How will the new timeline diverge from the old?

Does Sophitia still have the unremovable soul edge fragment stuck in her body in SCVI? at the end of the day,it's one of the key elements that eventually lead to V being what it was,story wise,and I doubt they'd want to go down that road again with this soft reboot.
And honestly,I hope they'd remove that part since it's also what leads her to the very tragic turn of events in IV that I personally despise,with her daughter being kidnapped and being blackmailed into protecting Soul Edge,and then...killing herself for her daughter's sake.And I'm scared that if they kept this plot element without wanting her to sacrifice herself at the end to keep the roster status quo that they'd make her go full crazy/corrupted a la Pyrrha Omega or some inane garbage,which would be even worse.
I can't even play her in VI without being reminded of her sad story and go emo mode for a while,guess I'm too sensitive to this shit :(.
 
New member here. I've been a big fan of the series since I was 10 years old and the original game (i.e. "Soul Edge," not "Soulcalibur") was released to arcades way back in the day. I've also always been heavily invested in the lore of my gaming interests, thanks largely to my love for the "Final Fantasy" series. That being the case, the lore of the "Soulcalibur" series has always been near and dear to my heart as well.

As such, I've spent much of my free time over the past week researching the topic of this thread. That has involved, in part, reading this thread, as well as other comments (mostly from Nyte and DanteSC3) that were posted in the time leading up to SCVI's release. Mostly, though, this endeavor has involved quite a lot of refreshing my memory of the story content of the past games via the Soulcalibur Wiki, the in-game profiles from the games themselves, and the lore shared in the "New Legends of Project Soul" book; then comparing all that information to what is depicted in SCVI.

(Or at least what I've been able to find. I don't yet have the game myself and have just watched a lot of videos on YouTube. Though I've seen the entirety of the main story, the individual Soul Chronicles, and "Libra of Soul," I've not yet found a video that goes into all of the Library stuff from the Museum.)

Anyway, this topic is already interesting enough to a fan like myself, but the debate over it between the fans has been just as interesting. Here at 8WayRun, that debate has primarily taken form in the discussion between Nyte and DanteSC3, with others occasionally chiming in to back up one or the other.

While I'm sure there are details I've missed (being that we're discussing lore that spans seven games or more; and being that I'm probably still missing something important from the Museum), I've still reached my own conclusion as to who I think is correct in this debate: both Nyte and DanteSC3.

More to the point, DanteSC3 is correct about the current state of the new timeline; i.e. it's compatible with that of the older games. Meanwhile, Nyte is correct about the future of this timeline; i.e. it will diverge from that of the older games. In fact, it already has!

I also agree with DanteSC3 that this timeline will seemingly head towards taking form as SCV -- at least before it more drastically diverges. I say all of this for a number of reasons that I'll now get to.

Nyte has frequently made the point that if SCV weren't seen as a landfill fire that should be avoided, SCVI wouldn't be an expanded remake of a beloved earlier entry in the series. I do think there is merit to this observation, as well as the sentiment that Patroklos is one of the least sympathetic video game protagonists of all time. That said, there is also merit to the observation that SCVI has already incorporated a notable number of significant lore details previously exclusive to the flagging period of the series -- i.e. SCIV and SCV.

I include SCIV as part and parcel with SCV and the series' past decline for three reasons:

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— They share a consistent (almost universally poorly received, as near as I can tell) in-game aesthetic due to Daishi Odashima being the designer in charge of the in-game character designs for SCIV, then being the overall project director on SCV

— SCIV featured such a barebones and disjointed story mode that SCV's notoriously incomplete "Story -1607 A.D.-" was actually a marked improvement. This was especially inexcusable from SCIV after the fairly meaty "Tales of Souls" mode -- and general wide breadth of content -- featured in SCIII. (When no one at GameFAQs even bothers to transcribe the in-game character profiles from an SC game into an FAQ because they were literally just a copy-paste job of the opening blurb from each character's emaciated story mode, that kind of says it all)

— The story premise for SCIV had everyone in the same small location right from the start rather than initially wandering the world. This resulted in a frantic "imminent showdown" atmosphere that essentially demanded any follow-up game address the narrative climax established by SCIV's premise. Compound this with the bafflingly barebones story content of the game (all the more baffling in light of the aforementioned narrative climax), and it is this development, I would wager, that led to the consideration of the infamous time skip being incorporated into SCV
----

With this parent-child relationship between SCIV and V in mind, I ask that we now turn our attention to the multiple aspects of series lore from these two games and their affiliated official materials (e.g. the "New Legends of Project Soul" book) that we find incorporated into SCVI's story:

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— The Guardians of the Spirit Sword that Zasalamel was once part of are mentioned in his Soul Chronicle; the order's name was previously established as part of SCV's lore on pg. 11 and pg. 107 of the "New Legends of Project Soul" book

— King Arthur ("... a king from medieval Europe ... Born in Britain") is referenced in Zasalamel's Soul Chronicle as a previous wielder of Soul Calibur; as with the previous entry on this list, this information was previously established as part of SCV's lore on pg. 11 of the "New Legends of Project Soul" book

— Soldiers of the Wolfkrone Kingdom from which Hilde hails feature in Nightmare's Soul Chronicle while Queen Hildegard herself is referenced by name in the "Libra of Soul" story segment, "Taking On the World: The Merchant's Tale" (I'd be thoroughly surprised if she isn't also mentioned by name in the "Wolfkrone Kingdom" entry of the Encyclopedia in the Library section of the Museum as well); Hilde and her kingdom, of course, feature prominently in SCIV's story

