Soul Calibur IV Guide
The debut title of the Soulcalibur series, “Soul Edge,” first appeared in arcades back in 1996, and was later ported to the Sony PlayStation home console where it was renamed “Soul Blade.” This weapon-based fighter featured a small cast of characters, most of whom remain a part of the series today. Each character wielded a different weapon, making for greater diversity between them. In 1999, the Soul series reappeared in arcades with “Soulcalibur,” which was later ported to the Sega Dreamcast console. With an expanded roster of nineteen characters and plenty of new features, this release marked the series' inception into mainstream popularity, as it received positive criticism across the board and was widely renowned as one of the greatest fighting games of all time.
The follow-up title, “Soulcalibur II,” first appeared in arcades in 2002, and later on the Xbox, PlayStation 2, and Gamecube home consoles in 2003. The inclusion of console-exclusive guest characters—Spawn on the Xbox, Heihachi Mishima of the Tekken series on the PS2, and Link of the Zelda series on the Gamecube—as well as its multi-platform availability, served to widen the series' popularity even further. Soulcalibur III was released a couple of years later, this time exclusive to the PlayStation 2 home console, but an arcade edition was later released. Considered by many as the most disappointing title in the series, the console edition of Soulcalibur III was wrought with game breaking glitches, featured seemingly psychic AI opponents, and the highly exploitable “variable cancel” technique lowered the quality of competitive play.
The soul swords clash once again with the release of Soulcalibur IV for the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles. With this latest iteration comes the introduction of two new characters; Hilde, the armor-clad princess of the Wolfkrone Kingdom, and the legendary Hero King Algol, who serves as the game's main boss character. Console-exclusive guest characters return this time around with two very unlikely combatants; Darth Vader on the PlayStation, and Yoda on the Xbox 360. Also making an appearance is the protagonist of the upcoming “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed” video game, known only as “The Apprentice.” In addition to the new Tower of Lost Souls and online multiplayer modes, the Character Customization feature first introduced in Soulcalibur III returns with a bevy of new features, including equipment stats and skills.
As with the other titles in the series, the story revolves around the cursed sword Soul Edge and the legendary spirit sword Soul Calibur. Both soul swords are in direct opposition, and each character in the roster seeks one or both of the swords for their own cause.
If you're new to the series and in search of strategies and tips then look no further. This guide contains an overview of the single player modes, character customization, and the basics of the fighting engine. You'll also find strategies and explanations for each character, as well as a list of unlockables and Honor requirements.
Note: This guide uses directional notation when discussing directional input. If you aren't familiar with this numerical convention, refer to the Basics section under “Understanding Directional Notation” for an explanation.
As this guide was written using the Xbox 360 version of the game, Darth Vader, the PlayStation 3 exclusive guest character, is not covered.