Jab’s Builds! (Raphael & Amy Sorrel! 2B! Necrid! Sophitia!)

Where in all of your character write ups will go.
Jabroniville
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:05 pm

The Hanged Man

Post by Jabroniville »

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THE HANGED MAN (Stephane Mesnier): The Hanged Man stands as one of the best designs in all of comics, and a stunning piece of Astro City- he immediately leaves readers in awe of his strange appearance- an ebon-black individual floating just above people's heads, his face wearing the burlap bag of the executed, with a noose wrapped around his neck. He gives a nightly vigil over the mystical (and discriminated against) neighborhood of Shadow Hill, never paying mind to passerby... until one day he looks at a woman named Marta. That day, she is beset by calamity in Astro City (the supervillain Slamburger tries to rape her) and decides to quit her job and stay home, where her mystical wards actually have an effect on monsters she can understand. The Hanged Man later appears in the rising tensions of Confessions, where a vicious monster is killing people in and around Shadow Hill- the people of Astro City nearly invade the Hill to kill it, and hysteria runs rampant, with a cyborg monster-hunter being mutilated when he tries to hunt the creature. Ultimately, one night the spectral image of the Hanged Man and a tentacled beast appear in the night sky, and the threat is over.

The Nearness of You:
-The Hanged Man's best appearance, of course, is in Astro City's finest story: The Nearness of You. There, Michael Tenicek is plagued by strange dreams- dreams of a woman he's never met, laughing with him and sharing a life with him. They dance, flirt over doing dishes, etc. It robs him of sleep, distracts him at work, and ruins his romantic life (he misses a date with a woman, being so distracted). Unable to think of anything else, he tries to research her but comes up with nothing (his friends never remember him seeing this woman). Fearing he's going mad, he comes home one night and fights the Hanged Man floating above him. The terrifying creature then "Speaks" for the first time, his words only showing up in boxes (like superhero narration)- later characters describe them as "not quite HEARING him" but understanding the words. Gently, the Hanged Man tells the story of a massive cross-time battle involving heroes from multiple generations after a supervillain alters the course of the timeline- he is defeated, but there are wrinkles throughout time- Air Ace battles villains on a different day of the week than before, and thus two people never meet. The grandparents of the woman Michael has been dreaming about.

-"She was your wife" the Hanged Man explains. Michael is dumbfounded, but realizes this has to be true. When he asks if she can be brought back, the Hanged Man sadly says "That is beyond even my power". He explains further what's going on- "Connections such as yours", he says, disrupt the fabric of time. Their love was REAL, and even as she is erased from history, their connection remains. The Hanged Man has an offer- "I can make you forget" and he can live peacefully never knowing what he has lost, or he can retain the full memories of the woman he loved. Michael thinks about it for a second, mourning this life he didn't realize he had, and asks to be allowed to remember. "As you wish" the Hanged Man says, and turns to take his leave. Michael thinks of one last question: what does everyone else do? And he swears he sees a smile creep across the obscured face of the Hanged Man, who says "No one EVER forgets, Michael Tenicek". And now Michael sleeps well, dreaming of what he once had.

-This story was AMAZING, and has stood the test of time. It's such a simple, beautiful little story of regular humans (the true focus of Astro City) and how this crazy world affects them- his beloved wife erased from history by some time-travel shenanigans that shook the world. There's something incredible not only in how it's set up, but how the story is told (we meet goofy heroes like a football-themed patriot hero and "Slugger", his baseball-themed boy sidekick, fighting an evil Timekeeper in a referee uniform who unleashes time travel), never mind what it says about love itself- the idea that the love of two people is SO POWERFUL that even a total change in history can't erase it. And the little fact that everybody, when given the chance, refuses to forget the people they loved, even if it hurts to have lost them. "No one EVER forgets".

Later Hanged Man Stories:
-It would be the 2013 series when we'd see the Hanged Man again- here, he once again looks at Marta, but then appears to her and actually speaks about how he owes her a favor. We then find out some origin- a brutal criminal named Stephane Mesnier was hanged in France in 1748, and on his death, a spectral being appears before him. The being has destroyed a great evil, but at a terrible cost- its own body has been shattered. He asks Stephane if he is willing to allow his own body to host the being, who will then use it in the cause of justice and protection. Desiring to make reparations for his crimes, Stephane agrees.

-The series concludes with a trio of issues in 2018 regarding Michael, who has left his original job and now hosts nothing but Support Groups of people who've lost loved ones to superhero stuff- husbands, children, etc. One guy even comes in to talk about his old roommate who was hit by a stray blast. Michael is bewildered to find that money is always flowing in (he confesses he hadn't even realized he wasn't getting requests for rent or anything, and always had enough money for food, and didn't want to ask questions), but is hesitant to talk about what happened with his wife, until a woman at the meeting (who had just lost her son to a spider-themed monster unleashing energy blasts in a fight with Honor Guard) delves into his backstory and can't find any hint of his wife ever existing. Michael then has to tell the whole story to an audience that can barely believe their ears- wild stuff DOES always happen, of course, but they wonder if he just wants to hear others' tales or is a scam artist or something- the woman abandons the meeting, while the others are hesitant, but trust their friend... and then all are stunned by the appearance of the Hanged Man floating behind him. They're quick to go "Yeah, buddy- we believe you". Thus ends the most recent run of Astro City.

The Hanged Man's Powers:
-I can't even begin to stat something like this, as we almost never see him actually DO anything. He might be a Cosmic Being, though he needs a human host now that his body has been destroyed. He has Flight, can Teleport in and out of places easily, communicate by something like Telepathy (and grant visions to others of what has transpired), and can access memories and erase them. He can foresee danger as well.
Jabroniville
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:05 pm

Re: Jab’s Builds! (The Astro-Naut! The Silver Agent! G-Dog!)

