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"A heroine fighting against her own nation, trying to bring any form of hope and light to the darkness that covers the tormented streets of her home..."
La Cazadora is a Soulcalibur fan-character created by just another guy on the internet. Raphael was the first character I picked up to play upon getting Soulcalibur IV, due to fond memories of his style in Soulcalibur II. While I made plenty of characters that utilized his style, all of them had serious problems sticking for any length of time. One night I was drinking and half-asleep, and had three Windows Media Players open, one playing an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, another playing The Mark of Zorro, and the third playing an episode of Kamen Rider Decade. In my sleepiness (and I had just a little too much wine), the three shows merged into a single character. That was a damn weird night.
La Cazadora is a heroine that stalks the streets of Spain, trying to help the helpless in a war-torn environment. Danger surrounds her from all sides, but she will never relent even in the face of inevitable death. When she hears tales of a weapon so powerful it can demolish entire nations, she sets out to verify its existence and to keep it from falling into the hands of those who would abuse it.
Her primary weapon is a colichemarde called the Sin Credo, and was created using Raphael's fighting style.
What lies in her soul is Faith.
Spain is prospering. Ferdinand and Isabella married and united Spain under their rule, turning it into one country. The crusades have ended and soldiers have come back, talking about all of the amazing foods and drinks and supplies that were in the east. Trade routes have been established, and people have been made millionaires literally overnight with the booming industries.
The Delgado family is one such family, who have taken advantage of the new influx of leathers, furs, and cloths to become tailors and seamsters. In the span of just several days, they have gone from life in the slums to nobility—they took life in a mansion, hired on a whole staff of servants, and forged their own bright future with their skills.
Unfortunately, Spain is not without its strife.
With this influx of success and prosperity there has come a darker side. With these millionaires made overnight has come people envious of their success, their entrepreneurship, and their businesses. Smugglers, assassins, and thugs have been threatening the prosperity of Spain's new class, and crime has been soaring. In several short years, it has turned from an economical paradise to a den of thieves as criminal syndicates and gangs take control of the streets.
Their daughter Rosalina, now a noble, hated every single bit of this. Why couldn't people use their own talents and skills to carve their own life, instead of trying to steal such a life from others? Like herself and her family—they had crawled up from the pits of the slums, working as tailors, and now their talent was paying off.
It only took one discovery to change her future. One night of sleeplessness and wandering into her parents' room found them masked and holding bags, sifting through various jewels that they had plundered.
They were thieves. They had become drunk on the sheer amount of wealth they had received in such a short period of time—after life in the lower classes, the ability to buy, purchase, and enjoy things was...addictive. They could have whatever they want, but they needed more money, and so they became thieves in addition to their work.
Rosalina tearfully reported them to the town guard, shipping them off to prison and leaving her alone with her servants.
Years passed, and with the introduction of the infamous and ruthless Spanish Inquisition to try and help control the populace, things only grew worse.
Rosalina looked out into the streets and saw only bloodshed. Assassins stalked the night, hired to dispatch rivals. Thieves snuck around in the shadows to try and pry a precious bauble from an innocent person's corpse. Corrupt businessmen cut corners on their products to try and eke as much money out of people as possible. The Inquisition and the guard cared nothing for anyone unless they were Catholic, and used all of the church's resources to do a country-wide manhunt for anyone who wasn't.
"What use is being a noble with all this wealth if all I can help is myself?" She murmured to herself after another night of laying in her bed and listening to the chaos. "Between the constant desire for more and the constant need to spend it, all of this money is throwing the entire country into strife. Money needs to be for being able to get what you need...not for greed and envy, fueled by a constant desire for more."
How much of it was truly hers, anyway? How long had her parents been thieving, and how much of the tainted gold lay in her stocks?
There needed to be a way to truly help others. There needed to be someone who could genuinely do good, who could help those in need not for a price or a confession but for simply because help was needed.
...perhaps there was a way she could put this ill-gotten wealth to use. A way that could truly help others, instead of just throwing it to a charity and praying it got in the right hands. A way that could make a difference for the entire country, one step at a time.
A couple days later, she was able to put on her mask. She swung her custom rapier to the side left and right, letting it swish through the air, and she felt the weight of her grapple-hook in hand.
