FGC #567 BlazBlue: Centralfiction

This post originally appeared about two years ago on a forum post that… apparently no longer exists. Whoops! In the interest of my beloved words reaching as many people as possible, please enjoy this nonsense with the excuse that I am now playing the Switch version of BlazBlue: Centralfiction. Oh, and be aware there are spoilers for the entire franchise here, and it is super GIF heavy. I probably should have led with that…

Time to Blaze itWhat you have to understand is that BlazBlue could be so, so simple. At first glance, it’s a pretty straightforward story: 100 years in “our” future, but 100 years before the events of the game, mankind goes too far, and accidentally releases magic (good), and the Black Beast (bad) on the universe. The Black Beast nearly destroys the world, but six brave heroes rise up and seal away the ancient evil. Now, in the present (of the game), a terrorist in a red coat is running around wrecking stuff, and it is assumed he is trying to revive the ancient evil. Naturally, he’s misunderstood, and the real bad guy is hiding in plain sight within the current ruling government, so the wheel of fate is turning, action!

And were this a simple, traditional fighting game universe, that would be it. There would be a “new” gang of heroes, a few would have obvious or subtle ties to the previous legends, throw in a wannabe ninja or two, and you’d have a pretty straightforward fighting game universe. Everybody battles at first, they eventually join up, and the inevitable “return of the Black Beast” is defeated by friendship and mashing the jab button. It could work! It could work well! Perhaps in that universe, all would be joyful, and I wouldn’t be getting ready to explain how the pretty sorcerer lady had sex with a goddamn cat. Maybe that universe would be better for all of us…

This isn't realActually, speaking of universes, BlazBlue does something interesting with its overall plot. Were you around for the Mortal Kombat debates of the 90’s? I’m not talking about the silly disputes over whether Mortal Kombat was too violent for young eyeballs; no, I’m talking about the important arguments about things that mattered. I’m talking about the debates over which Mortal Kombat endings were canon. Did Scorpion really kill Sub-Zero? Did Kano really kill Sheeva, or did she kill him (and did Sonya watch)? Yes, we know Liu Kang won a tournament or two from that opening roll, but we want to know some details! Johnny Cage: Goro-slayer or conceited movie star? This is important to my fanfic, dammit!

BlazBlue does its best to sidestep all of that, and introduces some canon multiversal theory to the fighting game genre. All endings are valid. Yes, Ragna saved one world, and Arakune devoured everyone and everything in another world. Every single BlazBlue game has multiple endings for each of its characters, and every ending is equally canon, because the forces of good and evil at the highest levels are distinctly watching every universe to see the potential best outcome. And it’s a very distinct plot point in practically all of the games! All endings are canon, so, yes, that goofy finale where Dan wins the tournament and Zangief becomes a robot totally happened.

Unfortunately, it seems like the writers wanted to justify this conceit, and… things got complicated.

This story has no beginning and no end. It is a tale of souls and swords that, unfortunately, gets a little confused along the way. I guess we’ll start with the kids.

Ragna the Bloodedge: Origins

Do it for the kidsThere are three siblings: older brother Ragna, middle brother Jin, and youngest sister Saya. They had an idyllic childhood being raised by a nun in the countryside (after they were rescued from being test tube lab rats by a sentient cat… but we’ll get to that) (Or maybe we won’t), until, one day, an evil force attacked the happy little family. Nun mom was killed, Jin was temporarily possessed, Saya was kidnapped and then permanently possessed, and Ragna lost an arm. Ragna was left(handed) for dead, but he was immediately saved by Rachel Alucard, a goth Lolita vampire (because of course) who transformed Ragna into a half-vampire (because nobody cares about mummies). She also gave Blade Ragna the Blue Grimoire (aka BlazBlue). The Blue Grimoire is, basically, liquid magic, and the most powerful macguffin in the BlazBlue (oh, just got that) universe, so, I assure you, Rachel Alucard must have known exactly what she was doing when she welded it to a traumatized pre-teen. Or she didn’t have a clue, and Ragna would grow up to become a magical terrorist immortal daywalker with the mightiest prosthetic arm in the history of the universe.

