- "You'll never win, not in a hundred years."
- — Z.W.E.I.
Z.W.E.I. (ツヴァイ, Tsuvai) is a character in the Soul series of fighting games. His first appearance is in the series' sixth installment, Soulcalibur V. He is a dark and brooding man who wields an arming sword with three handles and can summon a lupine being called E.I.N. during battle.
In Soulcalibur V's promotional material he is referred to as A New Swordsman.
Z.W.E.I. is a tall, handsome young man. He has slightly tanned skin, turquoise eyes and short black hair with silver patches. Over his bare torso he wears a ragged, dark purple sleeveless jacket with chains attached to it. On his hips he has two leather belts with buckles bearing werewolf symbols - mooncrests and a head of a wolf. He wears unbuttoned, tight, black leather pants. Both his boots and gloves are lined with fur. The wolf head crest is recurring exceptionally often in Z.W.E.I.'s outfit, being repeated on his gloves, boots, buckles of his belts and the plates attaching the chains to his coat. Additionally, Z.W.E.I. has a large mooncrest tattoo on his chest.
In the official artwork, the plates with the wolf head all bear the same number - XVIII. This wasn't implemented into the 3D model, however, due to the reduced size of the ornaments.
In general, Z.W.E.I.'s design is based on werewolf imagery.
No one knew his real name; a strange alias and vague rumors about his origins were all anyone had to go by and make up for many reasons. They called him a living werewolf of black magic. Some swore they'd seen him summon a strange beast to fight by his side. Others claimed corpses were found in every city he left behind...
In truth, Z.W.E.I. was a hunted man, on the run from assassins sent by Graf Dumas of Hungary. He had dared to interfere with Dumas' purge of the malfested, a witch hunt that falsely accused and executed innocent people. But Z.W.E.I.'s life was about to change. He rescued a fortune teller named Viola who possessed inhuman powers like his own, and the pair became traveling companions. Continuing his journey while protecting Viola from Dumas' assassins proved difficult, but Siegfried found the two fugitives and took them in under his protection. Out of gratitude, Z.W.E.I. agreed to Siegfried's request: he would find a successor worthy of Soul Calibur. Would Z.W.E.I., too, find his destiny changed by the clash of the two great swords?
In the beginning of Soulcalibur V, he encountered Patroklos and managed to beat him to save a possible malfested he was trying to kill. After their fight, Z.W.E.I. told Patroklos that he would not get anywhere if he continued serving under Graf Dumas, even asking if Dumas had given him any help regarding his search for his sister to make his point.
Z.W.E.I. appears again to aid Patroklos in finding his sister, despite his warning that they could not be together. In the 18th chapter, he fights and defeats Nightmare (Graf Dumas). However, while his guard is down he is stabbed in the back by Pyrrha, who takes Dumas' place as the wielder of Soul Edge, and falls into the abyss (which likely kills him, but his fate is still uncertain).
Z.W.E.I. utilizes a single blade along with his minion E.I.N. for his fighting style, with the two working in tandem with one another to set up pressure and execute combos. Many of his E.I.N. moves cover a mid-range distance to compensate for Z.W.E.I.'s own semi-short range, and are often the key moves in his pressure as they offer him positive frames by attacking during Z.W.E.I.'s recovery and in his combos as they tend to have an unshakable stun effect and also tend to be mid attacks, with a few of said attacks potentially allowing unblockable scenarios.
One cannot, however, repeatedly spam their E.I.N. attacks, as the player must wait for about half a second after E.I.N. fully leaves the screen before he can be summoned again. For any attacks that add on E.I.N., such as 1[B] or 4[A], the button can remain held down to delay E.I.N.'s portion of the attack for up to 3 seconds to trick the opponent into attacking early or setting up pressure with Z.W.E.I.'s other attacks, although the set-ups leave one extremely vulnerable.
Z.W.E.I.'s biggest downside other than his E.I.N. "cooldown" and short range is his below average speed, making punishment and pressure difficult against faster characters, but to compensate for this lack of speed, he is capable of dealing out high amounts of damage, easily being able to take away 30%-50% of the opponent's life with only a few hits. Many of Z.W.E.I.'s moves also allow him to thrive on Counter Hits, so those skilled in reading and predicting their opponent will find more reward in playing Z.W.E.I. than others.
Unlike most characters, Z.W.E.I.'s Critical Edge, "Werewolf Confess", is a combo extender instead of an ender, in which E.I.N. barrels forward a long distance, and on hit preforms a 2-hit chain that slams the opponent into the ground and bounces them back into the air. It is also the only exception to E.I.N.'s "cooldown" rule, recalling E.I.N. no matter where he is before the move and allowing any E.I.N. follow-up instantly after the ground bounce. Extreme caution must be practiced, however, as Z.W.E.I.'s Critical Edge has a long start-up and is very linear, allowing it to be easily side-stepped and heavily punished, so use should be limited to only in the middle of combos or as a high-risk, high-reward read.