Soon, evil all across Spain would learn to fear the huntress that stalked the night. The heroine that took no quarter and pursued even the most elusive villain. For she was the night. For she was the vengeance. For she was the justice. For she was the sorrow.
For she was La Cazadora.
And for her first assignment as a heroine?
There was a lot of talk in the criminal circles about an ultimate weapon. A weapon of demons, fueled by hatred and rage...located somewhere in Germany. They were sending numerous bands in order to retrieve the weapon, so that they could further cement their hold on Spain and its citizens.
It would be a huge shame if something happened to the weapon before they could find it.
Thesmophoros' Imperial Garden (Soulcalibur IV)A lush and beautiful garden in front of a mighty palace. The contrast in beauty and power is not represented in a single better palace, as the imperial garden has had no expense spared in accentuating both. The water that flows on either side is sparkling pure, the statues are chiseled by a master craftsman, the grass is neatly trimmed and well-kept, and the view on the edge overlooks a grand town from high above. Hundreds, if not thousands, of warriors have started their journey here, and La Cazadora is no different.
Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Gracia (Original)Also known as the Cuenca Cathedral, it is one of the largest and oldest gothic cathedrals throughout all of Spain. While it cannot boast the services of many others, people come together from all areas of Spain to gather together in private for prayer and worship—no matter their religion. Several times it has come under investigation by the Spanish Inquisition for its supposed shelter of "heretics", but every time the monks and nuns have been able to gently turn them aside. This is a place of peace and a place of holiness, no matter who your god is, and in these trying times the walls will hold whoever comes seeking the Lord's protection.
The Cuenca Cathedral's courtyard is a gigantic square with polished stone walkways and grassy areas in between, with walls on three sides and a closed gate of entrance on the fourth. While the gate is sturdy, it's also quite old and has seen numerous unkind years, and thus easily can be bashed open with the impact of a body against it. Beyond the gate is the lengthy staircase needs to be taken from the town's roads to visit the cathedral—getting thrown down them would easily put an end to any fight right away, either from sheer pain of tumbling down or from the effort exerted to get back up.
Sin CredoThe Sin Credo is an interesting weapon. As is typical for a noble in an upper-class nation, La Cazadora has taken fencing lessons and carries a sword with her at all times. This weapon, however, is a weapon that she uses strictly when in costume working as a heroine.
A colichemarde before colichemardes existed, the Sin Credo is a heavily-customized espada ropera with a streamlined handle and a blade widened near the base. Being based off an espada ropera, it features a long and thin blade that is flexible enough to be able to make effective cuts with swings, while still firm enough to pierce through in a lengthy thrust. The widened base of the blade assists in blocking even larger weapons, and the handle has been tweaked and reworked over and over until the perfect grip has been achieved. All of these factors combined make the wielder able to slice up close and parry incoming blows with ease, combining speed and defense into a powerful package. This is a sword that surpasses all others of its kind, even against the boundaries of time; it is a blade suitable for a heroine and her grueling work. For such trials, no ordinary blade will suffice—and indeed, the Sin Credo is no ordinary blade.
SchweizersabelA military saber popular in the 15th century, in Switzerland and Germany. This saber is unique for a military saber in that it has a very light curve with a tapered tip, instead of a large curve designed for hacking and slashing. It also has an unusual aspect of its design in that the back has an edge as well—almost unheard of for a slashing saber. Hilts tended to come in a variety of designs, but almost all of them were two-handed, allowing people to utilize zweihander techniques or simple one-handed techniques easily; these changes from the standard military saber design essentially made this a bastard sword for military use.
One thing still true about the original design is the sheer amount of power inherent in the blade, capable of cleaving and slicing with just several well-directed swings. This was an impressive blade that served the military well for year after year, and even in the hands of non-military personnel it can carve through enemies just as well. Compared to a rapier, it boasts superior range and the ability to parry more effectively, but being designed specifically for assault it's a little tiring to wield...
