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Do not delude thyself, thou wretched fool!
~ Raphael Sorel's famous quote.
Ha! That look suits you, stay down there.
~ Raphael Sorel
How foolish of you, to anger me!
~ Raphael Sorel

Raphael Sorel (in Japanese: ラファエル・ソレル, Rafaeru Soreru) is a fictional character in Namco's Soul (Soulcalibur) series of fighting games. First appearing in Soulcalibur II, he could initially be viewed as its protagonist but ultimately he comes out as an antagonist. He has returned as a starting character for Soulcalibur III, Soulcalibur IV, Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny and Soulcalibur V. Raphael is well known for his fencing style of swordsmanship and his mocking, contemptuous personality. In Soulcalibur III, he is nicknamed "Dark Lord". In Soulcalibur IV, he is called "Lord of the Night" and "Creature of the Night" by other characters.

What lies in his soul is "Domination". In the promotional material of Soulcalibur V, he is referred to as "Wandering For His Lost Love".

He was voiced by Yasunori Masutani in the Japanese version, and by Paul Jennings and Charles Klausmeyer in the English version.


Due to having been raised by an upper class of French nobility, Raphael is a cunning, intelligent, but arrogant, cold, cruel, and ruthless fencer, as well as making enemies due to his mocking persona and looking down on others as beneath him, using them as pawns to further his goals.

However, once he encounters Amy, the one person who ever showed him a moment of kindness and devotion to her on creating a better world in which she can be happy and be accepted by society. If it weren't for Amy, Raphael would have died by the guards or been infected into a mindless Malfested.


Soulcalibur II

Raphael, the young master of the Sorel family, grew up with the rapier and medicine as his playmates. His cool, unemotional demeanor created many enemies, but his quick and precise decision-making and execution skills solidified the foundation of his family amongst the nobles. Unfortunately, Raphael was cast out one day when he made a critical mistake; during the Evil Seed incident, he had killed a noble in self-defense: a noble that had long supported their family. Outraged by this, his own family cast him out, and even aided the town in the pursuit of Raphael.

Raphael hid himself in an impoverished town to escape from his pursuers. There he met a little girl named Amy, who hid the weakened Raphael from his enemies. For the little girl, helping Raphael was only a simple deed motivated out of spite for the soldiers. For Raphael, however, it marked the first time he owed his life to someone else. He felt emotions that he had never experienced before, and Amy became an irreplaceable presence in Raphael's life.

Convinced that the chaos of the war was no place to live a meaningful life, Raphael took Amy and left the poverty-stricken town. But even with the new surroundings, he could not get Amy to open her heart to the world.

One day, in the library of the mansion he acquired under dark pretenses, Raphael found a letter with references to the Evil Seed. It wasn't long before he made the connection between Evil Seed and Soul Edge.

What if such a sword were thrust into the hands of the pathetic nobles? It would all be worth it if the petty, war-mongering nobles could be eliminated to secure a meaningful future for Amy. But in order to accomplish his goal, Raphael needed Soul Edge; he was determined to obtain the sword by any means necessary.

In his quest for Soul Edge, Raphael faced off against Nightmare in the land of Ostrheinsburg. Nightmare won.

His body weakened, his breath haggard, and his consciousness fading, he looked up to see the giant, ghastly sword wielded by the embodiment of a nightmare. He muttered Amy's name; for an instant, an emotion that was neither anger nor pride flared up inside him, and he overcame his pain and forced his body to move. The desperate strike he unleashed hit its mark, piercing the center of Soul Edge. That was all he remembered. The last thing he saw before he lost consciousness was the sight of his opponent writhing in pain.

Soulcalibur III

Raphael should have been dead. Yet, for some reason, the Azure Knight had left without delivering the final blow. Raphael dragged his grievously wounded body back to his mansion. He spent several days on the brink of death, but he eventually recovered. At this time, however, he did not notice the evil energy radiating from the wounds he had received from Soul Edge—energy that was now eating into his body. The phenomenon of malfestation—he had come across this terminology during his research into the cursed sword. By the time that word flashed through his mind, it was already too late. The symptoms even spread to Amy, who had nursed him back to health. Likely she had been infected when she came into contact with his blood...

Raphael escaped with Amy to Wallachia, a distant land in Romania, where they took shelter in a castle ruin that stood in the mountains.

Amy had been transformed into a being that could not interact with the normal world. Raphael decided that he would change the world for her. His plan, woven from threads of madness, proceeded slowly but surely, infecting nearby lands with evil energy.

But one day, an incident occurred in which some people who had been transformed to evil returned to normal by the power of a Holy Stone. Threatened by this object, Raphael decided to go on a journey to discover the true nature of the "Holy Stone" and obliterate it from this world.

Just as he made his decision, an army appeared at the base of the castle. They had noticed the abnormality of the area and come to attack its source.

Raphael bid farewell to his beloved Amy and descended below to the world that refused to accept them.

Soulcalibur IV

To Raphael, Amy was everything. He even schemed to turn the whole world evil—to "malfest" it—for the sole purpose of creating a world Amy could call home. But the Holy Stone caused his plans to unravel by bringing some of the townspeople he had transformed back to their senses.

