How will the new timeline diverge from the old?

Rusted Blade

[07] Duelist
This gives a lot more room for the aval organisation to be fleshed out.
Christ, I hope not--the Aval Organization is hands down the dumbest thing to happen to the story of this franchise, and that is a truly monumental achievement given the contenders. I'm sure we're stuck with Groh and Azwel for at least some future games, but I certainly could do without any more story being connected to that tedious, cornball, lame nonsense. That reaction aside, I think you're correct that the time skip need not occur--17 years is a long time to work with to defer the question of deciding if and to what extent to replicate the SCV narrative and roster. I think they will be happy to put that question on the backburner for 2-3 games after this one. I've actually always thought a game set earlier in the backstory would be nice too, but given being asynchronous with the main timeline iwas a big part of what contributed to SCV's woes, I doubt they are likely to experiment with that again any time soon.

Personally, I think if they were smart, they would pause the atory progression for a game and add little to no additional plot and just make the game a nuts and bolts fighter. 50-60 characters from across franchise, 20-30 stages (half legacy), numerous ranked and player match modes (including team battle and tag battle variants), a definitive creation editor that is virtually comprehensive of all assets from previous games, numerous guests, a fully fleshed out training mode, plus an in-depth tutorial mode with Edge Master and Olcadan (similar to SCIII's but deeper), the full franchise soundtrack selection, and robust online and matchmaking features and options (plus richer creation content and experience sharing). But only stripped down single-player experiences like arcade, survival and maybe a tactical mode similar to Chronicles of the Sword but with less plot cruft, with plenty of variation of stage and character effects and win conditions, like Tower of Lost Souls and Libra, without the poorly implemented pseudo-RPG filler. Buuut, it will never happen.
 
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TresDias

[04] Fighter
Buuut, it will never happen.
Jesus, I hope not. I mean, most of what you suggested was cool, but basically doing a repeat of SCII in terms of story development and plot progression is not what's best in my mind.

Ironic, though, that SCII was probably the height of the franchise's popularity as a competitive fighter and overall one of the best designed games in the series -- but it was almost entirely extraneous on the story front once SCIII came along, at which point it felt like SCII accomplished nothing in that regard that wasn't covered by SCIII.
 

ElegantRaven

[09] Warrior
The story of SC is incredibly stupid and poorly written but alas, to some people it actually is important and what with the recent outbreak of story modes in fighting games (a big trend ever since MK9 2011 I think?), Namco would catch a lot of flack for doing anything less than what they did with SC6's Soul Chronicle I think.
 

ZionOAS

[09] Warrior
Amy
looking at the artwork I’m just trying to fully process what in fact is going on here. There are more than one Azwel. He calls Amy a a living doll like she was originally the marionette and turned human. Or is a more advanced version created by Azwel. His new body may be these dolls as well. So I’m wondering if there is a possibility that Amy and Viola are separate people but the same. Kind of a 001-002 kind of thing. I really wasn’t expecting them to make her a doll lol. This is a good plot twist. It’s just more of the massive butterfly effect that seems to be taking place causing the timeline to be messed up. But you can clearly see Viola inside the sphere but at the same time she isn’t in the same position as Amy so it isn’t like a reflection.
 

DanteSC3

[14] Master
Amy
looking at the artwork I’m just trying to fully process what in fact is going on here. There are more than one Azwel. He calls Amy a a living doll like she was originally the marionette and turned human. Or is a more advanced version created by Azwel. His new body may be these dolls as well. So I’m wondering if there is a possibility that Amy and Viola are separate people but the same. Kind of a 001-002 kind of thing. I really wasn’t expecting them to make her a doll lol. This is a good plot twist. It’s just more of the massive butterfly effect that seems to be taking place causing the timeline to be messed up. But you can clearly see Viola inside the sphere but at the same time she isn’t in the same position as Amy so it isn’t like a reflection.
It’s also possible it’s just illusion and deception going on. I mean, Azwel is clearly a mad scientist, so clones aren’t exactly off the table, but I think the art was more for flair than literal. The Azwel behind Amy is a representation that Amy is now under his influence, a puppet, thanks to the crystal ball. And the crystal ball is showing the future, as Azwel is a self-proclaimed Scholar of the Future, using the ball as a means to justify this. Meanwhile, Amy was apparently born with a precognition ability, of which Azwel is fascinated by, which is why he wants to experiment with her. I don’t take Azwel’s dramatic speech about dolls all that literally. Humanity in general is his plaything. They’re all dolls to him.
 

