- "You really stand out too much. The people love you... such an irritating sight to behold. But now, I regret... not killing you myself when I had the chance!"
- — Strife
Strife Astlar Grandall (ストライフ・アストラル・グランダール Sutoraifu Asutoraru Gurandāru?) is a fictional character in Namco's Soul series of fighting games. He appears in Soulcalibur III's side-quest mode Chronicles of the Sword as the main enemy and final boss of the mode. He's also an unlockable Bonus Character in the main game. He represents the "Iron Sword" Create-a-Fighter discipline.
Strife is the only heir of the Astlar dynasty ruling the empire of Grandall. After his father's death during a battle, he was appointed as ruler when he was only ten years old. Blinded by greed and power, his close relatives plotted everyday to kill him and take control of Grandall for themselves.
Strife endured days without a proper meal, without good sleep and hiding a knife every time. Eventually the stress and fear started eating away at his sanity.
Then one day he started hearing voices every time he sat on the throne. The voices came from deep within the castle. Eventually he began to understood these voices and his behavior changed completely.
He started executing his relatives, and torturing anyone who aroused his suspicions. His leadership turned into dictatorship. He also started amassing armies in silence, while not interfering with the war between Dalkia and Halteese. Around this time, he apparently got hold of the cursed Soul Edge, which further deteriorated his mind.
Despite being the final boss and main enemy, Strife's role as such is not revealed until advanced the plot of the Chronicles. During the Chronicles of the Sword, Strife takes little actions during the first half, mostly giving orders to the player and the unit to confront Dalkia first, then Halteese. His orders are always discussed by Girardot, as they are almost suicidal. Strife is also reluctant to send more troops to help the player against entire armies. All this because the player is gaining fame among the people, and this has enraged him to the point of wishing to see him/her die.
A year after the end of the war, Strife sent the player against a rebelled Girardot apparently under the advice of Chester, who has turned into his minister. After the Cadet defeats Giradot in battle, Strife appears to finish Giradot off. Unfortunately for Strife, this action causes the Cadet to realize the malevolence of the emperor and his ambitions, and causes the Cadet to rebel as well.
Unfortunately, Strife implanted fragments of Soul Edge into the player's former allies when the Cadet rebelled, somehow allowing Strife to control their minds. As the player, you must fight and defeat Aeneas and the others who helped you in the earlier chronicles. After the Cadet defeats their friends, it turns out they do not die, but instead they wake up from their trance and decide to join the Cadet once again. Apparently, whoever controls the main body of Soul Edge controls the people it's fragments are forcefully implanted in. This "mind control" power that Soul Edge possesses has never been revealed prior to Soulcalibur III and is never used in Soulcalibur IV; it is, however, a major theme in Soulcalibur V.
Strife meets the player's unit at last during the last chronicle, sending his elite troops against them. The Old Toledo - Burning Gallery stage serves as his castle's interior during his fight in Chronicles of the Sword. The stage seems to represent the castle being set on fire. Even with his best warriors, he's at last confronted by the player and killed in battle.
- I have no interest in speaking with the dead.
- I told you it's futile.
- Why don't you hurry up and disappear?
- Amazing... how did you expect to win?
- I suggest you run away, quickly.
- You want me to hurt you some more?
- You really stand out too much.
- The people love you... Such an irritating sight to behold.
- But now, I regret... not killing you myself when I had the chance!
- A futile effort!
- Feel the pain!
- Be gone!
- Get back!
- This is over!
- Have some of this!
- You fool!
- It's over!
- Scream in agony!
- Strife's haircut resembles He-Man's, but is considered by to be the worst of all male haircut.
- Strife's Destined Battle during Quick Play is Siegfried Schtauffen.
- Strife, much like other Bonus Fighters, can be unlocked by buying or unlocking all his Create-a-Fighter parts.
- Strife's entire costume is made from Create-a-Fighter parts, with no original parts or features.
- Strife's job in Chronicle 20 is a Sword Master.
- In Soulcalibur IV, the player may select a custom character to appear in the opening cinematic. However, no matter what weapon he/she chooses for said character, they will wield Strife's sword or an extremely similar sword while facing the phantasms, then is confronted by Cervantes, who shoots Valmiro before he can finish attacking him. Strangely, the sword cannot be used in actual gameplay.
- Strife's 2nd Outfit is gold in color, even his eyes are colored yellow, which was used in the final chapter of Chronicle's Of The Sword.
- Strife's Iron Sword has a red swing effect. However, the Create-a-Soul Iron Sword only has a blue swing effect.
- Strife's name and use of a broadsword could be a reference to the Final Fantasy VII character Cloud Strife. Coincidently, one of his swords, "Demon Knife", bears a striking resemblance to the Sword, also used by Cloud Strife.
- The word "strife" means conflict or struggle.
- Strife's voice represents the create-a-fighter's voice Young Man 2 with the evil/dark alignment.
- Some of Strife's moves are borrowed from Nightmare's moveset from Soulcalibur II, for example, one of the obvious ones are one of his throws where he grabs his opponent by the throat, a surge of electricity goes up his arm, then he slams them on the floor in the opposite direction.
- One of Strife's victory poses are borrowed from Devil Jin.
- If you manage to beat his HP really low, but still lose the fight, he will say, "No! I don't want to die! Save me!", which doesn't suit his character.
Soul Calibur lll
|Bonus characters in the Soul series|
|Soulcalibur II||Lizardman • Assassin • Berserker|
|Soulcalibur III||Abelia • Arthur • Aurelia • Revenant • Greed • Miser • Valeria • Hualin • Lynette • Girardot • Luna • Demuth • Chester • Strife|
|Soulcalibur IV||Angol Fear • Scheherazade • Shura • Ashlotte • Kamikirimusi|