Post by Jabroniville »

Aaaaaaaaaaaand that's it! The end of my Astro City run! This was actually a LOT more work than I initially anticipated, but in a pretty good way- it got me to reread the 2013 series, which was full of some good memories and a lot of "Wow- how did I forget the bit about the drumming gorilla?". The Broken Man kinda won me over in the end, even! I got a handful of new builds out of the deal, too- Sticks, The Gentleman Bandit, Mister Drama, The Weirdies, The Astro-Naut, Hummingbird, Mister Manta, Wolfspider, Lord Sovereign & Cutlass are all brand-new! And Starfighter in particular got a lot added to his build. So this wasn't all "just re-posts". The addition of the 2013 series (which, remember, debuted BARELY before I posted my 3rd Edition run of Astro City builds! Enough that I barely mention the new series at all!) added a lot more insight to many backstories, especially the new looks at The Confessor II, Steeljack, Quarrel and more.
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Davies
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Re: Jab’s Builds! (The Astro-Naut! The Silver Agent! G-Dog!)

Post by Davies »

Considering the interest in the Tarot shown in Busiek's Trinity at DC, I suspect that whatever struggle prompted the Hanged Man to merge with Stephane involved other mystical embodiments of the Major Arcana. (Which is absurd, given that the Tarot's occult connections were made up out of whole cloth just a few centuries ago, but never mind that now.) He's one part the Spectre and one part the Phantom Stranger -- particularly demonstrated where he offers consolation to the people who lost family to Whatever It Was in Confessions.
"I'm sorry. I love you. I'm not sorry I love you."
Jabroniville
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:05 pm

SoulCalibur

Post by Jabroniville »

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SOULCALIBUR:

-Woo, it's time for the last major Fighting Game franchise! One I've put off until now because it meant the least to me out of the group (I've barely played it)! And OH MY GOD there are like 70 characters overall- it's bloated like Tekken. But it looks like a bunch of them are practically joke characters so it'll probably be easier. And most of the characters just use "different kinds of weapon strikes" and it's not as in-depth as your 2D fighters- like most 3D games it can be adequately statted out like "guy with slightly more damaging Special Moves" without anti-airs, footsies, etc.

The series was the last of the big 3D Fighting Franchises to come out, starting with Soul Edge in 1995. It was developed by Namco's Project Soul subsidiary, and exists as a big "Swordfighting" franchise to contrast Namco's Tekken series. On that front, it immediately wiped out Toshinden, which was also a swordfighting 3D game but clearly wasn't as well-made mechanically. Soul Edge also started out in Arcades like most "proper" fighters and got a home release for Christmas 1996. The initial game starred nine fighters all in a quest for a magical sword. It had all the typical fighters- The Big Guy (Rock), The Generic Guy (Mitsurugi the samurai), Hot Blonde Girl (Sophitia), Sexy Japanese Girl (Taki), The Freak (Voldo), etc., and had good enough gameplay that reviews were fantastic- usually 80-90%. It wasn't AS respected as Virtua Fighter or Tekken but it was up there.

The gameplay was well-liked. Sidestepping was still a hot new thing, and the combos were emphasized. Characters could even block too much and thus lose their weapon and all their Special Moves! A special extra was "Guard Impact"- you could block a move and then push the opponent back, thus giving yourself an opening- but enemies could also Impact your own Guard Impact. Like most other 3D Fighters, there were also "Ring Outs" to automatically win by pushing an enemy away- all of this helps punish "Turtling" opponents who do nothing but block all the time.

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SoulCalibur & Fanservice:
-The game is also PACKED with fanservice, with Ivy in particular being an infamous design for the sheer amount of breast and skin shown. The creators of Dead Or Alive have, with good reason, expressed annoyance that their series is iconic, to the point of overshadowing the gameplay entirely, for its Fanservice, when SoulCalibur is just as pornographic as DOA is yet doesn't have that reputation, being more known for the gameplay than the tits. Of course, it's DOA's own fault- a full 50% of DOA's cast is female, scantily-clad, and more or less occupying a variety of fetishes, with the male cast of the games being almost totally irrelevant, AND DOA featured a successful spin-off series of Volleyball games, designed only for fanservice (complete with minigames of "befriending" the characters). By contrast, only 22 of SoulCalibur's 70 characters are female, and the game only had SIX GIRLS until the fourth one, and almost half the overall total comes from the Bonus Characters in SCIII, who are throwaways. They largely only added 1-2 per game, versus 4-5 for DOA, and even though Ivy, Seong Mi-Na & Sophitia are baring more skin than ANY DOA character, they're just "Games with 3-4 Fanservice Characters" versus "Titty Games" (never mind that DOA's commercials in the US were based around Fanservice).

But make no mistake, SoulCalibur is HORNY AS SHIT.

Soul Edge & SoulCalibur:
-Soul Edge takes place in the year 1583, with the warriors seeking the "Soul Edge", held by the pirate Cervantes- an updated version makes Cervantes playable, and makes Hwang (a Korean palette swap of Mitsurugi for Korean audiences) a different character. The game proved popular, with home versions sometimes being called Soul Blade to avoid comparisons with the EDGE Games studio. The series name was revamped as SoulCalibur for the sequel, which hit arcades in 1998. The plot of SoulCalibur takes place three years after Soul Edge (1586), and explains that the female characters Sophitia & Taki from the first game had killed Cervantes, the master of the Soul Edge, breaking one of the twin swords. The other had been picked up by the knight Siegfried, who defeated a revenant Cervantes (possessed by the Soul Edge) and had himself become enslaved by the sword. Siegfried is now the monstrous Nightmare, leading an army of followers throughout Europe engaging in mass slaughter as he attempts to strengthen the blade. The other fighters band together to stop the Soul Edge once more.

SoulCalibur modified things with a larger roster and an "8-Way Run"- instead of being 2D with sidestepping, the game enabled characters to move in the direction the D-pad was held, making it "truly 3D". Two characters were dropped, and a bunch of newbies were added (all reflecting the styles of existing or prior characters- newbie Maxi fights like the departed Li Long, for example)- the series would later develop them separately. The game was unanimously loved- it has the second-highest rating on Metacritic (98/100) and won a majority of the "Game of the Year" awards that year. It was the only game IGN ever rated a perfect 10/10 until Grand Theft Auto IV in 2008, and critics even today consider it one of the best of all time. I THINK this was the version that was at my University's arcade (back when it still had one)- I remember doing pretty well until I got to Ivy- I never managed to beat her "Eddie Gordo Spamming".

