Better Backstories For Soulcalibur V
After reading the ridiculous backstories for the characters of Soulcalibur V, I've decided to throw them out and create my own, better storylines. Don't worry about payment, Namco Bandai – these brilliant ideas are on the house.
I've never been much of a fighting game fan, but my lack of familiarity with Pokémon didn't stop me from providing this incredible analysis of Nintendo's newest pocket monsters, and my struggles in Skyrim yielded some truly invaluable tips for amateur gamers. It's with this level of professionalism that I turn my eye towards Soulcalibur V. Below you'll find my stunningly in-depth analysis of some of the game's characters, along with their official backstories and my new and improved backstories. Let's start with the guy who got bit by that tiger.
Analysis: Let's see what Siegfried's got going for him – not a cool name, obviously. Oh, so it's going to be one of those giant sword games? Gotcha.
Real Story: Having used the legendary Soul Calibur sword to defeat its cursed counterpart, Soul Edge, Siegfried tried to live a peaceful life, only to find out the Soul Edge has respawned, and a new warrior will be needed to wield his soul-infused sword.
Better Story: First of all, the whole Soul Calibur/Soul Blade story has to go. Instead, let's fall back on the best fighting game storyline mechanic ever created: the tournament!
After having his pretty face cut in an argument over his lute-playing abilities (a lute dispute), Siegfried turned to oversized swords to prove his manliness. When a rival pointed out that his sword was so big he couldn't possibly wield it, Siegfried devised the Soul Calibur tournament to silence all doubters – hoping that all of his challengers would kill each other off before he had to fight any of them.
Analysis: I recognize this guy from Skyrim. He made me a bitchin' sword in his Skyforge.
Real Story: A former teacher at the Ling-Sheng Temple, Edge Master began teaching Kilik how to control his evil so that he may one day defeat Soul Edge.
Better Story: Tired of spending his life crafting weapons for weakling adventures destined to take arrow to their knees during fetch quests, Edge Master decided to start fighting for himself, to show the Companions how it's done. Edge Master wants to see if his own sword can live up to the power of Soul Edge – but more importantly, he really wants to get out of Skyrim. It's cold up there.
Analysis: Mitsurugi reminds me of the assassin from Lone Wolf and Cub, only without the orphan baby (on a side note, Mitsurugi should totally carry around an orphan baby when he fights – make it happen, Namco-Bandai!). Also, Mitsurugi's clothes and chest are all cut up, which makes me think he's really not all that good with his katana.
Real Story: Mitsurugi was once a swordsman just looking for enemies to fight in order to test his skills, until he entered an alternate dimension and fought a king on a giant tower. That king's sword later turned out to be Soul Calibur or something.
Better Story: Mitsurugi was the greatest swordsman in his clan, with one glaring weakness: his love of impractical wooden shoes. After continually injuring himself with his own sword while trying to fight in his unforgiving clogs, the clan exiled him out of embarrassment – but Mitsurugi's devotion to his timber-spawned footwear did not waver. Mitsurugi is fighting in the new Soul Calibur tournament to prove he's the greatest fighter in the world – wobbly shoes and all.
Analysis: Tira's most notable feature is her giant, ringed blade, which is possibly the worst design for a weapon I've ever seen.
Real Story: Tira is a former assassin who was in love with Soul Edge before it was destroyed. She also has two personalities, which "howled together in a chorus of rage" when the blade was destroyed. Nowadays we call that "being emo."
Better Story: Tira was once an acrobat in a smalltime circus. She dreamed of one day entertaining on a larger stage, but alas, was only good at using a hula hoop. After years of working her way up the professional hula-hooping circuit, she competed in an international competition, only to be beaten by an arch-rival whose hoop totally wasn't even the regulation weight! After that, Tira took a turn for the worse, crafting her patented (and now totally awesome) bladed hula hoop. She beheaded her rival in an epic showdown (actually, it wasn't that epic since her rival was using a plastic hoop, but whatever). But her vengeance – nay, revengeance – wasn't enough. She has joined the newly announced Soul Calibur tournament to claim more victims.
Analysis: What the hell is with this guy? I can only assume Dampierre is a cross between "Pierre," a stereotypically wimpy French guy name, and "damp," because he pees in his pants all the time.
Real Story: Dampierre's entire back story can be summed up by calling him a con man. Even worse, he's supposed to be from Italy! Come on – no self-respecting Italian man would dress like that!
Better Story: Dampierre is the former ringleader of Tira's small-time circus. Before Dampierre could profess his undying love for the mediocre hula-hoop performer, Tira left to pursue her dream (not that Dampierre would have had much of a shot with that moustache, anyway). Upon her departure, Dampierre turned his big top into a twisted circus of the macabre, in which performers and horrified spectators alike died gruesome deaths on a nightly basis. Being French, however, this only made the circus more popular. Motivated by his newfound success, Dampierre set out to find Tira and prove himself worthy of her love, even if it means once again making his pants damp – with the blood of his enemies.
