- "Show me the madness that lies within!"
- — Nightmare
Nightmare (ナイトメア, Naitomea) is the main antagonist of the Soul series. He made his first appearance in Soul Edge, with his proper debut being in Soulcalibur. He is the host, wielder and living incarnation of the cursed sword, Soul Edge, the objective of most other characters in the story.
Nightmare has been present in one form or another due to him being an animated armor,his possessing of bodies or the power of Soul Edge keeping him alive in most games after, Soulcalibur, appearing in Soulcalibur II, Soulcalibur III, Soulcalibur III: Arcade Edition, Soulcalibur Legends (as an unplayable boss), Soulcalibur IV, Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny, Soulcalibur V, Soulcalibur: Lost Swords and Soulcalibur: Unbreakable Soul. The Nightmare seen in Soul Edge, Soulcalibur and Soulcalibur II is Siegfried Schtauffen, possessed by the cursed sword at the end of Soul Edge. The Nightmare appearing in Soulcalibur III and Soul Calibur IV is Inferno possessing Siegfried's discarded armor. The Nightmare appearing in Soulcalibur V and Soulcalibur: Lost Swords is a new being, Soul Edge possessing the body of a swordsman (according to the art book Raphael Sorel) and plotting behind the scenes under the alias "Graf Dumas" as he plans to resurrect the full power of Soul Edge.
Nightmare has been portrayed in the games as a violent and ruthless creature, constantly in search of souls to restore Soul Edge. He looks down on humans, considering them "pathetic" and "foolish", having no mercy for others, even to those who serve him, as shown in his Tales of Souls path where he considers killing his loyal servant Tira. Though his incarnation in V wants to take over the world rather than destroy it.
What lies in his soul is Damnation and Destruction.
In Soulcalibur V's promotional material he is referred to as The Symbol of Destruction.
True to his nickname, Nightmare appears as a dark figure covered in dark blue armor that covers most of his body. His prominent feature is his right arm, which has been twisted and transformed into a large three-digit claw whose flesh overlaps his entire right arm and shoulder. He is depicted with Soul Edge in his left hand, symbolizing his polarity with Siegfried. Over the years, his appearance has progressively grown more and more demonic, as influenced by the state of Soul Edge himself. During the events of Soulcalibur, he was simply a suit of armor with a giant arm and horned helmet. In Soulcalibur II, Nightmare's armor changes design, now sporting long red hair from the back with bat wing-like ornaments on the sides replacing the horn. With a body to call his own at last, Nightmare returned to a suit similar to his original Soulcalibur variant, although slightly re-vamped, in Soulcalibur III, with the claw having stretched over his chest plate, possessing a rudimentary jaw lined with sharp teeth both on his shoulder and chest. As of Soulcalibur IV, Nightmare seems to have degraded into a body of dark energy. What was once flesh has now fully transformed into a compound of metal and bone. The mouth covering the chestplate from before has split open around his entire waist, connecting the legs and torso with a torrent of evil energy. The armor appears fused to his claw and much more metallic in appearance. No longer using Siegfried, the alternate costumes are much more severe in mutation. His alternate outfit in Soulcalibur IV displays traits similar to Night Terror.
Following the destruction of the original Nightmare, Soul Edge obtains a new host in Soulcalibur V, resulting in the rise of a new Nightmare. His design returns to a more traditional look best likened to his appearance in Soulcalibur II. He retains the long horn on his helmet from his other designs, and both the horn and parts of his arm display a menacing orange glow. Despite having a new host, he retains his fighting style from past games. Soul Edge, like Nightmare himself, has also reverted to a design more like its appearance in earlier titles, despite having a different official design for the game. In Legendary Souls, the Soulcalibur IV version of Nightmare appears as one of the opponents, albeit the dark energy and smoke being replaced with flames, resembling Inferno to an extent.
In the spinoff Soulcalibur Legends, Nightmare's appearance is taken from Soulcalibur III but it noticeably more demonic, with his grieves having developed talons and his right leg having taken on the form of a large jaw, similar to his right shoulder.
