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For the weapon, see Soul Edge.
Soul Edge
Developer(s) Namco
Publisher(s) Namco
Designer(s) Hiroaki Yotoriyama
Platform(s) Arcade
PlayStation
Released Arcade
December 1995
June 1996 (Ver. II)
PlayStation
JP December 20, 1996
NA January 1997
EU May 1997
Genre(s) Fighting
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously
Input methods 8-way joystick, 4 buttons
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system System 11
Display Raster, 640 x 480 pixels (Horizontal), 65536 colors
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Soulcalibur
Soulcalibur Legends (Chronologically)

Soul Edge (ソウルエッジ Souru Ejji?) is the first installment in the Soul series fighting games developed and published by Namco. It was initially released in the arcades in 1995. A few months later, Namco released a fixed version labeled Soul Edge Ver. II, upon the complaints of players who found the difficulty quite high and the last boss "unbeatable". Hwang Seong-gyeong (initially a palette swap of Heishiro Mitsurugi for the Korean version of the game) was introduced to Japanese players with a new movelist, Cervantes de Leon became selectable, an improved Guard Impact system and Air Combos were implemented, and all the characters received upgraded movelists.[1][2] The game was then ported to the Sony Playstation and renamed Soul Blade in Europe, North America, and Australia to avoid potential complications with Edge Games. Soul Edge has been largely overshadowed by its sequel, Soulcalibur, which has been the moniker of the series since 1998.

Soul Edge is the name of the demonic sword which the story revolves around.

Soul Edge was the second entirely weapons-based 3D fighter in history, following Battle Arena Toshinden by two years. Apart from the aesthetic benefits, giving the characters weapons allows for a greater diversity between them, meaning there is someone for every play style. One excellent concept of weapon-based combat implemented by Namco is the major factor that range has in gameplay. The slower, longer ranged characters try to deliver their heavy blows from a distance whereas the quicker, faster characters try to get in as close as possible and deliver quick-hitting attacks. All characters have moves that work at varying ranges though, so longer ranged characters can also hit surprisingly quickly and lesser ranged characters will get in the opponent's face within the blink of an eye if the enemy is careless.

One of the series' main attractions was that it was one of the first fighting games to feature detailed accounts of the individual fighters' motivations and common relations in their quest to achieve a common goal for varying purposes. Many players appreciate Namco's ability to introduce new characters to the series with interconnected storylines such that every character is linked to another somehow, with connections growing larger as the series progresses and the characters accomplish new tasks in the events of the story.

Gameplay[]

Soulblade-b

Heishiro Mitsurugi and Seong Mi-na face off in the PlayStation version of Soul Edge.

Soul Edge was created prior to the introduction of the "8-Way Run", which allowed the player to move their character in a complete range on the Y-axis. The characters can sidestep on either side by double-tapping up or down. The jump maneuver moves the player higher into the air, even allowing it to pass above the opponent. One of the most notable gameplay aspects is the "Weapon Gauge". This bar was found under the character's lifebar and was comparable to the equipped weapons' resistance. Each time the player blocked an attack, the bar would deplete. If the bar was totally emptied, the character would lose his/her weapon and be forced to end the match unarmed. Though this is an original idea, unfortunately the unarmed move-lists are the same for every character. Another feature that was removed from Soulcalibur's engine is when two character strike at the same time, "locking" their weapons. In those situations, those who pressed the right button would have the advantage. This aspect behaves similarly to rock-paper-scissors.

Character moves retain a feel of Namco's Tekken series. Each character has in his or her arsenal one or two unblock attacks, balanced however because of its slow execution. Also, each character is capable of performing one or two Critical Edge attacks, which consisted of a long series of linked hits, which usually ended in a strong high attack. These moves require the input of a special combination of two parts: they're activated by pressing "A+B+K" together, and if it connects, the player has the chance of extending the combo with a character-only sequence, which must be input during the attack. This attack depletes 1/3 of the Weapon Gauge when used.

To achieve a ring out, the player must be knocked outside the ring by an enemy; though the player can accidentally ring out his/her own character.

Prologue[]

Soul Edge's events take place in 1583[3].

Soul Edge's story tells the tale of warriors searching for the ultimate sword, "Soul Edge". It has been given many names throughout the story, such as "The Sword of Salvation", "The Sword of Heroes", and "The Ultimate Sword" among others. Many strong warriors searched for years, but very few actually found it. The sword, now in the form of a twin pair of long swords, appeared mysteriously in an auction. They were taken by the dreaded Captain Cervantes. Nothing was known of his fate thereafter...

