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"I'll be the end of you, mark my words!"
— Gloomy Tira

Tira (ティラ, Tira) is a character in the Soul series of fighting games. She made her debut in Soulcalibur III.

Physical Appearance

In her debut appearance, Tira has purple eyes, teal-colored hair, green rags, and feathered fringes. Early concept art shows Tira covered in scars on her face and body, but in the final illustration, this was replaced by painted purple stripes. In Soulcalibur IV, she undergoes a drastic evolution in design, exchanging her short blue hair for dark brown, lopsided pigtails with a long, thin braid on the back of her head. She also has an unmarred body, and wears a red ensemble. At first, this dramatic change was speculated to be the outcome of one of Tira's epilogues in her Tales of Souls Mode from Soulcalibur III, in which she was possessed by Soul Edge. However, the real reason was to reflect her new, unstable personality, as revealed in an interview with one of the character designers of Soulcalibur IV. In Soulcalibur V, Tira now has two, braided pigtails, which imitate the shape of a jester's hat, and her hair now possess three colors — white and two shades of purple.

Personality

Tira is nearly as ruthless and sadistic as her master, having no qualms with claiming the lives of her victims. She derives a demented form of amusement from others' suffering, apparently due to her upbringing as an assassin, and is lethally addicted to murdering others. When Soulcalibur III was released, many fans speculated that Tira suffered from some form of bipolarity due to her interchangeable and unstable emotions. In Soulcalibur IV, Tira develops two disparate personalities due to being exposed to Soul Calibur and Soul Edge's conflict, both representing the opposite spectrums of her erratic emotions. These alternate personalities manifest themselves in her battle style, as two stances: Jolly Side and Gloomy Side. Similar to how being damaged would affect Tira's moods in Soulcalibur III, Tira's two "sides" can be changed either manually, or randomly, also altering her moveset.

It seems that both of these personalities co-exist in a friendship-like manner — this can be seen in Tira's inner dialogue in her Soulcalibur IV ending. Additionally, they will engage in occasional banter or praise each other's moves during battle. Gloomy is much more avarice and egotistical than Jolly, but shows signs of protectiveness toward the Jolly side and Tira as a whole while being rather sour and aggressive toward other people. Jolly, on the other hand, is much more childish but has the possibility to form bonds with other entities, which shows best in her concern about Nightmare as a person and not as a host for Soul Edge.

In contrast, Tira is shown to be affectionate toward animals, especially birds, easily valuing their freedom over people's lives.

Weapons

Eiserne Drosself

Eiserne Drossel, Tira's preferred weapon throughout the Soul Series.

Stages

Ostrheinsburg Castle - Battlement (SCIII)

This stage takes place outside of the famed castle of Ostrheinsburg, on a perpetually-moving, sizable raft drifting down a labyrinthine series of currents. These currents sweep the raft in consistent rotation around the perimeter of the castle's bank, underneath bridges. All characters in Soulcalibur III can encounter Tira if they choose the appropriate direction during their Tales of Souls stories, with the exception of Tira herself, who battles Sophitia on this stage. Tira uses the bridge as an outpost, which provides her with an effective perch to watch rafts toting of unaware visitors.

Ostrheinsburg Castle Throne Room (SCIV/SC:BD)

An enormous, elegant chamber set in the throne room of Ostrheinsburg Castle. This stage is the place where Tira reports to Nightmare, as seen in her ending, and most likely where she receives her orders from The Azure Knight. Nightmare's throne is located at the far end of the stage, accessed by a set of red-carpeted stairs and framed by columns. Two statues of golden lions stand on either side of the steps, most likely symbolizing the dominance and leadership that Tira's master possesses. The red carpet placed on the stairway continues down the remainder of the chamber and eventually leads into a pit of unfathomable darkness. On the back wall is an large, ornate window, through which a fierce thunderstorm can be seen raging. Also, near the throne, is a line of armed knights that advance ever so often during battle, lessening the fighting ground with each movement.

