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Soul Blade

original title: Soul Edge


Censored Version
Region: USA / Europe

Uncensored Version
Region: Japan

Release: Jul 05, 2012 - Author: LiquidSnakE - Translator: Matar
In 1995 Namco started an interesting experiment: the developers took the mechanic of Namco's bestseller Tekken and added various weapons, similar to Battle Arena Toshinden. The spectrum of the available weapons reached from axes to two-handed swords up to Asian samurai blades and nunchakus. However, it was not that surprising the game content was about one special weapon: the Soul Edge. It is a legendary weapon which automatically fits to the carrier's style. Unfortunatelly Soul Edge is cursed and tries to harm the carrier. When they found out that pirate Cervantes maintained the sword and killed his crew in order to feed it with their souls, many warriors tried to beat Cervantes and destroy the sword.

Originally the game was made as a coin machine but was ported to Playstation one year later. Despite some gameplay glitches Soul Blade was until the appearance of Tekken 3 the most liked Beat 'em up on Sony's console. The sequel Soul Calibur, a Sega Dreamcast launch title, erased the prequel's glitches and is seen as one of the best titles on this console. After two other Beat 'em up's Namco tried a spin-off in 2007 with Soul Calibur Legends on Nintendo Wii which simply failed. In 2008 the story around Soul Edge comes to its 4th round on PS3 and Xbox360.

Because of the fact Japan lacked a controlling agency for computer games in the 1990s the world's only uncensored version was released there. The EU and US versions were slightly edited.

Except the Japanese release, every version worldwide contains a more or less censored version of the game. For the US release one cutscene containing nudity had to be altered (the intro video). This is the only alteration made for the US version. Unfortunately this slightly censored US version had to be altered even more for the European release. The reason for that was the UK's regulations regarding weapons that could inspire children to imitate the use of them. The most famous example for such weapons are nunchucks which had to be cut out in nearly every UK release (games and movies) until the reformation of those guidelines around the year 2000. Since nunchucks are a basic weapon in the original Japanese version they had to be altered to make a UK release possible. Like many times every PAL version (Europe, Australia) contains the same version. This way, the publisher could spare costs and did not have to make a separate version only for the UK. In the end, a lot of countries got a double censored version although their regulations do neither forbid nudity nor nunchucks.

This comparison covers both, the US and the additional European alterations. If you are a US reader, just scroll down a bit to find the US alteration. European readers should start with the beginning.
Censored intro

Regarding only the European version:
The intro sequence of Soul Edge is considered legendary. Most people of the gaming community said it is the most high quality intro in the whole Playstation era. Slight changes, which were made for all versions outside of Japan, are therefore very sad.

Like everywhere in the game Li Long's weapon was redesigned. He does not use a Nunchaku in the opening sequence but a weapon looking alike a Sansetsukon.

Uncensored Japan version:Censored European version:

Regarding only the European version:
Here Li Long’s Nunchaku was completely removed.

Uncensored Japan version:Censored Euro version:

Regarding only the European version:
Again the Nunchaku was replaced.

Uncensored Japan version:Censored Euro version:

Regarding only the US and the European version:
The Japanese version shows Sophitia naked in the water before Hephaistos appears. The rest of the world shows her dressed up in a swimming suit.

This is the only censorship made in the US version.

Uncensored Japanese version:Censored European version:

Changed weapons

Regarding only the European version:
The description of the censorship of the intro mentioned Li Long's edited weapons. This affects the whole game.

1. Overview of the changes

The following screenshots are from the weapon room.

Uncensored Japanese version:Censored European version:

2. In fight

Of course the changes are also viewable to his rendering model.

Uncensored Japan version:Censored Euro version:

3. Edge Master Mode

The menu item 'Book' of the Edge Master Mode shows only edited weapons.

Uncensored Japanese version:Censored European version: