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LONG BLOG

COMMERCIALISM: Soul Calibur

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After spending the last few COMMERCIALISMS on Nintendo series, as well as buying the Star Fox 64 promotional VHS online, I think I’m gonna take a break from Nintendo for a while. As much as I love Nintendo commercials, there’s a whole world of amazing video game commercials out there just waiting to be explored. This week, I decided to tackle one of my favorite fighting game franchises, Soul Calibur.

The first commercial you see here was part of a series of Dreamcast commercials early in the system’s life. These commercials featured various game characters interacting with each other inside the console itself. Think Wreck-it Ralph, but with a video game console instead of a power strip for a bunch of arcades. Wouldn’t that make for an interesting sequel?

Anyways, the commercial for the first Soul Calibur features all the characters inside the Dreamcast going to a drive-in feature, with said feature being gameplay footage of Soul Calibur. As we zoom in on the screen, we see a couple making out in a car in the front row. While footage of Ivy’s win animation is playing, we see the couple (a non-descript female boxer and an NFL player) making out, but the NFL player gets distracted by Ivy, calling her “off the hook”. This was back when Ivy actually looked her age (she was 28 in the first game) before Project Soul kept aging her up to ridiculous degrees. Anyways, out of natural jealously, this prompts the female boxer to smack the NFL player out of the car right before it starts to rain, which turns out to be a dog drooling on the console.

I love big crossover commercials like these. I just can’t get enough of things where a bunch of well-known characters from various franchises living in the same place together. Anyone who’s watched the Cartoon Network city bumpers in the early 2000s or read the various Smash Bros comics from Awkward Zombie would know what I mean.

These next few commercials are all about Soul Calibur II. Each of the following commercials features the guest character of each platform from a first-person perspective while a particularly dodgy weapons merchant tries in vain to sell them better weapons than the ones they already have. This one has said weapons merchant try to sell Link a sword that spouts small daggers from the sides of the main blade. Those blades seem pretty impractical, as the daggers look to fragile to catch an opposing sword and wrestle control of it, like a sai. But either way, Link shows why you don’t diss the Master Sword as he slices the blade in half. The merchant then has the gall to try selling the broken weapon at half price. Got any broken broom handles to hock while you're at it?

This next commercial for the PS2 version features Heihachi picking up a pair of forearm bracers from the same merchant. Like before, the merchant tries to sell him something better, considering all the fighters are going to be using actual weapons. The merchant then presents some kind of small staff with an axe head crudely duct-taped in the middle, making it only slightly less convenient to use than a Bat'leth. Heihachi is similarly unimpressed, retorting to the merchant’s argument by smashing the axe head with a single strike from one of his bracers. So yeah, no crappy weapons for Heihachi.

The last Soul Calibur II commercial for the Xbox version has the merchant in a parking lot talking to Spawn. Because when I think of characters that seem fit for a Soul Calibur game, I immediately think of Spawn. Anyways, the merchant hands Spawn his axe, but comments how his axe is a bit too short. He barely gets a recommendation out before Spawn hoists him up and starts zap-choking him. Maybe this merchant would be better off as a used-car salesman. At least you're only somewhat less likely to be assaulted by a disgruntled customer.

Finally, we have a UK commercial for Soul Calibur III. Here, we have two young men going into some kind of restaurant to order something. It’s difficult to tell what they’re saying, but based on one of the guys’ body language, we can assume they want something big. For whatever reason, the cashier interprets that as “pull a giant-ass sword from underneath the counter and smash the shit out of your equipment”. Understandably, the two customers get the hell out of there before the voices in that cashier’s head tell him to start chopping up some people and putting them into their sandwiches.

Sadly, these are all the good Soul Calibur commercials we got outside of Japan. There was one for Soul Calibur Legends, but it’s pretty dull. The Japanese Soul Calibur V commercial was mostly just gameplay footage with some voiceover stuff, and Soul Calibur IV didn’t get a commercial at all. I just hope that when Bandai Namco decides to stop dicking around with mobile and free-to-play games and actually makes Soul Calibur VI, maybe they can have live action segments with someone trying to arm-wrestle Astaroth or something.

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About Zalnoone of us since 2:32 PM on 05.15.2011