— Zasalamel identifies the Hero King Algol by name and title in the "Echoes of Fate: Spirit Scales" story segment during the Epilogue chapter to "Libra of Soul," and also mentions that Algol's soul lay trapped in the Astral Chaos awaiting the opportunity to be freed; this eventuality is, of course, the inciting incident of the narrative climax that is the premise of SCIV; in addition, Zasalamel's Story Chronicle goes into Algol's tragic history and role in the creation of Soul Calibur, these details previously hailing from SCIV

— Siegfried's Soul Chronicle demonstrates that Soul Calibur, like Soul Edge, also possesses sentience while Zasalamel's Soul Chronicle and the Epilogue chapter to "Libra of Soul" have the immortal scribe acknowledge that the spirit sword has the same (i.e. evil) properties as Soul Edge since it was forged from a fragment of the evil weapon (e.g. Zasalamel: "In truth, the spirit sword that Algol forged is simply a part of the cursed sword, and so possesses the same properties"); these aspects of Soul Calibur (sentience and a similar nature to Soul Edge) were previously revealed in SCIV and heavily featured in SCV

— Raphael's Soul Chronicle reveals that the mansion he "acquired under dark pretenses" (per his in-game profile from SCII) had belonged to Lord Dumas; this man's name is the identity Nightmare would adopt in SCV after taking possession of Raphael's body
----

All this in mind, the fundamental lore of the later installments of the SC series is very much in play in the setting of SCVI. They were not excised. The vast majority of what we see happen in SCVI most likely also occurred in the original timeline.

All that being said, SCVI does seem to imply that history will be taking a different course than before, even if it has not yet obviously done so, only beginning to diverge after a single reclusive character begins to make their move in 1590.

I'm referring here to some of Zasalamel's statements from the "Echoes of Fate: Spirit Scales" story segment during the Epilogue chapter to "Libra of Soul," as well as his revelations about the future from his hidden eighth Soul Chronicle chapter.

Let us look first at these statements found in "Libra of Soul":

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"In my current life, I have examined closely the secrets locked inside my memory, and discovered a connection to fate, or 'future memories' if you will... As such, I am able to predict the destiny of people and the direction the world is heading. When I met you, however, I was at a loss."


"And so I entrusted you with the Libra of Soul... the spirit scales. Accordingly, the movements in the scales caused by your actions means there is now a discrepancy between my memory and the happenings of the world—as though an alternate version of history has been created."


"This truth has given me an invaluable clue, and helped me envision the next move in my plan. And if my conclusion is correct..."


A wry smile appeared on Zasalamel's face.


"...things could get very interesting indeed."
----

I expect this is foreshadowing that changes are coming. Some details may still play out the same. Others may be remarkably similar. However, some will blatantly amount to "an alternate version of history."

This is already taking shape with Zasalamel in 1590, per his monologue from the true final chapter of his Soul Chronicle:

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"I once wished for death, but now I wish for something else."


"Now, I wish to cultivate the potential that people possess and lead them to a glorious new future."


"I seek not meaning or understanding in this."


"I am not even certain from which of my memories this thought sprang."


"I feel as if it has always been inside of me,"


"like a memory from a past life."


"I've thought of one other possibility."


"Perhaps this memory is from the future, sent back to me by my future self."
----

As we know, during the events of SCIII, Zasalamel was seeking his own death and guiding events toward that end. However, the opening to his story in SCIV tells us that when the showdown he engineered between Nightmare and Siegfried did come to pass, Zasalamel experienced a vision of humanity's potential future prosperity and became determined to see it:

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"'This is it,' he thought. 'This power will put an end to my cursed life once and for all!'

Zasalamel felt certain of it has he stood before the opposing swords' rush of power. At last, he would be able to escape this endless, cursed cycle of reincarnation. But just then, a wondrous vision appeared before him: towering structures that seemed to reach as high as heaven itself; steel boats that flew freely through the skies. The birth of a plan for leaving Earth and striking moonward, then the achievement of that goal. And the creation of new life, the province of the gods themselves! He was witnessing the future: the sum of all human potential.

To Zasalamel, it was a revelation. For the first time in ages, the will to live swelled inside him. He had to be there when that vision became a reality! He had to see it happen!"
----

If Zasalamel has now arrived at this goal prior to influencing what SCIII became, then we may be looking at a very different series of events when/if SCVII comes out.

Side note: I don't believe Grøh and Z.W.E.I. to be the same person. While Z.W.E.I. certainly fits the sort of image one might come up with when imagining a Nordic warrior in a historical fantasy setting, there are noteworthy details of their known origins that differ.

It is certainly easy to imagine that Z.W.E.I. also hails from the Aval Organization, or perhaps Azwel's offshoot of that secret society, The Qualifiers. Courtesy of pg. 25 of the "New Legends of Project Soul" book, we know that Z.W.E.I.'s 2P outfit is "meant to hint at his dark upbringing," in which he "was born and raised in a monastery, where he was taught under strict and intellectual guidelines." However, in Chapter 5 of "Libra of Soul," during the story segment entitled "A Shadow in the Dark," we're informed that Grøh wasn't born within Aval:

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Natalie: "I've been wondering... What did Grøh do before joining Aval?"


Dion: "I believe Sir Grøh has always been part of the organization."


Natalie: "Not quite. It is true that he was raised by the organization from a young age, but if I remember correctly, he and Sir Curtis were from the same area."


Dion: "Well, in that case, I suppose Sir Grøh is from somewhere in Scandinavia."


