Top 10 Least Favorite Soul Series Characters

project soul

With as big a roster as the Soul series supports, there’s bound to be a few characters that stick out for being unsightly. With as vivid as my memories are of my experiences with the Soul series, there are absolutely times when certain characters rub me the wrong way. This list is dedicated to those characters.

Once again, no noticeable stipulations will be added to this list, but I tend to focus on the primary characters more than anything. Y’know, characters you can actually play as. So, like the list on my favorites, don’t expect any guest characters scrolling downward. However, guest characters altogether could be put on a spot just for their title.

#10: Aeon Calcos (Lizardman)

Lizardman

If you’ve read my other list, you’d know that I complain about characters falling into the “evil lackey” category. While Mr. Calcos here doesn’t always fit into that role in terms of story, he seems to fit into it whenever a player is doing Arcade Mode or other various modes. Not only that, but he’s become a bit of the butt of the franchise, showcasing him in various “silly” outcomes and with humorous weapons, such as “Boned Meat.” For a character whose story describes a soldier from the same holy sanctuary that Cassandra and Sophitia comes from who was abducted by a mad scientist and transformed into a lizard and slowly loses grip on his humanity, this seems a bit, shall I say, “off.”

Not to mention, Aeon never seems to really progress anywhere. In Soul Calibur III, he’s on a quest to retrieve his lost soul for the sake of regaining his sanity. In the sequel, he loses that sanity and goes apeshit. But in Soul Calibur V, he regains some of his sanity yet again only to find out he has to go apeshit in order to regain more of it. This sort of back and forth story seems so indecisive of what they want to make him that it ends up hurting the character.

While he looks cool, I was never really a big fan of his fighting style. I like the wings and the dual-wielding axes in SC: V, but before that, he seemed more like a clone of Sophitia, which is somewhat excused by him being from the same vicinity. He’s also annoying to face off against, especially on higher difficulties. I would know, because you face him a lot—in any game, so it seems.

The company doesn’t seem to give him any respect, which is pitiful, but it doesn’t shine well regardless. He’s become sort of the “joke character” of the series, aside from one notable inclusion (which may be shown later). If Aeon was cut out of the Soul series altogether, I’m not sure anyone would bat an eye. I certainly wouldn’t.

#9: Xianghua

Xianghua

I might get some shit for this.

Xianghua is actually one of the more popular and integral characters from the Soul series. However, I don’t much care for her, from the way she looks to the sound of her voice. Perhaps I’m carrying a childhood grudge. Who’s to say? But her voice in almost each game makes me want to puncture my eardrums. Combine that with her peppy attitude and penchant for the same thing over and over again, and you have a character I’ve grown to dislike. Swear to God, if I hear one more “Just kidding!”

But I can’t bag on her too much. I think her relationship with Kilik is cute and her fighting style isn’t… awful. However, as a kid, I always looked at her as some stupid, overgrown child who loved the sound of her own voice. To top it off, she is the wielder of the legendary sword Soul Calibur in Soul Calibur II? That enraged me to no end. I felt she wasn’t deserving. Give it to someone cool, like Taki or Link! Ah, my childhood mind at work.

She’s not an altogether bad character, but she’s one whose personality and spunk on the battlefield got on my nerves. Perhaps if her voice wasn’t so obnoxious I wouldn’t have such an issue with her, but she does, so I do.

#8: Raphael

Raphael

Raphael, like Xianghua, is a character I’ve grown to dislike. I didn’t care for him as a child playing Soul Calibur II, and I don’t care for him now that it’s released three sequels. To top it off, he’s become a vampire, or one with vampire-like qualities. That’s… something.

I’ll admit, the reason I didn’t care for him as a child was because he was an asshole. I recall playing through Link’s Arcade Mode, Link walking up to Raphael for some assistance, and Raphael attacks him for no reason. “What the heck!” I thought to myself back then, cementing Raphael’s status on my “Do Not Trust” list. Not to mention, some of his overbearingly snooty lines upon victory. Raphael had the entire make-up of a royal pain in the ass.

Looking back on it, Raphael isn’t that bad of a character in Soul Calibur II. In fact, I can’t find myself hating that portrayal of his character. It isn’t until the later games that I begin to find real reason to despise him. Amy this, Amy that. Amy, Amy, Amy. It’s all he cares about and all he strives for. I wonder if he’s even gotten Amy’s feedback on any of this. I know I’d be a little disturbed. Not to mention, he’s a bonafide vampire. A vampire! What the fuck? How did that happen? I guess Soul Edge’s presence within the body can shapeshift one into classic Halloween creatures. Next you’ll tell me Siegfried is actually a werewolf.

