The Soulcalibur series of fighting games is well-known for including popular cross-over characters among its roster of original fighters, and today, the upcoming Soulcalibur VI announced its own surprise combatant. Joining the fray is Geralt of Rivia, protagonist of the renowned RPG franchise The Witcher.
A mutated, superhuman, and highly-trained monster and demon hunter, Geralt fits in well with the gallery of fighters native to the Soulcalibur series, which revolves around monsters, demons, and evil swords. Really, it’s only one evil sword—the Soul Edge, wielded by the antagonist Nightmare and used to visit unimaginable cruelties upon humanity. The race to stop Nightmare and destroy the Soul Edge with the famed sword of good, Soul Calibur, is the root of the series’ lore, and Soulcalibur VI will “revisit the events of the original Soulcalibur to uncover hidden truths with a diverse lineup of new and returning characters,” says developer Bandai Namco.
Though The Witcher developers CD Projekt have moved on from the franchise and are hard at work on Cyberpunk 2077, Geralt’s inclusion may have been a long time coming. Soulcalibur VI has apparently been in development for over three years, which means it would have coincided with the runaway success of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It’s possible that Geralt was locked into the roster long ago, but it could just as easily be an attempt to keep the character in the spotlight with his franchise now in the rearview mirror.
The list of guest fighters in the Soulcalibur series is long and eclectic, including but not limited to Ezio of Assassin’s Creed II, Kratos of God of War, Yoda and Darth Vader, and Link. Cross-over characters have come to define the now 20-year-old franchise, and Geralt figures to be one of the most popular additions—through probably still behind Link.