Nightmare is incredibly powerful, thanks to being the incarnation of Soul Edge. He possess immense sword fighting skills - as shown by how he was taking on and defeating multiple armies at once, even with only the phantom Soul Edge, and physical strength - as shown during his battle with Siegfried, where one slash from his sword destroyed the entirety of Ostreinsburg Castle. Nightmare also has the ability to release the Evil Seed - a corrupting rain of energy, he can drain his enemies' souls, and can use a massive soul draining technique called the "Soul Wave" - which drains the souls of everyone in the area into Soul Edge. It is also shown that he can create at least two weaker clones of himself if he wishes. Nightmare can also control anyone who has a sufficent amount of Soul Edge's shards imbued within them, and as such if someone contained Soul Edge's shards and was killed, he could even revive them as an undead warrior. In Soulcalibur IV, when Nightmare had almost reached his full power his power became so great that Soul Edge's evil took root in Ostrheinsburg City, cursing the place and effectivley making the entire city his host - making it impossible for regular people to live their lest their souls be drained by the cursed city or turned into malfested. He has numerous fire manipulating abilities, he can summon fire around Soul Edge to increase it's damage output, and as shown in his Soulcalibur IV ending, when at full power he can release flames from his body that will spread over and eventually consume the entire world. In Soulcalibur V it is shown that Nightmare can teleport, when doing so he is wrapped in flames and dissapears in a fiery explosion.
Soul EdgeEven though Nightmare originally debuted in Soulcalibur, there was a "prototype" of his character in Soul Edge. In the home version, an extra character named Siegfried! was added as an unlockable character. Siegfried! was an alternate version of normal Siegfried taken from his no-input ending, in which he is consumed by Soul Edge. This early version was very different from the current Nightmare, having crimson-red armor and a more flesh-like design with no mutated Nightmare Arm. He has no story nor ending, and only used Siegfried's Soul Edge without effects. Oddly, he uses the same voice actor as Siegfried.
In Soulcalibur, the concept was expanded and turned into an official character, though with changes to the design. His red armour was changed to a dark blue armor and its design turned more metallic instead of fleshy. This was also the first appearance of the Nightmare Arm. Siegfried's body was slowly being mutated by the sword's terrible power, causing his right arm to morph into a hideous claw. Despite the Nightmare Arm only having three large fingers, it didn't seem to hinder his combat abilities at all. He now wields his own version of Soul Edge, sporting a single eye on its blade, something that would become the trademark of the various versions of the weapon, and the creations made from it, such as Charade.
Nightmare was a starting character whose style resembled Siegfried's former moveset. Siegfried was later added to the cast as a time-release character and inherited the same style with minor changes. Nightmare's profile on the game explained how Siegfried obtained Soul Edge after a fierce fight against its former owner, the dread pirate Cervantes de Leon and the fiery demon that spawned within it afterward, Inferno. After that, the sword spoke to him, promising the resurrection of his dead father if he helped it gather souls. Unaware that it was a trick to restore the sword's power, Siegfried agreed and started a killing spree which eventually made him weak to Soul Edge's will. Nightmare was born soon after.
Nightmare's incarnation in Soulcalibur II remains mostly the same, with minor upgrades to his fighting style, mainly on his stance. As his and other character's profiles explain, he formed a group with Astaroth, Isabella "Ivy" Valentine and Aeon Calcos (the Lizardman) in an attempt to speed the gathering of souls and restoration of the sword's power. But during the ritual to restore Soul Edge, Castle Osthreinsburg was assaulted by Kilik, Maxi, and Chai Xianghua. With his allies either defeated or missing, Nightmare confronted Kilik and Xianghua and was ultimately defeated, later falling into the collapsing void where they fought. After waking up, Siegfried, apparently free, regained his senses and tried to distance himself from the world to atone for the sins he committed as Nightmare. But the sword slowly regained control over the young man and eventually Nightmare resurfaced to start another massacre on Europe. In this game, Nightmare is a starting character, while Siegfried turned into a third costume option for him. In his second costume option, it can be seen that most of the right side of Siegfried's chest has been corrupted in a similar manner to his arm, and his right eye has changed to a golden color.
