he dislikes the "taste" of characters related to the holy sword or purification in general (like Edge Master).
  • Some fans started to speculate that Raphael is Graf Dumas.
    • Certain helmets you place on Nightmare removes the face mask and reveals portions of the face which reveals that he has Raphael's face model. Additionally, Raphael and Nightmare are listed as being the same height, and share the same voice actors. Fans speculate that Raphael's body is Nightmare's new host. Adding to this fact is that there is a reason behind the bat patterns in Nightmare's armor. However, Raphael, does not appear in Story Mode, so it is still uncertain.
  • Raphael's 2P costume's skin color is paler than his 1P costume.

Soulcalibur VI

  • In Libra of Soul, Raphael states that he is the heir to Lord Dumas's estate, further solidifying his connection to Nightmare and Graf Dumas in Soulcalibur V

Etymology

Raphael's name is of Hebrew origin, meaning "God has healed". His concept may have been inspired by Raphael, the famous left-handed painter who has the same name.

Relationships

  • Foster father of Amy.
  • Unintentionally freed Siegfried from Soul Edge's control during his fight with Nightmare in Soulcalibur II.
  • Defeated by Nightmare in Soulcalibur II. He shares a Destined Battle with the Azure Knight in Soulcalibur II.
  • His plans of world domination were interfered by Kilik with the help of the Holy Stone before Soulcalibur III.
  • Stole Cassandra's Soul Edge shard in the events prior to Soulcalibur IV.
  • Shares a destined battle with Talim in Soulcalibur III.
  • Master of Auguste, Marienbard, and Jacqueline in Soulcalibur IV.
  • Does not enjoy Viola's presence in Soulcalibur V.
  • Comes into conflict with Voldo in Soulcalibur V.
  • Is implied that he and "Graf Dumas" are one and the same entity in Soulcalibur V.The Artbook confirms it somewhat.

Series' Appearances