The 1999 Dreamcast home port is one of the most important video games of all time, but for a strange reason- this was the VERY FIRST "Arcade Perfect" game... and had actually IMPROVED the graphics of the arcade original! The impact of this cannot be understated- anyone younger might not understand, but you must realize that until 1999, "Arcade Perfect" was IMPOSSIBLE. Every single game that had been released to arcades first had to be "lessened" to fit on a home console. Street Fighter II games had to have their graphics dulled down and sound altered. 3D Fighters had to have their polygon count diminished. Great racing games like Daytona USA had to have downgraded graphics with the infamous "draw in" where things popped onto screen only when the system could generate the graphical power required to showcase them, leaving a lot of "patchwork" images. But the Dreamcast, the first of the systems after the "Next Generation"... was truly Arcade Perfect when it came to SoulCalibur. And it was HUGE- for the first time ever, a system could match existing arcade hardware. And the impact was enormous- within a few years, arcades had diminished as a thing simply because you could now equal the experience at home. They never recovered in the West, and largely died as a way of making money.

SoulCalibur II:
-SoulCalibur II was released in 2002, and came out for all three home systems (PS2, GameCube & XBox) in 2003. The game became the first to include Guest Characters from entirely different franchises (Yoshimitsu from Tekken had been in prior ones), with each home version getting a different character- Heihachi from Tekken on PS2, Spawn from Image Comics on XBox, and LINK from The Legend of Zelda on GameCube. Three guesses which ended up being the most popular. This series largely has similar gameplay, but Ring-Outs have been removed- all stages now have walls. This is considered the fastest game in the series, and probably the best one overall by Fighters Generation's Frank, among others. Characters have huge amount of stances, among other things.

In this game's story, the Soul Edge has been destroyed four years prior in SC1 (the holy sword Soul Calibur had revealed itself, and the two swords plus Nightmare had been sent to another plane), and the shattered pieces are sought after by the game's cast, who either want to destroy it or repair the weapon once more. Siegfried was restored as a result, and now spends time in atonement, but each night, Nightmare returned and absorbed souls, and finally the "Azure Knight" had taken back over. The fragments of his blade had caused chaos & evil to grow around the world.

This and the next two games are all set in 1590.

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SoulCalibur III:
-SoulCalibur III was released in 2005, and was the last version of the series to start out in arcades. This game features a "Tales of Souls", where you can create custom characters and fight enemy mooks, and a more Tactical RPG set-up where you play a commander of an army. With 24 characters in all, this has the largest roster yet, but most are "Bonus Characters" with similar movesets to existing characters, and a lot are just joke entries. The new Main Characters are Zasalamel, Tira & Setsuka, with very unique, new fighting styles, and nearly all the previous characters return. Frank from Fighter's Generation heavily criticizes the MASSIVE shifts in gameplay, forcing players to relearn all their favorite characters and altering things needlessly.

In this game, the Soul Edge survived the wielder of the Soul Calibur, Xianghua, and restored its control over Siegfried, but when the covetous Raphael attacked, Nightmare's eye was pierced thanks to Siegfried's struggles within him, and Siegfried was freed once more. However, he used Soul Calibur itself against Nightmare, locking both weapons together. Siegfried now tries to destroy the Soul Edge, but his mind teeters towards insanity.

SoulCalibur IV:
-SoulCalibur IV came out for PlayStation 3 & XBox in 2008. This game features Star Wars characters as Guests- Darth Vader, Yoda, and "Starkiller" (Vader's apprentice). This is the first game to get Online Playability as well. SoulCalibur: Broken Destiny became the series' only portable game with the PlayStation Portable in 2009 as well. This game is the final one in the "Old Series", as SCV takes place much later and changes much of the cast, dropping even major characters.

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SoulCalibur V:
-The series gets a MASSIVE revamp with SCV, which came out in 2012 for PlayStation 3 & XBox 360- here, major characters Sophitia, Taki and Xianghua, among others, are DROPPED, in a ballsy move that reminds me of the days when every franchise tried to restart its cast in the late 1990s, with disastrous results. As this led to the end of the series' continuity, I'm gonna guess this one didn't go over well either, lol. The game is said to be fine, but longtime fans have VERY mixed opinions about it, both for dropping characters and simplifying gameplay again- Namco wanting a wider audience often lead to things like that, and Guard Impacts were somewhat lessened and it enabled "cheaper" gameplay. This game is thus set in 1607, 17 years after the events of the last game. This game's major characters are Patroklos & Pyrrha, the children of Sophitia, as Patroklos tries to rid his sister of a curse brought on by Soul Edge's return- a Sub-Boss is the spirit of Soul Calibur possessing the form of his late mother.

Patroklos realizes his own lord is evil, and joins Siegfried's army alongside a werewolf. Ultimately, Patroklos is encased by "Elysium", and Pyrrha's dramatic fight to save him inspires him to fight back, and he defeats her. He & Pyrrha thus finally seal away both Soul Edge & Soul Calibur, ending continuity. We don't get another SoulCalibur game for six years- the longest gap in the series so far, while Fighting Games undergo a bit of a reboot and restart around Tekken 7 and the failure of Street Fighter V, with the notion of game updates and Downloadable Characters.

SoulCalibur VI:
-The series restarts in 2018's SCVI, rebooting things. The popular original cast mostly returns and we join them in the 16th Century. You creatre a Custom Character in the "Libra of Souls" story mode. The game, like most others, still saw updates for a while, but they stopped a couple years later. FG's Frank says this one plays JUST as well as his beloved SC2, which is no small praise!
Jabroniville
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Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:05 pm

SoulCalibur Stats & Cast

Post by Jabroniville »

SoulCalibur Stats:
-Stats for 3D fighters are often a bit tricky, as they fight in very "human" ways compared to 2D fighters, but in this case I have Tekken, by the same studio and running just as long, to go on. Jokes and under-used characters are PL 6, characters who only make a game or two are PL 7, the vast majority are PL 8, the great recurring fighters are PL 9, and the true top-tier "This Guy Wins the Tournaments" and Final Boss characters are PL 10. Though SoulCalibur appears to share the victories among the cast, so they typically don't get raised as far.