Whoops, turns out we went for that second choice.

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger

Some good ol' fightingIn what I assure you is not the exact plot of Final Fantasy 7, adult Ragna the Bloodedge (a name scribbled in so many teenager’s notebooks) kicks off the present of the BlazBlue franchise while crossing the world and destroying magical energy reactors because the scary rulers of this world decided to destroy the planet in exchange for keeping the lights on. Unfortunately, Ragna obliterating these magical cauldrons is having an adverse effect on property values (what with all the locals incidentally dying of exposure in the absence of magical electricity/heat), so Ragna has been designated “the Grim Reaper”, and anyone that catches this menace in a red coat will receive a sixty billion double dollar bounty. This is the framing plot of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger (aka “the first one”), and it is a fine excuse for everyone to hit each other with swords, because, hey, who couldn’t use a big pile of cash? Every rando can have the generic title of “bounty hunter”, and the plot barely has to rear its ugly head for this fun little romp.

Unfortunately for my aching fingers, the BlazBlue insane-o plot was already in full effect. Remember Ragna’s brother, Jin? Jin grew up to be an absolute psychopath that wants nothing more than to torture his brother that he blames for -everything-, so he decides to put his murderous rage to good use and become a cop. Unfortunately, somewhere in his tenure he kinda sorta accidentally committed genocide against an entire nation of ninja, but, ya know, mistakes were made. Regardless, it is now Jin’s job to bag himself a bad mother-brother, and he has decided to pursue this task with all the gusto you might expect of a guy who was once possessed by the greatest evil in the universe (we’ll get to that) (for real this time). Also, there’s Noel, his subordinate, who incidentally looks exactly like his (presumed deceased) younger sister. That’s got to be at least a little relevant.

This place sucksAfter all sorts of trials and tribulations, Ragna makes his way to his latest cauldron target. It turns out that all cauldrons suck energy from “The Boundary”, which is apparently the smooshy, mystical jelly between universes. As usually happens in vaguely sci-fi-y stories, The Boundary is your standard “man is not supposed to meddle in the universe” malarkey, and anyone that comes in contact with The Boundary becomes super-duper screwed up. Jin, naturally, dives right in there. Well, at least in one universe.

Another fighter in BlazBlue is Hakumen. Hakumen is inordinately powerful, wears incredibly flattering armor, and is one of the original six heroes. At the start of the game, Kokonoe, a brilliant scientist that is also half-Garfield (she tolerates Mondays), fishes Hakumen out of a time sink, and the legendary warrior stomps around the present and attempts to kill Ragna. Given that is exactly what everyone is trying to do, nobody thinks much of it, but the punch line is revealed during his ending, when it turns out that in one timeline, Jin dumped his ass directly into the void, popped out of time about a hundred years earlier, donned some armor, and became the legendary hero Hakumen. So one of the six heroes is just a slightly older, time-displaced Jin-in-Armor, and this isn’t going to be the last time the cast doubles up on identities for particular characters.