Soulcalibur: Unbreakable Soul
- Note: Non-Canon material starts here
Nightmare is found by the player and Cassandra at Ostrheinsburg Castle. Sensing the fragments of Soul Edge within the player, he fights him/her for them. But he is defeated and turned back into Siegfried. Meanwhile, the player continues the journey with Cassandra to find more fragments, as he/she feels that there are still fragments of Soul Edge scattered throughout the world.
- Note: Non-Canon material ends here
- Note: Non-Canon material starts here
Nightmare appears when Siegfried attempts to seal Soul Edge. He emerges from the blade and fights Siegfried, only to be defeated.
- Note: Non-Canon material ends here
Before the events of Soulcalibur III, Nightmare met with Raphael Sorel in the Ostrheinsburg Chapel and defeated him. As he stepped forward to kill the man and harvest his soul, Siegfried's mind started to struggle with Soul Edge for freedom. Raphael, watching as Nightmare stood motionless as a result of the mind struggle, released an attack and pierced Soul Edge's eye. This allowed Siegfried to reclaim his body and also released the holy blade Soul Calibur from within Soul Edge. In a state of temporary sanity, Siegfried then drove the holy sword into the cursed Soul Edge and sealed both together, nullifying both powers. However, the will of Soul Edge escaped the sword and entered the dark blue armour that Siegfried quickly discarded after reclaiming his body. Eventually, the mysterious immortal Zasalamel found the armor and created a new body for the immobile Soul Edge out of the countless evil souls haunting Ostrheinsburg. This new Nightmare restarted his reign of terror in search of Siegfried and the rest of Soul Edge, as well as a new host to escape into, as the new body was heavily unstable.
Nightmare appears once again in Soulcalibur IV. By this time, Nightmare's entire body had been twisted by the power of Soul Edge completely and utterly.
As the storyline of this game begins, Nightmare and Siegfried found each other once more at the Lost Cathedral. Soul Edge was freed from the Soul Embrace because of the secret art performed by Zasalamel. Nightmare took the evil sword as Siegfried became the new wielder of Soul Calibur. Then the two fought, the clashing of their swords gradually destroyed the cathedral, ripping both Nightmare and Siegfried apart only to be repaired by their swords after falling into a warp created by their duel.
Conveniently, both Nightmare and Soul Edge landed in Ostrheinsburg. Waves caused by the clash of the two swords awakened the fragments of Soul Edge that were scattered all over the world. The fragments were pulled into Soul Edge and all were consumed, restoring the blade to its whole form. As Nightmare seeded roots into the land, Ostrheinsburg soon became a cursed city that Nightmare would utilize to devour souls. The Azure Knight then prepared for his final battle against the wielder of Soul Calibur.
The storylines involving Algol feature Algol, the ancient king, whose will was strong enough to totally resist Soul Edge's power and who also created Soul Calibur in case Soul Edge ever needed to be destroyed, builds himself imitations of both soul swords wielding them simultaneously as he plots his resurrection and returns to his post as king.
Nightmare ("Graf Dumas")
After its destruction by Soul Calibur, Soul Edge was shattered, its fragments scattered across the world. However, minions still loyal to the cursed sword managed to track down the shards, and reassembled as much of the sword as they could. Five years later, it regained consciousness and possessed a new host, one specially prepared for such an occasion. Unlike the Azure Knight who had swept through Europe as a genocidal monster, this "new Nightmare" preferred subterfuge and diplomacy. He assumed the name Dumas, and became part of the inner circle of Emperor Rudolf II of the Holy Roman Empire. He became the Graf, or Count, of the Kingdom of Hungary. From this position he would sent his servants to regain the missing Soul Edge fragments while organizing purges against innocents he deemed "malfested" in order to harvest souls to bolster his strength.
