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Official Site: Namco
The Soul series is a weapon-based fighting game franchise developed by Namco Bandai's Project Soul division and consists of seven games: Soul Edge, Soulcalibur, Soulcalibur II, Soulcalibur III, Soulcalibur Legends, Soulcalibur IV, and Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny. Set in the 16th century, the plot of the games revolve around Soul Edge, a cursed sword able to possess its wielder and devour souls, and Soul Calibur, a holy sword and Soul Edge's antithesis.
With each character, their weapon was decided upon before other aspects were. The design was then built to revolve around it, starting with gender, then physical measurements, and lastly background details. Once established, appearance and movement were fleshed out by the team's concept art and rendered as a 3D model by a design team that worked solely on the character. The completed model was then animated by a motion capture artist working directly with the team. During this phase the team additionally worked with the story creators, refining the character's own role in the plot as needed throughout development. In the course of the series, two characters have been an exception to the process: Johan Druer, a berserker exclusive to the Soulcalibur Japanese player's guide, and Necrid, a character co-produced with Todd McFarlane that appears in Soulcalibur II.
Starting with Soulcalibur II, guest characters from other franchises or companies were introduced for different home ports of the game, with The Legend of Zelda s Link appearing for the GameCube version, comic book character Spawn for the Xbox, and Tekken s Heihachi Mishima for the PlayStation 2. Despite rumors of Devil May Cry s Dante's inclusion in Soulcalibur III, developers confirmed no plans for the inclusion of guest characters for the title, with series producer Hiroaki Yotoriyama stating "It’s my policy to never do the same thing twice." However, under new producer Katsutoshi Sasaki the concept was revisited in later titles in the series, with Tales of Symphonia s Lloyd Irving appearing in Soulcalibur Legends, Star Wars characters The Apprentice, Yoda and Darth Vader appearing in Soulcalibur IV, with the latter two exclusively to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions respectively until later released as downloadable content, and God of War s Kratos for Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny.
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