Now, nine warriors from around the world search for the sword for different reasons. Some for power, others for revenge; some believing it's a benevolent sword, searching for its support; while others knowing of its evil nature, seeking its destruction. Nothing is known for certain about the sword, except for one thing: it brings misfortune to those seeking it.

Cast of characters[]

Secharacterselect

Soul Edge Ver.II's character select screen

Soul Edge introduced many characters still familiar to players today, especially the series' main character – who serves as both a protagonist and an antagonist throughout the series' history – Siegfried Schtauffen; as well as its token samurai and ninja, Heishiro Mitsurugi and Taki, respectively. The total of characters on the games is of fifteen selectable characters: eight in the original arcade release, ten in the fixed arcade version, and fifteen in the home version:

Original arcade version[]

Character Weapon Notes
Heishiro Mitsurugi Katana Replaced by Hwang Seong-gyeong in the Korean version
Siegfried Schtauffen Zweihänder
Taki Kodachi
Li Long Nunchaku Changed to a three section staff in Europe due to nunchakus being banned in the UK.
Sophitia Alexandra Sword and Shield
Rock Battle Axe
Seong Mi-na Zanbatou (Halberd)
Voldo Dual Katars
Hwang Seong-gyeong Chinese Sword Appears as a replacement for Mitsurugi in the Korean version.
In other versions of the game, he's a secret character that doesn't appear on the roster and is only selectable by inputting a code.

Soul Edge Ver. II[]

Character Weapon Notes
Hwang Seong-gyeong Chinese Sword Appears on the roster along with the other characters, unlike in the original where he was a secret character.
Mitsurugi and Hwang's character selection boxes swap places in the Korean version
Cervantes de Leon Twin Long Swords

Playstation version[]

Character Weapon / Notes
SoulEdge Twin Long Swords; can be unlocked either by clearing Arcade or Time Attack Mode with each of the first ten characters using only their primary weapons or simply recording twenty hours of gameplay.
Seong Han Myeong Chinese Sword; can be unlocked by unlocking SoulEdge and then clearing Arcade Mode as Hwang, and then as Mi-na.
Siegfried! Siegfried when possessed by Soul Edge in his no-input ending; this concept would later evolve into Nightmare. He can be unlocked by finding Siegfried's eighth weapon in Edge Master Mode.
Sophitia! Sophitia without armor, from her ending. She can be unlocked by finding Sophitia's eighth weapon in Edge Master Mode.
Sophitia!! Sophitia wearing a one-piece swimsuit, from her input ending. She can be unlocked by finding all eighth weapons in Edge Master Mode.

Characters only playable via cheat device[]

Basically all character models that appear in the Playstation version of the game, namely in the ending sequences, are playable via cheat device. They are sometimes falsely considered unfinished characters, implying that they were originally planned to be fully playable main characters but were left unfinished. The characters found in the game code of the home version are[4]:

Name Info
Bangoo Bangoo, Rock's adopted son from his ending, uses Seong Mi-na's moveset. His name appears during fights as "Seung Mina".
Belti Vercci's ghost from Voldo's ending, uses Cervantes' moveset. His name appears during fights as "Sophitia"
Botsu Li Long An alternate version of Li Long. Not enough code in the game for him to be playable.
Chie Chie is Li Long's lover from his ending. She uses Seong Mi-na's moveset. Her name appears during fights as "Seung Mina".
Diver The scuba diver from SoulEdge's ending. She uses Sophitia's moveset. Her name appears during fights as "SoulEdge".
Hage-Sieg Siegfried in his 2P outfit but without his helmet, as seen in his ending. His name appears during fights as "Seung Mina".
Mabochie Chie's spirit from Li Long's alternate ending. Her name appears during fights as "Seung Mina".
Monkasei Han Myong's student from Hwang's ending. He uses Mitsurugi's moveset. His name appears during fights as "Seung Mina".
Nugi Taki An alternate version of Taki, with no ponytail, armor, or shoes, from her ending. Her name appears during fights as "Taki".
Standard An alternate version of Mitsurugi, who moves slower, has no ponytail, and only has the Murasame weapon selectable. His name appears during fights as "Mitsurugi".
Teppou Hei The tanegashima-wielding man from Mitsurugi's ending. He uses Mitsurugi's moveset. His name appears during fights as "Seung Mina".
Bogus Cervantes An alternate version of Cervantes in his Player 2 costume who always uses Main Gauche as his weapon. His name appears during fights as "Cervantes".
Simulacrum Sophitia An alternate version of Sophitia from Edge Master Mode, the only difference between this and the regular Sophitia is that she glows green, is tougher, and recovers health over time. Her name appears during fights as "Sophitia".