In 1607, Graf Dumas manipulates Patroklos into slaughtering "malfested" by claiming to help him search for his missing sister, Pyrrha. Eventually, Patroklos violently leaves his service and flees. Later, after reuniting with his sister, he encounters Dumas, who has reached his full power and reveals himself as Nightmare. He attacks Patroklos but is stopped by Pyrrha, who becomes truly malfested. With his power restored, Nightmare and his corrupted followers cause war throughout Central Europe. At Castle Denevér, he is defeated and killed by Z.W.E.I., Pyrrha becomes the new host of Soul Edge. Pyrrha is then defeated by Patroklos, and in the end both Soul Edge and Soul Calibur are sealed back inside the Astral Chaos.It's unclear what happen to Nightmare's body after Dumas was slain by Z.W.E.I. considering that when Siegfried was Nightmare he discarded the armor after escaping from Soul Edge's control, it could be possible that the same could have happen to the armor that Dumas worn.
Nightmare's main strategies of fighting have remained similar throughout the sequels of Soulcalibur. He features slow, yet somewhat explosive and high-damage attacks. Most recently in Soulcalibur IV, Nightmare becomes infamous for his near endless, fast and powerful combos, occasionally causing opponents to blast up into the air after a strong uppercut slash from his Soul Edge.
A main combo move and starter to look out for is the Grim Stride move that he can utilize after several moves in order to get through the defenses of opponents, put pressure on the opponent, or chain together other combos. Yet, another move of his (Soul Wave), surrounds him with small electro-bolts from the ground, can impact the opponent after they strike him with two weak attacks and then send them into the ground. This move also makes him glow as if experiencing Start Dash in an orange-yellowish color. Doesn't sound deadly? It allows many of his moves to become deadly Guard Breaks and have increased power, but this lasts only for a limited amount of time or can be stopped entirely when the opponent hits him successfully. However, many moves (especially Soul Wave) are slow and allow faster characters like Maxi to punish the huge mistake. Nightmare is very lethal when put in the hands of those who know how to utilize his moves with timing. Nightmare has easy-to-learn moves and is considered mid- to high-tier in tournaments.
- Soul Edge
- Soul Edge (Longsword and Pistol Sword) (Soul Edge ending only)
- Soul Edge (Male)
- Soul Edge (Phantom)
- Soul Edge (Nauplius)
- Soul Edge (Veiled)
- Great Blade
- Giant Buster
- Steel Paddle
- Soul Edge (Cocoon)
- Soul Edge (Larvae)
- Soul Edge (Growth)
- Soul Edge (Complete)
- Soul Edge (Final Form)
- Soul Calibur
- Galley Oar
- Giant Squid
- Broken Destiny
- Soul Edge (Cleaver)
- The Ancient (Nightmare)
- The Master (Nightmare)
- Chrome Blade
Soul Edge (Male)
Nightmare's weapon in Soulcalibur, Soulcalibur II and Soulcalibur IV and the evil sword that is the center of the game's storyline. Its Weapon Gallery profile in Soulcalibur II states that details on the sword change while rumors of its legend spread on the world. It can change shape, even separating into more than one physical object to accommodate its wielder's fighting style and experience and it also has the power to corrupt and control its wielder's mind, guiding them to commit massacres in order to collect souls for the sword to consume. Its single eye, which was added in the design ever since Soulcalibur, is said to appear enraptured when bathed in blood.
Its profile in Soulcalibur IV's official Japanese website states that Soul Edge was nothing more than a sword made by human hands in ancient times and it is unknown how many souls it has devoured or possessed, but even now, it's still growing.
Night Terror has its own version of the Soul Edge labeled "Complete". The reason for this label is that Night Terror is the Soul Edge completed, every fragment and everything made with it has returned, even the Soul Calibur (originally a purified fragment of Soul Edge). This variant of Soul Edge is also the second-player version of Nightmare's Soul Edge in Soulcalibur IV. The Final Form of Soul Edge (not complete), Nightmare's legendary weapon which is also used in his Soulcalibur IV boss battle, appears the same as his 1P version and has a deep red glow.
In Soulcalibur IV, there is a version of Soul Edge labeled as "Soul Edge (Nauplius)". This version is the same one Algol and his son are seen holding in the game's opening movie. It is believed that this is the original form of the weapon, shortly after it gained sentience.
