Soul Edge is the cursed sword and the main antagonist of Soul series. Originally forged by human hands, at first Soul Edge was just an ordinary sword, but after being bathed in blood and hatred countless times, the sword turned into a demonic weapon and gained a wicked soul, which the games called Inferno. Those who grasp its hilt are unable to escape its curse, as its spirit invades the mind like a parasite and drives its wielder insane. As its blade is soaked in blood it grows in power, yet it manages to shine a polished red. Soul Edge is distinguished by the animate eye. However, the fifth installment of the Soul Calibur series offers a different explanation. According to the story, Soul Edge was originally forged out of the power and strength of the body of Algol, the Hero King, as opposed to Soul Calibur, being forged from his mind.
While Soul Edge is commonly depicted as a sword, he takes on many shapes and forms throughout the series, either through time periods or various characters wielding him. When he first gained his parasitic powers, he was a broadsword with a collection of flesh growing at the hilt and handguard area with a yellow eye. In Soul Blade, he was a normal sword with a flesh-like hilt and handguard with hooks on the latter part. When Siegfried took hold of the sword, the hooks gripped his hand tight to keep him from discarding him. By the time Nightmare arose, the weapon transformed into a giant sword with flesh filling the blunt side of the blade and the eye at the base of his hilt. One side of the sword featured an enlarged blade to greater fit Nightmare's fighting style.
After having sustained damage after the events of Soulcalibur and recovering Charade in Soulcalibur II, a portion of the blade is missing, and the flesh area is exposed and forced to grow to accomodate for his missing portion, to the point of creeping over the hilt himself. In an artwork piece showing Nightmare, the blade seems to be leaving decomposing shards and pieces of flesh, as if he is weakening, although there are weapons he can obtain which show a restored or "completed" version of himself, the latter of which is covered completely in a grotesque composite slab of eyes and meat. In Soulcalibur III, Soul Edge is no longer used by anyone in the immediate roster or available as an initial weapon. He had instead fused together with Soul Calibur where the holy weapon had pierced him from the hilt area, and several parts of the blade are folded and cracked. Nightmare is forced to use a "phantom" version of the blade which features a rough bronze blade with a black and purple eye as his core. The "complete" version of Soul Edge in this game no longer features an eye or exposed flesh, but is merely a large sword with teeth lining the blunt side of the blade.
Following Soulcalibur IV, the blade is once more whole and takes on an entirely new design, with a giant crystalline structure with a red hue covering the blade and a blue core while having formed a proper handguard again. The eye is now situated in the handguard instead of being on the blade himself. In Soulcalibur V, he retains his more familiar appearance from 1 and 2. However, when Pyrrha inherits Soul Edge after Nightmare's defeat, the blade becomes smaller and slimmer, and the handguard gains wings and a skull-like form in the middle with the eye situated just above him. The blade himself retains a crimson hue but with traces of black and flesh in the interior.
The first known bearer of Soul Edge was the Hero King, Algol, whose strong will conquered the evil intelligence of the blade. However, his son, Arcturus, was not so strong, and quickly fell under the dark influence of the sword. Jealous of his father's power, he stole Soul Edge and instantly came under the possession of the evil sword. In a desperate battle against the deranged prince, the mighty king defeated Soul Edge, but at the cost of his son's life. Swearing vengeance against the cursed blade, which disappeared after the encounter, he forged from purified fragments of Soul Edge the holy blade Soul Calibur.
The second known bearer of Soul Edge was Zasalamel, during one of his many lifetimes. Trying to break the curse of his eternal reincarnations, Zasalamel obtained the cursed blade, but instead, his soul was possessed by the evil will of the sword, and he turned into the host of the blade until the end of that life. After that, records cease until several hundred years later.
Soul Edge aquired many hosts that kept the evil energy of the sword inside their bodies. Some hosts were willing to serve Soul Edge by offering their bodies, but most weren't. When Soul Edge bonds with someone, it takes possession of their bodies and devours the persons soul. The hosts of Soul Edge were:
- Siegfried Schtauffen
- Tira (in her non-canon Soulcalibur III ending)
- Yun-Seong (in his non-canon Soulcalibur IV ending)
- Supposedly Raphael as Graf Dumas
Soulcalibur II/Soulcalibur IIIEdit
Soulcalibur IV/Soulcalibur: Broken DestinyEdit