Natalie: "So it is unclear exactly how he came to join Aval..."
----

At any rate, both Z.W.E.I.'s unnatural powers and the odd typeface of his codename (pg. 24 of the "New Legends of Project Soul" book confirms that this isn't his real name) may imply someone who has been experimented on -- which Azwel is known to have done to members of the groups discussed above. At the very least, pg. 27 of the "New Legends of Project Soul" book makes clear that Z.W.E.I.'s ability to summon E.I.N. "is neither something that [he] was born with nor something he acquired intentionally."

Before closing this post out, I want to go over a few (mis)perceived contradictions in the new timeline vs. the original that Nyte brought up. I believe DanteSC3 has already addressed them to some extent, but I want to expand on that, and offer some corrections to both of them in one case.

Since will be is an addendum to the primary thrust of my post above, I'll throw all of it under its own spoiler tag.

As mentioned above, Siegfried becomes the wielder of Soul Calibur earlier than he original did. Much earlier, enough to alter the timeline there.
Siegfried hasn't yet gained control of Soul Calibur at the end of his Soul Chronicle. He's simply prevented the spirit sword from being devoured by Soul Edge for the time being and gained confidence that he and Soul Calibur will eventually break free, foreshadowing the struggle to come in which Siegfried actually takes hold of Soul Calibur after Raphael weakens the cursed blade sometime later.

For the time being, in the conclusion to his Soul Chronicle, Siegfried openly concedes that his strength has failed him following his spiritual battle with Inferno, and asserts that Soul Calibur's power will someday be released:

"Did I do it...? My strength fails me...
Is this the end for me?
But if the sword's power is unleashed someday...
That time... it will come."

The game's narrator even explicitly declares during the ending to Siegfried's Soul Chronicle that "[his] battle with his nightmares raged on." For the time being, Siegfried remains subject to becoming Nightmare during his sleep, as he did when we originally caught up with him in 1590.

Toki in the OT absorbed the Gel-O-Fury to become a demon, whereas here it was Geki who did that, while Toki instead sets out to seek Soul Edge. Notably, Geki didn't exist outside the non-canon Soulcalibur Legends beforehand.
I will concede that yes, Geki is the one who takes in Gel-o-Fury this time instead of Toki, so that is a new thing that happens, but the outcome is still the same. Gel-o-Fury still manages to escape in the aftermath, and New Legends of Project Soul also indicated that Toki was still alive, so the end result of the matter is still the same. Gel-o-Fury escapes, will eventually be absorbed by Soul Edge, and Toki is still out there alive, somewhere, and Taki doesn't know where. I would see this as an event of making things cleaner more than it is changing history. All the key pieces are still in play, same ending, different process to get there.
[Side note: Geki has been part of the "Soulcalibur" lore since SCI. He wasn't introduced in "Soulcalibur Legends."]

There's not even really a contradiction here. Taki's Soul Chronicle has this event taking place in 1584. Gel-o-Fury's escape from the bamboo forest shrine always took place during the first "Soulcalibur," as did Taki being pursued and confronted by Geki on Toki's behalf numerous times.

This is true down even to somewhat miniscule details like Geki having an assistant named "Doki" with him when he seized Mekki-maru, and Geki being injured when he drew the evil weapon from its sheath in spite of Taki's warnings. This is what we still witness in Taki's Soul Chronicle in SCVI.

In addition, just as her Soul Chronicle relates to us, the information found in SCI has it that Taki would seal Gel-o-Fury once more during this period, this time at the Hoko-ji Temple. Toki wouldn't absorb Gel-o-Fury until 1590, as related in SCIII.

Tira has a massive divergence. In the OT, she had her Jolly and Gloomy personalities from Soul Edge splitting her bipolar personality in two between III and IV. This is not the case at all here, as instead she's had it far sooner than that -- as in, before II and unrelated to Soul Edge, as it was instead born by the trauma of killing her foster family. The two personalities go back and forth and set out specifically to find Soul Edge itself, and are based on two personas -- Gloomy being the birth-raised assassin, Jolly being the mask of an innocent girl she tried to wear. Also, as for the Bird of Passage itself, in the OT they were killed by the Evil Seed. Here, they were driven mad by it, resulting in the group splitting apart. It's worth noting that Tira is instead written as 17 at the time of around Soul Calibur, rather than Soulcalibur III.
Tira's Jolly and Gloomy personas haven't emerged sooner than they originally did. They've existed since she was a child and had to murder her "Parent Bird" from the Bird of Passage organization, as described on pg. 65 of the "New Legends of Project Soul" book:

"Tira found this action to be so traumatic that it caused a rift within her soul, which ended up 'splitting' her personality into two distinct identities."

For that matter, Jolly and Gloomy showed themselves even back in SCIII. Receiving damage could cause Tira to switch between the two during battle, made most evident by the fact she had four taunts in SCIII (two each for Jolly and Gloomy) to everyone else's two.

With regard to the Bird of Passage, it was never said in the older games that they were wiped out by the Evil Seed. Her SCIII in-game profile says, "When the Evil Seed rained down, Tira was in the middle of a mission and the chain of command collapsed."

This is consistent with what's stated in Tira's Soul Chronicle for SCVI: "The moment the Evil Seed happened, Tira was undertaking a mission. Under the influence of the Evil Seed, the group's leader went insane, causing the other members to scatter."

And also what's found within her in-game profile: "However, when the Evil Seed event occurred while she was on a mission, the group's leader was driven insane, which led to the disbanding of the Falcons."