KalisThe Kalis is a blade that hails from the Philippines, used by Filipino soldiers as early as the 13th century and comparable to even the legendary katana in strength. A curved and double-edged sword with an incredibly unique design, it boasts an elongated guard and a blade that is split half-and-half—the top half is straight for slashing and impaling while the bottom half is in a wavy-zig-zag to cause even more grievous wounds in impaling and to facilitate removal out of bones and bodies. With this unique combination of blade shapes, it functions beautifully in slashing, stabbing, or parrying alongside a shield, and thus makes it an ideal sword of choice for use in every situation.
While it is a very light sword that can lend itself to a wide variety of purposes in combat, when compared to a traditional European sword the Kalis comes up quite short. Though its unique shape allows it to pierce through any guard easily and to deliver horrible damage to any body hiding behind a shield or armor, the awkward blade also makes it difficult to defend with as well. It was designed to be used in combination with a shield instead of by itself, and it shows.
MisericordeThe Misericorde was a long and narrow knife from medieval times, an ancient blade with very specific purposes. It was very true to its name, derived from the Latin word for "Mercy", and was designed to deliver mercy kills to suffering enemies or allies who were struck mortally in non-fatal areas. The pyramid shape of the blade and the heavy weight allowed it to thrust directly through armor, though it was frequently used on the helmet to deliver an instant-death blow to the brain. Much like the wakizashi for samurai, it was also considered an "honorable" weapon to commit suicide with, though more in case someone was simply unable to go on any further from the sheer amount of wounds rather than trying to regain last honor.
Despite these specific purposes, this did not keep people from using it for normal combat. The sheer power it had in puncturing armor was extremely beneficial for surprise attacks or grappling, and its weight helped it in standing its own in defense against larger blades. Though being a knife, it has a severe lack of range and can barely go as far as half the length of an actual sword, but any sort of guard is rendered absolutely useless against its piercing capabilities.
The Mary Rose's Treasure (Ultimate)The Mary Rose is a legendary warship that served King Henry VIII's for over 33 years in more than several wars. It was Henry's most reliable ship, boasting having survived numerous direct attacks and having given just as good as it got—if not even more. Unfortunately, all reigns of power must come to an end, and the Mary Rose was sunk in 1545.
Henry VIII personally funded many interesting developments, and this sword is among one of the many treasures that was aboard the ship at the time. Possibly one of the first examples of a basket-hilted sword, it is a weapon that combines the power and strength of a broadsword with the flexibility and length of a rapier. A double-edged and thin blade protruding from a rapier-esque hilt, it offers a wonderful thrusting capability of a rapier while still being able to hold its own in slashing. While many modern-day developments of the rapier have tried to advance on the rapier in order to allow it to do more than simply thrust, it was the soldiers of the Mary Rose who had it first.
Simply holding this blade seems to impart some of the loyalty and dedication that the soldiers had to protect their king. Not only is the user capable of shrugging off more damage, but also evasive movements are also significantly faster to pull off. Unfortunately, being the first blade of its kind, it's more difficult to damage with it, rendering this a strictly defensive weapon.
Baton Twirler (Joke)Baton twirling has a surprisingly simple art that has had more than several uses in entertainment. Used in military parades, flag waving, Olympic competitions, baton twirling seems very simple at first glance but can be used in a wide variety of avenues. Making the art more appealing is simple as well—add some gigantic cotton balls, some blazing balls of fire, or in this case some multicolored streamers and the movements quickly become hypnotic. Just the image of something flapping in the wind is incredibly appealing to the eye, for whatever reason.
Sometimes batons have other things that make their movements more engaging. Sometimes they make noises while spinning or upon impact with something else. This baton is one of the latter, and makes a plaintiff squeaking noise upon connecting with something. Viewer accounts have described such a noise it as "cute", "adorable", and one man fell to the ground clutching his chest with a "HNNNGGGGHHHHH".
Obviously, such an visually-oriented item has very little use in combat. Simply seeing it in action, however, may cause an opponent to become distracted and drop his guard.
Spada da Lato (The Ancient)Said to be the ancestor of the rapier, the Spada da Lato is a colloquial and unofficial name for a series of long and thin Italian swords developed in the early 15th century. Originally commissioned as a design trying to improve the mobility of the common arming sword for making it easier to use in cramped quarters, the resulting modifications of made it more useful for thrusting. This weapon would start the basic fighting style that would be later developed into actual rapier fighting.