Now, if you’re a fan of the sci-fi genre, you might expect Jin is involved in some kind of stable time loop. At the end of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, Jin winds up in The Boundary, he becomes Hakumen in the past, and then “modern” Jin is just a future version of Hakumen. But no! Turns out the reason Jin wound up in the boundary was because in that original timeline, there was one person missing. Noel, the girl that looks suspiciously like his sister, is apparently a newcomer to this version of the universe, and, with her presence, Ragna and Jin both stay out of The Boundary, and survive to see the sequel as their “normal” selves. Love this guyHakumen is not erased from time, because he is from a separate reality. And, incidentally, in the universe without Noel, Ragna winds up time traveling, too, and, mostly because of his magical, titular arm, he becomes the Black Beast that destroyed the world a century back. This is clearly a bad thing, but it isn’t dwelled on much, because it would distract us from the next time Ragna travels back in time to fight the Black Beast. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So let’s look at Noel for a minute. Noel is supposedly a blonde, air-headed young cadet that is always getting into trouble. She’s also been gifted a set of pistols that are legendary weapons the likes of which could destroy the world. But, hey, those things have the same availability as Funko Pops in the BlazBlue universe, so no one is really concerned about that. However, the fact that she looks exactly like Ragna/Jin’s sister is the important thing here. Turns out (original) young Saya is biologically capable of containing unlimited magic, so she’s basically a living Game Genie. And, because a happy fellow named Relius Clover is interested in infinite MP, Relius made a number of unlicensed copies of poor Saya. Noel is one such copy (though she is unaware of this), and so are twelve different cyborgs that seem scattered across the franchise. One of these cyborgs is the boss of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, and another returns in the sequel to be the Sheeva to Calamity Trigger’s original Goro (look, I am as surprised as anyone that Sheeva is somehow getting mentioned twice in this article). And Noel, given enough finagling, could also become a badass cyborg equipped with world-murdering guns.

Guess what happens in the next game!

Let us take a moment to pause and reflect on how the previous 1,500 or so words are required reading for simply the first BlazBlue game. I envy people that draw Bowsette fanart. That seems like a useful skill. I’m only able to regurgitate labyrinthine videogame plots in a moderately amusing manner. I have such a great idea for a comic with Bowsette and Linkle, but no way to convey that. Mine is a hard life.

Back to work. BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is basically when the “real” plot of BB starts to gel. Ragna is now clearly the hero, and, while a lot of people still want his head, he’s now unambiguously established himself as the (slightly surly) protagonist of the series. This means we need to roll out the real villain of the piece. Let’s take a focused look at Relius Clover and his super best friend, Yuki Terumi (sorta aka Hazama).

Terumi and the Six Heroes

Do some scienceCircling back to the absolute beginning of the BlazBlue story, the reason this world has magic and cat people and people magically shtupping cat people is that in the fictitious future our “our” world, a group of scientists tried to explore The Boundary, and all hell broke loose. And who were the scientists involved? Why, at least two of them were Relius Clover and Yuki Terumi. Relius Clover gained some nebulous kind of power (immortality? That seems pretty standard around here), but was flung forward in time. Yuki Terumi, meanwhile, was completely separated from his body, and became a heartless an angry ghost. Ansem Terumi thus became one of those “I want you for your body, literally” kind of villains, and started a centuries-long plan to regain his former power (or fingers. He really missed having fingers). Oh! And he also created the BlazBlue! I think this was also part of his plan… or… something? Look, somehow he had the ability to create the most powerful object in the universe, and also had physical possession of it, but he lost it because of… raisins?

But by the time of The Six Heroes and The Black Beast, the whole Terumi thing comes to a head. First of all, Relius Clover (newly arrived in this time period thanks to plot convenience) hooks back up with Terumi and creates a new body for the dude. This new body is named Kazuma, because Relius played a lot of Tekken and Yakuza, but has poor spelling skills. Kazuma is his own man/clone baby, but was literally created to be a vessel for Terumi. Kazuma’s destiny is to live and grow, but eventually be overtaken by Terumi. This probably wouldn’t have been a bad thing if Kazuma grew up to be a grocery store clerk (a perfectly noble profession that rarely threatens the fate of the world), but, unfortunately, Kazuma wound up being one of the nigh-mythical Six Heroes. This… ended poorly for The Six Heroes.

It's going blackWe’re 2,000 words in, may as well cover the hell out of the whole Black Beast fiasco. Six Heroes roll call: We’ve already got Kazuma, and there’s also Trinity (the archetypical white mage), Nine (hot-headed black mage)(and, yes, in a group called “The Six Heroes”, they seriously named a character “Nine”, and you will never understand how much I hate this fact)(her real name is Konoe Mercury, which is so much cooler), Valkenhayn R. Hellsing (the “R” stands for “Radical! This dude is a werewolf!”), Jubei the Badass Samurai Cat with Two Tails (loves lasagna), and the previously mentioned Hakumen, who is still Jin from the future flung into the past and wearing magical armor. Oh, and that armor used to belong to Terumi, but that won’t be important for another century. Anywho, these six banded together after Ragna the Bloodedge was banished into the past to fight the Black Beast (also Ragna the Bloodedge), which allowed for… Oh, I’m sorry, I need to take a break, as I seem to have anxiety-puked all over my keyboard. This plot… Ugh… Does anyone have a napkin?

