we forget, Namco pretty much invented the "fighting game guest
character craze" with the console versions of Soul Calibur 2.
Localization producer for Soul Calibur 2, Nao Higo, was recently
featured in GiantBomb's "8-4 Play" podcast. During the podcast,
Higo revealed that Final Fantasy VII protagonist Cloud Strife was
originally planned as a guest character for the Playstation 2 version of SC2,
but the plans fell through - and Heihachi Mishima took his place in the
stage of history.
About 1 hour and 20 minutes
into the 8-4
Play podcast, Higo claims "The deal fell through on
that one - it was supposed to be someone else. I think it's been
long enough. So, apparently, they were working out a deal with
Cloud. It would have been incredible, [but] at the last minute it
Soul Calibur 2 hit
consoles back in 2003 - about 6 years after the mega-hit Final
Fantasy VII released on PS1. Cloud Strife as the PS2 version's guest
character in Soul Calibur 2 seems like it would've been a match
made in heaven...
However, let's not forget Cloud (and several other characters from FFVII) previously appeared as guest characters in the
obscure 3D fighting game, Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring in
'98-'99... a game published by both Namco and Square. Cloud was even on
the PS1 cover artwork of the game. While Ehrgeiz
developed a cult-following and received mostly positive reviews, it wasn't a hugely successful title and didn't even
get a sequel.
Fun Fact: Ehrgeiz
sold 222,000+ copies in Japan in 1998, maxing out at 340,937 by
These numbers were low for a fighting game at the time,
considering TEKKEN 3 sold 7 million.
This begs the
question... did Cloud's guest
appearance in the under-performing Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring possibly kill his chances
to appear in Soul Calibur II?
already appearing as a "guest" character in a fighting game (a
gutsy new idea for back then), perhaps Squaresoft's high-ups were a bit hesitant to allow their
FFVII poster-boy to "co-star" in yet another fighter. The
idea of "redundancy" is a particularly touchy subject for
fighting games. The fighting genre was also in a slower-paced,
transitionary phase back in 2003. However, Soul Calibur 2 still
managed to sell 4.5 million copies across all 3 platforms - the PS2 being
the best-selling version at 2.06m.
Don't look so
sad Cloud... there's always Soul Calibur 6.
If Cloud's appearance
in Ehrgeiz was a factor, I'm sure it wasn't the only reason that
Cloud missed his chance to square off with Soul Calibur's best. We'll
probably never know the exact details... but in any case, Namco's own
Heihachi Mishima did hold things down as a badass guest
character in Soul Calibur 2. ~TFG
Webmaster / FYagami