Starringrole

[01] Neophyte
ZWEI
There seems to be some ZWEI references with Amy in the game now.

During her soul chronicle her servant or whatever tells her to get a bodyguard and to take her, to which Amy agrees after the threat she makes.
ZWEI was technically like a bodyguard to Viola in SCV was he not?
I was also checking all the interactions between Amy and all the characters and while its silly and not a big deal it did catch my attention.

Amy only has a character specific unique taunt to the following characters:
Azwel
Raphael
Groh

Azwel is what everyone has seen and expected, same goes for Raphael but with Groh she outright calls him a dog. Which as a comment itself seems fine I don't see why she would reserve that comment only for Groh when it could go for different characters and fit much better in a sense, she also doesn't ever interact with him. ZWEI has the association with "Lupine" does he not?

I wouldn't be the only who associated Groh with ZWEI right? I never got the impression they were the same person on a personal note but Groh just always gave me the impression he was filling the ZWEI shaped hole in the games heart much like Azwel is a bit of a Algol.

Does she by any chance call him a dog due to possibly an association with ZWEI of some form? The only thing that genuinely makes me think Groh in any form could be ZWEI is the more lighthearted tone he has in the end of Libra of Soul which is a huge contrast to his typical behavior and also more similar to ZWEI who isn't as serious.

TLDR:
For simplicity's sake, is it possible we will be seeing ZWEI in the future through story or DLC developing from who Groh is or associated with him?
Sorry if I was unnecessarily verbose I was a bit excitable at the prospect of ZWEI returning whom I'm quite fond of.
 

Autumn

[09] Warrior
I can see where you're coming from about Amy's taunt against Grøh, with ZWEI being associated with wolves and the like, but to me this actually sounds like a reference to Patroklos rather than ZWEI. If I'm remembering things correctly, Viola calls Patroklos a dog when using certain moves against him. I don't think this means anything in regards to Grøh's identity though, it's probably just the devs poking fun at the similarities between both characters, mainly their rude personalities and hatred towards the malfested.
 

Aiddon

[10] Knight
ZWEI
There seems to be some ZWEI references with Amy in the game now.

During her soul chronicle her servant or whatever tells her to get a bodyguard and to take her, to which Amy agrees after the threat she makes.
ZWEI was technically like a bodyguard to Viola in SCV was he not?
I was also checking all the interactions between Amy and all the characters and while its silly and not a big deal it did catch my attention.

Amy only has a character specific unique taunt to the following characters:
Azwel
Raphael
Groh

Azwel is what everyone has seen and expected, same goes for Raphael but with Groh she outright calls him a dog. Which as a comment itself seems fine I don't see why she would reserve that comment only for Groh when it could go for different characters and fit much better in a sense, she also doesn't ever interact with him. ZWEI has the association with "Lupine" does he not?

I wouldn't be the only who associated Groh with ZWEI right? I never got the impression they were the same person on a personal note but Groh just always gave me the impression he was filling the ZWEI shaped hole in the games heart much like Azwel is a bit of a Algol.

Does she by any chance call him a dog due to possibly an association with ZWEI of some form? The only thing that genuinely makes me think Groh in any form could be ZWEI is the more lighthearted tone he has in the end of Libra of Soul which is a huge contrast to his typical behavior and also more similar to ZWEI who isn't as serious.

TLDR:
For simplicity's sake, is it possible we will be seeing ZWEI in the future through story or DLC developing from who Groh is or associated with him?
Sorry if I was unnecessarily verbose I was a bit excitable at the prospect of ZWEI returning whom I'm quite fond of.
I definitely think that Maelys dropping the comment of Amy hiring a bodyguard to escort her is a hint we'll ZWEI in the future, though I'm not sure this proves the Groh = ZWEI theory. At the very least it's clear the team hasn't thrown out everything with SCV. Heck, they leaned pretty hard into hinting that Amy is indeed Viola. I'm interested as to where this will go.
 

DanteSC3

[14] Master
I mean, we’ve got Graf Dumas and Viola, so not having Z.W.E.I. makes less sense than having him at this point. I can’t really see Amy traveling with Grøh, though, that’s an odd pairing if ever there was one. The tease is so strong with these future story threads, and I really doubt we will get any answers until SoulCalibur VII.
 