That meant a power even greater than the evil sword must exist. He needed another way to accomplish his goals, and so he vanished into the darkness to find it. After extracting some useful information from the creatures of the dark, he arrived at an answer: he must find a tribe that called themselves the "guardians of the spirit sword." Though themselves lost in the darkness of history, they had continued to pass down their lore: the story of Soul Calibur, the one weapon that could stand against the cursed sword Soul Edge.

This was the answer he had been seeking! Raphael looked heavenward, up at the night sky. Countless lights darted across his vision, and he followed them until they vanished over Orstrheinsburg, where he had once confronted Soul Edge. The series of lights were proof that the cursed sword was reviving. If Soul Calibur was once again fated to stop it, then it would inevitably appear there, at the castle.

Raphael now waits for Soul Calibur to appear so he can obtain her for himself and create the ideal world for himself and his beloved daughter.

Soulcalibur V

How long had he been dreaming? How long had he climbed that endless spiral staircase? Somehow, he knew her room was at the top...

France had been devastated by war, and Raphael, head of the once-proud Sorel legacy, was devastated by a betrayal that cost him everything. But then he met someone, someone who took him in and sheltered him in his hour of need, and suddenly none of it mattered. Her name was--


He awoke with a start to find himself in a dark dungeon cell, thick with grime and the stench of death. He had no memory of how he had gotten there, but that wasn't important—he had to find Amy.

When Raphael burst out of the prison, everything outside looked different than he remembered...but no matter. This world was but a fleeting dream, destined to be transformed into a new and better place—a world twisted to the needs of he and his beloved.

"Don't worry, Amy... I'll be with you soon."

A force of madness was loose upon the world, a man who would stop at nothing to find his beloved.


