The Soul Gauge is a colored gem beside the characters' HP Gauge. It first appears in Soulcalibur IV and appears subsequently in Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny. In Soulcalibur V, the outside of the health bar serves the same function as the orb.
Soul Calibur IV
The Soul Gauge is a colored gem beside the characters' HP Gauge in Soulcalibur IV. The gem changes color when the player guards and is attacked. The color gradually changes from blue to green and eventually to red and then flashing red. The player's own Soul Gauge will regenerate if the he or she makes an attack and hits the opponent, guarding or otherwise, gradually changing from blue to flashing white. Additionally, performing a Guard Impact will actually damage the attacking player's Soul Gauge, and can even result in a Soul Crush.
If the character manages to empty the opponent's Soul Gauge, the opponent will be put into a special stun animation, during which the opponent can't attack, block, move, or attempt guard impacts. A powerful Critical Finish move, which will defeat the opponent instantly, can be performed by pressing A+B+K+G (all attack buttons and the guard button at the same time) while the opponent is in this special stun animation. Each character has his or her own personal Critical Finish move. Regardless of whether or not one performs the Critical Finish, Equipment Destruction occurs upon the area that the crushing attack landed. The Soul Gauge itself also becomes cracked, depleting much more rapidly in subsequent rounds.
Namco stated that it developed the Soul Gauge to decrease the benefits from constant guarding, thus giving the game a faster tempo and making the matches more offensive.
It may also be interesting to note that Darth Vader, Yoda and the Apprentice don't lose equipment, but it still has the same effect.
Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny
The gauge reappears with a few changes.
- Where Guard Impacting caused the gauge to go down in Soulcalibur IV, it will instead increase the gauge of the defender and drain the gauge of the attacker.
- All characters possess a new charge attack used by pressing the R button. When this attack is used on an opponent with a flashing red Soul Gauge and they are not blocking, the opponent is stunned and the Critical Finish is automatically activated.
- Players who are in danger of getting Critical Finished can prevent this through the use of a simple input (down, down, down & R). When this is performed, the Soul Gauge is brought back to blue and all of the character's armor is destroyed. As a trade-off, the character will take more damage from all regions.
The orb itself doesn't return in Soulcalibur V, but the outside of the health bar flashes yellow and then red when a player blocks multiple attacks. Soul Crush and Critical Finishes do not return. When a player blocks too many blows while the gauge is flashing red, a Guard Crush occurs, which leaves them briefly vulnerable.
|Gameplay in Soulcalibur IV|
|Critical Finish | Equipment Destruction | Force Gauge | Skills | Soul Crush | Soul Gauge|