As for Tira's body consistently appearing 17 throughout her Soul Chronicle, some allowance must be made for gameplay and story segregation -- and the likelihood that the developers didn't want to create several models of her and adjust their gameplay balance accordingly for only a handful of matches. Otherwise, unnecessary effort would have been put in just for an inevitably unpleasant result in which players would be forced to play most of Tira's Soul Chronicle with her handling slightly differently from one battle to the next.

Given the frustration from the competitive side of the SC fan community over CAS characters being allowed in ranked play despite variations in hit boxes and the like from the characters whose styles they inherit, I can't imagine the Tira fans who eagerly requested her inclusion here would be pleased if they had to play through most of her Soul Chronicle with her handling "wrong."

It's not as though there aren't already wild distinctions drawn between gameplay and story otherwise. When meeting Bolta in "Libra of Soul," a weapon demonstration/sparring match that takes place in a busy city street inexplicably shifts to a random butte in the wilderness.

For that matter, how many occasions across the story modes involve an unconscious or dead body on the ground that goes unseen during battle, or other combatants engaged in conflict in the immediate vicinity?

In light of the attention to detail given to Talim's age remaining consistent with the original timeline, it seems very unlikely to me Tira's gameplay model is meant to overwrite what's previously been established about the story. Talim is the age she should be, as her Soul Chronicle takes place from 1589 to 1590; the latter being the year SCII, III and IV always took place.

It also bears acknowledgement that the early chapters of "Libra of Soul" took care to feature her older cousin, Plata, rather than forcing Talim herself into a fight appearance in 1585 before she should have even learned her people's sword dance:


A final observation regarding the ages of the characters that I believe warrants consideration: there are no ages given for any of the characters in their profiles for SCVI. This is the first SC game with in-game profiles to not do this.

In light of the game's stories and the appearances for most of its characters spanning many years, this is undoubtedly a deliberate choice on the part of the creative team.
 
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And @TresDias puts my post to shame, which I thought was too long, jeez. :sc4amy1:

(No disrespect, in fact, quite the opposite, I think it's great that there's someone else out there who may be more into the story than I am.)

I don't really have much to add, since most of the post aligns with my own thinking, though I mostly would like to hear a perspective from @Nyte with all of the supplements and sources provided, something I didn't exactly do with my post, yet took it for granted that what I said would be understood by someone who's kept up with the lore as closely as I have. I do have a couple things I'll counterpoint, though:

I do see what you're getting at, but I'm not convinced that this is necessarily a divergence, not yet, anyway. It could be, but the way I saw his final chapter in Soul Chronicle was setting up more depth for Abyss, potentially. I always thought it was strange that Zasalamel sought death, yet transformed into a higher being using the two swords instead. It could be chalked up to an unfortunate accident, and that might be the case, because really, we don't have all that much information on Abyss, because he didn't continue being a thing in SoulCalibur IV and beyond. But that, to me, I always felt was a bit weak, since if he did turn into Abyss, and Abyss was defeated, and he exploded, not unlike Inferno would in previous games, then it would appear that Zasalamel did achieve death, and yet... he didn't. SoulCalibur IV's lackluster story mode didn't really help us put together exactly what happened, either, and he wasn't in SoulCalibur V, sooo... yeah.

I would spin this to say that the revelation that he has in SoulCalibur IV, seemingly from his failed attempt at death, which led him to become Abyss, could very well be this same revelation that he has in SoulCalibur VI. I know he sought death in SoulCalibur III, and he's directly stating that he's not seeking death anymore in SoulCalibur VI, so that is a contradiction, but it's also not impossible that Abyss is a means to achieve these goals, and the retelling is just framing Abyss in a more positive light, setting him up and actually giving him purpose, instead of just being some sort of a one-off.

The alternative, of course, could be that we're going to do SoulCalibur III's story without Abyss, due to his aforementioned randomness and relative pointlessness. We can still have SoulCalibur III's story without Abyss, honestly, just have Zasalamel gathering the two swords for his new dream, in other words, acting out his SoulCalibur IV ambitions as his goals in SoulCalibur III, which doesn't really change the narrative all that much, really, and yet, the failing, instead of creating Abyss, creates Night Terror instead, who was a much better boss, for one, and for two, Night Terror was never really adequately explained nor justified, and if the story is now going for this "one plot, one canon" style, then it would fit better to have the showdown be against Night Terror, rather than trying to bring back Abyss again, since it wasn't possible to fight both Abyss and Night Terror in a single go.

If it does end up being the latter, I'd compare this "divergence" to be like the Gel-o-Fury situation, where the end result is still the same, it's just retelling the story more sufficiently, in a better way, with more depth, and far more cleaner, which is what we need to clear up the messy storyline.

I'm going to die on this hill, I think, since I've believed it ever since we only saw Grøh's middle body and weapon, and the belief strengthened when we saw Grøh himself, and it only grew stronger once I completed both story modes in SoulCalibur VI. The discrepancy between his being born within the Aval Organization or not, I believe can be chalked up to the "hidden history" angle that is Libra of Soul. Mostly all of the hidden history revolves around the Conduit (you) and Azwel, which also means the Aval Organization, including all its members and Grøh too, of course, are all part of this.

It could be believed, as far as we, the outsiders, know, that all members of the Aval Organization are seemingly born and raised there. We knew next to nothing about Z.W.E.I., and I think the only one who may actually know anything beyond what's in New Legends of Project Soul would be Viola, and yet she's stuck in the distant future, and hasn't sent her thoughts back in time to Amy, so us finding out, in Libra of Soul, that Grøh is not, in fact, born inside Aval Organization, could be us learning that he's not, actually, but he was still raised from a young age, so what we knew was partially correct.