  • In regards to his fencing style, it should be noted that Raphael is a left-handed swordsman. During the timeframe of the games (Which plays with notion of Raphael's Vampiric nature without directly stating so), a left-handed swordsman was deemed an abomination.
  • Ever since Soulcalibur III, fans have assumed that Raphael has become a vampire. This supposed nature is made clear in his Critical Finish animation. He also bites characters' necks as a grapple move. On the second stage of the Yoshimitsu's Story Mode in Soulcalibur IV, the player faces Raphael and his servants, Yoshimitsu inquires at the beginning of the battle "What art thou? A spectre?". Also, during Siegfried's Destined battle against him in Soulcalibur III, he says "You are no longer human, are you?". This line is repeated by Kilik in Raphael's Story mode in Soulcalibur IV. Raphael returns in Soulcalibur V but he seems not to have aged. This could reinforce the fans' speculation about his vampiric nature, although it was confirmed that he died. However, many legends retain the concept that a human must first die before being risen as a vampire.
  • Despite the above characteristics, the word 'vampire' has never been used to describe Raphael within the series itself.
  • As seen in his Soulcalibur V artwork, Raphael is holding a skull ornament that was attached to Amy's pigtails in Soulcalibur IV, which suggests he is most likely looking for her in this installment. What happened to her is still unknown, which could strengthen the speculations about Viola's true identity.
  • When Raphael was revealed for Soulcalibur V, it was mentioned that he had died during the events of Soulcalibur IV. How he is still around, and what this means, is currently unknown.
  • Raphael's eye color changes quite a bit throughout his appearances. He had blue eyes in Soulcalibur II, amber in Soulcalibur III, and red in Soulcalibur IV and Soulcalibur V. This fact makes him and Amy the only two characters in the series who have changed eye color throughout the installments.
  • It appears as though all of Raphael's followers have been "turned" because they all have yellow eyes.
  • In Raphael's ending on Soulcalibur IV, he has two followers that he kills to make the world only for Amy and himself. The servants are Marienbard and Auguste, but in Amy's ending the followers are Marienbard and Jacqueline.
  • Many of Raphael's weapons are designed almost exclusively for stabbing, including his signature rapier. In spite of this, the majority of his attacks are slashes. Furthermore, his fighting stance is exactly that of a sabreur.
  • Even though many of his swords have names of actual historical weapons, almost none of these resemble their historical counterparts.
  • In Soulcalibur III, Raphael's weapons and fighting style are available under the discipline Soul of Raphael to characters created under the Knight class.
  • Raphael has the most destined battles of all characters in the series.
    • In Soulcalibur II, Raphael has a Destined Battle for Nightmare and for the 3 guest characters: Heihachi, Link, and Spawn. He shares his own Destined Battle with Nightmare.
    • In Soulcalibur III, Raphael has more Destined Battle cutscenes than any other character, being a Destined Battle for five characters: Cassandra, Talim, Kilik, Siegfried & Nightmare. He shares his own Destined Battle with Talim.
  • Despite being the main cause of the incident at the end of Soulcalibur II, Raphael does not seem to realize (nor seem to care) that the Azure Knight now exists as two separate individuals, Siegfried & Nightmare.
  • His 1P costume, in Soulcalibur IV and Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny, looks similar to Alucard's from Castlevania. In Soulcalibur V, he adopts a widebrimmed hat which could reference D who many associate with Alucard (Both D and Alucard are Dhampires and the children of Dracula with very similar origins).
  • Raphael, along with Cassandra, is an unlockable character in Smash Court Tennis Pro Tournament 2.
  • In Soulcalibur II and Soulcalibur III, he searches for Soul Edge in his quest to create a world for Amy. However, in Soulcalibur IV, he is instead searching for Soul Calibur; this is likely because of the Holy Stone's impact on his plans, and his subsequent research on the spirit sword.
  • His alternate costume for Soulcalibur III was also used as his Soulcalibur IV alternate costume but his skin is not pale.
  • During one of his throws in Soulcalibur IV and Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny, he will bite female fighters on the neck. If his opponent is male, he will instead clench their stomach with his hand and say "Agh! Disgusting!".
  • Some of Raphael's battle skills were based on moves from the movies The Mask of Zorro and The Legend of Zorro that were performed by actor Antonio Banderas.
  • In regards to his fencing style, it should be noted that Raphael is a left-handed swordsman. During the timeframe of the games (Which plays with notion of Raphael's Vampiric nature without directly stating so), a left-handed swordsman was deemed an abomination.
  • Raphael was infamous in Soulcalibur II for his Triple Botta in Tempo combo (Forward+B, B, B). This combo is infamous for its ability to trap and potentially kill any unsuspecting players.
  • The description for Raphael's Stage in Soulcalibur III mentions Vlad the Impaler. Vlad's Romanian surname can be spelled as "Dracula", although several alternative spellings exist. This may coincide with Raphael's "vampire-esque" characteristics.
  • Siegfried's Destined Battle with Raphael in Soulcalibur III is corrupted very slightly - Raphael has no lines if he wins, despite the subtitles clearly saying "You're too weak to stop me!". Furthermore, in Nightmare's Destined Battle, Raphael does not have a "set" line if he wins, and it will just be a random victory line.
  • Despite his cold and cruel personality, he seems to love and adore Amy with all his heart.
  • Raphael should be written Raphaël. Without the dieresis, it would be pronounced Rafél.
  • He is captured and taken prisoner by Amy in Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny. However, this is non-canon.
  • As of Soulcalibur IV, Raphael has two moves which should catch the eye of any Vampire fan. The first, Vurkolak Envelopment, is no doubt a play off the Slavic Vampire known as a Voukodlaks whose spirit is tainted and corrupts the body. Afterwards, the Vampire will seek young girls out until he finds his perfect mate. The second, Strigoii Envelopment, is no doubt named after the Romanian Vampire.
  • In Soulcalibur IV, during the Strigoii Envelopment move, if the player presses a direction (only left or right), Raphael is able to teleport nearer to or behind his opponent, leaving them open to a hit for a few seconds. The similar ability is also showed in Soulcalibur V.
  • Raphael's second outfit in Soulcalibur V bears a strong resemblance to Sephiroth's appearance from the Kingdom Hearts series, except it is mostly colored red instead of black.
  • In Soulcalibur V, during his attack "Mermet de Vec", Raphael seems to be able to sense other characters' link to Soul Calibur: he dislikes the "taste" of characters related to the holy sword or purification in general (like Edge Master).
  • In Soulcalibur V, if a mask that reveals portions of the face is placed on Nightmare, he uses Raphael's face model. Additionally, Raphael and Nightmare are listed as being the same height, and share the same voice actors. Fans speculate that Raphael's body is Nightmare's new host.
  • However, Raphael, along with most of the cast, does not appear in Soulcalibur V story mode.
  • In Soulcalibur Legends, the guest character Lloyd Irving, from Tales of Symphonia, uses a dual Queen's Guard as his ultimate weapon, same as Raphael in Soulcalibur II, but he uses just one.
  • Some view Raphael as the protagonist of Soulcalibur II since he's the one who freed Siegfried from the control of Soul edge.
  • In Soulcalibur V, Raphael's 2P costume's skin color is paler than his 1P costume.
  • Raphael uses a different Death Cry when he loses the battle against Viola and Voldo.

External links


           Soul Calibur Logo.png Villains

Main Villains
Cervantes de Leon | Nightmare | Inferno | Zasalamel | Abyss | Tira | Strife Astlar Grandall | Iska Farkas | Elysium | Azwel

Secondary Villains
Voldo | Ivy | Astaroth | Aeon Calcos | Raphael Sorel | Charade | Amy Sorel | Patroklos Alexander

Other Villains
Vercci | Fygul Cestemus | Night Terror | Chester | Luna | Aurelia | Demuth Beel Zebus Halteese | Barbaros | Iiona Farkas | Dark Sophitia | Azola | Solnhofen | Marienbard, Auguste and Jacqueline | Phantasm | Shadow | Shura | Arcturus | Odor | Murk | Woes | Mechastaroth | Drakes | Ludo | Gisil | Dario | Giuseppe | Urias | Toki

Guest Characters
Heihachi Mishima | Darth Vader | Galen Marek | Kratos | Devil Jin

Fygul Cestemus | Schwarzstrom