||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (September 2012)|
Sophitia concept art for Soulcalibur IV
|First game||Soul Edge|
|Designed by||Aya Takemura (Soulcalibur II-IV)
Takuji Kawano (Soulcalibur II-IV, Legends)
|Voiced by (English)||Lynn Harris (Soul Edge)
Diane Holmby (Soulcalibur II-IV, Broken Destiny, Lost Swords)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Michiko Neya (Soul Edge-Soulcalibur III)
Chie Nakamura (Legends, Soulcalibur IV, Broken Destiny, Musou Orochi 2 Ultimate, Lost Swords)
|Fighting style||Athenian style|
|Weapon||Xiphos sword and aspis shield|
Sophitia Alexandra (ソフィーティア・アレクサンドル Sofītia Arekusandoru , Greek: Σοφιτια Αλεξανδρα) is a fictional character in the Soul series of video games. Created by Namco's Project Soul division, she first appeared in Soul Edge and its subsequent sequels, as well as appearing in various merchandise related to the series.
As a character introduced in Soul Edge, Sophitia's weaponry, a sword and shield combination designed to be unique amongst the other weapons in the game, were selected before other elements of the character. Her design and concept were then built to revolve around it, starting with gender, then physical measurements, and lastly background details. After her appearance and movement were fleshed out by a concept artist, her character was rendered as a 3D model by a design team that worked solely on her, and then animated by Tomoe Yamashita using motion capture to create her in-game movements. Tomoe, who additionally created the "struck" movements for many other characters in the game, noted particular fondness for Sophitia while designing her.
During her creation, designers focused on maintaining an innocent appearance for her face, to give the character a sense of feeling fresh and young. Freedom of movement between the sword and shield were also emphasized, with the intention to allow for the blade to rotate around the shield for cyclonic attacks. An alternate character called Azula was conceived during the development of Sophitia's secondary outfit in Soul Edge, but was abandoned. The character concept would later be revisited in Soulcalibur IV, appearing as an ally character in Sophitia's story mode and using her fighting style.
Sophitia's life as a warrior began when she was chosen as one of the twenty six warriors to receive an oracle from the Olympian god of fire and forge, Hephaestus. While she was bathing in a forest, Hephaestus appeared and told her of the evil blade Soul Edge: that the existence of such a powerful blade would put shame to his name, as he had not created it, and that if anyone were to discover it, it would bring much pain to the world. Hephaestus ordered her to come to the Eurydice Shrine and receive a holy weapon, the Omega Sword, so that she could destroy the Soul Edge. Sophitia eventually found the Soul Edge in a port in Valencia, Spain; and she fought its possessor, the dread pirate Cervantes de Leon, destroying one of the twin blades. However, shards of the evil sword flew with great force from her powerful blow wounding her too greatly to finish the fight. Just as Cervantes was about to deliver a finishing blow to the endangered Sophitia, the ninja Taki arrived to save her and proceeded to kill Cervantes. After the battle had finished, Taki removed most of the Soul Edge shards that damaged Sophitia, but was unable to remove the one embedded near her heart without killing her, thus leaving it as it was. She then carried Sophitia back to Athens, where her sister, Cassandra, had been waiting for her. Cassandra was the only member of her family or group of friends to believe her story at the time.
After recovering from her wounds she suffered from the sword fragments, she returned to her life as the daughter of a baker and spent her days peacefully. However, one day, when she was out for shopping with Cassandra, Sophitia had a vision of Nightmare and the true Soul Edge. She collapsed and rescued by a local swordsmith named Rothion, they fell in love, and got engaged. Later, she received a second oracle from Hephaestus to destroy the remains of Soul Edge. Hephaestus then supplied her with holy metal, which Rothion used to forge a new Omega Sword and Elk shield; she set out on a second journey to destroy the cursed sword. While she was unable to find Soul Edge, it was ultimately shattered by Xianghua anyway, thus Sophitia returned home where she married Rothion and gave birth to a daughter, Pyrrha, and later a son, Patroklos.
Four years afterward, Rothion received a shard of Soul Edge from a mysterious customer, and his and Sophitia's children began fighting over the shard. The evil aura the fragment emanated caused Sophitia's old wounds to ache, as they had been undoubtedly infected with the evil energy of the Soul Edge seven years previous, explaining her children's predilection for the bizarre aura. Cassandra, desperate to save her sister, proceeded to grab the shard from her grasp and run out the door, running away from home soon afterwards. A couple of weeks later, Sophitia decided that if she was to free her children from the evil sword's curse and ensure her sister's safety, she had to embark on a third journey. Because Cassandra had stolen Sophitia's previous weapons, which she had stored at Eurydice Shrine, Rothion forged her new set to destroy the cursed Soul Edge once and for all. Her journey took her to Ostrheinsburg Castle, where she encountered Tira. Tira told Sophitia that Soul Edge was not in the castle and threatened to kidnap Sophitia's children in order to set them up as sacrifices for Soul Edge. Sophitia therefore resolved to destroy Soul Edge for the sake of her children. Upon returning to Ostrheinsburg, she discovered Tira had made good on her word and abducted Pyrrha, who was kept alive, but left under Soul Edge's influence for so long that she could not survive if it were destroyed. Distraught, Sophitia then decided to protect the evil weapon, preventing anyone else who would try to destroy it so her daughter could be kept alive, going so far as to attack her younger sister, Cassandra when she arrived at Ostrheinsburg.
