Soul Edge (ソウルエッジ, Sōru Ejji) is the first installment in the Soul series of fighting games developed and published by Namco. Soul Edge is the name of the demonic sword around which the story revolves.
Soul Edge is the second 3D fighter to feature characters that fight with weapons, although putting weapons in fighters was not a new concept (Samurai Shodown is an example of a 2D fighter with weapons). Apart from the aesthetic benefits, giving the characters weapons allows for a greater diversity between them, meaning there is someone for every play style.
It was initially released in the arcades in 1996. A couple of months later, Namco released a fixed version labeled Soul Edge Ver. II, upon the complaints of players who found the difficulty quite high and the last boss "unbeatable". Hwang (initially a palette swap of Mitsurugi for the Korean version of the game) was introduced to Japanese players with a new movelist, Cervantes became playable, Guard Impacts and Air Combos were implemented, and all the characters received upgraded movelists. The game was then ported to the Sony PlayStation and Namco chose to use the name Soul Blade in Europe, North America and Australia to avoid potential complications due to EDGE Games's earlier "EDGE" trademark