Okay, back to work. So Nine, a well-respected sorceress who has evidently never read a novel in her entire life, decided recruiting Angry Ghost Terumi would be the best way to track down the BlazBlue and gain an advantage over the Black Beast. But as quickly as you can say “Waspinator has plans”, Terumi ultimately betrayed the group, possessed Kazuma, and pretty much doomed every last member of The Six (not necessarily in that order). The good news, though, is that before everything went to Hell (kinda literally), Nine’s sister was nearly unwillingly sacrificed (it’s complicated) to create one super weapon that got split into eight lesser, still kinda-super weapons, and they were utilized to destroy The Black Beast. On the bad news front, when Terumi grassed everyone, Trinity, Nine, Hakumen, and Kazuma/Terumi himself(ves) This friendly fellowall wound up dumped in The Boundary. Hakumen would reemerge at the start of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, Trinity was divorced from her body and eventually peacefully possessed a magical girl (or maybe magical boy?), Nine came back for BlazBlue: Centralfiction as a “corrupted” antagonist to be the franchise’s Akuma, and Terumi? The Kazuma body died, but angry ghost Terumi returned to inhabit his next manufactured body, Hazama, who became the leader of BlazBlue’s magical CIA/KGB analogue. Hazama is, like Kazuma, technically his own entity that can exist separately from Terumi, but why would Terumi ever want a different body? Looking like an anime Michael Jackson at all times is a pretty smooth way to exist.

Oh, and before we’re done with the Six Heroes era, just want to note that V.R. Hellsing and Jubei the Talking Cat (!?!) were the only survivors. Hellsing went back to his job as a butler for a prominent vampire family, and Jubei decided to retire to raise absolutely every child in the BlazBlue universe except his own kid (who, naturally, was also the daughter of the notably human Nine). Yes, Jubei the cat had a hand in cultivating Ragna and his whole little family. And, just in case you thought this ouroboros might stop eating its own tail at some point, Nine’s almost-sacrificed sister was the nun that Ragna formally/formerly considers a mother.

Back to the present!

… Crap, I can’t even remember which present this is supposed to be…

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift

Go Squirrel!BlazBlue: Continuum Shift! Right! Basically, what happens here is that, after the events of Calamity Trigger that caused everyone to get all murder-horny for Ragna, Noel and Jin are considered deserters for doing their jobs (but poorly). This lawful warrant is orchestrated by Hazama/Terumi (we’ll just call him Hazama for a little bit), and is, long story short (ha!), a plan to push Noel so far she goes super saiyan. This brings a pair of Noel’s friends and former classmates into the mix, Tsubaki Yayoi, a generally demure woman who is steadfastly sacrificing her eyesight to wield a magical weapon capable of taking down Noel, and Marvel’s Squirrel Girl, who was created by the great Steve Ditko. Fun fact: in the original timeline where Jin became Hakumen, Jin was in love with Tsubaki, but she was killed. When Jin-umen speaks to Tsubaki and attempts to explain this little time hiccup (and express how generally glad he is that she’s, ya know, alive), he completely fails to say anything worthwhile, and spends the rest of the forever incredibly angry. That… might be my favorite event in the franchise. Anywho, Tsubaki is in love with (present) Jin, blames Noel for the fact that he doesn’t return her affections (completely unaware that Jin isn’t in love with his sister, he’s more interested in other family members), and ultimately falls to the dark side in an attempt to apprehend Noel with extreme prejudice. This causes Noel to go full cyborg-girl, threaten the entire universe, and Ragna has to battle a berserker Noel to make life a little more livable. Squirrel Girl stays out of this fight, though, because her Thanos-crushing power should obviously be DLC.