Tranquil Wasteland (SCV)

A large open wasteland set against moonlight. The remains of a large battle between armies can be seen littering the stage. The stage is infinite and flat, with no walls or potential ring outs. In Story Mode, Tira and Patroklos confront each other a second time on this field with the latter being reunited with his sister Pyrrha for the first time in 17 years. 

Theme Music

Trivia

General

  • Tira is the only character in the Soul series who has different voice acting in each game she has appeared in (excluding Broken Destiny), despite being voiced by the same actress in the English voice-over. This is probably due to her unstable nature or the fact that her voice acting in Soulcalibur IV was often criticized. Tira is also one of the few characters whose English voice-over is very different from the Japanese acting and is not trying to imitate the original, instead portraying the character in a more suitable way for the English language.
  • In the earlier stages of Tira's design, she was depicted as wearing thick mittens, apparently for the purpose of protecting her hands when she wields her Ring Blade. More concept art unlocked as bonuses in Soulcalibur III reveal that Tira was also initially designed as a catgirl. The artists probably didn't feature that as a costume because she was associated with birds, not cats.
  • Tira is the only human character in the Soul series that has an eye color that doesn't naturally occur in the real world.
  • Tira seems to resemble Harley Quinn from Batman to many players, either due to her personality and voice being so similar, or her second outfit in Soulcalibur IV where she dresses as a jester. Others have noticed that her Soulcalibur III outfit bears a resemblance to another Batman villain, Poison Ivy — additionally in "Batman: The Brave and the Bold", Poison Ivy is voiced by Jennifer Hale — the same voice actress as Tira. However, this assertion may be submitted to debate because it was never officially confirmed that Jennifer Hale voices Tira in regards of the fact that her name never appears in the end credits along the English actors.
  • Birds are a recurring theme throughout Tira's history, and are reflected even in her appearance (she wears feathers as decorative elements to her costume in Soulcalibur III and Soulcalibur IV). Freeing her adopted family's child's pet bird served as the catalyst to her murdering her family, and Tira is accompanied by her raven guardians in the storyline.
  • Most of Tira's attacks are named after birds or dance styles (such as "Canary Waltz", "Nightingale Jig", and "Ibis Minuet"), referencing both the avian theme surrounding her appearance and character, and her battle style, the Dance of Death. Tira's throws are named after elements from fairy tales (such as "Glass Slippers" from Cinderella, "Death Spindle" from Sleeping Beauty, and "Poison Apple" from Snow White). Some of Tira's attacks are also named after musical techniques. (Such as "Backstep Pizzicato", "Blazing Cadenza", and "Cross Wing Legato".)
  • Although she seems to change hair color in every appearance in the game, it should be notified that Tira's natural hair color is brown. Despite that her brown hair was not made in her debut of Soulcalibur III, in her primary costume in Soulcalibur IV-Soulcalibur Broken Destiny and alternate costume in Soulcalibur V, it's quickly suggested her hair color is brown. However, the reason for the unnatural hair colors and how she got her hair in those colors are unknown, since hair dye did not exist back then.
  • According to Tira's movelist, the attack "Deadly Arietta" can only be executed in Gloomy side. However, Tira has a secret input that will allow her to perform this attack in Jolly side. This is one of the hardest attacks to carry out on Tira's movelist for it is a slide-input and must be the fastest input for it to work. Ironically, Tira will say "Oh, I feel much better!" after the attack is executed, which could be referring to the relief of pulling off a difficult and unknown maneuver.
  • Tira's mental instability shows itself in her movesets. During battle, she will switch between her two sides either by taunting or sustaining enough damage, with special benefits, drawbacks, moves, and dialogue per each. Tira's Jolly side reflects her original fighting style and joyous moods with more graceful, flowing attacks while her Gloomy side reflects her more destructive tendencies; she viciously attacks with little regard for her own safety, injuring herself during battle.
  • Although Tira's birthplace is never specified in the game, many fans have speculated she is from Scandinavia or Germany. This is also supported by the fact that her name seems to be Scandinavian with connection to the Norse god Tyr and she uses ravens as her Watchers, similarly to the Norse god Odin.
  • Mori Motonari, a character from the Sengoku BASARA game series, also wields a Ring Blade. His war baton was switched to the Ring Blade in the second installment of the game which was released after Soulcalibur III, thus it is possible this change was inspired by Tira's weapon. The way he uses it is also very similar to Tira's style.
  • Tira's Destined Battle in Soulcalibur III is Yoshimitsu. On the fourth stage in Soulcalibur IV's Arcade Mode, she will always fight Astaroth. Her Stage 5 opponent in Soulcalibur V's Arcade Mode is Pyrrha.
  • Among the characters introduced in Soulcalibur III, she has the most appearances, having appeared in every main game since then.
  • In Soulcalibur III, Tira simply suffered from a Bipolar disorder, her mood rapidly changing from being joyous to gloomy, while in Soulcalibur IV, after being radiated by Soul Edge's power, her mind was depleted, and turned into two people. Instead of "simple" bipolarity, she now has split personalities, which is reflected in her modified fighting style. Soulcalibur V's supplement material, however, claims that her mind split in two even before the events of Soulcalibur III.
  • Roxanne from the manga Claymore seems to be modeled after Tira, not only resembling her personality and looks but she even has a beauty mark in the same spot as Tira.
  • Tira (in Soulcalibur IV and Soulcalibur V) and Yoshimitsu are the only characters that can deal damage to themselves.

