10 Video Game Characters We Can't Believe Got Cut

We were THIS close to getting Ash Williams vs. The Terminator.

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NetherRealm Studios

As with any other creative medium, some of the most interesting tidbits in the history of video games can be found on the cutting room floor.

Whether finding out that Portal 2 once tasked you with murdering one of its most well-liked characters, or discovering the climactic Doc Ock battle in Marvel's Spider-Man was meant to be a lot more spectacular, gaming history is full of fascinating ideas that never made it to the finished game.

Naturally, some of those abandoned ideas take the form of characters who, for one reason or another, never made it to the final cut.

As we'll see, there are myriad reasons why a character may be removed from a game. Sometimes it's licensing issues, as one of the rights-holders gets cold feet at the last minute; Sometimes a character ends up being a lot less fun to play with than anyone expected; and sometimes a character gets sheared by a scissor-happy editing department for no apparent reason.

Our opening entry falls into the first category of excuses, as Square-Enix denied early-noughties gamers what would have been a legendary crossover...

10. Cloud Strife - Soul Calibur II

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Nowadays, the Soul Calibur series is well-known for its crossovers. Over the years, Namco's venerable weapon-based fighting game has seen its cast cross swords with the like of Geralt of Rivia, Ezio Auditore and - most bizarrely - Darth Vader and Yoda.

Yet this tradition didn't start with the first game. Instead, it was Soul Calibur II that introduced the concept of inviting characters from other series to battle with the game's original cast. Famously, each console received its own exclusive character - GameCube owners got to play as Link, XBox players had to make do with Todd McFarlane's Spawn (still struggling to figure that one out), and the PS2 crowd got Tekken's Heihachi Mishima.

Heihachi was always a weird choice for Soul Calibur, given that he fights completely unarmed. However, when you realize who Namco originally wanted, Heihachi's inclusion makes more sense.

The original plan was to have Final Fantasy 7's Cloud Strife be the PlayStation exclusive character, a move that would have been huge at the time. Cloud was (and still is) one of the most recognizable protagonists in gaming history, and this would have been his first appearance in a video game since Final Fantasy 7 had been released five years prior. Not only that, his iconically/comically large Buster Sword would have been a perfect fit for the weapon-obsessed world of Soul Calibur.

Sadly, Square-Enix would ultimately nix the deal, resulting in Namco having to hastily fill the empty roster spot with a character from another of their IPs.


Hello! My name's Iain Tayor. I write about video games, wrestling and comic books, and I apparently can't figure out how to set my profile picture correctly.