The ending of Libra of Soul, where Grøh walks the path of exile, away from Aval Organization, to find his own life elsewhere, fits perfectly into Z.W.E.I.'s narrative. He does have the supernatural and unnatural powers, and it's not even a little bit unlikely that Azwel didn't tell Grøh everything that was done to him. We do know, also from New Legends of Project Soul, that Z.W.E.I. was to be put to death by Graf Dumas, and, instead of dying, E.I.N. woke up from within, saved his life, and that's where he became Z.W.E.I. officially.

It may be this moment that he adopted the name Z.W.E.I., since it is interpretable that the "ø" in Grøh could be seen as the number zero, as Grøh would be the "patient zero" for Azwel's experiments, as none of the other members of the Aval Organization have underwent the same experiments and lived, as they don't have the same powers. Some of them went malfested, sure, but only Grøh was able to control his power. But the numbers thing, it leads into the three-hilted sword that he uses, the man called two (zwei = two, German), with his one (ein = two, German), that all came from the zero, his past life as Grøh. Why German? Well, he joined Schwarzwind, with Siegfried, and using German identifiers would go further to mask his origins. I really will see this as a wasted opportunity if Z.W.E.I. is someone completely unrelated to Grøh.
 
TresDias is completely right about Zasalamel. I know the SCIII and SCIV stories like the palm of my hand.

There is indeed a set up in SCVI regarding this small change, which in turn means that the ending of SCIII will be what changes the most. In SCIII Zasalamel seeks death (remember his input ending is him finally dying), while it's in the clash between the two swords (which by the way, meant his plan completely failed because he freed them and instead of dying Nightmare and Siegfried took them and started to clash) that he sees a vision of the future, with his ending being in modern times.

Indeed this change means that instead of seeking to free the Embrace of Souls to die, he will... do something else. And who knows where that somewhere else takes us. We're officially at stage MKX of Mortal Kombat timeline divergence: A simple change that sets up a completely new timeline.

That means that, indeed, SCIV and SCV should not be happening. Not in the way it did, at least. But they set up Algol still, so I wonder what will happen with him.

Also, Abyss was never canon. The official canon is:

-Night and Sieg get to the Cathedral
-Zasalamel frees the swords, intends to take their power
-Something goes wrong, his curse isn't lifted. Instead Sieg and Night take the freed swords, which are now stronger post rest, start to clash.
-The waves show Zas the future, Night's body can't stand it and returns to Oshtriensburg through Astral Chaos. There Soul Edge makes an "inverse" Evil Seed: recalls all shards to become complete and give the Azure armor its own stable body.
-Sieg gets pulled off as well to a random forest, wakes up and accepts Soul Calibur, which heals him and covers him in crystal.
-During the clash Algol's soul reawakes and reforms, beginning the events of SCIV.
 
@Nightmare966

They still managed to work in Raphael becoming Nightmare, though, with the foreshadowing regarding Dumas. And Grøh possibly being Z.W.E.I., so... the circumstances being slightly different, but still ending up in the same place seems probable. Sophitia is still embedded with shards, too, they made sure to point that out during the SoulBlade recap, so she’s still probably going to die for her children and Pyrrha would still be born corrupted.
 
It is so lovely and refreshing to be discussing SC lore and storytelling again! I haven't done this since SCIII came out -- and even then, conversations like this were few.

I really must thank you, @DanteSC3 -- and you too, @Nyte. =)

I do agree that Abyss has been foreshadowed, if only by some of Zasalamel's lines in battle. At the very least, the entity hasn't been forgotten, though I'm not sure I see any obvious connection to him in Zasalamel's final Soul Chronicle.

Do you mean that even though Zas's SCIV goal has replaced his SCIII goal (due to his unique time traveling memories), the fact Zas is apparently still going to be after the power of both swords is foreshadowing his turn to Abyss?

If so, I see that point, though I don't believe there will be anything particularly positive about Abyss himself even if Zasalamel's intentions from the start are more positive this time.

The first go round the clock, Zas's intentions weren't exactly malevolent (basically neutral, I'd say, even if he was a doucher in how he went about it), and Abyss was still straight-up evil. According to the being's in-game profile in SCIII, Zasalamel's transformation wasn't deliberate on his part. He became possessed (whether by the will of one sword or both I can't say):

"At the end of an experience completely different from his countless rebirths, he had obtained sharpness of sense, overflowing power, and a voice that thundered like an echoing roar. Zasalamel must have thought that, having acquired this power, his goal had been achieved. The peace and death that he had sought was right before his eyes. But deep within him, something other than himself was beginning to awaken. He had invited into himself an inhuman power..."

Perhaps Zasalamel will be paving the road to Hell with good intentions this time. If he attempts to utilize both swords like that again, I expect he'll become a puppet once more (or for the first time? Since we still don't know for sure whether it's canon he ever became Abyss in the story of SCIII, thanks to IV's lackluster story presentation).

I'm with you on hoping and expecting to see Night Terror again at some point, by the way. It's too cool of a concept not to get more use than Nightmare slightly resembling that form more in SCIV.

Speaking of expectations about future bosses, I don't think we'll see Algol taking on as much significance as before. Azwel already kind of fills the slot for his gameplay style and the associated lore explaining it.

If anything, I'd expect to see Azwel end up absorbing Algol or something to that effect.