Tekken PLs:
PL 6: Mobile Characters, Gon, Doctor Bosconovitch, Sebastian
PL 7: Michelle Chang, Bob Richards, Kuma I, Roger, Roger Jr., Alex, King I, Armor King I, Prototype Jack, Miharu Hirano, Forest Law, Combot, Kunimitsu, Jun Kazama, Katarina Alves, Josie Rizal, Shaheen, Zafina
PL 8: Julia Chang, Ganryu, Bruce Irvin, Revenant, Wang Jinrei, Lucky Chloe, Lee Chaolan, Kuma II, Panda, King II, Armor King II, Leo Kliesen, Lei Wulong, Jack, Ling Xiaoyu, Eliza, Marshall Law, Eddy Gordo, Christie Monteiro, Miguel Caballero Rojo, Baek Doo San, Noctis Lucis Caelum, Mokujin, Alisa Bosconovitch, Negan, Gigas, Sergei Dragunov, Asuka Kazama, Raven, Master Raven, Anna Williams, Feng Wei, Craig Marduk, Lili Rochefort, Claudio Serafino, Fahkumram, Leroy Smith, Lidia Sobieska
PL 9: Steve Fox, Paul Phoenix, NANCY, Hwoarang, Yoshimitsu, Ogre, Lars Alexanderssen, Nina Williams, Bryan Fury, Unknown (TTT1)
PL 10: Kazuya Mishima, Heihachi Mishima, Angel, Jin Kazama, Jinpachi Mishima, Kazumi Mishima, True Ogre, Azazel (First Form), Unknown (TTT2)

The big difference is SoulCalibur, like Samurai Shodown, has a much higher damage output than a basic 3D fighter, as everyone is wielding weapons- you even have big guys swinging around massive axes and hammers, and even the "Ryu" of the game, Mitsurugi, is packing a +3 Katana on him. So baseline damage is much higher, altering the accuracy of the characters a tad. The game has Super Moves (Extraordinary Effort), Grabs (Fast Grab, Improved Trip, Improved Hold), Special Moves (Damage boosts, plus a Feature so they can add their weapon damage to it), and Guard Impacts (a bonus to hit if you parry well- in M&M terms, they have to fail their DC against your Parry by a bit). The game also punishes cheesy fighters more than most, costing them if they spam out their attacks.

-Note that the series has an incredible SEVENTY-FOUR fighters to it, but many are Moveset Clones, minor characters (Berserker, Assassin), or Guest Characters I've statted before in other franchises (I will not be adding "new versions" of Darth Vader or Yoda, for example). Bonus Characters will likely be in the spot of the Joke Characters of Tekken- barely PL 6. They all use Create-A-Character movelists and often aren't "real" fighters- they have unique movements, but aren't nearly as "fleshed out" as the major characters, and none of them recur in later games.

SOUL EDGE/SOUL BLADE:
1) Mitsurugi- The "Generic Guy", of course a Japanese samurai. Oddly not the main hero, though.
2) Sophitia Alexandra- A Greek mother and heroine- largely the game's key hero!
3) Siegfried- A German Knight with a big sword. Later becomes "Nightmare" in other games.
4) Taki- A Japanese ninja girl. One of the primary heroes at first.
5) Voldo- A masked psychopath and one of gaming's best "Freak" designs. Constantly desires Soul Edge for his long-dead master's museum of treasures. Appears in every single game- one of the only characters to do so.
6) Seung Mi-Na- A Korean naginata fighter.
7) Seung Han-Meyong- Seuong Mi-Na's father, appearing only in this game.
8) Hwang Sun Kyung- Korean guy. Actually a "character swap" of Mitsurugi for Korean audiences at first, but reappears later with unique moves (skipping many games).
9) Rock- A big brutish axe-wielder.
10) Li Long- Chinese nunchaku wielder. Mostly exiled from the series thereafter.
11) Cervantes de Leon- A Final Boss and wielder of the Soul Edge.
12) Soul Edge- The REAL Final Boss, and manifestation of the Soul Edge. Later renamed "Inferno".

SOUL CALIBUR:
* The series is rebranded with a new title. Siegfriend becomes "Nightmare". Li Long & Seung Han-Myong are dropped, as is Soul Edge.

13) Ivy Valentine- The iconic skanky Miss Fanservice of the series, with her chain whip. An anti-hero devoted to destroying Soul Edge, but willing to kill innocents in order to do so.
14) Xianghua Chai- A spunky Chinese teen, like many others in fighting games.
15) Maxi- The dandy of the high seas- a nunchaku-wielder replacing Li Long.
16) Kilik- A staff-wielder. Warrior Monk tainted by the Soul Edge's "Evil Seed" and allying with the heroes.
17) Astaroth- A huge evil axe-wielder in a mask. A golem of destruction.
18) Lizardman- An actual lizardman- a Greek hero mutated by evil men to act as a slave. Grows more bestial and savage as the series goes on.
19) Arthur- White samurai. Character swap for Mitsurugi in Korea. Bonus Character in SC III.
20) Edge Master- A "Copycat" fighter- a Wise Old Master type who can mimic any style.
21) Yoshimitsu- The Tekken character acts as a Guest Character.
22) Inferno- A new Final Boss, upgraded from Soul Edge- he is the embodiment of the Evil Sword, and controller of Nightmare.

SOUL CALIBUR II:
* Rock and Edge Master are dropped. Inferno remains the Final Boss. Yoshimitsu does not return, and this game includes three Guest Stars from other games- each on a different home system.

23) Raphael Sorrel- A gentlemanly European fighter with a rapier and a vampiric backstory as time goes on. Obsessed with providing for Amy, the girl he adopts as a sister/daughter.
24) Talim- A young dark-skinned girl with twin tonfas. The new mega-speedster.
25) Hong Yun-Seong- Another Korean guy to join the group. A hot-blooded youngster chasing Soul Edge.
26) Charade- A monstrous "Copycat Fighter", controlled by Soul Edge fragments.
27) Necrid- A monstrous chaser of the Soul Edge. Designed by Todd MacFarlane.
28) Lizardman II- A generic Lizardman Mook modified as a selectable character.
29) Berserker- A generic Mook.
30) Assassin- A generic Mook.
31) Heihachi Mishima- A Tekken character acts as a Guest Star on the PS2 version.
32) Spawn- The Image Comics hero acts as a Guest Star on the XBox version.
33) Link- The fabled Nintendo hero acts as a Guest Star on the GameCube version.

