Week 15 – 02/04/11 – 08/04/11
I came up with a bunch of ideas for the new Soulcalibur story.
1. A story about Nightmare, who defeats Sieg in SC4 and destroys the world with the ultimate weapon created combining SC + SE.
2. Story about Sieg, who defeats Nightmare in SC4. He wears Nightmare’s armor and continues his road to redemption with a different name.
3. “Soulcalibur, the after years” with a new and young character (Bangoo etc). Existing characters are older (old Mitsurugi etc).
“Soulcalibur, the after years”. Story of the child between Kilik & Xiaghua, and the new 3 holy artifacts.
“Soulcalibur, the after years”. An older Maxi, who wields the Nunchuck created from the shards of SC & SE, looks back and reveals the past.
6. “Story before Soul Edge”, with a new main character and all existing characters are young (young Voldo, young Seung Hanmyong etc).
7. “Story before Soul Edge”. The main character is a holy warrior with an unfortunate fate, who was chosen by the gods before Sophitia.
8. “Story before Soul Edge”. Story bout a man who was named the weapon master. He later becomes…
9. Story of Cervantes who takes back SE and also takes control of SC as a secondary weapon. Who can stop him!?
10. Story of Johan Dürer. How he meets SE and how the story continues to SC1.
11. Story of Siegfried’s son. He travels the land to find SE and Nightmare, and to find out the mysteries surrounding how he came to be.
12. A story about an immortal, looking over and protecting the 2 opposing swords.
13. Every player around the world is the main character!!
14. Sophitia and Cassandra’s children battle it out. One leads the SE army and the other leads the SC army. “The battle of the Alexandras”.
I was thinking about these stories as an April fool’s joke but was too busy on April the 1st to post them 😛
Again, Daishi teases with almost-news.
Though he admits these ideas are all flights of fancy, they indicate 2 distinct paths through Daishi’s designs for the game. Of the 14 ideas he presents, only 2 are direct continuations of Soulcalibur’s story within the defined setting, the others are either prequels, sequels, or alternate takes, with the single “every player is the main character” plot being a throwaway.
I’m sure many of you have read I Speak Comics recent articles titled Why Fighting Game Stories Lack Substance. If you haven’t, here are the 2 available at the time of this writing: Round 1, Round 2. You don’t have to read them; I just want to say that my intention isn’t to preempt the direction that I suspect SumoSlam is going, but it’s an idea that I’ve been talking about for a while now, and this is as good a place as any to write about it.
Basically, fighting games are structured to be like sitcoms: they’re designed to propagate the status quo. So, like sitcoms, the setting and the characters are infinitely more important than the plot. Every character needs a reason to be fighting, a goal to work toward, and a distinct personality, but none of them ever have to achieve those goals. In fact, achieving their goal is almost always counter-productive, which is why it so rarely happens. If you want a sequel, you also want most of the old characters back. If half of them kill the other half, and then half of those left retire or move on, you’re kind of stuck. You can create a totally new cast of characters to replace the old, but then your game looks like a spin-off, and it annoys the fans who liked the first game because they liked the characters. The closest most franchises will come to real character progression is what-if bonus characters like Evil Ryu.
For distinctly Soulcalibur examples, look at how each of the sequels is structured: someone defeats Soul Edge, removing evil from the land, and a few years later Soul Edge comes right back for no other reason than what else are you going to do when you want to make a new Soulcalibur? Even when the story wants to change, as when Soulcalibur 2 brought in replacements for most of Soulcalibur 1 and Soul Edge’s characters, they still brought all the old ones back eventually, because even though Kilik stole all of Mina’s moves, and Mina wasn’t part of the story, he wasn’t Mina. And even though Cassandra took Sophitia’s place, she wasn’t Sophitia. Splitting Nightmare and Siegfried apart is about as drastic a change as the story will ever demand, and people still want Soulcalibur 2 Nightmare back, which is why I’ve been waiting for his Devil Jin-like return to the cast.
This sort of thing happens in every fighting game. Guilty Gear spent 10 years looking for That Man, Ryu will never find his true power — at least not for more than 10 minutes — and none of the Mishimas will ever completely kill off the others. They will always come back, they will always be one step behind their goal, because that’s what it takes to get another game out of the franchise. Even King of Fighters, the only (probably, hopefully) still ongoing fighting game series that has no problem killing off, disappearing, and altering characters, makes allowance for fans by releasing non-canon dream matches every few games, bringing back dead characters and old bosses and gameplay — is it any surprise that the dream matches are also the most popular games in the series? It shouldn’t be.
The story of a fighting game, of the new Soulcalibur, is 100% build-up. It’s about defining the setting, and about how the setting will define the gameplay. That’s also the reason behind Street Fighter 4 and Mortal Kombat 9. The developers appeal to nostalgia by reverting all the characters, and the story, back to early days. For Street Fighter, that means Street Fighter 2, and for Mortal Kombat that means Mortal Kombats 1-3. The setting then influences the gameplay — it could be argued that the reverse is more true, but that’s chicken and egg territory.
It still seems like a relatively safe bet that Daishi will hit some sort of reset button for the new game, if only for the sake of gameplay. He wants to go back to Soulcalibur 1 and 2, and he’ll use the plot to get him there.
The only thing to debate is whether the “joke” ideas are ones that he’s throwing out, or ones that show what he’s actually considering. Those are his 2 paths.
On a side note, the Johan Durer Daishi mentions is Soulcalibur’s official also-ran character, who’s managed to get his name into nearly every Soulcalibur game, but never got himself a slot as a playable character.
Now I regret the precedent I set by posting previous fan art and cosplay.
I think the stories are good too. In fact, there are more than 20 other stories in my head. RT @zeonizm:
I just wanted everyone to know some of the ideas boling in my head.
As I said, what he’s posting is barely real news, but it’s an idea of what he’s considering. Or what he’s tossing into his recycling bin.
Chronicles of the Sword? Maybe Abelia’s child can be the main character? RT @Wasabijoyu:
For anyone paying attention, which is more than what I did — and I did beat Chronicles of the Sword, which is why my hate for it is so genuine — Chronicles has nothing to do with Soulcalibur’s story anyway, and a sequel to that godawful mode wouldn’t need to have any relation to the first mode’s story.
Crazier then Tekken’s story! RT @ElephantExplode: It’s 2125 and people use swords, shields staffs etc; because of a gun ban in 2099, as they were deemed to dangerous after Some great war during that period, so now people use weapons to fight! But out of nowhere, SC/SE come out of nowhere and mess!
And I bet people would still bitch about Star Wars characters.
I hear the 4/3 charity event “Fight For Relief” (http://bit.ly/epUa8P) was able to raise a lot of donations. Thanks to the fans who donated!
Yes, big kudos to everyone who turned out for, and donated to, the Fight For Relief tourney. I watched most of it and it was more entertaining than Wrestlemania. Plus, $32k+USD is pretty damn good for one night of charity gaming.