Soulcalibur Sōrukyaribā is a weapon-based fighting video game franchise by Bandai Namco Entertainment. There are seven main installments of video games and various media spin-offs, including music albums and a series of manga books. Originally released as an arcade game, Soul Edge, in 1995 and later ported to video game consoles, more recent versions have been released for consoles only and have evolved to include online playing modes.
The central motif of the series, set in a historical fantasy version of the late 16th and early 17th centuries, are mythical swords, the evil weapon called Soul Edge and the subsequent sword used to oppose this evil, Soul Calibur (parsed as two words, while the game’s title is written as a single word). While it has developed during its various iterations, some of the characters and gameplay elements have remained consistent throughout the series.
Project Soul is the internal Namco development group responsible for the Soulcalibur franchise after the release of Soulcalibur II. Although the games are usually credited to Namco itself, the team established its name to draw attention to the group’s combined accomplishments.2
All games in the series before Soulcalibur III were originally released as arcade games, and subsequently ported to home consoles. The ported versions are known for their extra features, including characters, weapons, costumes, art galleries, martial arts demonstrations and involved single-player modes, when compared to the original arcade versions. For example, Seung Han Myong (Romanized in later games as Seong Han-myeong is not featured in the arcade version of Soul Edge and in home versions there is an role-playing-type mode titled “Edge Master” where the player can unlock various items including weapons for the default characters.