Certainly these two could still be the same person -- we could learn that Z.W.E.I. wasn't born within the monastery he was raised in after all. For the time being, though, I personally have to accept that he was and that the two, thus, can't be the same person.

As much as I rely on information in "New Legends of Project Soul" for other pieces of lore that I take at face value, I have to do the same with this until a more compelling reason to doubt it comes up.

That said, I did very much enjoy your analysis of the potential naming scheme at work here. So much so I want you to be right. And also because I really do want more insight into who Z.W.E.I. was.

Hey, I just realized if they do turn out to be the same person, that would mean Z.W.E.I.'s fall from that cliff toward the end of SCV's story wouldn't be the first time he was run through with a sword and then immediately fell a ridiculously long way. =P Maybe Z.W.E.I. has precedent for surviving such a thing!

On a potentially related note to the subject of Z.W.E.I.'s identity, do you know anything about the SCV light novels that were exclusively released in Japan? I wonder if they shed any light on this topic.

If it does end up being the latter, I'd compare this "divergence" to be like the Gel-o-Fury situation, where the end result is still the same, it's just retelling the story more sufficiently, in a better way, with more depth, and far more cleaner, which is what we need to clear up the messy storyline.
Remember, though, that Gel-o-Fury isn't even a divergence. It possessed Geki rather than being absorbed by him, and was then sealed in the place where Toki will actually absorb the demon in 1590.
 
@TresDias
TBH, I think all the abyss stuff is just Project Soul acknowledging him and that's it: Unless they somehow manage to bring Abyss into the Astral Chaos realm, in which case things could become interesting.

Same goes for Rapahel and Dumas: Feels more like they wanted to completely confirm and explain that rather than set it up for a future plot, even though if at the end of SCIII they feel like it they could make Rapahel become Nightmare much, much earlier.

Also on Azwel and Algol, I disagree wholeheartedly: Algol is quite set up (there's a VERY deliberate note that his time is not yet so we don't bring him up), but it would be a massive failure to somehow get Azwel to replace him.

First, Algol is a key character lorewise. Secondly, it's a terrible thing to have a character suffer due the writers/directors/whoever bad managing of it, as someone who loves Connor in ACIII, I know Ubisoft could save him pretty well with a very well executed follow up game.

Same case here: Algol was barely used in IV beyond final boss stuff, with very faint character development, and non existant in V -- and it's only Project Soul's failure as a whole, not a character that really doesn't connect. How can you connect with someone if you never give him a proper place?

Also, Azwel's similarities with the Hero King are very few, in fact only that he summons blue and red weapons. He seems more like Tekken 7 Noctis (I'd swear he has a whole move transferred) than our Hero King, who is literally based on the Pillarmen from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
 
@Nightmare966

I don't think Algol was fundamentally problematic either, nor is it out of the question that they could make him connect with players if the effort is put into doing so. I'm not making an assessment like that at all.

I'm just predicting (speculating, really) that the character won't appear again with the prominence he had in SCIV due to where things stand, much like I expect SCV won't be revisited precisely as we knew it before due to where things stand. That game's lukewarm reception (which was also not the fault of the material that was present so much as what wasn't) must make taking a different route with the storyline look attractive.

Certainly it isn't the character of Algol's fault he didn't connect with SC players at large -- not at all. However, since the developers have now invented a somewhat similar character who can also float, teleport, emit projectiles, and conjure various weapons during battle; who also has a flowy, mystical design; who also has one blue hand/gauntlet and one red hand/gauntlet; who also wields manifestations of Soul Calibur and Soul Edge; who also serves the role of being a major villain; and who already seems to have connected with players more -- well, it's easy to imagine that he might supplant Algol in significance. Perhaps even consume his power during the story.

Of course, it's also plenty possible that Azwel will be written out at the end of the next game and then himself be replaced as villain by Algol. He could be serving as something of a "taste of things to come" to set up that kind of opponent rather than just dropping Algol on players the way he was the first time.
 
On a potentially related note to the subject of Z.W.E.I.'s identity, do you know anything about the SCV light novels that were exclusively released in Japan? I wonder if they shed any light on this topic.
Hang on, there were SCV novels released only in Japan? Never heard of those, though I imagine that's where this pic came from?
https://www.deviantart.com/bride-of-nightmare/art/Graf-Dumas-the-azure-knight-283534787
Hell, I'll take anything that fills the holes in the story of SCV. Imagine a new artbook akin to New Legends of Project Soul wraping the old timeline up. Hey, a man can dream damn it.
 
Why are a lot of these in spoiler tags? The game has come out for a while.
Maybe mannerisms, maybe in case someone stumbles across the thread and we want to avoid getting him spoiler. Not like it's inconvenient in this Forum system, unlike others I've seen where you click anywhere in the spoiler and it gets retracted :')
 
Hang on, there were SCV novels released only in Japan? Never heard of those, though I imagine that's where this pic came from?
https://www.deviantart.com/bride-of-nightmare/art/Graf-Dumas-the-azure-knight-283534787
Hell, I'll take anything that fills the holes in the story of SCV. Imagine a new artbook akin to New Legends of Project Soul wraping the old timeline up. Hey, a man can dream damn it.
Yeah, they exist. Here's an eBay link.

I've toyed with the idea of buying them for years, but I just now went ahead and did it. I'm not expecting much in the way of answered questions, but we'll see.

From what little I know of them, the first one mainly covers the time from after Sophitia and Taki defeated Cervantes up to the end of SCIII; the second covers stuff during the time of IV and into the 17-year time gap.

