…or Hildegard Von Krone, to be precise. This is the first fighter that Namco introduces to the series through Soul Calibur IV (in several interviews the Soul team mentioned that there will be more than one) and, although not terribly original conceptually, this character looks like she can hold her own against our favorite veteran compatants. What’s more, she may be one of those “don’t judge a book by its cover” fighters that do not appear to offer spectacular move lists or eccentric characteristics, but prove to be very popular among the SC players’ ranks through extensive play.
Hilde is a lady knight – we used to put these two words in the same sentence very differently in the old days! – who, judging from her confrontation with Siegfried in the latest Tokyo Game Show trailer, is out to defend her father’s kingdom from the threat of a rather well-known bloodthirsty stranger brandishing an evil sword. In the trailer she is accusing Siegfried of “bringing this curse upon the land”, so she could only be talking about Nightmare and the Soul Edge.
Hilde is designed and armed in a strange way – but one that makes a lot of sense none the less. Being a woman, she is not carrying a heavy “knightly” sword, but she is not using a shield as the Greek sisters do either. Instead of that, she is wearing full body armor (magnificently detailed, even in these early stages of development) and holding a sword in the right hand and a metal-headed spear in the left. The sword appears to be short and rather light, so it is rather safe to assume that it will be used for quick, immediate range attacks and maybe a couple of vicious throws.
Following historically accurate information, Namco has included moves that combine the sword and the spear in a crisscrossing way in order to provide defense. This can be discerned in several screenshots of Hilde a while back, when we were still under the impression that she was a fighter built by the “Create-a-character” function of SCIV (an impression that speaks volumes about the design of this specific combatant, obviously).
The most important weapon of Hilde seems to be the spear, though. Even if it visibly isn’t as long as Kilik’s staff, it can cover a lot of ground around the new character and it is rather safe to assume that it will be used effectively in horizontal and lateral moves for different purposes. Indeed borrowing a signature move from Kilik, Hilde can extend the spear over her shoulder – adding thrust power with her triceps – in order to land a focused, powerful strike. This is very well demonstrated in the new trailer as well, from a sequence that is most probably Hilde’s kata.
It is way too early to speculate on the way Hilde stacks up against the well-known fighters in the SC roster. Taking into account the fact that the Soul team will strive for absolute balance between different characters, though – and the fact that in motion she seems to stand on the “quick” side of the fighters available and known – Hilde should prove to be an obvious choice for new Soul Calibur players and a worthy challenge for the veterans among us to master. The “wow” factor in her exquisite appearance is a big plus (even this early stage her shiny armor sports environmental mapping) and it is more than certain that she will be available to play with a rather more revealing 2P or 3P costume (as it seems to be the trend in SCIV these days, for better or worse).
More information on Hilde, her backstory, her relation to the Soul Edge/Soul Calibur saga, her move list and special moves is sure to follow on a later date. Here’s hope that the next new character is more original and eccentric, though: medieval knights we already have three now, Namco dearest!