Soulcalibur III

  • Her 2P hairstyle from appears in Character Creation in Soulcalibur IV under the name "Separate Flower". It also returns in Soulcalibur V, along with her 2P hairstyle from Soulcalibur IV.
  • In the Spanish version of Soulcalibur III, there's a mistake with her height; Tira's real height is 1,59 (5'3"). In the Spanish version, it is 1,60.
  • Tira is one of only few characters to wield Soul Edge in her Tales of Souls mode. The giant blade, when held in her hands, adapts its form to best suit her fighting style, becoming a giant, dried snake similar to the Ouroboros symbol.
  • Early Soulcalibur III footage showed Tira's current mood displayed next to her name during battle. It was probably going to have an affect on gameplay, but was removed. This was brought back for Soulcalibur IV, though her current mood is reflected in her stance rather than her displayed name.
  • In Soulcalibur III, Tira's moveset is available to both the Thief and Assassin classes, making it the only main character moveset available to more than one class.
  • Tira is a sub-boss in Soulcalibur III's Tales of Souls Mode for a battle in Osthreinsburg Castle, where she will say the following:
    • "Oh, he/she looks really strong. Very strong! I can't wait to see you die; it's going to look incredible!"
    • "You're not bad, but I don't like the look in your eyes. There's no need for a conscience. I wanna see if you're worthy of that sword. Let's find out!"
    • "This is completely absurd! How do you manage to even exist? I'm annoyed. I'm going to make you disappear forever!"
    • "What are you? You look kind of funny, you don't belong in this place. Oh perfect. I'll just tear you limb from limb!"
    • "I wonder if that body would make a suitable host. Let's see, he/she sure looks strong. You have a nice body, can I see it for a second? I wonder if Soul Edge would like it."
    • For Sophitia, Tira will say "Aha ha ha ha! Here she comes! To abandon your children and travel all this way. You're such a horrible mother. Sheesh!"
    • For Nightmare, she will say "To cling on to the visage of that man for so long. No... I don't understand. Tell me why. Answer me!"
  • The only move in Soulcalibur III where Tira releases grip of the ring blade completely is the "Uprising Neb" Counter.
  • Tira's "Jolly Side" and "Gloomy Side" are present (but are not named), and are apparent by the fact that Tira's lines change depending on her "mood" during battle. This is more obvious if the player uses the "taunt" feature — Tira has two taunts, one for each side. Furthermore, the button specific lines used in the VS screen also have four lines each.