Soul Edge Ver.II[]

A couple months after the original release of Soul Edge in the arcades, a second version of the game called Soul Edge Ver. II was released. It contains various changes and additions when compared to the original release.

  • CPU difficulty was toned down.
  • Hwang and Cervantes were added as playable characters.[1][2] (Note: Hwang was available in earlier versions but as either a secret character or as a replacement for Mitsurugi in certain regions, and Cervantes was an unplayable boss)
  • Each characters' 1P and 2P outfits received an extra palette swap outfit,[2] referred to as "Another Colours".[5]
  • All characters had their movelists updated.[1]
  • The execution of Guard Impacts was changed; originally, Guard Impacts were performed by guarding just before an attack landed. In Soul Edge Ver.II, they were now executed by pressing 6G. Additionally, successfully performing a Guard Impact no longer drains the Weapon Gauge.[1][2]
  • Critical Edges had various tweaks:[2]
    • The amount of the Weapon Gauge that is reduced when executing a Critical Edge was reduced.
    • Critical Edges could now be cancelled by pressing the G button.
    • Critical Edges could now be executed while back dashing.
    • Critical Edges could now be performed on all opponents while they are in the air.
  • "Floating Combos" were added to the game. All characters were given a new attack (done by pressing 3B) that could launch opponents into the air, and were now able to do combos on them whilst they were airborne.[1][2] Some characters already had the launching attack in the original game, but not all. Soul Edge Ver.II made it a universal attack.
  • In the original version of Soul Edge, only Seong Mi-na, Taki, Siegfried, Cervantes and SoulEdge had an unblockable attack. Ver.II gave every character an unblockable attack.[2]
  • Time Attack Mode was added to the game.[1][2]
  • Throws were made easier to execute.[2]

PlayStation version[]

On December 20, 1996, Soul Edge was ported to the Sony PlayStation for the Japanese market and versions labeled Soul Blade came out in 1997 in the USA and Europe. The port kept the Soul Edge Ver. II roster of ten and added five unlockable characters, including SoulEdge, the final boss of the game.

Added features[]

  • The original ten selectable characters received a new PlayStation-exclusive costume, chosen from various works sent by fans during a "Costume Design Contest"[5], giving each one a total of three different costumes, plus two color variations for the 1P and 2P costumes.
    • Cervantes would get a new 2P outfit and colour variation of that outfit, as his original 2P outfit was a palette swap of his 1P outfit.
  • The inclusion (besides the standard "Arcade" mode) of "VS", "Survival", "Team Battle", "Time Attack" and "Training" modes.
  • A new RPG-styled mode called "Edge Master Mode", which works as a sort of "Story Mode" for the ten initial characters. The mode presents the selected character's story as a book, while the player moves on a map to various locations and fights in battles, sometimes with handicap rules. Generally each "Chapter" of the book rewards the player with a weapon.
  • Individual endings done using the game's renderer rather than still images (as in its sequels, Soulcalibur and Soulcalibur II) or CGI. Each of the ten normally selectable characters has (at least) two endings, usually one ending which ends well and another tragic ending. These endings are made accessible by pressing a special button/button sequence at specific (usually when cut-scene bars disappear) times. These types of endings returned in Soulcalibur III.
    • The original Arcade endings would be repurposed as the endings for each characters' Edge Master mode.
  • The inclusion of seven extra weapons per character, which have different designs and statistics, composed of Power (inflicts more damage), Defense (receives less damage), Strength (damage dealt to enemy's weapon gauge), Durability (resistance of player's weapon gauge) and Weight (changes character's speed). Some weapons also have special abilities, like the ability to damage through defense or restore the player's health.
  • The inclusion of three different in-game soundtracks to choose from: the Arcade Soundtrack, a studio-recorded version of the arcade soundtrack called Arrange Soundtrack and the Khan Super Session, made expressly for the home version.
  • Every character (except for Voldo) received new voice clips, with Toshiyuki Morikawa and Hekiru Shiina getting replaced by Wataru Takagi and Yuko Miyamura, respectively. Additionally, the Western versions of the game (Soul Blade) has Rock, Bangoo, Sophitia, Hephaestus, Siegfried, Vercci, and Cervantes' voice actors replaced with English-speaking ones. Nobuyuki Hiyama also gets his name removed from the Western version's credits.
  • Connecting a PlayStation Multitap to the console allows the user to be able to control and change the camera at any time during the battle. This even gives the player the option to play in first-person.

