Heishiro Mitsurugi (御剣 平四郎, Mitsurugi Heishirō) is one of the most recognizable characters in the Soul series of fighting games. Mitsurugi made his first appearance in Soul Edge and has returned for all six sequels: Soulcalibur, Soulcalibur II, Soulcalibur III, Soulcalibur IV, Soulcalibur: Broken Destiny and Soulcalibur V. He also appears as a playable character in Soulcalibur Legends and will be playable in the PS3 exclusive Soulcalibur: Lost Swords
Heishiro was born the fourth son of a farmer in Bizen, Japan; but after many years of seeing his homeland ravaged by war, he decided to become a samurai. After his parents' death in his 14th year, he took a sword and the name Heishiro Mitsurugi. He went to train under the powerful warlord of the Murakami clan. At this time, Japan was in the middle of the Sengoku Jidai or "the age of the country at war" in which the feudal lords or "daimyos" attempted to claim the title of Shogun.
Mitsurugi was a powerful force on the battlefield, and rumors of him spread like wildfire, heralding him as the warrior that could mow down foes like fields of wheat, and he was noted by Uesugi Kenshin and Oda Nobunaga as a great warrior. He received numerous military commendations and eventually reached the rank of commissioned officer in the Japanese armed forces. But all along, his only true desire was a worthy opponent.
After leaving the Murakami clan, Mitsurugi continued to fight in every war in Japan as a hired mercenary. It was during this time that he had learned of a new weapon that was said to be changing the way wars would be fought: the rifle. He originally dismissed this weapon as a novelty, but he soon learned that it was capable of obliterating the Takeda cavalry at the Battle of Nagashino. He sensed that the arrival of the rifle in common warfare would put him out of business. He decided that the only way to combat with this was to find a stronger weapon: the enchanted sword of legend, Soul Edge.