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Cervantes de Leon
Soul series series
Cervantes de Leon
Cervantes de León, as he appears in Soulcalibur V
First appearance Soul Edge
Voiced by
(English)
Warren Rodgerson
Voiced by
(Japanese)
Takashi Nagasako
Jin Urayama (Soulcalibur Legends, Soulcalibur IV)
class=" infobox hproduct" style="float:right; width:264px; font-size:90%; text-align:left;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="3"
Fictional profile
Birthplace Valencia, Habsburg Spain
Fighting style Memories of Soul Edge
Weapon Soul Edge (Male & Female) (Soul Edge)
Soul Edge & Nirvana (Soulcalibur II-III)
Acheron & Nirvana (Soulcalibur I, IV)
Weapon name Soul Edge (Male & Female) (Soul Edge)
Soul Edge & Nirvana (Soulcalibur II-III)
Acheron & Nirvana (Soulcalibur I, IV)

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Cervantes de Leon (セルバンテス・デ・レオン Serubantesu de Reon?) is a fictional character in the Soul series of video games. Created by Namco's Project Soul division, he first appeared in Soul Blade and its subsequent sequels, later appearing in various merchandise related to the series. In Japanese, he is voiced by Takashi Nagasako until replaced by Jin Urayama for Soulcalibur IV and Soulcalibur Legends; in English, his voice actor is uncredited in Soul Edge, while in later games Cervantes is voiced by Warren Rodgerson.

Creation and conception

As a character introduced in Soul Edge, Cervantes's weapon was initially a rapier,[1] selected before other elements of the character and designed to be unique amongst the other weapons in the game.[2] As development progressed, the development team felt that the weapon choice made the character seem too "gentlemanly", and changed it to a pair of swords, which were expanded upon to be the first appearance of the series' recurring weapon, Soul Edge.[1] His design and concept were built to revolve around them, starting with gender, then physical measurements, and lastly background details. After his appearance and movement were fleshed out by a concept artist, his character was rendered as a 3D model by a design team that worked solely on him,[2] and then animated by a motion designer using motion capture to create his in-game movements.[3] The inspiration for a pirate as the game's antagonist was derived from two other fictional pirates, Captain Hook and Long John Silver.[1]

When developing his swords, many different styles were considered, including the concept of the swords appearing as wisps of spiritual energy. Elements of these designs were utilized subsequent appearances of the Soul Edge weapon in later titles.[1] When the character's design was modified to appear in Soulcalibur, one of the swords was changed to a pistol sword, with the curve on the weapon's blade emphasized in comparison to its counterpart.[4]

Design

During development, several designs were considered for Cervantes, with the initial concept appearing as a clean-shaven man with long hair tied in a pony tail and a raised-collar coat. This and several subsequent designs were eventually rejected, however, as the development team felt they were either too reminiscent of nihilistic pirates or gentlemanly in appearance. Taking a different approach, they designed his appearance as a tall male with a trim mustauche and white hair extending to the base of his neck. A blue coat with an extended tail covered his upper body, with thick gloves extending past his wrist and a large hat covers his head. White pants cover his lower legs, surrounded but leather armor on his upper thighs, and armor plating covering his lower legs and upper chest, with a neck scarf resting atop the breastplate. His design was intended to orient the viewer's eye towards his left, with his hat angled in the opposite direction.[1]

When designing the character's appearance in Soulcalibur, several zombified designs were considered, with varying states of decay.[4] As the series progressed his mustache was expanded into a growing beard, while his skin tone developed a purplish hue. His pupils were additionally negated, giving his appearance either solid white or red glowing eyes, depending on the game. His attire developed a more pronounced barbed appearance as well, with the gradual expansion of his breastplate, and the addition of a red loin cloth by Soulcalibur IV.

In contrast, his secondary character model has remained throughout the series. Originating as a full body suit of armor with faceplate, initial appearances incorporated a large cape and small metal face mask, initially intended to cover Cervantes' entire face.[1] In Soulcalibur, large spikes were incorporated into the arms and legs of the armor, while the cape was adapted into a metal "tail" for the lower half. In Soulcalibur III an open-face helmet replaced the mask, while in Soulcalibur IV, elements of both were combined together. While the purplish hue added to his skin was retained as the series progressed, his facial hair changed game by game, either appearing clean shaven or with a simple mustache, depending on the title.