Related Media[]

Trivia[]

  • The new Playstation-exclusive costumes were added to the game as a result of a costume design contest that was announced in Japanese gaming magazines.[5][6] The winners were:
    • Motoi Takamae (designer of Li Long's costume)
    • Makiko Okawa (designer of Mitsurugi's costume)
    • Ahihiro Gotoh (designer of Taki's costume)
    • Shuko Suzuki (designer of Seong Mi-na's costume)
    • Yumi Abe (designer of Cervantes' costume)
    • Fumiko Takabayashi (designer of Siegfried's costume)
    • Teiji Nagaoka (designer of Rock's costume)
    • Mori Marimo (designer of Hwang's costume)
    • Tomoko Watanabe (designer of Sophitia's costume)
    • NAL (designer of Voldo's costume)

Gallery[]

Soul Edge Official Guidebook[]

Soul Edge Official Fan Book ~Chronicle~[]


Comic Soul Edge[]

Comic Soul Edge (コミックソウルエッジ?) is a series of humorous comics made by the staff of Soul Edge. It was originally hosted on Namco's Wonder Page but, after it was shut down due to the merger between Namco and Bandai, it was moved to the current website.[7] All of the comics were also included in Soul Edge Official Fanbook ~Chronicle~.

References[]

  1. ^ a b c d e f アミューズメントマシン|ソウルエッジ ver.2 [Amusement Machine|Soul Edge ver.2]. Bandai Namco Amusement. Retrieved October 9, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Soul Edge Ver.II KIT Installation Manual (PDF). San Jose, CA: Namco America, Inc. 1996.
  3. ^ http://www.soularchive.jp/tmr/souledge/ano.htm
  4. ^ Gameshark Secret Characters. GameFAQs.
  5. ^ a b c 『ソウルエッジ』の特徴(その2) (in Japanese). Bandai Namco Entertainment Inc. Retrieved February 27, 2024.
  6. ^ Soul Edge’s Credits
  7. ^ https://www.bandainamcoent.co.jp/cs/list/souledge/comic/index.html

External links[]

Soul series
Main Series
Soul Edge (Blade)SoulcaliburSoulcalibur II (HD Online)Soulcalibur III (Arcade Edition)Soulcalibur IV (Broken Destiny)Soulcalibur VSoulcalibur VI
Other Games
Soulcalibur LegendsSoulcalibur MobileSoulcalibur: Lost SwordsSoulcalibur: Unbreakable SoulSoulcalibur Pachislot
Media
Soulcalibur (film)Soulcalibur: Spirit SwordSoulcalibur (Chinese Manhua)Exciting! Soulcalibur DojoSoulcalibur IV (DC Comics)The Making of Soulcalibur V • Soulcalibur: Put your Soul Under Blade
Artbooks
Soul Edge Official Fanbook ~Chronicle~Legend of SoulcaliburThe Art of Soulcalibur II • The Art of Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny • The Art of Soulcalibur VSoulcalibur: New Legends of Project Soul • The Art of Soulcalibur VI
Soundtracks
Super Battle Sound Attack Soul EdgeSoul Edge Khan Super SessionSoulcalibur Original SoundtrackSoulcalibur II Original SoundtrackSoulcalibur III Original Soundtrack - Legend of SoundsSoulcalibur IV Original SoundtrackSoulcalibur Broken Destiny Best Of SoundtrackSoulcalibur V Original SoundtrackProject Soul the Primary Sound Box
Soul Edge/Soul Blade
Soul Edge (Blade)Soul Edge Official Fanbook ~Chronicle~Super Battle Sound Attack Soul EdgeSoul Edge Original Soundtrack - Khan Super SessionEdge Master Mode
Characters
CervantesHwangLi LongMitsurugiRockSeong Han-myeongSeong Mi-naSiegfried (Siegfried!)Sophitia (Sophitia!, Sophitia!!)SoulEdgeTakiVoldo
Stages
The Black Tail Inn's RemainsCatastropheThe ColosseumDesert PathEurydice Shrine - ArenaMoney Pit - The Secret TreasuryThe Narrow GorgeThe Old TempleOstrheinsburg Castle - WarThe Pirate FortressSeong DojoShrine of Confined DemonsUnknown Land
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