Soul Edge (Phantom)
Nightmare's weapon in Soulcalibur III. It is but a materialization of Nightmare's memories of the original Soul Edge, created from his own body. It has the ability to consume souls, but other than that is just a weaker version of the true Soul Edge. It is created in a similar way to how Charade and Inferno create their own weapons (from their bodies), taking into account that this incarnation of Nightmare is the sword itself.
- Nightmare is nicknamed "The Azure Knight" due to the distinctive dark blue armor he wears.
- Ever since his debut in Soulcalibur he has become one of the most recognizable characters in the Soul franchise. His status would be further cemented when he became apart of the official Project soul logo from 2005 to 2011, and 2014.
- Despite being sworn enemies throughout most of the series, Nightmare and Siegfried never actually have a Destined Battle with each other.
- In early concepts, Nightmare's left arm was mutated into a demonic claw rather than his right arm. This is true with Siegfried! in Soul Edge and some concept art of Nightmare in Soulcalibur.
- In Soulcalibur and Soulcalibur II, Siegfried seems to speak through Nightmare in his winning quotes, such as "I shall reclaim my soul!" or "I'll be restored soon!". That, or Nightmare is referring to collecting all of the shards of Soul Edge, becoming whole.
- Oddly enough, in every Soulcalibur installment, Nightmare appears to have gained more "weight", which is most likely measured from muscle and metal. But he is no more resistant to knockback and grappling attacks than anyone else.
- Nightmare appears in the Game Boy Color game Seme COM Dungeon: Drururuaga. The player can obtain him as an "ally" and use his armor.
- He is similar to Faust from Blades of Fury. They both are the main antagonists of their games and are associated with fire. They both have large swords they use in one hand. Coincidentally, Nightmare has a sword named Faust.
- In Siegfried's Ending in Edge Master Mode, in the paragraph where Siegfried turns into Nightmare standing at the top of the mountain, he wields Soul Edge, in the form of two blades.
- Within the Schwartzstrom group, Nightmare is referred to as "Honour Azules".
- In all Destined Battles concerning Nightmare, his lines do not seem to react to his actual opponent in any way. He is the only character for this to happen.
- If you play as Nightmare in his bonus costume & equip Requiem, he will look just like Siegfried. They can both be purchased at Misari in Weapon Master, with the Requiem costing 2400 gold, & his bonus costume costing 24,700 gold. (Unless the player uses Nightmare often, in which case the price will have inflated.)
- Nightmare's Tales of Souls shows that he doesn't need to eat or drink to survive, as when other characters reach the Grand Labyrinth, they carry food and provisions, but Nightmare goes without. It is strongly implied that he feeds on souls and despair.
- In the character creation mode, there are parts from Nightmare's 2P costume from Soulcalibur. These parts are named "Slayer", like "Slayer's Helmet" or "Slayer's Tasset".
- The Soul of Nightmare discipline is available to created characters of the Barbarian class.
- Nightmare fights in a similar fashion as Night Terror, as he is able to levitate, and uses many of Night Terror's attacks, such as his beam attack.
- In Nightmare's Story Mode, Nightmare is accompanied by Tira for most of the time, until he kills her and devours her soul after the fourth stage before he fights Siegfried.
- In Chain of Souls, Nightmare is shown to have only two loyal servants: Tira and Voldo. In contrast, Nightmare is shown to have more enemies than any other characters, for a total of 10.
- Nightmare is the only character in the Story Mode that doesn't respond to the player's character's dialogue, with the exception of Cervantes and Siegfried. For example, in Taki's story, when the player encounters Nightmare, Taki says, "Wicked soul, prepare to die!". Nightmare responds with "Tremble, this is true darkness!". He also uses this response with every character. However, when fighting Cervantes, Cervantes shouts "Sword! Return to your master!"; Nightmare responds with "You, I remember you!" There is also a unique dialogue with Siegfried atop the tower; Siegfried states "Let's do this! My unforgivable past!", and Nightmare retorts "In the end, you will give into despair".