It was strictly a weapon designed for military use, and so very few of them actually found their way into civilian hands. Most of them were found on the fields of wars, and acted as the weapon of choice for countless units. They were designed to be as adaptable and as versatile as possible, and being the ancestor of the rapier it was the weapon that many of the rapier fighting techniques were designed for. As such, it is a weapon balanced in every possible area of utility, and acts as the bar of which to gauge other weapons by.
La Cazadora runs the palm of her gauntlet across her blade's edge, letting out a wicked sssshing noise. "Now...judgement."
La Cazadora leans back with a wicked glint in her eyes and then gives a sudden lunge, running her opponent through by gouging the blade deep into their chest.
She moves with a little difficulty, carving out a nice triangle before yanking the blade out of their side, spinning around and bringing up her grapple-gun, pointing it at the fresh wound and aiming upwards. She fires and shoots the hook directly through their body and out the other end, hooking it onto the distant ceiling.
She then flicks a switch on the grapple-gun and lets go. The opponent is yanked up and away, and La Cazadora bows with a flourish as they go away. She turns her back onto them and sheathes her sword, letting them hang there until they perish.
La Cazadora lifts up her grapple-gun, having somehow retrieved it, and starts loading the hook back in. "An ignoble end, to be certain. I pray that you forgive me."
- "Words will not move me."
- "I will not hold anything back."
- "Why are you so eager to dive into battle?"
- "I'm not willing to stand down. Are you?"
- "Now...count up your sins."
- "Lord, please grant me strength."
- "Fighting is not the only way to settle this."
- "I'm sorry, but I cannot lose."
- "I'm just a passing-through swordswoman. Please don't mind me."
- "There can be no creation without destruction first..."
- "To fail now would be to forsake everything I'm fighting for!"
- "I forgive you. Now...go, before I change my mind."
- Immaculate Pledge (Soulcalibur IV)
- With Mila's Divine Protection (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Gracia)
- Is a devoutly religious Catholic who engages in religious studies every day. She has several translations of the Bible, and one of her biggest hobbies is trying to see how different translations compare on the same subject.
- Favorite food is pisto manchego. She insists on having it with as many meals as possible, and thinks every meal can be improved with the addition of it.
- Favorite drink is sangria. She likes to mix up the fruits each time, because difference in taste is wonderful. She does not see the irony of this mindset and her love of pisto manchego.
- Sews and mends her own clothes. Her profession didn't come by just by inheriting it from her parents.
- Carries a small grappling hook pistol with her, a large flintlock modified to take metal and rope instead of bullets. This is how she "teleports" in-game, by grappling the ground and yanking herself to there.
- She is an incredibly tall woman and not at all fond of it. She thinks the height is unladylike.
- The colichemarde is actually an anachronism. Colichemardes only came about in the late 1600s—specifically, the 1680s. They are believed to have been invented by a German noble named Count Graf von Königsmark, but there are reports of their appearance long before he brought them about—this is assumedly one of them. Raphael's sword-rapier came out in the 1600s, as well, so one could joke that I'm simply stirring the anachronism stew.
- La Cazadora is the only character of mine who uses a different fighting style/weapon when in her 2P costume, both being Amy and the Rapier. This is because of her second costume essentially being her secret identity as Rosalina Jacinta, and so any resemblance to La Cazadora's fighting style would give her away. In essence, she knows two swordfighting arts—one for use as La Cazadora, one for use as Rosalina Jacinta.
- Ironically, Amy is higher-tier than Raphael in Soulcalibur IV, making her civilian style a better fighter in-game than her heroine style. WELP.
- Soulcalibur IV screenshots taken by Kristof.
- Cuenca Cathedral stage is a photograph of Chirk Castle's Courtyard, taken by System-X. Modified in Photoshop.
- With Mila's Divine Protection originally composed by Yuka Tsujiyoko, remixed by Noriy.
- Schweizersabel taken from MyArmoury.
- Kalis taken from Filipino Weapons and History, modified in Photoshop.
- Misericorde taken from The Iron Ring.
- Mary Rose's Sword taken from ArmArt, modified in Photoshop.
- Baton taken from Clker.com clip-art. Streamers done very poorly in Photoshop.
- Spada da Lato taken from MedioEvo, modified in Photoshop.