His one-dimensional attitude and delusional temperament makes for a dutifully unlikable character in my mind. To top it off, there’s heavy evidence to support that he is the new host of Nightmare in Soul Calibur V. My childhood mind is screaming at the top of its lungs. “Raphael!? Gosh dang!”

At least his moveset is fun.

#7: Rock

Rock

Hey, look! An Astaroth clone! Oh, wait. Astaroth is a clone of him? Well that’s… dull.

Much like Raphael, Rock’s one-dimensional mindset makes him an ultimately unlikable character. However, in Rock’s case, he’s so bland that it’s easy to forget him, while with Raphael he’s so irritating that it’s hard to forget. Raphael has Amy, Rock has Bangoo. Bangoo this, Bangoo that. Bangoo, Bangoo, Bangoo. It’s all Rock seems to care about and all he ever does anything for. In my mind, he may as well be the clone of Astaroth, because Astaroth far better suits his fighting style and appearance.

Sure, the gentle giant trope is fun and all, but he’s just so empty. There’s nothing really about him that comes to mind aside from his love for Bangoo. That’s why he’s placed where he is on this list. It’s not like I hate the guy, but he’s so uninteresting and meager in character. Perhaps I never really got into him due to my first experience with him being in Soul Calibur IV, but even without the childhood bias, I don’t think I’d much care for him, especially with Astaroth being on the same roster.

I even prefer Astaroth’s fighting style compared to his. Rock’s moves seem more controlled, more fluid. With big, strong characters, I like all-out power, even at the cost of speed. Astaroth provides just that. Rock doesn’t provide me with anything, except perhaps an unfunny joke about his closeness with an underaged boy.

#6: Hilde

Hilde

Are you starting to sense a theme here? A pattern of some sort? You should be.

Hilde was the cover girl and basically spokesperson for Soul Calibur IV. Look at how unique this character is; she has a short-range and a long-range weapon! She’s certainly not cheap whatsoever, that’s why she’s banned from all competitive play! Yeah. Project Soul really dropped the ball on this one.

But it’s not like her fighting style is bad. It’s just apparently cheap and unfair to use. I can see why, seeing as she can use both short and long-range weapons. To top it off, they brought her back in Soul Calibur V, and she still has the same fighting style. Great. But that’s enough tourney talk. How’s her personality?

My people. My crown. My honor. Wolfkrone! Wolfkrone! Glory! Justice! Vengeance! Wolfkrone! My people! Honor! Wolfkrone! Honor! Honor! Honor! Wolfkrone!

We get it. You like your country. And that’s all she is, too. The leader of Wolfkrone after her father was caged up in solitude due to falling to the madness of Soul Edge’s power. So, as such a good leader should, she barks orders and cries poetic monotony about her people, their pride, their honor, their strength, their… everything. Hilde is another example of a one-dimensional mindset at work.

I’ll give her credit for having a nice design, though. I dig the armor and the patriotic style of her weaponry. She even has a little mole down below her lips. Nice touch, Project Soul. She’s now moe enough to have a body pillow made out of her.

#5: Leixia

Leixia

Remember who #9 was on this list? Xianghua? Meet her daughter. Remember that thing I said about Xianghua’s personality being insufferable with the voice that she had? Leixia is no different… because she literally isn’t any different. Her voice is similar, her moveset is the same. Her personality is similar, along with her lines. She’s essentially a younger Xianghua, thrown in to compensate for Xianghua’s absence and age.

So, to clarify, Leixia is basically Xianghua, except younger and with a different design. Fuck you, Project Soul.

#4: Charade

Charade

In my heart, I feel this might be a tad unfair. Not in the sense that Charade is a bad character or anything, but more on the basis that Charade isn’t really a character. It makes one appearance throughout the entirety of the Soul series franchise and has so little importance to anyone’s story that it may as well not even exist. However, Charade is a playable character and is treated as its own character and has a backstory to boot, so it counts… and its background is really bare boned.

Charade was once a man who learned of the legend of Soul Edge and made it his destiny to collect the missing pieces. However, he was murdered and thrown into a river sometime during his journey by bandits. The blood of his body soaked the fragments of Soul Edge he had grasped in his hand and his being being that of what you see in the picture above.

So, basically, some random asshole got murdered and became Charade by having his blood soak with the fragment of Soul Edge in his possession. Uh huh. Why doesn’t that happen to, uh, anyone else then? If that were true, wouldn’t there be at least a hundred Charades running around reading people’s minds and searching for fragments? What made this guy so special?

