|“||Oh Perfect! I'll just tear you limb from limb!||„|
|“||Soul Edge is eating right now! It doesn't want to be disturbed.||„|
|~ Jolly Tira to Siegfried.|
|“||Searching for victims can be so boring...||„|
|~ Gloomy Tira.|
Tira is a bloodthirsty femme fatale and a major antagonist from the video game Soul Calibur and has a fighting style known as the "dance of death", designed to mesmerise and stun opponents before killing them: like many psychopathic villains in fiction she pretty much lives to rip her opponents to shreds: her exposure to Soul Edge has caused her to develop a split personality and despite (or perhaps because) of his great evil, she idolizes him.
She is the secondary antagonist of Soul Calibur III and one of the main antagonists of Soul Calibur V.
She was voiced by Masumi Asano in the Japanese version, and by Alison Lees-Taylor and Kate Higgins in the English version.
In her debut appearance, Tira has primrose eyes, teal hair, green rags, and feathered fringes. Early concept art shows Tira covered in scars on her face and body, but in the final illustration, this was replaced by painted purple stripes. In Soul Calibur IV, she undergoes a drastic evolution in design, exchanging her short blue hair for dark brown, lopsided pigtails with a long, thin braid on the back of her head. She also has an unmarred body, and wears a red ensemble. At first, this dramatic change was speculated to be the outcome of one of Tira's epilogues in her Tales Of Souls Mode from Soul Calibur III, in which she was possessed by Soul Edge. However, the real reason was to reflect her new, unstable personality, as revealed in an interview with one of the character designers of Soulcalibur IV.
In Soul Calibur V, Tira now has two, braided pigtails, which imitate the shape of a jester's hat, and her hair now possess three colors — white and two shades of purple. Her costume seems to be a fusion of her Soul Calibur III 1P outfit and her 2P outfit from Soulcalibur IV. This costume also presents the most direct approach to the avian theme surrounding Tira, as it is richly ornamented with tiny representations of raven skulls. This time however, there is another animal theme included in the shape of Tira's gloves, which resemble feline skulls. Also, the decoration on the buckle of her belt is very similar to the sabbatic goat head that is often inserted into reverse pentagrams as a symbol of the imagined pagan god, Baphomet, and thus became a symbol of satanism and witchcraft in the later centuries. It should also be noted that Tira's skin is now a very pale white, causing fans to speculate that she has either stopped aging or has become immortal.
In Soulcalibur VI, Tira gains an entirely new outfit which is a mix of her outfits from previous games. Her hairstyle is now done in standing twintails.
Overall, Tira's costumes usually represent her split personalities, Jolly and Gloomy in her 1P and 2P outfits respectively. In each game, her 1P outfits have a more playful, revealing, and torn up look with references to the avian theme. Her 2P costumes are more conservative, have toned down or dark colors, and include a noticeable motif of jesters and clowns. Her hairstyles are usually less chaotic than they are in her 1P outfits and she also wears the dark decoration of human skulls. Oddly, this seems to have been swapped in Soulcalibur V, because her primary outfit now resembles the dark and gloomy vibe that was present in her 2P outfit from Soulcalibur IV, and her alternate costume carries the playful trait that surrounds the jolly and enthusiastic side of her personality.
Tira's origins begin with a European organization hidden in the shadows, presumably called the "Bird Of Passage". She was raised exclusively as an assassin, for the Bird of Passage specialized in forming contracts with powerful people of prestige and dispatching assassins to eliminate important targets, and began killing at a very young age. Within this organization, Tira was known only by her codename: 'Eiserne Drossel' (Iron Thrush). Due to her upbringing, Tira became utterly inured to the sight of death, eventually becoming so engrossed in her ability to kill without experiencing any remorse or conflicting emotion that she started to become dependent on killing for the stimulation it provided. By the time she was nine years old, she had already killed enough to be considered a "Bird of Death".
Tira was taught how to fight by a woman in the organization. This woman raised Tira and was known as her 'Mother Bird'. When Tira had grown older, she was forced to kill this woman as a rite of passage. The trauma of killing her mother-figure caused her to develop two different personalities.
Her resulting mental issues made her an unpredictable force and she commonly caused 'accidents' on the field. This caused her to be looked upon and treated scornfully by the other members as a 'plague'. Her skills, however, proved far too valuable to do away with.
During an assignment, the Evil Seed pervaded through the sky, burning the leader's mind and dissolving the chain of command. Inadvertently, Tira was freed, and inexplicably drifted into the custody of an adoptive family. It was this family that gave her the name 'Tira'. Although she struggled to adapt to the "average life", Tira ruminated on the new freedoms that were provided, and decided that this new life could possibly be acceptable. However, Tira's peaceful, new found existence did not last for long. After she was scolded for releasing the youngest daughter's pet bird, she murdered her entire foster family in a blind rage. Finding that she could not live without the fundamental excitement of inflicting death on others, Tira began a wandering lifestyle, and heartlessly killed any who crossed her path. To show that she was no longer a 'tool' to the organization, she chose to keep the name her adoptive family had given her, giving her old codename to her weapon instead.
