a tale of souls and swords,
...everyone who does a Soul Series retrospective is contractually obligated to put the above in somewhere.
To be (very) brief, Soul Calibur 2 is the third game of a weapon fighting game series by Namco. The prior entries are Soul Blade and Soul Calibur. The series takes place in an increasingly alternate history version of Eurasia during the late parts of the 16th century into the early parts of the 17th. Of course, a world where two sentient weapons (Soul Edge and Soul Calibur) and their weilders are battling for the fate of the world might not exactly have the same past as our own. (And it doesn't.)
Soul Series @ Wikipedia, Soul Series @ TVTropes, Soulcalibur.com
Occasionally, I'll throw in a few references to in-game mechanics and notation conventions by the community.
The first thing is the number pad direction notation. Rather than have quarter circle forward/fireball motion/etc., directional notations in the Soul Series community use number pad directions. This is the layout for a player using the Player One position:
joystick in default position
So, quarter circle forward/down, down-forward, forward/fireball motion becomes 236.
The button notations are like this:
A: horizontal attack
B: vertical attack
Guard Impact 6G. Timing this right will allow your character to repell your opponent's attack, buying you a few moments to... well, get in and attack. Timing this poorly will make your character stand there and allow your opponent to do whatever he or she likes to you.
Just Frame An attack or follow-up attack that requires strict timing. The personal bane of my existence because my timing is horrific.
Soul Charge A+B+K. Your character gets glowy for a bit, which makes certain attacks stronger, break an opponent's guard, or become unblockable, based on the level of the charge. The longer you charge, the stronger the attack.
Sins of the Daughter, Sins of the Son. In which Ivy and Siegfried are on a mission to atone for the mess they've caused thanks to Soul Edge's thrall. Has what I think is the best characterization of Ivy ever. Alas, it's a dead fic.
Fiercely Engangled Souls. A parody fic where Rurouni JKS attempts to explain why certain characters have particular destined fights. Unfinished, but since this is more episodic than Sins..., it hurts a bit less. It's also rather infamous for becoming a fountain of memes between myself and senkami.
8 Way Run: A gameplay based community. Soulcalibur@Livejournal: more over-all fandom based.
Why the Hell I'm Doing This
Well, to get all Fandom Secrets-y, this game saved me.
I was coming out of a pretty shitty depressive episode thanks to the fallout of losing many friends. It was partially to mostly my fault, which made things even worse. My self loathing was at an all time high.
And then, this game. And then people who would play this game with me. And then actually getting back into fandom, because I'd abandoned it after the mess with [redacted]. I'm still not back into the same form I was before and I doubt I ever will be. However, this game and the people I interacted with who played this game got me back into thinking that I could do something that was appreciated.
For a kick of poetic contrivance, all of this saving happened in the same arcade where I first discovered the Soul Series.
Part One coming soon.