I know that galRagna, naturally, wins the fight and restores Noel back to normal status in the process. But! Turns out that wasn’t the point of that whole adventure. It was all orchestrated by Hazama to simultaneously steal back the BlazBlue from Ragna, and create such a bitchin’ fight that the very gods of the BlazBlue universe (or a rough approximation thereof) would be distracted for just a picosecond, and, during that time, the gods were damned by Hazama to be stuck playing BlazBlue: Continuum Shift for the rest of eternity. Thus, the eponymous Continuum Shift occurs, and now everyone lives in a world where Hazama/Terumi finally has a chance at actually winning (as the gods are busy being stuck in an infinite loop of goofy endings).

Dem GodsOf course, none of the heroes, save vampyric Rachel Alucard, are actually aware of this. And, for some reason or another, half the events of Continuum Shift don’t actually happen because of multiversal theory or some such thing, but… uh… I guess we should just move on to the next title. Which one is that? Oh snap, it’s Chronophantasma aka that time someone on the writing team watched Back to the Future and wondered if it could work in reverse.

This is where things get complicated.

BlazBlue: Chronophantasma

A Toyota CelicaSo, sorry, misspoke a moment ago. There are two heroes that are aware of this nonsense. There’s Rachel Alucard, who is one of those types that is technically forbidden from interfering, but meddles pretty much constantly; and there’s Professor Kokonoe Mercury, the super-scientist daughter of Jubei the Meow Meow and Nine. Kokonoe presumably got into the science game to figure out how the hell she was born, but isn’t adverse to exploiting “magic”, as her mother was a great sorceress. This is apparently why she gets it into her furry head to use a clone body and magical Boundary soul sucking to pull a version of her aunt Celica, Nine’s sister, through time to the present day. And, yes, of course century-old, “aunt” Celica is revived as a teenage schoolgirl. And, I assure you, that does lead to whacky hijinks involving a teenage Celica flirting with Ragna the Bloodedge, the man that she is eventually destined to raise as a son (it wouldn’t be an anime without really forced incest). Oh, and it’s also around this time that a version of Ragna is sent back in time to hang out with past/real Celica and Nine, and help out in slaying The Black Beast. But I’m not going to address that plot point again, because it’s so damn stupid.

Anywho, Celica is the “Chronophantasma”, or time ghost, and her purpose is to activate that super weapon that was mentioned about 1,000 words back. This was presumed to be the only way to stop whatever Hazama was up to this week… which was… let’s see here… Oh! He and Relius were powering up that superweapon that Celica was supposed to use, Takemikazuchi, and they wanted to use the giant (literally, it’s basically a huge humanoid that barfs lasers) to destroy the world or whatever. Or just blow up Ragna? Whatever. Point is that Celica was going to sacrifice herself so the good guys could use it, but then Ragna convinced her to live and become a playable character in BlazBlue: Chronophantasma: Turbo Edition, and the bad guys got it, but then Ragna hit it with a sword until its health points depleted. Hooray for our side! Also, somewhere in there, Noel reconciled with Tsubaki and Squirrel Girl through the power of friendship and this one dude that can’t button his shirt.

Here's a giantOh, wait, sorry, got confused again. Good things did not happen! Yes, our heroes did stop the Takemikazuchi, but the bad guys merged it with 10,000 souls (don’t worry, no souls came from playable characters), and created The Embryo, which could be used to create an all new, all better BlazBlue. Also, it can completely control and rewrite time, destroy all physical matter in the universe, and dispense unlimited bread sticks according to the user’s will. Probably not a good thing the bad guys have that thing. Spoilers, I don’t think Taokaka is going to win that one back.

Crap, that reminds me, I didn’t cover any of the supporting cast. Uh… Lightning round for characters previously not mentioned…

Auxiliary Characters

Kitty catTaokaka: A catgirl that is basically the representative for all the furry, magical races in the BlazBlue universe. She has some arc about becoming a more mature leader of her tribe over the course of the franchise, but, thanks to fighting game character stasis, she’s about as likely to become “mature” as Sakura is to become a mom.

