Astaroth is one of those characters that, if you can win with him, you can win with anyone. He's just this big, slow tank with a huge axe. Quick characters will walk circles around him, duck under his wide swings, and pretty much devastate him. Heck, in the demo video for Soulcalibur 2, Maxi runs up the axe handle and kicks Astaroth in his face! But once you learn his moves, you become unstoppable. You discover his quick strikes that keep your opponent off-balance, and you start swinging for the fences while they stagger back. Before long, your friends won't play you any more.
Sorry friends that won't play me any more. It's not my fault you don't know when to block!
This particular Astaroth figure was produced by McFarlane Toys. The deal seemed to be, in exchange for putting Spawn and the McFarlane-designed Necrid in SoulCalibur, McFarlane Toys would release a line of figures based on the game characters. Unfortunately they only released the first set of toys, which included, strangely enough, with both Spawn and Necrid in the lineup. Would have liked a Kilik and Mitsurugi instead, but I'll take what I can get.
Astaroth's Bio, courtesy of Wikipedia:
Introduced in Soulcalibur, Astaroth was created by a cult of Ares led by the priest Kunpaetku to retrieve the cursed sword Soul Edge by their god's command. Upon finding the blade Astaroth realized it was incomplete, and allied himself with its host Nightmare and his minions to harvest living souls necessary to restore the blade. Planning to steal the blade once it was restored, Astaroth was instead confronted by a survivor of one of his attacks and slain. Ares later revived Astaroth, who now had fragments of Soul Edge inside him, to continue after the Soul Edge. Kunpaetku realized his golem was not behaving as instructed, and placed a controlling curse on him. Astaroth resisted and attacked the cult, but in the chaos Kunpaetku escaped and Astaroth learned he was modeled after a human being, the "White Giant". Finding and nearly killing the man, Astaroth broke free of Ares's control and his body cracked and physcially transformed. Merged with the fragments of Soul Edge within him, he now hungered for souls himself and went on a rampage. He was eventually found by Tira, who offered him more power in return for his servitude to Nightmare. Astaroth accepted, with plans to eventually consume their souls and Soul Edge itself when the time was right.
Processing in Photoshop was surprisingly simple. Boost the saturation with Lab Color and add the eye glow on a new layer. Then use a gaussian blur set to Soft Light for the shadow and "bloom", and, as a final touch to bring it all together, create a purple/orange Gradient Map set to Soft Light to bring it all together.
Round 1, EXIF!
|Camera:||Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi|
|Exposure:||0.008 sec (1/125)|
|Focal Length:||24 mm|
|Exposure Bias:||0/3 EV|
|Flash:||Flash did not fire|
|Software:||Adobe Photoshop 7.0|
|Date and Time:||2008:12:03 17:41:56|
|Exposure Program:||Aperture priority|
|Date and Time (Original):||2008:12:03 12:49:30|
|Date and Time (Digitized):||2008:12:03 12:49:30|
|Focal Plane X-Resolution:||4433.295 dpi|
|Focal Plane Y-Resolution:||4453.608 dpi|
|Image Width:||2592 pixels|
|Image Height:||3888 pixels|