Arcade Specs [ all ]
(prices updated 9/22 2:12 AM )

Description official descriptions

A fighting game to end all fighting games. A sequel to Soul Blade, Soul Calibur takes place in a time inspired by a mixture of 16th-century ancient China and oriental medieval fantasies and legends.

All characters have weapons and distinct fighting styles with over 100 individual moves per character. In addition to high, mid, and low attacks, characters can hold/throw, block, and perform special attacks -- one or more of which is deemed "un-blockable" and must be avoided by ducking, jumping, or rotating around your attacker.

In addition to several locales in which to fight and alternate models/costumes per character, the Dreamcast conversion of Soul Calibur contains many additional features over the arcade coin-op, including hidden characters and locales, a campaign mode, and tournament mode. There is also a "museum" where you can view character profiles and view motion-captured martial arts demonstrations.


  • ソウルキャリバー - Japanese spelling
  • 灵魂能力 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

Groups +



Credits (Arcade version)

147 People (117 developers, 30 thanks) · View all

Game Director
Motion Design Director
Production Manager
Game Coordinator
Tuning Director
Main Program
3D System Program
Stage Effect Program
CPU Routine Program
Motion Program
Special Effect Program
Camera Program
Ranking Program
Motion Designer
[ full credits ]



Average score: 91% (based on 73 ratings)


Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 180 ratings with 6 reviews)

Perfect mechanics, beautiful graphics, clunky story.

The Good
Soul Calibur is easily the most balanced fighting game series, and it was in many ways at its peak with the original Dreamcast version. This is a game that nearly any gamer can pick up and play, while enjoying themselves and being competitive even against a much more experienced player.

The graphics were stunning at the time of the game's release and still are beautiful. The effects are all very well done in the game and the characters are varied and well-detailed. The multiple costumes are all interesting and creative, even if the tendency is to clothe many of the female characters in an unusual manner.

The Bad
Soul Calibur contains a rather odd story mode, which is essentially an overblown epic story which serves only to link together various individual fighting encounters. The fights themselves are very interesting and frequently contain some scenario such as one-hit kills or survival mode to keep the variety going, yet the story is largely peripheral and I found myself frequently skipping over the painfully long text passages.

Also, the story carries over into the unintentionally comical one-liners the characters tend to utter before and after the fight. Sometimes the fighters will call each other out, but at other times they will shout something related to their backstory, which is sometimes comical, especially Rock, who will sometimes shout "Bangoo, this one's for you!" I found these moments funny, but that was not the designer's intention.

The Bottom Line
This is the finest fighting game ever made, and is well worth playing or finding a copy. This game alone makes the purchase of a Dreamcast worthwhile.

Dreamcast · by kyuzo (18) · 2007

Hands down - the best console fighting game money can buy.

The Good
Have you been looking at used Dreamcasts piling up in resale stores and wondering why Sega bothered? Look no farther than this little gem, unfortunately released for an almost stillborn system. Seriously, if you do not own a Dreamcast, and you are a fan of fighting games, you NEED to pick up both of them. Trust me.

Soul Calibur was an epiphany for me. It showed me that 3D and fighting CAN go together in perfect harmony. Every character, even the ones who I'm not so fond of (Seung Mina, Rock), are perfectly capable of defeating any other character provided you have the skill to use them. This is, in my estimation, a perfectly balanced game, and I've never experienced its like since.

Soul Calibur was released in 1999 - I'm STILL whomping on my friends with it almost every day. For the uninitated, Soul Calibur can seem sticky, imprecise, a button-masher's game - but once you delve deeper and discover the true art of the game, there is absolutely no turning back. Ever. Needless to say, I am anxiously awaiting its sequel.

The Bad
Nothing major, really. I'm hoping that Soul Calibur 2 will reduce the number of near "palette swap" characters to a bare minimum (hence, begone, Rock!).

The Bottom Line
Genius. Fighting game genius.

Dreamcast · by Lucas Schippers (57) · 2002

Pure arcade fun

The Good
Soul Calibur does a lot of things right and very little wrong. Every character has its strengths and weaknesses, although some characters are pretty balanced in both. It's got plenty of environments, and being able to toss opponents out of the ring makes for some hectic battles, at times. The most ingenious touch are the weapons, exclusive weapon for each character, and the special moves. Instead of the magical, yet superficial, super moves of its genre brethren you now have intricate, and mostly believable, martial arts moves and tricks with each weapon. There's also a handful of things to play, including a huge quest mode where you finish missions in exchange for money, that buys you concept art mostly. Of course, the meatiest part of the game is its multiplayer portion, where you go up against one of your mates and either fight to the last drop of blood or knock your opponent out of the ring. Skills will rule against button-bashing, in most cases, so be prepared to practice a lot.

The Bad
Despite its many different modes and options, I guess the thought of letting players turn off the "Out of the Ring" gameplay feature never crossed the developers mind. It should definitely be an option for those tired of short battles. Aside from that there's not much fault in the game. It does what it sets out to do very well, and perhaps its only fault is not having more incentive for finishing some of the extra modes. You'll stick mostly to multiplayer head-to-head battles on this one.

The Bottom Line
If you're in the position to actually own this game, then by all means get it. It's a worthwhile gem, just waiting to be rediscovered.

Dreamcast · by BigJKO (64) · 2005

[ View all 6 player reviews ]



The Dreamcast version of the game was the 2nd game in history to be given a 40/40 score by the respected game magazine Famitsu.

Version differences

In the Korean version of the game, Mitsurugi was replaced by a Caucasian swordsman named Arthur, because the image of the samurai is not very popular with Koreans.


  • EGM
    • February 2006 (Issue #200) - #22 in the "Greatest Games of Their Time" list
  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - #74 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
  • GameSpy
    • 1999 – Console Game of the Year
  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #75 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)

Information also contributed by Big John WV and CaptainCanuck

Related Games

SoulCalibur II
Released 2003 on PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube
SoulCalibur VI
Released 2018 on Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
SoulCalibur III
Released 2005 on PlayStation 2, 2006 on Arcade
SoulCalibur IV
Released 2008 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
SoulCalibur V
Released 2012 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
SoulCalibur VI (Deluxe Edition)
Released 2018 on Xbox One, Windows, PlayStation 4
Far Cry: Instincts
Released 2005 on Xbox
Released 2022 on Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5...
Released 2019 on Windows

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 4010


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by nullnullnull.

Xbox 360 added by Spenot. Dreamcast added by Trixter. Xbox One added by Sciere. iPad, Android, iPhone added by Kabushi. Arcade added by The cranky hermit.

Additional contributors: Trixter, PCGamer77, Unicorn Lynx, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, Rik Hideto.

Game added May 22nd, 2001. Last modified July 8th, 2023.