There's a pandaLitchi Faye Ling: A former assistant to Professor Kokonoe who quit after her boyfriend turned himself into popular Disney villain Oogie Boogie. Litchi now fights to find a cure for Arakune’s wannabe Black Beast condition, and… pretty much nobody cares about her after Kokonoe becomes an actual, playable character.

Arakune: His real name is Lotte, but people call him Roy. As you do.

The Red DevilTager: The Red Giant that is Kokonoe’s current assistant and muscle. He was a normal human that was “rebuilt” to be Red Hulk, and he has maybe the coolest design in the franchise. But he’s kind of forgettable otherwise. Another character that lost his purpose after Kokonoe actually got off her furry butt.

Quick like a BarrettBullet: Tager’s friend from before he was Tager. Bullet joins the melee to find her long lost friend, and it turns out he was Blanka all along. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t note the inherent bigotry in her design being vaguely monkey-ish (her belt forms a tail, her gauntlets grant her larger, “gorilla” forearms, her animalistic stance and movements), and also being one of the few characters in the game with a reasonable tan. Japan, please stop being casually racist.

Punchy timeAzrael: A shirtless dude that was invented so the plot had a reason to simmer a bit during Chronophantasma. Azrael is a super solider that is inexplicably super powerful (and, like, super-super powerful, to the point that gods are a little put off by his pecs), and is also the guy that nearly killed Bullet and Tager a few years back. Azrael breaking free and pounding his way across the countryside (ed note: phrasing) is the cause of a lot of conflict during Chronophantsma, but he’s ultimately subdued and made irrelevant when Ichigo finally shows Kenpachi who’s boss.

The puppet not masterCarl Clover: Relius Clover’s son. You might expect the son of one of the main villains to have a more prominent place in the plot, but you’d be wrong. Maybe wear a cuter outfit next time, Carl. Carl’s big deal is that his father transformed his sister into a puppet, or the puppet is a magical weapon he thinks is his sister, or it’s somehow both, and Carl has had a really difficult childhood. Also, Carl’s mom was definitely transformed into a puppet by his dad, too, so Thanksgiving this year is going to be tense.

Bang Shishigami: A “goofy” ninja from the city that Jin obliterated a few years back. On one hand, he possesses one of those super weapons that is capable of transforming the flow of reality, but, on the other hand, he’s the jokiest of joke characters from the original cast, so even moments when he actually saves everyone (it might have happened at the end of Chronophantasma) are quickly forgotten. Thanks to the whole “goofy ninja” vibe, he winds up living as a sentai parody, and is best remembered for his puerile theme song. Also reason he gets no respect: he’s a ludicrous ninja when the franchise eventually introduces a “real”, serious ninja (see Hibiki below) in a later installment. Can’t catch a break…

Dude fights like a ladyMai Hazuki: Technically the first not terrible trans character I’m aware of in the fighting game pantheon. She was a boy that was magically, permanently transformed into a girl and forced to go to an all girl’s academy so hijinks could ensue. But she’s definitely a woman now, and seems fine with that, and she’s generally capable (secondary character division), so… this is maybe okay? She’s the star of a lot of auxiliary BlazBlue material, though I’ve been told she isn’t treated as well there…

Watch the drillsAmane Nishiki: The completely not-okay character that is a male clad all in pink using penetrating drill attacks and a super move that transforms his opponent into a cute child before the curtain literally closes on the grinning man and little kid.

Go ninja goKagura Mutsuki: One of the few leaders of the Evil Government that is actually a good guy. He’s a double agent aristocrat, and his defining trait is that he’s a giant flirt. Cripes, I could have just saved us a paragraph and said “Edgar Roni Figaro” and been done with it.

Hibiki Kohaku: The Whalen Smithers to Kagura’s Monty Burns. Also a ninja, which is why his resume went to the top of the pile.