SOUL CALIBUR III:
* Li Long & Rock return to the cast, but the Guest Characters, Charade and Mooks are gone. Necrid & Inferno are gone as Bosses, too. However, the game adds over a DOZEN newbies as "Bonus Characters" (built from assorted parts in the "Create-A-Fighter" mode and using the CAF weapon sytles)- only three new characters are actual "full characters"- Tira, Setsuka & Zasalamel.

34) Tira- Green-haired punk-rock girl with curved blades to make a circle.
35) Setsuka- Busty Iaido-based fighter. Half-European outsider.
36) Zasalamel- Suermian scythe-fighter. Ancient in age and from an old cult, and seeks his own demise after the millennia.
37) Amy Sorrel- Raphael's adopted daughter. Starts as a Bonus Character but shows up in later games.
38) Olcadon- The new "Copycat" fighter- looks like an owl-man.
39) Valeria- An ultra-busty Fanservice Maid design- a one-off shopkeeper with bladed shoes for kicking. Bonus Character.
40) Demuth- Chubby gluttonous brother to the king of Halteese- creates his own nation and wars with his brothters. Bonus Character.
41) Luna- Anime-style pink-haired teen girl. Bonus Character.
42) Abelia- Blonde "Sword & Shield" knight with "Rich Girl" curls. A member of your "Cadet" training class and fights you when you rebel. Bonus Character.
43) Girardot- Large lance-wielding knight, acting as the trainer to your created character. Bonus Character.
44) Chester- Dagger-wielding, shuriken-throwing guy. A disinterested type who sees battlefield moves as like a game, and manipulates his leader into forming his own nation, then betrays him to take control himself. Bonus Character.
45) Greed- Older double-dagger guy. Bonus Character.
46) Miser- Bandana-wearing female thief. Bonus Character.
47) Lynette- Another shopkeeper dressed like a maid. Bonus Character.
48) Auriela- Haughty queen wielding a chain-whip like Ivy. Bonus Character.
49) Strife- Smug knight with a pageboy haircut and giant sword. Bonus Character.
50) Revenant- Skeletal musketeer. Bonus Character, but actually appears in a later game, too.
51) Abyss- Giant monstrous scythe-wielder. Final Boss.
52) Night Terror- A flame-winged monster with the Soul Edge, and the ultimate form of Zasalamel. Final Boss.

SOUL CALIBUR IV:
* The cast shrinks back down a lot- Li Long and Olcadon are dropped. All the Bonus Characters are gone, too, save Amy, who now becomes a recurring character. Yoshimitsu actually returns. The game is noted for three Guest Characters from Star Wars, plus three more designed by famous manga authors- these all prove to be one-offs (the manga-designed ones are even Moveset Clones of established characters).

53) Hilde- A spear-wielding female knight.
54) Scheherezade- Elf-girl designed by a guest artist. Moveset Clone of Amy Sorrel.
55) Shura- Evil girl with twin katanas. Moveset Clone of Cervantes.
56) Ashlotte- A Gothic Lolita fashion girl designed by a guest artist. Moveset Clone of Astaroth.
57) Kamikirinusi- Oni girl designed by a guest artist. Moveset Clone of Nightmare.
58) Angol Fear- Being sent by the Will of the Cosmos to determine if Earth deserves to survive, designed by a guest artist. Moveset Clone of Seung Mi-Na.
59) Darth Vader- Guest Character.
60) Yoda- Guest Character.
61) Starkiller- Vader's apprentice. Guest Character.
62) Algol- The Final Boss. Sword-wielding Fist of the North Star-type character.

SOUL CALIBUR V:
* Edge Master returns. A lot of prior characters are dropped- Sophitia & Taki of all people don't reappear, and we also lose Cassandra, Zasalamel, Rock, Setsuka, Amy, Talim, Yong-Seong, Seung Mi-Na, Xianghua & Hwang. In their place are very similar characters, naturally. Most of those characters do not last beyond this game, however. All the Movest Clones and Guest Characters are gone, too, save Yoshimitsu. Algol returns as the Final Boss.

63) Patroklos- The son of Sophitia.
64) Pyrrha- The daughter of Sophitia. Now "Malfested" by the presence of Soul Edge and going vampirically insane.
65) Natsu- A blonde ninja girl, replacing Taki. From the same ninja clan as she.
66) Z.W.E.I.- German JoJo/Guilty Gear-style character with a Stand that is a WEREWOLF. A beautiful tortured man who's a part of Siegfried's army and seeks the next wielder of Soul Calibur.
67) Viola- Sorceress with claws. Allies with Z.W.E.I.
68) Dampierre- Gangs of New York-inspired flamboyant genius.
69) Leixia- Xianghua's daughter.
70) Xiba- Monkey King-inspired staff-wielder. The son of Kilik & Xianghua.
71) Elysium- Extremely-fanservicey "Guide to the Soul Calibur's Wielder", resembling Sophitia- the spirit of Soul Calibur itself.
72) Ezio Auditore- The main character of Assassin's Creed is our only Guest Character.

SOUL CALIBUR VI:
* The series reboots. Almost no new characters, and a much smaller base cast to start, enhanced by DLC. Mitsurugi, Sophitia, Nightmare, Kilik, Ivy, Xianghua, Zasalamel, Siegfried, Taki, Yoshimitsu, Maxi, Talim, Voldo, Astaroth, Seong Mi-Na, Tira, Cervantes, Raphael Sorel, Inferno, Amy, Cassandra, Hilde, Setsuka, and Hwang are all here so far, and things seem to have stopped. There are four new Guest Characters, and a new Final Boss.

