Released Jap, US and Europe

Soul Calibur Soul Calibur

The home version of Namco's spectacular and some say revolutionary beat'em up arrived on the Dreamcast in 1999. With such a reputation already established in the arcades this title was no doubt partly responsible for the breaking of the sales record for a console launch in the US.

The port was to be enhanced over the original arcade machine with better graphics, better animation, improved texture details on both the characters and the arenas as well as several new play modes for the single player.

Soul Calibur represents a defining example of the genre of 3D beat'em ups. The game has one difference over most in that the characters are armed with weapons. Each characters instrument varies in size from a relatively small sword to a huge axe. Initially you have 10 characters to choose from.

The gameplay is easily the best of any beat'em up and is very fine tuned. Responsiveness of the controls is razor sharp and each character has whole ton of moves at their disposal and the commands can be dropped down on the screen.

Characters more special moves (for which there is a fair few for each one) can be linked together for some brilliant attacks. It is more strategy based than say the likes of Virtua Fighter especially is your battling on the edge of the ring which you will find yourself at easily.

Counters and doges are as equally important as attacks. The usage of space is important for this - you can easily circle around your opponent looking for an opportunity to attack.

All of this moves at a pretty fast pace filling each battle with plenty of excitement.

The gameplay really shines when 2 skilled players are pitched against each other. Button mashing will not work very well against anyone who knows the combat system. Those familiar can pull of some spectacular sequences of moves.

Difficulty wise the game can be easily beaten in Arcade mode. You must defeat 7 warriors before being taken the final Inferno. Upping the difficulty level then creates some good challenges where you can really learn the beauty of the fight engine and have some great battles.

Apart from the arcade mode there are plenty of options you have mission battles which plays out like a little RPG. As rewards in the single-player games, your character gets points that you can spend in an "Art Gallery" on the CD. You use your points to "buy" hundreds of images, ranging from concept art to full-blown paintings of the characters. As you unlock more images, more hidden features of the game become available -- more single-player missions, more selectable levels, more demos, more game modes, and so on. You can even re-edit the opening intro to feature your favourite characters.

Extra characters are unlocked when the game is completed or other tasks are accomplished including Yoshimitu of Tekken fame who actually uses his sword in this game.

The graphics are nothing short of stunning. Any search about this game will yield articles praising them so. It's clear Namco spent a great deal of time maximising the Dreamcasts capabilities. Obviously better graphics in recent times now degrade the quality of those in Soul Calibur but considering the closest competition was Tekken 3 you can imagine why they are considered awesome. In the audio department, the sounds of metal colliding and slashing are quite pleasant and the music has that feeling of epic battles and fits the action well.

Each character is highly detailed and smoothly animated as with the arenas which have some brilliant lighting effects. In VGA mode the game is simply spectacular. By looking at sill of the game it is difficult to believe that it does actually look like and move like that as it all does with no slowdown anywhere.

If you have never played the likes of Soul Calibur then you should. Every Dreamcast owner should have the Soul Calibur treatment even if it's over the ledgendry Virtua Fighter.

It has since been ported to Xbox Live arcade which has not been well received.

Since this first title, the franchise has expanded with sequels released on all platforms, though perhaps not as ground-breaking as the original but still worthy fighters nonetheless.


Arcade Mode

Soul Calibur Soul Calibur
Soul Calibur Soul Calibur
Soul Calibur Soul Calibur
Soul Calibur Soul Calibur
Soul Calibur Soul Calibur
Soul Calibur Soul Calibur


Alternate costumes

Press Y when choosing a character at the character selection screen.

Exhibition Mode

Obtain all pictures in the first collection in the Museum to unlock this mode which allows you to see each characters' kata.

Extra Survival Mode

Obtain all pictures in the second collection in the Museum to unlock this mode which allows you to play an alternative type of survival mode.

Victory Poses

Each character has three different victory poses. To see each one, after winning a battle, press X, Y, or B during the replay to select one of the three poses.

Hidden characters and stages

Successfully complete Arcade mode to unlock a character or stage.

Completion Number

Character / Stage


Hwang Sung Kyung






Water Labyrinth (stage)


Siegfried Schtauffen


City of Water (stage)




The Colesseum (stage)


Seung Mina


Cerventes de Leon


Edge Master

Play as Inferno

Unlock all hidden characters and successfully complete Arcade mode using Xianguha's third costume (the third costume is a bonus revealed after purchasing an Art Card in Mission Battle mode).

Play as Edge Master

You will first the Edge Master in Mission Mode. To make him playable you must complete the game with all characters including Cervantes. The Edge Master imitates other characters randomly switching weapons every round. He also has his own version of everyone's weapon though within a short time you will be able to tell immediately who he is. The Edge Master does have some exclusive moves of his own. If he is impersonating Killik or Seung Mina then the following move is available.

When Running: Up or Down+a, a, a

Metallic characters

Purchase the Art Card that unlocks "Metal Model Mode" in Mission Battle mode. Then hold R while choosing a character at the character selection screen.

New title screens

Successfully complete all missions in Mission Battle mode for the gold title screen. Unlock Inferno and purchase all 338 Art Cards for the monochrome title screen.

Opening Direction Mode

Obtain all pictures in the third collection in the Museum to unlock this mode which allows you to edit the introduction sequence.

Secret Dojo Mission

On the mission select screen, go to the eastern most map. Move your pointer over the Korea area. When you pass over the secret mission, you will hear the "zip" noise you hear when you pass over any other mission; you will not be able to see it when you land on the location.

There are 5 missions in this location. Each stage has a random combination of conditions from the previous missions.