In video games

Cervantes' father was a privateer sent on a special mission from Spanish King Philip II to loot ships, but was killed and his ship destroyed by an English warship. As a result Cervantes forsook his allegiance to Spain and became a pirate. Receiving a request from Voldo's master to find Soul Edge, he pursued and found the sword only to be possessed by it. He killed his crew and led a reign of terror for twenty years until defeated by Taki, who pursued the sword for her own reasons. However, he was resurrected accidentally by Nightmare due to the fragments of the sword lodged in his body, initially with amnesia. As his memories slowly returned he desired the sword again, which had been by now shattered. Recovering fragments of the blade, they melded together to form a new weapon for him, and he pursued more pieces to strengthen it, attacking any ships that came close to his at sea. When Soul Edge summoned all pieces of itself back to it, Cervantes followed the trail, devouring the soul of his illegitimate daughter, Ivy along the way.

In Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny's Gauntlet storyline, Cervantes' soul is required as payment for Ivy to create a potion for character Hilde and her party to cure her father. Though they attempt to renegotiate, they are forced to find and take Cervantes' soul by force.[5]

Gameplay

Cervantes utilizes his two swords in combat to execute a variety of moves that take advantage of both weapons, many of which involve impaling his enemy or firing the pistol from the short sword for a long-range attack. Perhaps his most recognizable move is the "Flying Dutchman", in which he crouches and delivers multiple stabs to the enemy's midsection with extreme speed. This attack has been featured in several games as one of his signature techniques. In Soul Calibur II, many of his weapons are named after the rivers of Hades, such as Lethe, Phlegethon, and Styx.

Promotion and reception

Since his introduction Cervantes has been well received, with his fighting style serving as an element to compare to for later characters in fighting games.[6] In a 2002 poll by Namco prior to the release of Soulcalibur II regarding their favorite character, he tied with Maxi for fourth place with 11% of the tally.[7] UGO.com ranked Cervantes at seventh place in their "Top 11 SoulCalibur Fighters" article, describing him simply as "a big jerk" while praising him as one of the stronger characters in the series.[8] IGN listed him third on their list of the top ten characters in the series, citing his offensive techniques as a large part of his appeal.[9] They additionally named him one of their ten favorite sword wielding characters in video games, describing him as combining two of their favorite elements-"big swords and pirates"-into a singular character, adding that his pistol weapon "makes him even more awesome".[10] Den of Geek editor Harry Slater shared the sentiment, naming Cervantes the seventh best character in fighting games and adding that while the character had become overshadowed by others in the series, he was "a brute, plain and simple".[11]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Cervantes Soul Edge concept art" (in Japanese). Project Soul. Namco Bandai. http://www.soularchive.jp/tmr/souledge/cervantes/cerv_cha.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 De Marco, Flynn (2007-09-20). "Tgs07: Soul Calibur Director Katsutoshi Sasaki on Weapons, Characters and Storyline". Kotaku. http://kotaku.com/gaming/tgs07/soul-calibur-director-katsutoshi-sasaki-on-weapons-characters-and-storyline-302211.php. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  3. Staff (2005-12-07). "Behind the Game: Soul Calibur III". 1UP.com. UGO Networks. http://www.1up.com/do/feature?cId=3146108. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Cervantes Soulcalibur concept art" (in Japanese). Project Soul. Namco Bandai. http://www.soularchive.jp/tmr/soulcalibur/Cervantes/cerv_cha.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-07. 
  5. Project Soul. Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny. (Namco Bandai). PSP. Level/area: Gauntlet. (2009-09-13)
  6. Staff (September 2007). "Heavenly Sword Review". GameAxis Unwired (SPH Magazines) (48): 20. ISSN 0219-872X. 
  7. Smith, D. (2002-02-01). "Soul Calibur 2 - New Screens And Character Info". IGN. IGN Entertainment. http://ps2.ign.com/articles/101/101406p1.html. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  8. "Top 11 SoulCalibur Fighters". UGO.com. UGO Networks. http://www.ugo.com/games/soulcalibur-best-characters/?cur=cervantes. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 
  9. Schedeen, Jesse (2008-07-30). "Soulcalibur: The Top Ten Fighters". IGN. IGN Entertainment. p. 8. http://stars.ign.com/articles/895/895160p8.html. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  10. Schedeen, Jesse (2008-10-02). "Top Videogame Sword Masters". IGN. IGN Entertainment. p. 2. http://stars.ign.com/articles/915/915789p2.html. Retrieved 2009-09-13. 
  11. Slater, Harry (2009-10-11). "10 best fighting game characters". Den of Geek. http://www.denofgeek.com/games/340253/10_best_fighting_game_characters.html. Retrieved 2009-12-20. 

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