73) Groh- Scary-looking anime-style knight with a double-bladed weapon.
74) Haohmaru- The Main Hero of Samurai Shodown now guests in the OTHER swordfighting franchise. Guest Character.
75) 2B- The heroine of NieR: Automata. Guest Character.
76) Geralt of Rivia- The hero of The Witcher. Guest Character.
77) Azwel- New Final boss.
Last edited by Jabroniville on Tue Feb 13, 2024 2:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Posts: 24527
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Mitsurugi

Post by Jabroniville »

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MITSURUGI (Heishiro Mitsurugi)
Role:
Samurai, Swordsman
First Appearance: Soul Edge (1996)
Total Appearances: All Games in Series
PL 10 (120)
STRENGTH
3 STAMINA 3 AGILITY 5
FIGHTING 14 DEXTERITY 2
INTELLIGENCE 1 AWARENESS 3 PRESENCE 3

Skills:
Acrobatics 7 (+12)
Athletics 8 (+10)
Close Combat (Unarmed) 1 (+15)
Expertise (Samurai) 11 (+12)
Insight 3 (+6)
Intimidation 4 (+7)
Perception 5 (+8)

Advantages:
Equipment 1 (Katana +3), Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll, Extraordinary Effort, Fast Grab, Grab Finesse, Improved Critical (Chosen Weapon), Improved Defense, Improved Hold, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Power Attack

Powers:
"Weapon Fighter" Features 1: May Add Weapon Damage to Special Moves [1]
"Guard Impact" Features 1: +2 to Hit Immediately After Attacker Fails Against the Parry DC by more than 4 [1]
"Special Moves" Strength-Damage +2 (Inaccurate -1) [1]

Offense:
Unarmed +15 (+3 Damage, DC 18)
Weapon +14 (+6 Damage, DC 21)
Special Moves +12 (+8 Damage, DC 23)
Initiative +9

Defenses:
Dodge +13 (DC 23), Parry +16 (DC 26), Toughness +3 (+4 D.Roll), Fortitude +5, Will +8

Complications:
Motivation (Defeating Rifles)- Mitsurugi finds himself about to be rendered obsolete by the introduction of rifles to war- he seeks the Soul Edge in order to bridge the gap.
Power Loss (Repetitive Fighting)- Doing the same moves over and over again will punish these fighters greatly- enemies get a +2 bonus to Parry on the second attempt, and a +2 bonus every time it's used thereafter.

Total: Abilities: 68 / Skills: 40--20 / Advantages: 12 / Powers: 3 / Defenses: 17 (120)

-The most "expected" character in a Japanese game about swordfighting is, of course, the "Samurai"- Mitsurugi represents the type with the obvious sweeping motions for the single-bladed katana. Of course, Mitsurugi is more of a "ronin"- a renowned mercenary who came from a peasant family during a time of war, and became a sellsword. He gained nicknames like the One-Man Army, Demon & Mercenary of War, developing a style called "Tenpu-Kosai Ryu-Kai". However, his reign was ended by the introduction of rifles by Oda Nobunaga, the famous shogun. These "Tanegashima" threatened swordsmen, as the lowliest peasant could be trained in an afternoon to become a powerful force on the battlefield. Unable to defeat the rifles (getting shot through the shoulder during a duel), he sought another way to combat them... and heard the story of the "Soul Edge". Craving the legendary weapon, he went off in search of it.

-Despite being so important to the series, Mitsurugi is not a major factor in the story- he goes off in search of the Soul Edge, but rarely finds it, and is not integral to defeating Cervantes nor Nightmare (who eventually wields it). He just kind of acts as a mercenary around Europe and only ends up with a sliver of the shattered blade in a later game. The major characters of the series are actually the female characters Sophitia and Taki.

-The key thing with Mitsurugi is GETTING that Samurai fighting style- they got every motion they could and authentically replicated it (albeit with some video game-esque "boosts" and theatrical qualities). While 2D fighting games boasted samurai, they couldn't match the fluidity and proper motions of a real swordsman.

-Like Haohmaru from Samurai Shodown, Mitsurugi is based off of the legendary Miyamoto Musashi- himself a ronin who engaged in tons of battles and won (though much of his story is likely more legend than fact). He & Haohmaru both possess the man's cocky attitude and practical nature- Musashi was known to stack the odds in his favor in duels, in part to prove that the samurai fighting style was only valid against other swordsmen on the field of battle when both sides agreed to the rules, and not practical in real-world situations against dishonorable opponents or brigands.

-Mitsurugi is a straightforward, yet highly powerful character, being one of the game's PL 9s. As a major character for the full duration of the nearly thirty years (!) the series has been around, he's earned it. He specializes in huge sweeping motions through various stances, swinging a very large sword for maximum damage.
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KorokoMystia
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Re: Jab’s Builds! (G-Dog! The Hanged Man! SoulCalibur! Mitsurugi!)

Post by KorokoMystia »

I love the Soul Calibur series so much. They've so often had a really robust singleplayer suite, which is important for those who don't have access to online play, and the character creation is just fun to mess around with. I think it might be the only fighting game series to have alternate endings accessed via QTEs, too, and impressive how often it was the *bad* ending that ended up being the canon one after the first game (Siegfried becoming Nightmare, Mitsurugi losing to the rifleman..which was actually a playable first person fight! ect.)
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Arthur

Post by Jabroniville »

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ARTHUR
Role:
Character Swap (for Mitsurugi)
Weapon: Katana
First Appearance: SoulCalibur (1998)
Total Appearances: SoulCalibur I, SC III
PL 7 (82)
STRENGTH
2 STAMINA 2 AGILITY 5
FIGHTING 9 DEXTERITY 2
INTELLIGENCE 1 AWARENESS 2 PRESENCE 1

Skills:
Acrobatics 5 (+10)
Athletics 8 (+10)
Expertise (Samurai) 7 (+8)
Insight 2 (+4)
Intimidation 4 (+5)
Perception 4 (+6)

Advantages:
Equipment 1 (Katana +3), Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll, Fast Grab, Improved Critical (Katana), Improved Defense, Improved Hold, Improved Trip

Powers:
"Weapon Fighter" Features 1: May Add Weapon Damage to Special Moves [1]
"Guard Impact" Features 1: +2 to Hit Immediately After Attacker Fails Against the Parry DC by more than 4 [1]
"Special Moves" Strength-Damage +2 (Inaccurate -1) [1]

Offense:
Unarmed +9 (+2 Damage, DC 17)
Katana +9 (+5 Damage, DC 20)
Special Moves +7 (+7 Damage, DC 22)
Initiative +9

Defenses:
Dodge +8 (DC 18), Parry +11 (DC 21), Toughness +2 (+3 D.Roll), Fortitude +5, Will +4

Complications:
Relationship (Wife)- Arthur finally married a woman in his adopted country of Japan, having a child with her.
Motivation (Destroy the Soul Edge)- Arthur's wife died as a result of him bringing a shard of the Soul Edge home- despondent, Arthur now seeks to destroy the blade for good.
Power Loss (Repetitive Fighting)- Doing the same moves over and over again will punish these fighters greatly- enemies get a +2 bonus to Parry on the second attempt, and a +2 bonus every time it's used thereafter.