- Nightmare seems to be associated with fire, as revealed in his introduction sequence, as a "fiery" aura surrounds him in some scenes. Furthermore, many of his lines involve a variation of the word "burn". This is in contrast to Siegfried, who is associated with ice.
- Many variations of his helmet are available as DLC.
- Interestingly, after being defeated by Elysium, Nightmare's death cry isn't heard. Whether this is intentional or due to a bug in the game, it is unknown.
- Much like Astaroth, Nightmare was defeated and destroyed by his nemesis Siegfried at the end of Soulcalibur IV (as Astaroth was destroyed by his respective nemesis, Maxi, as well). He was succeeded by an identical version.
- Nightmare's music theme title, Pavor Nocturnus, is the clinical name for night terrors and most likely a reference to the hidden boss from Soulcalibur III, Night Terror.
- Nightmare's 2P costume resembles his 2P costume from Soulcalibur II, except for his mask that prevents you from seeing his face.
- Nightmare has a special costume featured in Legendary Souls mode - his Soulcalibur IV 1P. Unfortunately it is not available to players, it can only be accessed through hacking.
- His 1P costume is a modified version of the same from Soulcalibur II, with elements from other versions added in.
- It is possible to see Nightmare in his Dumas persona in 3D by creating an original costume for him in Create-A-Soul mode. His character model's face is that of Raphael with Dumas' mask from the story mode artwork, called the Persona of Deceit in the creation menu. On top of that, when recreating Nightmare, you can get a very good glimpse of his face when equipping certain items: the Prayer Helm, Warthog Bascinet, Nightmare: Torment, and Nightmare: Misery hide the mask, leaving his eye area, and thus complete face, visible.
- Both Nightmare and Raphael share the same voice actor in both languages, further fueling speculation that Dumas' body is Raphael's.
- Furthermore, Nightmare's fighting style was also changed to "What the sword desires", implying that the new host could have let his will be overwhelmed by the sword's desires, leading Nightmare to use his 'previous' fighting style instead of the host's.
- Also, in the New Legends of Project Soul artbook, designer Hiroaki Kado states that there is a reason why Nightmare's armor has a bat theme, without giving further information.
- Upon defeating Viola, Nightmare has a special win quote in which he doesn't speak; instead groaning, possibly in pain.
- In early demos, Nightmare had an alternate theme which included vocals. This was excluded in the final version of the game.
- In the artwork, Graf Dumas had red hair, but in story mode seems to be blonde.
- After the end of Soulcalibur V it's unclear what happened to Nightmare's armor after Graf Dumas died since Inferno/Soul Edge and Elysium/Soul Calibur were both sealed away it could be possible that Nightmare's remains were separated after Dumas was killed.
- Soul Edge (as Siegfried!)
- Soulcalibur II
- Soulcalibur III
- Soulcalibur Legends (unplayable boss)
- Soulcalibur IV
- Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny
- Soulcalibur: Unbreakable Soul
- Soulcalibur V
- Soulcalibur: Lost Swords
Appearances in Other Media
Nightmare appears as a playable card in Outcast Odyssey. He is a part of the first wave of Soul series characters. Available for a limited time. All four of his cards feature a brand new costume, never before seen in the Soul series, although his second card bears a resemblance to his appearance in Soulcalibur V.
|Main characters in the Soul series|
|Aeon Calcos | Algol | Amy | Astaroth (Original, Mass Produced) | Cassandra | Cervantes | Charade | Dampierre | Edge Master | Hilde | Hwang | Ivy | Kilik | Leixia | Li Long | Maxi | Mitsurugi | Natsu | Necrid | Olcadan | Patroklos (α Patroklos) | Pyrrha (Pyrrha Ω) | Raphael | Rock | Seong Han-myeong | Seong Mi-na | Setsuka | Siegfried | Sophitia | Soul Calibur (Elysium) | Soul Edge (Inferno, Nightmare, Night Terror) | Taki | Talim | Tira | Viola | Voldo | Xianghua | Xiba | Yoshimitsu (First, Second) | Yun-seong | Zasalamel (Abyss) | Z.W.E.I.|