Ardenwolf

[09] Warrior
I mean, we’ve got Graf Dumas and Viola, so not having Z.W.E.I. makes less sense than having him at this point. I can’t really see Amy traveling with Grøh, though, that’s an odd pairing if ever there was one. The tease is so strong with these future story threads, and I really doubt we will get any answers until SoulCalibur VII.
The body guard will not be ZWEI as he enters the picture after Amy becomes Viola and loses her memory. Otherwise Amy would still be going by Amy, and not Viola, as even if she lost her memory, ZWEI would still know who she was, and she'd just be Amy, going by Amy, with amnesia. Is not like you lose your memory, and your friend says, "hey by the way, I know who you are", and gives you the details, and then you just say, "Naw I'm Viola now, let's hang out and forget all about that Amy nonsense and pretend it never happened and never reference it again."
 

DanteSC3

[14] Master
The body guard will not be ZWEI as he enters the picture after Amy becomes Viola and loses her memory. Otherwise Amy would still be going by Amy, and not Viola, as even if she lost her memory, ZWEI would still know who she was, and she'd just be Amy, going by Amy, with amnesia. Is not like you lose your memory, and your friend says, "hey by the way, I know who you are", and gives you the details, and then you just say, "Naw I'm Viola now, let's hang out and forget all about that Amy nonsense and pretend it never happened and never reference it again."
Well, just for the sake of argument, for what little we know of Z.W.E.I., he was not always Z.W.E.I. either, much like Viola wasn't always Viola. He became Z.W.E.I. after a failed execution, when E.I.N. awoke from within to save his life, and there's no telling if he does or doesn't recall his memories before such a transformative event. We know he knows that it was Graf Dumas (Raphael) that put him to death, so there's his hatred angle, but it could very well be that that is the only memory he recalls, being such a strong impulse of revenge.

So, instead of saying "Z.W.E.I. might be the bodyguard who will accompany Amy", it could be more accurate to say "the man who will become Z.W.E.I. might be the bodyguard who will accompany Amy", and they could become separated when they complete their journey, then later in life, once they've both made their transitions, fate would lead them back to each other, and they'd travel together, not knowing that they once knew each other in a "past life", as it were.

Or even let's say that Z.W.E.I. doesn't lose his memories, Raphael doesn't recognize Viola as Amy, so Z.W.E.I. may not recognize Viola as Amy either, after their time apart from one another. Or Z.W.E.I. might know the truth, but not reveal it in the interests of protecting his former ally, but travels with her to hope one day that she remembers herself. There's a lot of possibility.

Another thought is that if Grøh is Z.W.E.I. (-raises Nyte shield-), it could be sympathy on Z.W.E.I.'s part, why he helps Amy/Viola, because Azwel is the source of both of their problems. That might even be why Z.W.E.I. might forgive Raphael/Graf Dumas for putting him to death, because he sympathizes with him, and didn't know that Raphael was led astray by Azwel's research to start.

Edit: Added the last bit about Grøh.
 
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Ardenwolf

[09] Warrior
Well, just for the sake of argument, for what little we know of Z.W.E.I., he was not always Z.W.E.I. either, much like Viola wasn't always Viola. He became Z.W.E.I. after a failed execution, when E.I.N. awoke from within to save his life, and there's no telling if he does or doesn't recall his memories before such a transformative event. We know he knows that it was Graf Dumas (Raphael) that put him to death, so there's his hatred angle, but it could very well be that that is the only memory he recalls, being such a strong impulse of revenge.

So, instead of saying "Z.W.E.I. might be the bodyguard who will accompany Amy", it could be more accurate to say "the man who will become Z.W.E.I. might be the bodyguard who will accompany Amy", and they could become separated when they complete their journey, then later in life, once they've both made their transitions, fate would lead them back to each other, and they'd travel together, not knowing that they once knew each other in a "past life", as it were.

Or even let's say that Z.W.E.I. doesn't lose his memories, Raphael doesn't recognize Viola as Amy, so Z.W.E.I. may not recognize Viola as Amy either, after their time apart from one another. Or Z.W.E.I. might know the truth, but not reveal it in the interests of protecting his former ally, but travels with her to hope one day that she remembers herself. There's a lot of possibility.

Another thought is that if Grøh is Z.W.E.I. (-raises Nyte shield-), it could be sympathy on Z.W.E.I.'s part, why he helps Amy/Viola, because Azwel is the source of both of their problems. That might even be why Z.W.E.I. might forgive Raphael/Graf Dumas for putting him to death, because he sympathizes with him, and didn't know that Raphael was led astray by Azwel's research to start.