Total: Abilities: 48 / Skills: 30--15 / Advantages: 8 / Powers: 3 / Defenses: 12 (82)

-Arthur is a weird one. He debuted in SoulCalibur, where he's intended to replace Mitsurugi in nations where samurai imagery is discouraged (primarily Korea, who suffered greatly under Japan's warlike policy in World War II), as well as some American cabinets. A blond guy with a topknot and an eyepatch, he looks like a combination of Edgelord & Weeb, but he shares Mitsurugi's stats and style (and even looks Asian in his first appearance). Arthur returns as a Bonus Character in SoulCalibur III, where he now looks Caucasian, and uses the "Katana" Create-A-Fighter discipline. He had initially been planned for Soul Edge but was dropped before completion.

-Arthur's backstory is that he lived as a beggar in an English harbor town until he decided to become a sailor. He was adopted by a wealthy merchant in Japan who regarded him as a "curiosity" from the West- he was taught Japanese & proper etiquette, but the merchant "gave him up" to a noble with an excuse that it was to "teach him better manners". He ended up serving as a warrior for the nobility, growing stronger because his outsider status had made him a target. He also lost his eye during one of these struggles. He fell in love and had a child, but feeling that most people still only saw him as a foreign curiosity first, he set out to win the Soul Edge and become a legend. He only managed to find a single shard, bringing it home in triumph, but his wife soon grew ill and died- blaming himself for bringing a piece of the Soul Edge home, Arthur now seeks to destroy the blade. Arthur makes no more playable appearances outside these two, but shows up in Mitsurugi's Story Mode in SC VI.
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Re: Jab’s Builds! (G-Dog! The Hanged Man! SoulCalibur! Mitsurugi!)

Post by greycrusader »

My reflections as Astro City, following Jab's build sets:

First of all, I'd almost forgotten the first issue was all the back a trifle over 28 years ago; I suppose part of it is just me getting older, but the other may be that the series went in fits and starts, over multiple publishers, different formats, and with LONG breaks in-between. I mean, the regular, mostly bi-monthly, occasionally quarterly series really only ran ten years combined, once in the late 1990s and the other from 2013-2018; Busiek's health issues and his work for Marvel led to lengthy hiatus periods, especially because the Astro City stories all feature original characters and are mostly richly detailed character studies or re-interpretation of various comics periods and tropes. Hell, because he doesn't employ a sliding timeline, he's had to come up with multiple analogues for well-known DC/Marvel heroes and villains, as even the apparently ageless Samaritan only debuted in the setting's 1980s, so had to be represented by other stand-ins for earlier stories. But this likely means there are storylines which likely will NEVER get resolved, and "major" heroes and villains who probably won't get more than one issue or short story-arc of focus, if that, though if Kurt Busiek remains motivated and relatively healthy, he could hypothetically continue the book for another 10-15 years.

The best stories and favorite characters are mostly agreed upon (Confessions, Tarnished Angel, Nearness of You), along with a few select gems from the 2013-2018 run, such as G-Dog, the return of Steeljack, the Living Nightmare story, and the Mister Manta one-off, but the later series is a good bit weaker overall. Kurt Busiek got WAY too pretentious with the "Broken Man/Ourbor/Other-Giant-Alien-Guy" stuff, though I may be prejudiced because it showcases just about my LEAST favorite gimmick, a "self-aware" character breaking the Fourth Wall to appeal to the readers. This CAN work in a humor book, and maybe a writer who's really slick at "meta-genre" material could pull it off (The "Ultra-Comics" issue of Morrison's Multiversity was decent because it had an in-universe explanation), but it didn't fit Astro City's setting at all. The "Dark Ages" went on FAR too long, lagging for long-stretches, and the delays pretty much killed a lot of my interest by the conclusion. The Silver Age backstory likewise just seemed mostly bland and disjointed, with the metaphor being pretty muddled overall, which didn't really do enough to convey the tragedy of such a noble hero's sacrifice.

Having the services of Alex Ross for the character designs and covers adds immensely to the book, as almost all the really memorable protagonists have cool looks to them. The drawback is that a whole LOT of them don't look nearly as sleek or impressive when they're not being rendered by Ross (frankly, the old-school heavy inking/deeper colors of Bronze Age comics would work better with them), though Brent Anderson being the artist consistently over nearly the whole stretch is still a great plus. Comics are a visual medium, and a great design can turn relatively minor concepts into fan-favorites (eg, Harley Quinn, Moon Knight, Spider-Gwen) and long-runners. I don't think it would have enjoyed nearly the same level of success and longevity if Busiek had to rely on multiple, lesser-talented artists for the series. It also seems that he and Ross enjoy a synergy because both are WAY more interested in the pre-Iron Age/Dark Age eras (which really were not quite the same). I do think it will considered a classic of the medium and genre, overall.

All my best!
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Re: Jab’s Builds! (G-Dog! The Hanged Man! SoulCalibur! Mitsurugi!)

Post by scc »

I remember getting Soul Caliber for the Dreamcast and being blown away. And I remember using Ivy a lot when I first started playing. ;) I believe one version has Link from Zelda. As much as I love this game I never played any of them consistently beyond the first. Looking forward to these builds.
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Assassins

Post by Jabroniville »

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ASSASSINS
Role:
Elite Mooks
Weapon: Short Sword
First Appearance: SoulCalibur II (2002)
Total Appearances: SC II (Playable), SC Legends & SC III-IV (NPC)
PL 6 (66)
STRENGTH
2 STAMINA 2 AGILITY 5
FIGHTING 8 DEXTERITY 2
INTELLIGENCE 0 AWARENESS 0 PRESENCE 0

Skills:
Acrobatics 5 (+10)
Athletics 8 (+10)
Expertise (Assassin) 5 (+5)
Insight 2 (+2)
Perception 4 (+4)