Reviews I've looked at are generally unfavorable, particularly toward the second book. Unfortunately, I know very little in the way of plot developments from that book. I have read that as Sophitia was dying, she asked Tira to take Pyrrha somewhere safe -- but that's all I know.

I'll report back with more info as I discover it, but it may take a while.
 
Yeah, they exist. Here's an eBay link.

I've toyed with the idea of buying them for years, but I just now went ahead and did it. I'm not expecting much in the way of answered questions, but we'll see.

From what little I know of them, the first one mainly covers the time from after Sophitia and Taki defeated Cervantes up to the end of SCIII; the second covers stuff during the time of IV and into the 17-year time gap.

Reviews I've looked at are generally unfavorable, particularly toward the second book. Unfortunately, I know very little in the way of plot developments from that book. I have read that as Sophitia was dying, she asked Tira to take Pyrrha somewhere safe -- but that's all I know.

I'll report back with more info as I discover it, but it may take a while.
Awesome, I look forward to hearing what you find since I don't understand Japanese at all.
 
@DanteSC3

Returning to the subject of foreshadowing for Abyss, are you familiar with the story segment shown from 5:35 to 8:47 in this video?:


"For a split second, through distorted ripples in reality, I saw a vision of a twisted figure where Zasalamel stood: a great and terrible king of death. This... was it Zasalamel's true form?"

I'm unsure what the requirements to unlock this segment are, but I saw it last night for the first time.

Anyway, it sounds like The Conduit witnessed a glimpse of Zasalamel taking Abyss's form. I'd now say the entity will certainly make an appearance in the next game.
 
Yes, I'm aware of this. And I'm pretty sure this is just the Zasalamel fight that happens after you get the ending and enter the postgame, before you fight the super version that unlocks Zasalamel's final chapter. I haven't cited every source from within the game like you did, but it all factors into my feelings.

You may have to have done all of the optional Zasalamel encounters to get that one? But I don't think so, it seems important as a prelude to the final battle with him where he's ridiculous. I wouldn't think it's missable, but I don't know, since I always do everything every time.
 
From what I've seen, most players do not experience this encounter. I think, as you said, it's dependent on doing those optional encounters with Zasalamel -- or probably at least the one at Ostrheinsburg prior to the showdown with Grøh in Scandinavia.
 
@DanteSC3
@Nightmare966
@xxInfernoxx (btw, that picture of Nightmare you linked to a few weeks ago is, indeed, from the second of these books)

Before I go into plot specifics with these books, I want to explain the narrative structure real quick.

With the caveat here being that I fully understood only about 25% of what I read, the first book seems to cover major events of the series up to the end of SCIII while the first half of the second book covers SCIV and the second half goes into setting up SCV, focusing on "Dumas," Patroklos, and Pyrrha.

There does seem to be a bit of a framed narrative at work, as the first book begins with the backstory of Cervantes acquiring Soul Edge, then Sophitia and Taki taking him down, then Taki removing as many shards of the shattered blade as possible from Sophitia -- before cutting to Edge Master and Xiba for a bit in the "present," then going back to the past with Siegfried getting Soul Edge, becoming Nightmare, causing the Evil Seed, etc.

The second book also ends with a visit to Xiba (now with Maxi), after filling us in on Dumas, Patroklos, and Pyrrha. We then get a few single-paragraph lipservice blurbs about some of the other characters featured in SCV who hadn't been mentioned yet.

Now, let's dig in a bit.

One of the more interesting things I can report about these books (at least to me) is that it is (was?) canon that the events of SCIV ended with Hilde telling Siegfried he is forgiven for his sins (like in her SCIV ending). As that is one of the best moments in any SC game, it's nice to have it as canon.

We also get a couple of scenes between Taki and Siegfried. In typical Taki fashion (and per her SCIV ending), she sees him as potentially as much a threat as Inferno. They're briefly adversarial, but when all is said and done, they make peace right before the scene between he and Hilde.

Taki leaves Siegfried with a word of warning about Soul Calibur and reminds him to keep his crap together. He responds that he understands, and she departs.

There's also a lengthy scene featuring Maxi fighting Astaroth to the death during SCIV.

Other than all that, there's not been much of thrilling interest, sad to say. For the most part, the chapters related to setting up SCV seem to have already had their relevant information summarized in the character and places profiles from the "New Legends of Project Soul" book.

For example, we already knew about "Dumas" ingratiating himself to Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph while Rudolph's brother, Matthias, was distrustful of the new count. That scenario gets a rather extensive chapter, though.

We also already knew about Pyrrha's loving fiancé, Jurgis, who was murdered by Tira. That subplot also gets fleshed out, but it doesn't evoke further curiosity from me beyond what we already knew.

Sophitia does at least get some interesting bits since her death is depicted -- though, again, I'm not deriving much of anything we didn't already know from it. If I'm understanding correctly, she asks Tira to take care of Pyrrha, and then stabs herself with the Omega Sword so she can rip out the shard of Soul Edge still embedded near her heart and use it to save Pyrrha.

After Sophitia dies, Tira leaves with Pyrrha, and takes the Omega Sword and Elk Shield as well -- which she eventually gives to Pyrrha to defend herself once she frames her for Jurgis's murder.

I still want to make sure I didn't miss any mention of Z.W.E.I. or Viola, but I saw only one brief reference to Z.W.E.I. (near the very end of the second book) while I don't think Viola was mentioned at all -- which sucks, seeing as my primary motivation in buying these books was particularly in hopes of learning more about the two of them.