In the conclusion of Soulcalibur IV, Soul Edge was destroyed for good by Siegfried despite of Sophitia's insistence to protect it. Because Pyrrha cannot live without the influence of Soul Edge, Sophitia decided to sacrifice herself by removing a shard of Soul Edge embedded near her heart to sustain Pyrrha's life. Tira had since raised Pyrrha in place of Sophitia and presumably also looted her weapons, the Omega Sword and Elk Shield for Pyrrha's use. Her death impacted many characters, including her husband, Rothion who tried to search for her and Pyrrha in the next seventeen years while hiding the reason of their absence from Patroklos, but ultimately had to tell the truth to him in his deathbed, sparking Patroklos' journey to find his sister and take revenge against Tira for apparently murdering his mother (though he does not know the true reason of her death). Elysium, the physical manifestation of Soul Calibur, takes form of Sophitia to further convince Patroklos to obey her orders.
Sophitia appears in the spin-off game Soulcalibur Legends as a playable character, set between the events of Soul Edge and Soulcalibur. She will also be featured as a playable character in the free-to-play spin-off Soulcalibur: Lost Swords. Outside of the Namco Bandai property, she made a guest appearance in the Tecmo Koei hack and slash game Musou Orochi 2 Ultimate. According to that game's story, Sophitia was transported to Orochi's dimensional realm through time distortion during the events of Soulcalibur IV. She meets Masanori Fukushima, Nene, and Sun Jian, who are part of the Coalition and want to recruit her. While Sophitia is in struggle to find a way to go back to her world so she could return to care her children, she decides to put aside her goal and join to provide help for the Coalition.
Yujin released a four inch tall immobile figurine of Sophitia as part of their "Namco Girls Series #3" line of figurines for gashapon. Other commercial items bearing Sophitia's likeness have also been released, such as a resin kit designed by Hiroshi Satou for manufacturer Kurushima.
The character was very well received by the media and general public alike. Naming Soul Edge as the fourth top PlayStation game yet in 1997, PSM wrote: "Favorite Moment: Finally figuring how to change the color of Sophitia's undies. Every fighting game should have this as an option." In a 2002 poll by Namco prior to the release of Soul Calibur II regarding their favorite character, Sophitia placed second with 18% of the tally, behind Seong Mi-na. WomenGamers.com praised her strength as a character in the series, noting "Sophitia is probably one of the most important and pivotal of all the seekers of the twin blades." Additional praise was given to her personality in contrast to more common anti-hero characters, as well as the realism of her fighting style approach, stating that all combined made her role in the game "uniquely positive." In 2003, GameSpy named her one of their top ten women in gaming at number five, stating Sophitia "became one of the most easily recognized characters in the series. She remains one of Soul Caliber's most memorable babes since the days of her swimsuit debut in Soul Blade." In 2007, she was listed by Tom's Games as one of the 50 greatest female characters in video game history, for being "a virtuous heroine who's as brave as she is cute." UGO.com placed her seventh in the 2008 list of top Soul series characters, describing her as "a regular little spitfire". That same year, Chip ranked her as the eight top "girl of gaming".
The 2004 book Race, Gender, Media: Considering Diversity Across Audiences, Content, and Producers used Sophitia as an example of most sexualized female characters in video games, describing her body and clothing as being created solely for the viewing pleasure of players, often males. GameDaily described her appearance as "angelic", adding "despite looking homelier than the other girls, [she] is still jaw dropping"; she additionally ranked number five on their list of the "top 50 hottest game babes" as well as the same place on its "Top 25 Hottest Game Babes", and received mention and praise in similar articles for her character strength and evolution along the series. She placed 38th in UGO's 2011 list of top "videogame hotties", called "a force to be reckoned with in the Soul Calibur series." They also listed her as one of their list of "Fighting Games' Finest Female Fighters". Maxim named her as one of the hottest video game females of 2008, calling her "literally, the best thing since sliced bread." In 2011, GameFront ranked her breasts as the 36th "greatest boobs" in video game history, while PSU.com featured her among the sexiest PlayStation game characters, adding "Somebody say MILF?" Complex ranked her as the sixth best looking "sideline chick" in 2011, also including her on the list of ten "hot MILFs" in video games. In 2012, Complex ranked her as the eight "hottest" video game character, calling her "essentially a female Leonidas, by which we mean a gladiator with massive cleavage. We'd take watching her over Kurt Russell any day." In 2013, Scott Marley of Daily Record ranked her as the fourth most attractive female video game character, while Steve Jenkins of CheatCodes.com declared her the ninth "hottest video game girl" of all time.
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