Z.W.E.I. truly shines when he is at the wall and/or has meter at his disposal as he has very good juggle and stun capabilities, and his Brave Edge attacks make some of his attacks safe on block and yield extended combos (4bA+B+K and 1kA+B+K being perfect examples of each case). Due to this, proper pressure, positioning, and management of one's meter is more important with Z.W.E.I. than most other characters due to them usually ensuring his own survival.
Z.W.E.I. is, overall, a weaker character yet somewhat meter-dependent character, requiring much practice, some skill in prediction and reading the opponent, and good meter management in order to truly maximize his effectiveness.
Werewolf Confess: Z.W.E.I. summons E.I.N., who spins into the opponent, throws them into the air and slams them onto the ground. However, the Critical Edge has a slow start up and is VERY linear, being easily blocked or sidestepped with little, if any difficulty, and should be reserved for guaranteed hits, such as during a juggle/stun.
- E.I.N. (Wind)
- E.I.N. (Lightning)
- E.I.N. (Water)
- E.I.N. (Love)
- E.I.N. (Darkness)
- The Master (Z.W.E.I.)
- "Sleepless: An Untamed Beast"
- Sorry, I didn't catch all that.
- You lack imagination. It's like fighting a rock.
- You're out of your league. So scram.
- Heh. You're nothing but a waste of time.
- You'll never win, not in a hundred years. - spoken when defeating Patroklos.
- Yeah. I guess we do. - spoken when engaging in a battle against Viola.
- There, it's done. - Taunt against knocked out opponent.
- Forgive me. Viola.- spoken when defeating Viola
- You're better than this... - spoken when defeated by Viola
- How 'bout we make a bet? - spoken when engaging in a battle against Siegfried.
- I wonder what I should wish for. - spoken when defeating Siegfried.
- Come at me with every bit of strength you've got. - spoken when engaging in battle against Alpha Patroklos.
- Hate him. - spoken when E.I.N. does not come out on command.
- Don't get me wrong, you're good. But I was better.
- It's time.
- What the hell am I doing?! — Spoken after losing a time out.
- Show 'em who's boss. Come forth, E.I.N.! — Spoken while performing a "Critical Edge".
- Damn you!
- Something extra!
- Have a taste!
- You're mine!
- Damn! — Spoken during a "Guard Burst".
- This is bad! - spoken during a Ring Out.
- Damn you! - spoken during a Ring Out.
- ... the hell?! - spoken when hit by a tremor.
- Time to... finish this!
- Not over yet!
- You today... Me tomorrow.
- So you're that rampaging murderer, Patroklos Alexander. - spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
- Now you've asked for it. - spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
- Nothing's gonna change as long you're under Dumas' thumb. - spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
- Did he ever actually give you any clue as to your sister's whereabouts? - spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
- Knew you'd show up sooner or later. So, you finished being a dog? - spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
- I guess you'll do. Here, follow me if you really want to know. - spoken on story mode to Patroklos.
- Sorry to keep you waiting Captain. - spoken in story mode to Siegfried.
- This is Patroklos Alexander: the holy warrior. It's the guy I was telling you about. - spoken in story mode to Siegfried.
- Hey, she's just trying to provoke you! - spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
- You need to accept everything regardless of black or white. - spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
- Only those that possess the will can wield a sword to champion another's cause. - spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
- You know this form. - spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
- This is the sword you used to fight with. Not that pale imitation of your mother's. - spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
- Guess you've made your decision. Are you ready to accept who you are? - spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
- Show me your true fight. The real you. - spoken in story mode to Patroklos.
- I guess you just had to stand in my way. - spoken in story mode to Graf Dumas.
- I'm gonna enjoy the hell out of killing you! - spoken in story mode to Nightmare.
- Talk is cheap. Just shut up and fight! - spoken in story mode to Nightmare.
- Damn it! - spoken in story mode to Pyrrha Ω and Tira.
- You bastard!— spoken when defeated by Nightmare.
- You've got to be kidding me!— spoken when timed out by Nightmare.
- Should have known better - spoken when timed out by Patroklos.
- On your feet. You still have plenty left to do. - spoken when defeating α Patroklos.
- Not good... - spoken during Algol's Sadalsuud Markab.
- Guess it's time... - spoken when k.o.'d by movements like Ivy's Embrace of Guilt.
- Where's Viola?! Answer me! - Unused.
In German, "Zwei" means "two" and "Ein" means "one" or "a". However, the correct German term for the number "1" would be "Eins". "Ein" is solemnly used in combination with a noun, e.g. "ein Haus" ("a/one house").
- Friend and travel companion of Viola.
- Master of E.I.N..
- Member of Schwarzwind, possibly Siegfried's second-in-command, since they are shown fighting alongside during story mode.
- Somehow, knows of Sophitia's dying wish.
- Chooses Patroklos as the new host for Soul Calibur.
- Once deceived into working for Graf Dumas, whom he now bears a grudge against.
- Pyrrha Ω delivered on him a strike that made him fall from a cliff, it's unknown if he survived.
- Z.W.E.I.'s design was based on a combination of two unused character concepts described as a "mysterious hooded man" and "vagrant in leather".