Secret Swamp Mission

On the mission select screen, go to the western most map. Move your pointer over the middle of the upper right area of the screen (somewhere around Poland). When you pass over the secret mission, you will hear the "zip" noise you hear when you pass over any other mission; you will not be able to see it when you land on the location.

There are 2 missions in this location. Each stage has a random combination of conditions from the previous missions.

Select weapon

Unlock Edge Master and successfully complete all missions in Mission Battle mode. Then press L at the character selection to select a weapon.


Push L

1P Weapon

x0 - default

2P Weapon


Art Card Secrets

002 Art card category (Souls Guided by Destiny: CG Portraits)
003 Mission: Silk Road Ruins
005 Mission: Harbor of Souls
006 Art card category (Symbols: Special CG)
010 Mission: Maze of the Dead
014 Art card category (The Chosen Ones: CG Characters)
015 New feature in Museum mode (Character Profiles)
018 Art card category (Portraits of Souls: Character Illustrations)
019 Mission: The Colosseum
021 Stage: Silk Road Ruins
026 Mission: Shrine of Eurydice
027 Mission: Palgaea Shrine
031 Mission: Kunpaetku Shrine
032 Stage: Takamatsu Castle (Winter)
034 Mission: Emperors Garden
037 Mission: Money Pit
039 Xiangua's SP costume
040 Mission: Takamatsu Castle
045 Art card category (Cursed Souls: Character Illustrations)
054 New feature in Museum mode (Exhibition Theater)
055 Art card category (Birth of a Soul: Character Concepts)
056 Mission: Hoko Temple
058 Sophitia's SP costume
060 Mission: The Adrian and the Fortress
065 Mission: City of Water
068 Stage: Proving grounds (Twilight)
070 Maxi's SP costume
079 Stage: Maze of the Dead
081 Mission: Ostrheinsburg Castle
082 Mission: Valentine Mansion
083 Stage: Takamatsu Castle (Winter)
084 Mission: Water Labyrinth 2
090 Art card category (Profiles of Warriors)
093 Mission: Harbor of Souls
094 Voldo's SP costume
101 Mission: Silk Road Ruins 3
103 Art card category (Profiles of Warriors 2)
104 Stage: Kunpaetku Shrine
106 Mission: Maze of the Dead 2
116 Mission: Shrine of Eurydice 2
117 Mission: Palgaea Shrine 2
122 Mission: Kunpaetku Shrine 2
123 Stage: Silk Road Ruins (Night)
126 Art card category (End of the Quest: Endings)
130 Stage: Chaos
132 Mission: Takamatsu Castle 2
134 Mission: Money Pit 2
137 Exhibition theatre: Taki's martial arts demonstration
143 Mission: Emperor's Garden 2
148 Mission: The Colosseum 2
149 Art card category (End of the Quest 2: Endings)
155 Exhibition theatre: Voldo's martial arts demonstration
159 Art card category (The Vast World: Fan Art)
167 Extra Survival mode
169 Mission: Hoko Temple 2
177 Exhibition Theatre: Sophitia's martial arts demonstration
178 Mission: Valentine Mansion 2
179 New feature in Museum mode (Opening Direction)
180 Mission: Adrian and the Fortress 2
182 Mission: City of Water 2
183 Exhibition Theatre: Nightmare's martial arts demonstration
188 Mission: Water Labyrinth 2
189 Exhibition theatre: Astaroth's martial arts demonstration
198 Exhibition theatre: Hwang Sung's martial arts demonstration
199 Mission: Proving Grounds 2
203 Art card category (The Vast World 2: Fan Art)
207 Exhibition theatre: Yoshimitsu's martial arts demonstration
215 Mission: Ostrheinsburg Castle 3
217 Art card category (The World of Souls and Swords: Posters)
224 Weapon Select mode
225 Exhibition theatre: Lizardman's martial arts demonstration
229 Exhibition theatre: Siegfried's martial arts demonstration
230 Exhibition theatre: Maxi's martial arts demonstration (Dual Nunchaku)
233 Exhibition theatre: Rock's martial arts demonstration
239 Exhibition theatre: Seung Mina's martial arts demonstration
251 Exhibition theatre: Cervantes's martial arts demonstration
256 Exhibition theatre: Edge Master's martial arts demonstration
265 Medal Model mode

Copy Save Game File

To copy the save game file for Soul Calibur from the original VMU to another, boot the game with the save you want copied and then enter a battle with any character. When the battle begins pause and then swap the original VMU with the destination VMU and then quit out from the pause menu. Upon quitting a new save will be written to the same VMU slot with the original intact on the original VMU. This may work with many games as SEGA made VMU's hot-swappable.

Move Camera

When viewing the replay after a fight, press the B button to switch which character the game camera is focusing on. You can then pan around and zoom in or out on the character that just lost.

Remove window on Character Profile screen

Press A + B at the Character Profile screen.

Slow and Fast Replay

To slow down the action during replay simply hold Left trigger. To speed it up, hold right trigger.

Note: if the camera is moving while either trigger is held, it will stay in motion until trigger is released. This is best displayed in practice mode.

Arcade mode - Japanese version

Successfully complete the game with every character (including hidden ones).

Transparent characters - Japanese version

Unlock Edge Master. Then, hold L when selecting a fighter at the character selection screen.

Character profiles in English - Japanese version

1. Unlock all characters.
2. Remove the Profile window at the Character Profile screen.
3. Press A + B + X + Y to reset the game.
4. Press X + Start at the demo.
Return to the Character Profile screen.


Soul Calibur Games of the Month Archive (October 2004)


Review at IGN

A Collection of Reviews

Soul Calibur 2 Review

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