Advantages:
Equipment 1 (Short Sword +2), Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll, Fast Grab, Improved Critical (Axe), Improved Defense, Improved Hold, Improved Trip

Powers:
"Weapon Fighter" Features 1: May Add Weapon Damage to Special Moves [1]
"Guard Impact" Features 1: +2 to Hit Immediately After Attacker Fails Against the Parry DC by more than 4 [1]
"Special Moves" Strength-Damage +2 (Inaccurate -1) [1]

Offense:
Unarmed +8 (+2 Damage, DC 17)
Sword +8 (+4 Damage, DC 19)
Special Moves +6 (+6 Damage, DC 21)
Initiative +9

Defenses:
Dodge +8 (DC 18), Parry +9 (DC 19), Toughness +2 (+3 D.Roll), Fortitude +4, Will +3

Complications:
Motivation (Greed)- Assassins are hired killers.
Power Loss (Repetitive Fighting)- Doing the same moves over and over again will punish these fighters greatly- enemies get a +2 bonus to Parry on the second attempt, and a +2 bonus every time it's used thereafter.

Total: Abilities: 38 / Skills: 24--12 / Advantages: 8 / Powers: 3 / Defenses: 9 (66)

-Berserkers and Assassins are NPCs in some games, but were unlockable characters in SoulCalibur II. In SC III, they're NPCs that can be fought in the "Tales of Souls" side-game, generic enemies in SoulCalibur Legends, and NPCs in SCIV's "Libra of Soul" mode. Assassins use a similar style as Hwang from the first game.
Last edited by Jabroniville on Mon Feb 12, 2024 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Berserkers

Post by Jabroniville »

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BERSERKERS
Role:
Ax-Fighters, Berserker Fighters
Weapon: Axe
First Appearance: SoulCalibur II (2002)
Total Appearances: SC II (Playable), SC Legends & SC III-IV (NPC)
PL 6 (56)
STRENGTH
3 STAMINA 3 AGILITY 5
FIGHTING 6 DEXTERITY 2
INTELLIGENCE -1 AWARENESS -1 PRESENCE -1

Skills:
Acrobatics 5 (+10)
Athletics 5 (+8)
Expertise (Soldier) 2 (+1)
Intimidation 6 (+5)

Advantages:
Equipment 1 (Axe +3), Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll, Fast Grab, Improved Critical (Axe), Improved Defense, Improved Hold, Improved Trip

Powers:
"Weapon Fighter" Features 1: May Add Weapon Damage to Special Moves [1]
"Guard Impact" Features 1: +2 to Hit Immediately After Attacker Fails Against the Parry DC by more than 4 [1]
"Special Moves" Strength-Damage +2 (Inaccurate -1) [1]

Offense:
Unarmed +6 (+3 Damage, DC 18)
Axe +6 (+6 Damage, DC 21)
Special Moves +4 (+8 Damage, DC 23)
Initiative +9

Defenses:
Dodge +7 (DC 17), Parry +8 (DC 18), Toughness +3 (+4 D.Roll), Fortitude +5, Will +3

Complications:
Motivation (Killing)- Berserkers are pure madmen.
Power Loss (Repetitive Fighting)- Doing the same moves over and over again will punish these fighters greatly- enemies get a +2 bonus to Parry on the second attempt, and a +2 bonus every time it's used thereafter.

Total: Abilities: 30 / Skills: 18--9 / Advantages: 8 / Powers: 3 / Defenses: 10 (56)

-Berserkers and Assassins are NPCs in some games, but were unlockable characters in SoulCalibur II. In SC III, they're NPCs that can be fought in the "Tales of Souls" side-game, generic enemies in SoulCalibur Legends, and NPCs in SCIV's "Libra of Soul" mode. The Berserkers are just warriors driven mad with bloodlust. They follow Johan Dürer across Europe an engage in wanton slaughter, having been possessed by an evil spirit.
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Re: Jab’s Builds! (G-Dog! The Hanged Man! SoulCalibur! Mitsurugi!)

Post by betterwatchit »

scc wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 5:37 pmI believe one version has Link from Zelda.
That would be the Gamecube version of Soul Calibur II, where he used his sword and shield to fight, along with the bow, boomerang and bomb.

Also, the PS2 version had Heihachi Mishima from the Tekken series, who preferred fighting with gauntlets. That way, an unarmed fighter like him can safely block a bladed weapon and then hit back. The X-Box version had Spawn as its exclusive character. He preferred fighting with his cape and chains.
Last edited by betterwatchit on Mon Feb 12, 2024 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jab’s Builds! (G-Dog! The Hanged Man! SoulCalibur! Mitsurugi!)

Post by Davies »

Which led to the following commercial spots:

Heihachi

Link

Spawn
"I'm sorry. I love you. I'm not sorry I love you."
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Ares
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Re: Jab’s Builds! (G-Dog! The Hanged Man! SoulCalibur! Mitsurugi!)

Post by Ares »

betterwatchit wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 11:15 pm
scc wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 5:37 pmI believe one version has Link from Zelda.
That would be the Gamecube version of Soul Calibur II, where he used his sword and shield to fight, along with the bow, boomerang and bomb.

Also, the PS2 version had Heihachi Mishima from the Tekken series, who preferred fighting with gauntlets. That way, an unarmed fighter like him can safely block a bladed weapon and then hit back. The X-Box version had Spawn as its exclusive character. He preferred fighting with his cape and chains.
They later followed this up by having Devil Jin in Soul Calibur V's character creator. Honestly, I wish they had a least one unarmed fighter in each game, they have the Tekken designers right there to figure out how to make an unarmed guy competitive in a weapons fighter.

Really, some of the guest characters they've had in the series are just wild. Some fit pretty well, like Haohmaru, Geralt of Rivia, Ezio Auditore, even unarmed fighters like Jin and Heihachi aren't too out there.

Some technically fit, like Link and Kratos (who I think Jab left out?), who are fantasy fighter types but would demolish most Soul Calibur fighters. Kratos is a god and Link brings ranged weapons to a sword fight. Heck, if Haohmaru had all of his moves he'd be just as broken.

Then you have the WTF inclusions like 2B, Spawn, Yoda, Darth Vader and Starkiller. Of all the franchises Star Wars could be allowed to crossover with, they go with Soul Calibur? Really?
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