- His weapon's name "Kreuzgriff" is German for "Cross Handle", a reference to its cross-like shape.
- His association with werewolves is shown in the wolf and moon symbols decorating his body and clothes.
- Unknown from Tekken Tag Tournament fights alongside a wolf similar to E.I.N.
- Z.W.E.I. and E.I.N. are also the names of the main characters in the series Phantom of Inferno (known in Japan as Phantom -PHANTOM OF INFERNO-). The two are secret trained assassins for an organization called Inferno.
- During EVO 2011 Soulcalibur V conference, chief producer Katsuhiro Harada asked Daishi Odashima if Z.W.E.I. was gay. This was intended to be a reference to how dark and brooding characters tend to have a secret soft spot. Z.W.E.I.'s sexual orientation remains unknown.
- Z.W.E.I.'s weapon in his 2D art seems to resemble an arming sword, but his in-game model has the blade incredibly smaller in size—more reminiscent of a shortsword. This is similar to the initial artworks of Talim, where her tonfas were almost twice the size of the actual weapons she used in-game.
- A few of Z.W.E.I.'s moves, as well as his stance, are similar to those of Spawn, the Xbox guest character for Soulcalibur II.
- In the Creation mode, a character using Soul of Z.W.E.I. can choose from up to six color options for E.I.N.
- Thus, Z.W.E.I.'s main weapon is E.I.N., not the sword Kreuzgriff.
- Even so, the color of the sword Kreuzgriff changes accordingly with E.I.N.
- Z.W.E.I.'s weapons, along with Necrid's, are the ones with less variation in the game, as the only variation on them is the colors.
- In his artwork and 3D render, Z.W.E.I. holds his sword in his right hand while standing in default stance. In-game however, he will hold it with his left hand by default and occasionally switch to his right while performing certain attacks. This makes Z.W.E.I. the only ambidextrous character in the game who uses a one handed weapon with both of his hands interchangeably.
- The number XVIII appearing in Z.W.E.I.'s official artwork is a reference to The Moon in the Major Arcana. In tarot readings, The Moon is meant to represent feelings such as confusion, fear, deception, and tension. It is unknown how this will play out into Z.W.E.I.'s character.
- Z.W.E.I is nicknamed "Werewolf of two shadows".
- His role in Story Mode as an enforcer for Patroklos, made him similar to Raven from Tekken series, who is the enforcer of Lars in Scenario Campaign. They also share a very similar neutral attitude.
- Some people think Z.W.E.I. might be German, as his wolf spirit's name, his name and his sword's name are German.
- Despite being a new character, he is stabbed by Pyrrha Ω and falls from a cliff in the story mode of Soulcalibur V. What this means in terms of overall storyline in the Soul Series remains to be seen, as its unknown if he survived or not. He also apparently slays the new Nightmare.
- He once fought alongside István Bocskai real-life historical aristocrat from Transylvania. He was appalled at the tyrannical rule of Graf Dumas and led his army in rebellion, with Z.W.E.I. sharing his ideas and siding with him. Real-life story more-or-less goes its course, with Rudolf's brother Matthias setting up peace treaties with Bocskai only for him to be poisoned by his (now malfested) chancellor shortly afterwards. Since Dumas led the Imperial Army during this struggle, it's probably this is where they first met, and the reason why Dumas wants him dead so badly.
- He shows to know of Sophitia's dying wish during a cutscene in Soul Calibur V even though none is shown revealing it to him. He says: "Weren't you going to honor your mother's last wish?". It's possible that Patroklos mentioned this during their travel.
- He and Patroklos are relatively new characters, but are tied with Astaroth for saying the most swear words(each say damn, bastard/bitch, and hell in story mode). The latter being Ironic, seeing as he's a supposed holy warrior.
- The line "Don't get me wrong, you're good. But I was better." is a reference to Star Fox 64 character Wolf O'Donnell, who says "You're good, but I'm better!" Coincidentally, Z.W.E.I. summons a wolf, and Namco worked on the Star Fox series.
- Z.W.E.I. had a different theme in certain early demos of Soulcalibur V.
- In early screenshots Z.W.E.I. was shown with darker eyebrows, brown eyes, and skin color tattoo. Different from the finalized version of him.
- Despite his story telling Z.W.E.I.´s origin is unknown according to SoulCalibur: New legends of project soul he was born and raised in a monastery where he was taught under strict and intellectual guidelines.
- ^ http://www.behindthevoiceactors.com/video-games/Soul-Calibur-V/side-by-side/ Matthew Mercer is credited as Z.W.E.I.s voice actor.
|Original Timeline Main Characters|
|Algol • Amy • Cassandra • Cervantes • Edge Master • Ivy • Kilik • Maxi • Mitsurugi • Patroklos (α Patroklos) • Pyrrha (Pyrrha Ω) • Raphael • Siegfried • Sophitia • Soul Calibur (Elysium) • Soul Edge (Inferno, Nightmare, Night Terror) • Taki • Tira • Viola • Xianghua • Yoshimitsu • Zasalamel (Abyss) • Z.W.E.I.|