I can also regrettably report that these books are probably no longer canon due to some notable differences from the depiction of events during 1586 shown in SCVI. The most significant difference that comes to mind is how the battle with Nightmare unfolds in Ostrheinsburg at the end of SCVI's primary Soul Chronicle.

While SCVI has Kilik knocking out Nightmare; then the shift to Astral Chaos, followed by Xianghua's sword revealing itself as Soul Calibur; then Xianghua's fight with Inferno; then Kilik losing the Dvapara-Yuga to protect an exhausted Xianghua from Inferno; then Malfested (but still in control) Kilik wearing Inferno down some more; and then Xianghua finally shattering Soul Edge with Soul Calibur -- this first book has the shift into Astral Chaos occur with a conscious Nightmare; then Xianghua's sword reveal itself as Soul Calibur; then, as Kilik is unable to continue, Xianghua fights Nightmare while wearing the Dvapara-Yuga and wielding Soul Calibur (the mirror still gets shattered, though).

That about sums it up. If anyone has any specific questions about anything else, I'll try getting you an answer.
 
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@DanteSC3
@Nightmare966
@xxInfernoxx (btw, that picture of Nightmare you linked to a few weeks ago is, indeed, from the second of these books)

Before I go into plot specifics with these books, I want to explain the narrative structure real quick.

With the caveat here being that I fully understood only about 25% of what I read, the first book seems to cover major events of the series up to the end of SCIII while the first half of the second book covers SCIV and the second half goes into setting up SCV, focusing on "Dumas," Patroklos, and Pyrrha.

There does seem to be a bit of a framed narrative at work, as the first book begins with the backstory of Cervantes acquiring Soul Edge, then Sophitia and Taki taking him down, then Taki removing as many shards of the shattered blade as possible from Sophitia -- before cutting to Edge Master and Xiba for a bit in the "present," then going back to the past with Siegfried getting Soul Edge, becoming Nightmare, causing the Evil Seed, etc.

The second book also ends with a visit to Xiba (now with Maxi), after filling us in on Dumas, Patroklos, and Pyrrha. We then get a few single-paragraph lipservice blurbs about some of the other characters featured in SCV who hadn't been mentioned yet.

Now, let's dig in a bit.

One of the more interesting things I can report about these books (at least to me) is that it is (was?) canon that the events of SCIV ended with Hilde telling Siegfried he is forgiven for his sins (like in her SCIV ending). As that is one of the best moments in any SC game, it's nice to have it as canon.

We also get a couple of scenes between Taki and Siegfried. In typical Taki fashion (and per her SCIV ending), she sees him as potentially as much a threat as Inferno. They're briefly adversarial, but when all is said and done, they make peace right before the scene between he and Hilde.

Taki leaves Siegfried with a word of warning about Soul Calibur and reminds him to keep his crap together. He responds that he understands, and she departs.

There's also a lengthy scene featuring Maxi fighting Astaroth to the death during SCIV.

Other than all that, there's not been much of thrilling interest, sad to say. For the most part, the chapters related to setting up SCV seem to have already had their relevant information summarized in the character and places profiles from the "New Legends of Project Soul" book.

For example, we already knew about "Dumas" ingratiating himself to Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph while Rudolph's brother, Matthias, was distrustful of the new count. That scenario gets a rather extensive chapter, though.

We also already knew about Pyrrha's loving fiancé, Jurgis, who was murdered by Tira. That subplot also gets fleshed out, but it doesn't evoke further curiosity from me beyond what we already knew.

Sophitia does at least get some interesting bits since her death is depicted -- though, again, I'm not deriving much of anything we didn't already know from it. If I'm understanding correctly, she asks Tira to take care of Pyrrha, and then stabs herself with the Omega Sword so she can rip out the shard of Soul Edge still embedded near her heart and use it to save Pyrrha.

After Sophitia dies, Tira leaves with Pyrrha, and takes the Omega Sword and Elk Shield as well -- which she eventually gives to Pyrrha to defend herself once she frames her for Jurgis's murder.

I still want to make sure I didn't miss any mention of Z.W.E.I. or Viola, but I saw only one brief reference to Z.W.E.I. (near the very end of the second book) while I don't think Viola was mentioned at all -- which sucks, seeing as my primary motivation in buying these books was particularly in hopes of learning more about the two of them.

I can also regrettably report that these books are probably no longer canon due to some notable differences from the depiction of events during 1586 shown in SCVI. The most significant difference that comes to mind is how the battle with Nightmare unfolds in Ostrheinsburg at the end of SCVI's primary Soul Chronicle.

While SCVI has Kilik knocking out Nightmare; then the shift to Astral Chaos, followed by Xianghua's sword revealing itself as Soul Calibur; then Xianghua's fight with Inferno; then Kilik losing the Dvapara-Yuga to protect an exhausted Xianghua from Inferno; then Malfested (but still in control) Kilik wearing Inferno down some more; and then Xianghua finally shattering Soul Edge with Soul Calibur -- this first book has the shift into Astral Chaos occur with a conscious Nightmare; then Xianghua's sword reveal itself as Soul Calibur; then, as Kilik is unable to continue, Xianghua fights Nightmare while wearing the Dvapara-Yuga and wielding Soul Calibur (the mirror still gets shattered, though).

That about sums it up. If anyone has any specific questions about anything else, I'll try getting you an answer.
Damn. As if it wasn't already obvious Raphael was Nightmare, (Height, voice, model, personality etc), they specifically threw in Dumas looking like him. Man it would have been nice having SCV's story completed. Still, I've been thinking and it had some weird things to it so, eh I guess ¯\_(ツ)_/¯