Today, I pay tribute to a character I once hated and grew to love with a vengeance: Siegfried Schtauffen from the Soul series of games.
I’ve mentioned this before -I absolutely despised Siegfried when I first encountered him in Soul Edge and as Nightmare in SoulCalibur II (yes, I skipped SoulCalibur – I never had my own Playstation 1). Remembering his arrogant teenage self from the Soul Edge and seeing this long-haired bastard beating me to a bloody pulp with his huge-ass swords and cheesy moves pissed me off to no end.
It probably didn’t help that the guy I was dating at the time was a lousy fighting game player compared to me, and whenever I’d defeat him in consecutive battles, he’d suddenly switch to Nightmare/Siegfried and get back at me in the cheesiest way possible. I never even bothered playing as Nightmare/Siegfried in my annoyance, so I didn’t know anything about his story. All I knew was that he was possessed by the cursed sword, and that he had cheesy moves.
By the time I picked up a copy of SoulCalibur III, I was still ignoring Siegfried for the most part. I was already friends with my current boyfriend (who is legitimately better than me at almost every type of game) then, and after seeing the opening sequence of the game, I remarked, off-hand, that Siegfried looks so much better without the monster arm.
Then he told me that he had wondered why I never liked the guy, when he had one of the best storylines throughout the series. He basically convinced me to let go of my
seriously shallow hatred of the guy and just give him a chance. So I did. And that’s where my love affair with Sieg began.
Siegfried’s story is a long one, spanning from his teenage years all the way to his forties. He starts out as a headstrong, ambitious teen who takes a turn for the worse, and eventually emerges as an adult who wants to atone for his past sins.
Siegfried carries the heaviest burdens among all the series’ characters, from his father’s murder to all the crimes he committed while under the influence of Soul Edge. While it would be easier to give up and let his guilt be the death of him, he chooses to live on, continuing on his quest to destroy Soul Edge on his own.
His appearance in SoulCalibur V was yet another interesting development in his story, although Namco-Bandai didn’t really highlight it very well. After the events of SoulCalibur IV, he returns to Germany and eventually gathers his old allies, Schwarzwind, and joins forces with Hildegarde Von Krone to battle the Soul Edge’s remaining minions.
From a cocky teenager, to an aloof young adult bent on atonement, and finally to a middle-aged man who serves as leader and mentor to his comrades, Siegfried’s evolution as a character is really something extraordinary. Throw in the fact that his original voice is provided by the one and only Hiyama Nobuyuki, and I’m a goner.
Belated happy birthday, Siegfried. Even though I’ll probably never get the hang of your combos and fighting technique in the games, you’ll always be my favorite Soul character.