Analysis: Oh for crying out loud, what is this guy's problem? And how many Muppets did he skin to make his assless chaps?
Real Story: Voldo was a loyal servant who killed in the name of his Italian merchant master, Vercci (why is every jackass in this series from Italy?). However, Vercci was just an illusion created by Soul Edge. That really doesn't make Voldo any less of a creep, though.
Better Story: Voldo is yet another performer from Tira's circus, which is now so integral to the story that it needs a name. Let's call it Cirque du Freak. What? That's already a thing? Man, people are dumb. Let's call it Dampierre's Carnivorous Carnival.
Voldo was originally a juggler, but Dampierre threatened to fire him because his act lacked flair. So he switched from bowling pins to knives. Still not enough flair. He added blinders into the mix, but still Dampierre wanted more flair. So Voldo added the spider web face gag, spiky skeleton fingers on the sides of his head, and assless Muppet chaps. Then Dampierre fired him for being a weirdo. Revengeance!
Analysis: Holy crap, there are pirates in this game? Sweet!
Real Story: According to the SoulCalibur V website, Cervantes went out in search of Soul Edge in order to "devour the sweet soul of his daughter, Ivy," which was trapped in the blade. Ivy stopped him, however, and Cervantes was swallowed by a dimensional rift instead. Years later, Cervantes escaped the mysterious dimension in a pirate ship, which is the coolest part of the story.
Better Story: Rather than making Cervantes some kind of pervert who wants to devour his daughter's soul, let's just say he's a bad-ass pirate who traveled through time on his pirate ship to partake in the Soul Calibur tournament, because pirates are always up for a good time.
Analysis: Looks like an orc with some kind of electrical doodads sticking out of his back. He's also holding a giant claw hammer.
Real Story: Astaroth is a giant created by the Fygul Cestemus cult, to do their bidding in the name of their god Palgaea. However, Astaroth rebelled, leading to his destruction, as well as the temporary destruction of the cult. Then some other dudes brought him back to life. Turns out he's still pretty miffed about it.
Better Story: A real-life orc and actor, Astaroth was just starting to make a name for himself in Hollywood by starring in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, only to be snubbed by Peter Jackson, who told Astaroth he was too scary to be in The Hobbit. Astaroth then tried being a carpenter, but quickly found out that his claw hammer was way too big for human-sized nails, and he couldn't find work. In order to exact his revengeance, Astaroth joined Soul Calibur to kill Peter Jackson, mistaking the tournament for the Golden Globes. A stupid mistake, but he is an orc after all...
Analysis: I'd be lying if I said I noticed her gold-plated arm or deadly whip sword before her giant and severely underclothed bust.
Real Story: In her quest to destroy Soul Edge, Ivy was forced to fight her soul-eating creep of a father, Cervantes. She defeated Cervantes, but before she could destroy Soul Edge it broke into a million pieces and flew into another dimension (classic Soul Edge shenanigans). Now she's waiting for it to return, so she can kill for real this time.
Better Story: Forget the father/daughter angle. Instead, let's make Ivy the sister of Devil May Cry's Dante – they've got the same hairdo, after all. Ivy wanted to follow in her older brother's footsteps as a demon slayer-for-hire, but Dante constantly criticized her choice of attire. Fed up with her brother's prudish sensibilities, Ivy decided beating up losers in the Soul Calibur tournament would be more fun than demon slaying anyway.
Analysis: And I thought Ivy's cleavage was bad. Who dresses for battle like this? Despite what perverted nerds might say, the ability to momentarily distract your enemy with unprotected skin is not more advantageous than wearing something that will prevent you from getting stabbed to death.
Real Story: A member of the Fu-ma clan, Natsu has the distinct disadvantage of having a demon living inside of her. I'm not sure if that's literal, or if it's more of a spirit-type thing. Either way, Natsu teams up with Leixia on a journey to find her former mentor Taki in the West.
Better Story: Forced into living the life of a warrior, all Natsu really wanted to be was a showgirl. And not the dirty, Elizabeth Berkley kind – a classy showgirl. To gain the acceptance of her stubbornly old-fashioned clan leaders, she must first fight her way through the Soul Calibur tournament roster before being given the freedom to pursue her dream career. Also, she's pregnant with a demon baby.
Analysis: Finally, a woman who looks prepared for a fight.
Real Story: The princes of Wolfkrone, Hilde led her army into battle against the evil sword Soul Edge. Even though they won the fight, it left their kingdom uninhabitable. She now fights against Soul Edge (again) in hopes of finding a way to purify her abandoned kingdom.
