Zasalamel hails from an ancient tribe that was tasked with the protection of Soul Calibur, the sacred sword and Soul Edge's opposite. This was many, many years before the game's set timeframe. Zasalamel was angered by the sect's edicts that forbade the use of the sword; which didn't allow the tribe to use the weapon if a crisis were to occur. When trying to take Soul Calibur into his own hands, he was discovered and shunned from the tribe. Zasalamel had a natural gift for magic (he could perform spells after only seeing them once) and spent his time in pursuit of ancient and forbidden knowledge thought lost, until he relearned the art of magical reincarnation.
The spell worked perfectly: although he continued to age, and eventually died, his soul was immediately reborn in another body, a body that would grow up to be identical to his original body, even including his signature golden eye. In addition, he retained all the memories from his original life, and continued to exist as Zasalamel. This would occur over and over across many generations, living and dying and being reborn, and Zasalamel gradually lost the joy of living as his existence waned and the pain of death increased. However, there was no way to "turn off" the spell; he would keep being reincarnated for all eternity, and committing suicide, no matter how many times he did it, would only start the cycle over again earlier than usual. In an attempt to end what he considered his "curse", Zasalamel set his eyes on Soul Edge. He would use its soul-devouring properties to destroy himself once and for all, and release himself from the circle of eternal reincarnations. However, even being killed by the sword was not enough, so Zasalamel turned his hopes to Soul Calibur, but when he reached the place where his tribe existed in his original life, he found no traces of life or the holy sword
myself as Zasalamel from Soul Calibur III
special thanks to the photographer Tonhus