Soulcalibur IV

  • Interestingly, in Soul Calibur's IV's chain of souls, Tira is shown exploiting more characters than any other.
  • The player can perform a move where Tira will bash her head against the side of her ring in order to alter her mood, more importantly altering her moveset. If successful, Tira's personality will change; if not, Tira will groan and hold her head in pain, leaving herself open for attack.
  • For other characters who fight Nightmare as a final boss, Tira's is seen being thrown across the battleground, and then consumed by flames. The real reason for this is unknown. Some believe that it is because of her failure in a certain mission, but the truth is because supposedly, Nightmare would have devoured Tira's soul like he did in his Story Mode.
  • In Kilik's Story Mode, Tira makes Maxi the new host for Soul Edge. It's likely she had done the same thing to Sophitia in Cassandra's Story Mode, as she wields a form of Soul Edge but appears to act normally.

Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny

  • In Tira's Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny render, she is seen performing the move "Hell's Barkarole." Oddly enough, Tira can only do this attack in Gloomy side, but her face expression implies that she is Jolly.
  • In the Gauntlet Mode from Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny, Tira will state that she is "in love" with Nightmare; however, it should be noted that the events from Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny are specified to be non-canon, so Tira may not really "love" Nightmare at all. Although in canon, she is in "love" with the Soul Edge itself as she is more affectionate towards it rather than its host or Nightmare.

Soulcalibur V

  • The very pale color of Tira's skin and the fact that her age is officially stated as "Unknown", has caused many fans to speculate that she has met the same fate as Cervantes or has stopped aging like Ivy.
  • Tira's costume has various references to animals commonly associated with witchcraft (including a goat head similar to that which is often inserted into a reverse pentagram).
  • This is the first game where Tira's costume incorporates high heels.
  • Similarly to Viola and Elysium, Tira's breasts are much bigger in her 2D artwork than in-game. This is caused by Takuji Kawano's style. This applies to all of the artworks, but is most visible in her artwork.
  • Tira's concept sketches show her wearing a quite covering outfit with a jacket, shorts, tights and high heels. Interestingly, she also wore glasses in this outfit. One of her possible hairstyles looked like her hairstyle from Soulcalibur IV with one of the pigtails torn out.
  • Tira's Jolly side voice in seems to be more mature compared to her teenage voice in Soulcalibur III and her extremely high-pitched voice in Soulcalibur IV.
  • Gloomy Tira has a set of hidden taunts against characters she is familiar with. To perform this, the taunt must be used when rising from a crouch.
  • Despite their rather close relationship and the fact that Tira created Pyrrha Ω, they don't have any exclusive dialogue during fights, except for Tira's taunts.
  • When Patroklos first battles with Tira, it introduces her as his "mother's killer", and "sister's abductor". This suggestion that Tira was the malfested that killed Sophitia is contradicted by the New Legends of Project Soul sourcebook, implying that it's merely something Patroklos believes.
  • According to Soul Calibur V artbook, the natural color of Tira's hair is brown.
  • Tira's 1P in Soulcalibur V was designed by Takuji Kawano, and her 2P was designed by Mari Shimazaki.
  • In the Soulcalibur V light novels, Tira is entrusted by Sophitia directly in her dying moments to make sure Pyrrha is taken to a safe location.
  • Tira is the only Soulcalibur III newcomer to be fully playable in Soulcalibur V.
  • In early versions of Soulcalibur V, Tira would speak Japanese when she was gloomy in the English dub.[1]

Soulcalibur VI

  • Her appearance sparked controversy mainly due to Tira being the first DLC character to be announced whilst the game itself hasn't been released and the main rosters of Soulcalibur VI wasn't fully announced yet at the time.
    • According to Kayane's interview with Soul Calibur producer Mokuhiro Okubo, the reasoning Tira was made into a DLC character was due to lots of requests by fans to add Tira in, but the development team was already far into completing the game into where she almost didn't make the cut; thus becoming a Season Pass bonus DLC. [2]
  • Tira's hairstyle has the same twin tails as her Soulcalibur III 2P outfit features.

