Gameplay: Arcade, Fighting
Narrative: Martial arts
Published by: Namco Limited
Developed by: Project Soul
Platform: Arcade Machine
Soulcalibur uses a similar gameplay to Soul Edge, but it now has the ability to move in eight directions, before heroes could only move along coordinates. In Soulcalibur, the player needs to hold the gamepad in any direction, thus the developers provided the heroes with freedom of movement. The character can perform several quick attacks and strikes. A similar gameplay element was present in Soul Edge/Blade and other fighting games such as Tekken and Virtua Fighter, with the latter two using a more rigorous attack and strike system. In addition, additional blocking maneuvers called "Guard Impact" have been significantly improved, the ability to push back or redirect attacks, as well as to shrug off enemy weapons to deal high damage, has been significantly improved.
Initially, Namco planned to include only some of the characters from Soul Edge in the new game. However, nine of the eleven characters from Soul Edge appeared in Soulcalibur, and nine new characters appeared in the Dreamcast version (in the South Korean version of the game, Mitsurugi was replaced by an English-Japanese swordsman named Arthur). As with many fighting games, many of the new characters were styled after existing characters from the series. For example, the new character Maxi is similar to Li Long due to the fighting style. Each character has a unique fighting style, except for Ivy.
A mystical sword from legends called "Soul Edge" fell into the hands of the pirate Cervantes de Leon from Spain. For the next 25 years, the hero remained on the remains of the Spanish port city, stealing the souls of those who stood in his way during his search. Cervantes quickly began to terrorize people, but through the efforts of the Greek warrior Sophitia Alexandra and the Japanese kunoichi Taki, he was stopped and killed, and Soul Edge was destroyed. Later, a young Prussian knight, Siegfried Schtauffen, sailed to the city's port and fought Cervantes, whose corpse was reanimated at the behest of the "Soul Edge" sword. After the victory, Siegfried's attention turned to the sword. At that moment, he managed to take the handle of the cursed blade, and it released a bright pillar of light in the sky. This phenomenon is known as the "Evil Seed" and brings misfortune and death along the way.
Three years later, Siegfried, transformed into Nightmare, becomes the owner of the sword. Nightmare still has his armor, but his right arm is horribly deformed. Europe is plunged into a whirlpool of massacre, as many warriors thought that the sword strengthens the soul. Not knowing the real truth about Soul Edge, the group of warriors chose to stop the sword and unite the three sacred weapons once more.