Profile: Yotoriyama-san was once a gymnast that had won a gold metal in the long horse vault and a silver metal in the general competition during the Eastern Japan Classified Championship and many other metals in other competitions. He was key in establishing characters systems in Tekken 3. For Soul Calibur he was in charge of game system construction on all character's basic moves and leader of the motion team.
Previous Work: Mach Breakers, Tekken 2, Soul Edge, Tekken 3.
Q: It is clear the most obvious difference between Soul Calibur and Tekken 3 is weapon combat versus fist combat. Explain the significance of this.
Yotoriyama: Soul Calibur expresses the fun and diversity in weapon combat. With weapon you may clash or that the various differences between the weapon's power, angle or weight will greatly improve fighting styles. We approached our work with the though of "If I had a weapon, I would fight like this..." and developed Soul Calibur's features. In many ways this is a simulation of weapon combat.
Another big difference between Tekken 3 and Soul Calibur is that Soul Calibur enables full three-dimensional movement to utmost using the newly introduced 8Way Run system. Unlike Tekken 3 (in which the field is infinite), Soul Calibur has a ring and ring out rule. So the character's "position" in the ring is highly important and closely related to the new "run". This is interconnected to all horizontal and vertical aspect of the game making it far more three-dimensional and tactical than Soul Edge or Tekken 3.
Q: Tekken 3 had new and unique characters like Xiaoyu or Eddy with impressive fighting styles. Does Soul Calibur feature similar characters?
Yotoriyama: In Soul Calibur each character wields a different weapon, and this reflect that they each have their won fighting style based on their own weapon. For example, Astaroth uses a heavy long weapon so his style focuses on distance and power games, while a character like Taki uses a short light weapon thus she must use footwork and quick attacks to pressure at close range. Also the system itself changes with each character. For example, holding the attack buttons with Astaroth increases the power of the attack, while holding the buttons with Nightmare with make him change stances. The weapons themselves on top of the characters own fighting style make the characters of Soul Calibur more interesting than the Tekken characters. But given all these things we had a much harder time adjusting the balance of the game...
Q: What do you think is the most important aspect of Soul Calibur?
Yotoriyama: I would like to say the three-dimensional tactics and impressive characters featuring weapons. Yet we also have confidence in saying that Soul Calibur is the best fighting game out there pushing new fighting styles.
Q: Any comments for the players?
Yotoriyama: Yes, we made every aspect of Soul Calibur from scratch, we worked with no old materials and we hope you will try it with that perspective in mind.