Soul Calibur III
Amidst her travels, Tira learned of the Azure Knight's massacres, and started to harbor a twisted fondness for the terrifying figure. During this leaderless period, her emotions had spiraled out of control, rapidly swinging between extremities with the slightest provocation. Because Tira had grown up without the freedom to make her own decisions, she ultimately resolved to track down the Azure Knight and become his servant, believing him to be a kindred spirit due to his ability to spread pain and suffering. Soon arriving to Osthreinsburgh, Tira encountered a man with a Death Scythe, Zasalamel. This man had resurrected Nightmare as his own entity and he was no longer a puppet being controlled by the cursed sword, Soul Edge. overjoyed by this information, Tira later jumped at the opportunity when she learned of the Azure Knight's resurfacing. After following a trail of slaughter, she finally found Nightmare and fulfilled her wish in becoming a loyal, erratic servant for he and Soul Edge. After this acceptance, she was given two tasks: To destroy the spirit sword, Soul Calibur, thus liberating Soul Edge from its prison, and locate a new, permanent host for the demonic blade. In order to fulfill these objectives, Tira was granted the protection of Nightmare's raven sentries, the Watchers.
Once again under the command of a dominant, evil being such as Nightmare, Tira contentedly set out on her quest. Those she considered worthy of the cursed sword would surely have their souls devoured by the flame of Soul Edge. And those she did not, would most definitely be killed by the hand of Tira — in order to bring more joy to the life of her own. With this bidding, Tira victimized numerous souls, claiming the lives of any who stood in her way. She was even responsible for murdering a few members of the Manjitou, Yoshimitsu's clan.
Amongst the many warriors she encountered was a strong-willed mother, Sophitia Alexandra. Tira knew of her children's existence and menacingly taunted Sophitia, threatening to use her children as hosts for Soul Edge, telling the resistant mother that when the time was right, she would indeed come for them. The mischievous girl held up to her promise and eventually kidnapped Sophitia's daughter, Pyrrha. Although Tira never found a new host for Soul Edge, Nightmare still appears to be fine and wielding Soul Edge in the next game, so this probably means that Pyrrha would be a backup host for the sword in case Nightmare was destroyed so she could wield it until Nightmare's eventual resurrection.
Soul Calibur IV
Tira awaited outside the gates of the Lost Cathedral, languishing the outcome of the battle between Siegfried, who wielded Soul Calibur, and Nightmare, who wielded Soul Edge. When the swords clashed, Tira's mind was depleted, shattered into countless pieces by the destruction unleashed by the meeting of the swords. But somehow, she found an inner will, and clawed herself back to consciousness. And in the end, Tira had become two separate people. Her mind had reformed itself into the two entities that represented Tira's original, unstable personality.
Upon her return to Ostrheinsburg, Tira began processing the information that her watchers carried to her, and began manipulating numerous ways to give Soul Edge, her king and master, advantages in battle. She would use the inhabitants of the cursed city to wear down the power of the spirit sword. And at last when they fought, the cursed sword would turn Ostrheinsburg into a giant vessel and every soul within the place would be caught in its maw, including the spirit sword. She knew that then, her king would win.
Having kidnapped Pyrrha, Tira knew that her mother would seek to save her child and eventually met with Sophitia to reveal a shocking truth. Tira informed that her beloved daughter could not live without the evil influence of Soul Edge, and thus used her love for Pyrrha to pit Sophitia against any warrior who dared to confront the evil sword. Tira also manipulated Astaroth and Maxi, convincing the latter to pursue the cursed blade in order to avenge his slain comrades, and the other to serve Nightmare. Along with these tricked souls, Tira additionally used Voldo's devotion for his master and convinced Cervantes to pursue Soul Edge as well.
Her plan was coming together. Tira had no doubt that Soul Edge would easily overcome the justice that was Soul Calibur with such rich souls at its hilt. Her king would consume everything! And at that moment, Tira too would become part of Soul Edge. A feeling she had never felt before swelled in her. But she, both of her, did not quite understand it. A tiny glimmer of fear sparked in the chink between her two personalities, but it was forced down below the surface of her consciousness. It would not emerge again.
Soul Calibur V
Tira was devastated when the Evil Sword was defeated 17 years earlier.
The two personalities within her lamented as one, and howled together in a chorus of rage. But Tira found some solace in her plans for a certain young girl, and in the ever-growing strength of the shattered sword's fragments. Revitalized by her hopes to revive Soul Edge, Tira dedicated herself to a hunt for the sword's scattered pieces.