Critical Reception

Tira's behavior in Soulcalibur III led to the suspicion of her having multiple personalities, as her mood and voice would shift suddenly and dramatically.[17] IGN editor, Jeremy Dunham, described her gameplay as having "plenty of bizarre and powerful moves mixed with a smattering of chained "perma-moves"[11] GameSpot's staff described her as different than the female character stereotype of fast but weak, a more deliberate fighting style, and a "change of pace."[18] At the 2005 Tokyo Game Show presentation of Soulcalibur III, Tira was not well received by players, cited as difficult to control and light on damage.[19] GameSpy added that "the jury is out" regarding her attack style, describing her as difficult to control.[20] Impress Watch on the other hand, praised her gameplay, stating her movements and fighting style made her a quite unique character.[21] Tira's English voice acting however, has been a great source of criticism, cited in Soulcalibur IV as "grating" and "annoying".[22] Criticism has also been made towards her mood-driven gameplay in Soulcalibur IV, due to the random and sometimes inconvenient nature of her mood swings.[17]

Tira was featured as one of the girls in GameDaily's "Babes of the Week: Soul Calibur Hotties" article, describing her as "One of the more dangerous-looking women introduced in the Soul Calibur series"[23] and "(a)n essential new addition to the franchise";[24] Tira was also included in their "Top 50 Hottest Game Babes" article at number nineteen, praised for her "part goth and part carnival performer" design as well as her revealing appearance,[25] later drawing mention in their "Babe of the Week: Chicks with Baggage" article due to her mental instability.[26] UGO.com ranked Tira number six in their "Top 11 Soulcalibur Fighters" article, noting a liking of her weapon of choice and describing her as "a force to be reckoned with...also quite the hottie in a dangerous, "forbidden fruit" sort of way."[27] Mania.com named Tira one of the "Top 10 Hot But Mostly Bothered Video Game Females", placing fifth on the list and described as "unquestionably hot", though noted as frightening due to the character's fascination with death.[28] Magazine publications have also featured her in a context revolving around her attractiveness, such as Play's "Girls of Gaming 5" annual publication.[29] The Globe and Mail describes Tira as a character "who looks like a refugee from the Cirque du Soleil",[30] while Game Revolution describes her as "a lithe little wench who apparently idolizes Uma Thurman's Poison Ivy", noting she "adds a needed gust of fresh air" to the series.[31] IGN included her in their "Babes of Soulcalibur" article stating "She immediately stands out...Whereas most of the SC women fight on the side of good, Tira is totally, deliciously evil." They also praised her outfits, calling them some of the best in the Soul series.[32] The Escapist online magazine stated "Tira's bi-polar hysterics match her ever-shifting stances and frenetic attacks," and added the aspect of her fighting style into sharp focus.[33]

Merchandise

18

PVC Gashapon figurine of Tira

Tira, alongside Mitsurugi, was a playable character in Namco's E3 2005 public demonstration of Soulcalibur III.[11] At the event, life-size promotional models of Tira, Zasalamel, and Setsuka were on display as well.[12] Through the English website for the game, a promotional electronic "trading card" was available, showing in-fight gameplay and background information for Tira.[13] In 2006, Namco released a Tira figurine as part of a Soulcalibur III set based upon her promotional artwork for the game. While not posable, the PVC figure came with three interchangeable Ring Blades for it to hold;[14] an alternate color version was later released in a secondary set.[15] Yujin released a four inch tall immobile figurine of Tira after the release of Soulcalibur III, based upon her artwork for the title as part of their "Namco Girls Series #6" line of gashapon figurines.[16]

Etymology

The name Tira is most likely a variation or misspelling of the Scandinavian name "Tyra" or "Thyra". These names derive from the name of Norse God, Tyr, and also mean "Thor's warrior".

Series' Appearances

Appearances in Other Media

Outcast Odyssey

Tira appears as a playable card in Outcast Odyssey. She is a part of the second wave of Soul series characters, available for a limited time. Her cards are based on her appearances from Soulcalibur III, Soulcalibur IV and Soulcalibur V. The latter sporting both her 1P and 2P costumes.


External links

References