Edit: Added the last bit about Grøh.
Still don't think it's Z.W.E.I. I think that plot will be more poetic and dark than that. Z.W.E.I. will be her specific friend from her new life as Viola, her emotional strong connection to her new life. While Raphael who is Graf Dumas is the one who tried to have Z.W.E.I. executed, but is her emotional connection to old life. I believe at some point the two will come to blows, and somehow Amy will have her memory back, having both memories and connections to both.

Then things can go multiple ways.

She can eventually smooth things over somehow, and everything is nice between the three.

She can both fail and succeed, their rivalry can result in her death, causing them both to lose her, and in their anguish realize their error and part ways in respects to her and their foolishness.

She can be forced to choose between them, and betray either Raphael or Z.W.E.I.

Or...

the options are many and varied...

Under none, however, do I see Z.W.E.I. entering the picture until after she becomes Viola. He is Raph's replacement as her emotional connection in her new life. Anything else removes the poetry dynamics.
 

ZionOAS

[09] Warrior
The Amy taunt could be direction to his previous employer.
The option of body doubles are still on the table. The original rebirth of Groh could have resulted in him being a puppet at the start of his Soul Chronicle. Or the orginal Groh could have been capture and a body double made after he supposedly dies after going all out and losing the control of his senses. The image of Viola in the orb still makes me think that Amy is a double of her that Azwel could have made. Or a science that he came across and is now implementing himself. He could use this same process on Groh which could affect the original.
Groh and Zwei shared a similar death scene by falling off the stage in a fight with one of the final antagonist.
Groh and Amy are two that Azwel seems to know considerably and often can sense or predict their presence, movements and actions.
Groh wants to protect people with his power after the good ending and conversation with the Conduit. So following in suit with the mediocre jobs the Conduit would take up during their journeys together.
I don’t trust Amy’s maid, she’s suspect. She could be working with Azwel to mold Amy’s progress. And to kill two birds with one stone might lead her to hiring Groh for protection. The Groh that could turn into Zwei.

But all and all I think Groh and Zwei are related as two separate people. Family perhaps?
 

TresDias

[04] Fighter
The option of body doubles are still on the table. The original rebirth of Groh could have resulted in him being a puppet at the start of his Soul Chronicle. Or the orginal Groh could have been capture and a body double made after he supposedly dies after going all out and losing the control of his senses. The image of Viola in the orb still makes me think that Amy is a double of her that Azwel could have made.
Wouldn't it be easier to imagine that Viola is a double of Amy made from Amy's lost memories -- and only those memories (thus why she doesn't know more about herself)?

I would prefer that not be the direction taken, but if doubles come into play, it would work.
 
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Rusted Blade

[07] Duelist
This is the thing with credulous fan theories; they arise with the shakiest of evidence and then once even that evidence evaporates, the fever dream persists. To whit: some vague metaphorical usage of the word "puppet" in an out-of-context line of dialogue gets latched on by persons wanting to validate an unlikely "clone" theory (come on people, Soul Calibur is a pretty whackadoo and silly in places, I will most assuredly grant you, but I credit its writers with just enough good sense to know when to avoid soap opera fodder like that). And then, even once that dialogue proves to be what everyone else suggested it obviously would end up being (just Azwel being his normal dickish, condescending, over-the-top creepy self), the idea that there will be a double persists despite a lack of any alternative confirmatory evidence, and a great deal of indication to the contrary. Guys, there will be no clone--not as a story matter, anyway. Call it Occam's razor or Chekov's gun, but they have clearly indicated where this is headed, and a it's a fair bit less convoluted than clones: Amy will lose her memories (/soul/identity). It will involve the crystal ball. It's not rocket science.

As to the other topic, I doubt very much Groh is ZWEI, but I will throw my hopes behind the idea for two practical reasons: 1) It will reduce the likelihood that I ever have to see either of those idiotic styles in the same game, and 2) I can consolidate my loathing for these emo bros into one target--though, oh what a douche monster he will make for at that point.
 

ZionOAS

[09] Warrior
How often I am astonished by the emphatic rebuttals that cross these forms. I don’t know I just want a complete roster without breaking the space time continuum. And clones orrr to be specific, more advanced marionettes. They started adding these races they might as well start implementing them outside of the CaS story. That way there won’t be objections to canon.