But after waiting so many years, the reborn Azure Knight was not at all what Tira had hoped for. He curried favor with human nations, scheming in secret and gathering souls from the shadows. Tira could barely stand to look upon this cowardly Nightmare who was nothing like her boss before.
"He's an imposter! I will never accept him!"
"In that case..." began the dark half of her personality, "...I shall prepare an appropriate vessel for Soul Edge myself!" finished her brighter half. Tira certainly had all the ingredients; she'd been carefully preparing them for 17 years. It was the perfect plan.
And so Tira disappeared into the night once more, on her way to visit that "certain young girl," Pyrrha.
Tira's time in the "Bird of Passage"
Tira received training in the arts of assassination from a very young age. By the time she turned 9, she was a "Bird of Death" that has claimed countless lives. Afterwards, she was incorporated into the force of a man named Solnhofen, which was left with the most dangerous missions in the assassination of VIPs, "extermination and clean-up of the escort". Due to her severe mental unstability, Tira often caused unexpected accidents. The troops treated her like a plague, and yet it seemed her skills were still needed.
- The very pale color of Tira's skin in Soul Calibur V and the fact that her age is officially stated as "Unknown", has caused many fans to speculate that she has met the same fate as Cervantes or has stopped aging like Ivy.
- Tira's Soul Calibur V costume has various references to animals commonly associated with witchcraft (including a goat head similar to that which is often inserted into a reverse pentagram).
- Soul Calibur V is the first game where Tira's costume incorporates high heels.
- Tira is the only character in the Soul Calibur series who has different voice acting in each game she has appeared in (excluding Broken Destiny), despite being voiced by the same actress in the English voice-over. This is probably due to her unstable nature or the fact that her voice acting in Soul Calibur IV was often criticized. Tira is also one of the few characters whose English voice-over is very different from the Japanese acting and is not trying to imitate the original, instead portraying the character in a more suitable way for the English language.
- Tira's Jolly side voice in Soul Calibur V seems to be more mature compared to her teenage voice in Soul Calibur III and her extremely-high-pitched voice in Soul Calibur IV.
- In Soul Calibur V, Gloomy Tira has a set of hidden taunts against characters she is familiar with. To perform this, the taunt must be used when rising from a crouch.
- Despite of their rather close relationship and the fact that Tira created Pyrrha Ω, they don't have any exclusive dialogue during fights, except for Tira's taunts.
- Tira is the only human character in the Soul Calibur series that has an eye color that doesn't naturally occur in the real world.
- Birds are a recurring theme throughout Tira's history, and are reflected even in her appearance (she wears feathers as decorative elements to her costume in Soul Calibur III and Soul Calibur IV). Freeing her adopted family's child's pet bird served as the catalyst to her murdering her family, and Tira is accompanied by her raven guardians in the storyline.
- In Soul Calibur IV he player can perform a move where Tira will bash her head against the side of her ring in order to alter her mood, more importantly altering her movest. if successful, Tira's personality will change, if not Tira will groan and hold her head in pain, leaving herself open for attack.
- Although Tira's birthplace is never specified in the game, many fans have speculated she is from Scandinavia or Germany. This is also supported by the fact that her name seems to be Scandinavian with connection to the Norse god Tyr and she uses ravens as her Watchers, similarly to the Norse god Odin.
- Tira's mental instability shows itself in her movesets. During battle, she will switch between her two sides either by taunting or sustaining enough damage, with special benefits, drawbacks, moves, and dialogue per each. Tira's Jolly side reflects her original fighting style and joyous moods with more graceful, flowing attacks while her Gloomy side reflects her more destructive tendencies; she viciously attacks with little regard for her own safety, injuring herself during battle.
- In Kilik's Story Mode in Soul Calibur IV, Tira makes Maxi the new host for Soul Edge. It's likely she had done the same thing to Sophitia in Cassandra's Story Mode, as she wields a form of Soul Edge but appears to act normally.
- Tira seems to resemble Harley Quinn from Batman to many players, either due to her personality and voice being so similar, or her second outfit in Soul Calibur IV where she dresses as a clown. Others have noticed that her Soul Calibur III outfit bears a resemblance to another Batman villain, Poison Ivy.
- Motonari Mori, a character from the Sengoku BASARA game series, also wields a Ring Blade. His war baton was switched to the Ring Blade in the second installment of the game which was released after Soul Calibur III, thus it is possible this change was inspired by Tira's weapon. The way he uses it is also very similar to Tira's style.
- In Soulcalibur V, when Patroklos first battles with Tira, it introduces her as his "mother's killer", and "sister's abductor". This suggestion that Tira was the malfested that killed Sophitia is contradicted by the New Legends of Project Soul sourcebook, implying that it's merely something Patroklos believes.
- According to Soul Calibur V artbook, the natural color of Tira's hair is brown.
- Among the characters introduced in Soul Calibur III, she has the most appearances.