Ten years ago, a fighting game was released, one that excited many Zelda fans. No, it wasn’t a Super Smash Bros. game. Soul Calibur II was the third game in Namco’s Soul series, and the first to include guest characters alongside the roster of regular characters in the series.
Soul Calibur II was released in 2003 for three consoles, with each console having its own unique guest character. The PlayStation 2 version included Heihachi Mishima from Tekken, the Xbox version had comic book character Spawn, and the GameCube release featured our legendary hero, Link.
Today, an HD remake of the game is being released on the PlayStation Network for PS3, with the Xbox 360 version available on Xbox Live tomorrow. There will not be a Wii U version, and while both versions will have both Heihachi and Spawn, Link will be absent from the roster. This is of course due to licensing issues, with Link being an exclusive character to Nintendo.
Link’s appearance in Soul Calibur 2 was received well by both Zelda and Soul fans alike. It also introduced some Zelda fans (myself included) to the Soul series. Considering that the story behind the Soul series revolves around the search for powerful swords, Hyrule’s skilled swordsman was a fitting addition. After learning that recent troubles in Hyrule were caused by fragments of an evil sword being gathered in another world, Link journeys to this world to ensure that the sword will never be resurrected. After successfully dealing with the evil, he leaves and returns to Hyrule. Many gamers hoped to see Link make appearances in future Soul titles, but this was not to be the case. Link does share the stage with other notable characters who have made guest appearances in the series, including Assassin’s Creed’s Ezio, Star Wars’ Darth Vader and God of War’s Kratos.
Considering that the GameCube version of Soul Calibur II outsold the other consoles’ versions, I’m sure that there are plenty of people feeling rather disappointed right now that they won’t get to see Link in this HD remake.