Better Story: One night while on a bender at the Tipsy Dwarf, Wolfkrone's most popular pub, Hilde got into an argument with Siegfried, who was attempting to serenade the other patrons. After Hilde told Siegfried he "plays the lute like a pansy," the embarrassed knight handed over his beloved stringed instrument and challenged the princess to do better. Hilde promptly pulled out her sword, sliced the neck of the lute to a fine point, and stabbed Siegfried in the face with it.
After the incident, Siegfried began dragging an impossibly large sword around the kingdom. One day when there was an appropriately large crowd of onlookers in the town square, Hilde called Siegfried out on his insecurities, contrasting the size of his sword to that of his manhood. Siegfried brashly responded by announcing the Soul Calibur tournament, stating whoever fought their way to the top of the ladder would have the chance to fight him to the death. Hilde immediately declared she'd be there "with f***ing bells on," an old Wolfkrone idiom.
Analysis: Ha ha, that dork hit himself in the face with his own nunchucks!
Real Story: At some point in the history of SoulCalibur, Maxi got a piece of Soul Edge lodged in his body. That fragment of the sword made Maxi kinda evil, until Edge Master taught him how to live with it. Now he has to go on a quest to save some dude named Kilik.
Better Story: Maxi needs no back story. He's the comic-relief character that the player should fight during the tutorial, who ultimately defeats himself with a fatal head wound from his own nunchucks. The twist: The player must watch Maxi thrash around on the ground and wail for 15 minutes in an unskippable cutscene. As the slapstick humor fades to unspeakable horror caused by Maxi's agony, the player learns the truth about Soul Calibur: this deadly tournament ain't messing around.
Analysis: No, we're not doing this.
Real Story: No one knows who Z.W.E.I. is, but rumors suggest he can summon a deadly minion. Z.W.E.I. is the protector of Viola and agreed to help Siegfried find a new wielder of Soul Calibur. Z.W.E.I. is named after the German word for "two," which the developer tried to class up by making it an acronym, only they didn't bother to come up with words that correspond to the letters.
Better Story: Z.W.E.I. is clearly supposed to be some kind of vampire hunter and thus should be removed from SoulCalibur V and put into a Castlevania knockoff instead.
Analysis: Viola has a Freddy Krueger hand, which is pretty cool, plus some kind of glowing power orb. The spiderweb tights are a little goth, though.
Real Story: Viola is an outcast fortuneteller who can use her magical crystal ball to see into peoples' lives. However, she can't use it on herself, and knows nothing about her past due to unexplained amnesia. Turns out that's a pretty good way to not have to come up with a back story.
Better Story: Viola was just a regular teenage girl who had a great affection for horror movies. After getting picked on at school for watching Nightmare on Elm Street one too many times, Viola made her own Krueger claws to exact her revenge. Soon she realized that black magic would allow her to gain evil powers from other horror movies, and she obtained her glowing power orb from...let's say Poltergeist. No, Phantasm!
Analysis: Put on some shoes, you hippy. Also, you're fighting with a stick! You realize there are people in this tournament with giant swords, right?
Real Story: Xiba is part of SoulCalibur's brat pack, which also includes the showgirl, the guy who hits himself in the face with nunchucks, and some girl named Leixia. Xiba is on a journey to find steam buns. Not even making that up.
Better Story: Xiba is just tired of getting passed up for other video games. He was neither cool nor lame enough to be in Final Fantasy, he wasn't strong enough to play Monkey in Enslaved, and his hair wasn't spiky enough to be in Kingdom Hearts. Given the declining popularity of JRPGs in recent years, Xiba finally settled for being fodder at the bottom of the Soul Calibur tournament ladder. It's a living.
Analysis: Lizard warrior!
Real Story: Once a swordsman tasked with destroying Soul Edge, Aeon was turned into a lizard monster by the Fygul Cestemus cult, the same jerks who also created Astaroth. Luckily, Aeon can gain the powers of anyone he consumes, which ain't half bad.
Better Story: Aeon comes from a proud and peaceful race of lizard men, who have been discriminated against for centuries. A highly-respected scholar and lawyer, Aeon spent his life crafting the perfect argument for why his lizard men deserve fair and equal treatment in the kingdom of Wolfkrone. As he prepared to plead his case in the busy town square, he was interrupted by a female warrior making fun of the size of a male warrior's wang. A tournament was announced, and recognizing that such primitive people would never listen to reason, Aeon decided to enter and kill them all instead. Revengeance!
Analysis: Wait, wasn't this guy in Tekken?
Real Story: Yoshimitsu is actually the name of this warrior's blade, which can only be held by one person at a time, thus transforming him or her into Yoshimitsu. The only way to replace Yoshimitsu is to kill the previous owner, which is precisely what Yoshimitsu II (pictured above) did when he killed his lifelong master. Yoshimitsu II now takes on the mission of his slain hero, using the demonic blade to fight all forms of evil.
Better Story: Actually, that's totally bad-ass. I wouldn't change a thing!