I feel it’s just the lack of any definitive explanation that makes Charade so lackluster. That, and the fact that he bears no importance to the plot. He’s made only one appearance for a reason: because Soul Calibur II needed the traditional “random” character and they didn’t want to bring Edge Master back, for whatever reason. So, they decided to take Soul Edge’s scraps, put ’em together like a puzzle, and call it a day. Oh, and the cherry on top is its name: Charade. They knew exactly what his purpose was. Why even include a backstory? No one would care regardless. I certainly wouldn’t.

#3: Dampierre

Dampierre

To reference my own list once more, recall back to #10, when I mentioned the inclusion of a joke character that may be included on this list later on. Later on has arrived. Meet Dampierre.

Take one look, take one gander. Can you take this man seriously? Can you take the very idea, the foundation of this man’s attire and premise seriously? He looks like Waluigi, the trash heap of the Mario series, which is known to have about 6,000 characters to its name. His inclusion in the series makes me want to pull my teeth out with a fork. He’s not a serious character. He’s not a serious anything. He’s a joke. A genuine, unfunny joke.

I realize I shouldn’t be so frustrated over a character such as Dampierre. The Soul series is known to have its fun from time to time and Dampierre is just another example. But for me, I’ve always viewed the Soul series as a serious game, with humor added on the side to take the edge off. With the inclusion of Dampierre (though not technically within the story… yet), it only inches closer to the threshold where comedy and seriousness mix, turning the Soul series into a goofy theater play with dark themes. They typically don’t work well together, and I don’t want a series like this to even try when they’re on life support as is.

But enough of the context, how is Dampierre as a character? Well, he’s a con-artist who loves himself. His moveset is described as “comical” and… ugh. I can’t go on. Fucking hell this guy is stupid.

#2: Patroklos and Pyrrha

Patroklos & Pyrrha

I’m cheating a little, but bear with me. I just couldn’t separate these two after they worked so hard to come together.

Patroklos in particular is a character most fans of the Soul series would expect to see on this list. That’s not to say that Pyrrha is any better, but you control Patroklos as the main character in Soul Calibur V‘s Story Mode, and boy, does he leave quite the impression.

A lot of people give Patroklos a bad rap for being cruel, sinister, and a crybaby. I’d be willing to agree with one of those statements. I think the hatred that Patroklos has for anything malfested is excusable for one so young and so naive. I also think that his hatred would reflect upon his demeanor and cloud his judgment when finding out that his sister is a prime candidate to be the new host of Soul Edge. I will, however, agree that Patroklos is a crybaby and a horrible excuse for a main hero. I would even go as far as to say that he’s almost a self-insert. The game tries so hard to make him important and impactful upon the player that everything feels rushed and everyone else takes a back seat. The Soul series was never about one character, but a multitude of characters going after the same goal. The issue with Patroklos is that when he’s the star, everyone else becomes expendable.

Pyrrha has a similar issue. Soul Calibur V loves the concept of contrasting characters. Light vs. Dark. Good vs. Evil. Brother vs. Sister. It pits these two characters against each other, despite their inherent connection, and forsakes anyone else who dare come between them. Aside from Tira, who instigates the whole thing, the entire Story is focused on Pyrrha and Patroklos, who almost mirror one another in terms of conflict. They both have to accept some dark secret and struggle to overcome it until the very end. Patroklos groans and goes into a cathartic state where Soul Calibur appears to him as a half-naked image of his mother… okay… and Pyrrha screams in pain. A lot. Anyone remember Siegfried? Fuck him, we got this shrimp to develop. Nightmare? Let’s replace him with a cute little girl. It’s not enough that these characters aren’t likable, but the game goes so out of its way to try and make them tragic heroes that one doesn’t even see some of the most prevalent characters in the series because of it. Cervantes? Mitsurugi? Kilik? Yoshimitsu? All don’t even appear once.

Patroklos and Pyrrha are shadows of their mother, Sophitia, both in appearance and fighting style. They’re unlikable as characters and clones as combatants. It’s not until they change into their “ultimate forms” that they take on different fighting styles. Even then, Patroklos borrows a lot of moves from Setsuka, while Pyrrha becomes a mini Nightmare… because she’s Soul Edge’s host, so it kind of makes sense. Doesn’t mean it isn’t a cop-out. That seems to be their, and Soul Calibur V‘s, major flaw: it tries so hard to be something new when below the surface, they’re only copying previous games and traditions. Not only copying, but cutting. It’s hollow, uninspired, and ugly, just like Sophitia’s precious children.

#1: Xiba

Food

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