Not that naotoNaoto Kurogane: What if Ragna the Bloodedge came from the King of Fighters universe? Here’s your answer.

ES: Her name is actually a set of initials, and it stands for “Embryo Storage”. I guess that brings us to what the hell is going on in…

BlazBlue: Centralfiction

Es el EsThe good news is that, by and large, all the good guys are grouped together and happily cooperating. Jin has gotten over his rage issues, and, while he still wants to $%&# his brother, he’s fairly reliable (and also being aided by the good ghost of the approximately one dead member of the Six Heroes). Tsubaki, Noel, and Squirrel Girl are all friends and working together again, and Tsubaki and Noel even gained super forms for all the trouble. Professor Kokonoe and Rachel Alucard are, more or less, working together to be the master planners on the side of light, and they’re very handy any time someone needs to explain the plot for hours on end (I can relate). Ragna is still the omnipresent hero of the piece, and it is very obvious that whatever happens, he’s going to make a few surly comments before saving the world.

As far as plots that need to be resolved, Nine the Sorceress, now Nine the Phantom, is under the thumb of the baddies, so, since she’s related to approximately half the cast, someone has to knock her into submission until she either becomes good again or dies. Which one does violence usually lead to? Hm, this story might not have a happy ending. Relius and Terumi are still plotting something or other, which is kind of impressive, because Trinity actually managed to kill Terumi right down to the ghost form during the finale of Chronophantasma. It didn’t stick (naturally), but now Terumi and Hazama both have separate, physical bodies, and the only downside is that Hazama has a huge, gaping hole in his chest. You would think that would at least inconvenience the schemer. It doesn’t.

Friendly galOh! This is important! Relius and Terumi were both working for Hades: Izanami the whole time! Who dat? Izanami is apparently the empress of the future government, a manifestation of evil magic, and an evil spirit that is possessing the body of Saya, long lost little sister of Ragna and Jin. So she’s another Noel with different hair (technically the fifth “Noel” on the roster), and, appropriately enough, she claims to be responsible for everything that has ever happened in the franchise, including creating that magical embryo of possibilities at the end of Chronophantasma.

So the general plot of BlazBlue: Centralfiction is, more or less, every damn fighter getting sucked into The Embryo, and fighting to make their ideal world the new “real” world. Thanks to multiple universes and crazy branches and whatnot, all endings to CF are canon, and if Bang wants to make Naruto real, sure, that’s fun for everybody, just get him to the end of arcade mode. With The Embryo, the world is what you make of it, so create the universe you want to see!

… Like maybe one where a fighting game doesn’t require 5,000 words of clarification…

FGC #567 BlazBlue: Centralfiction

  • System: Playstation 4, Playstation 3, arcade, and now Nintendo Switch. Also, that PS3 version indicates that this game is like a billion years old now.
  • Number of players: Two is the maximum number of catgirls allowed to fight each other.
  • Shake itFavorite Fighter: Rachel was my first pick ever in BlazBlue… and I kind of hate her. Sorry! I could never get that whole wind/zoning thing to work for me. So if I really want to beat the snot out of an opponent, I utilize Noel and her gun-fu. She’s not the most complicated character, but she seems to work with my playstyle. … Wait, there were fighters that were released after the initial game?
  • For the sequel: There has not been a “canon” BlazBlue title released since BlazBlue: Centralfiction, but we did see BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, which allows all of our old friends to return and pummel the cast of Persona. I can get behind that.
  • For the dollars: Es, Mai, and legendary cat Jubei were all DLC in the original release. By the time the Switch port rolled around, though, they were default included in the “complete” package. Were they worth the extra dough? My subjective opinion is that they were not, as they are fun, but not as much fun as playing as a samurai ninja cat should be. I like a little more bang for my buck (not to be confused with Bang).
  • Goggle Bob Fact: This is one of the few fighting game franchises where I have been there “from the beginning”. Most fighting games I have picked up as they became more popular (I mean, come on, Street Fighter didn’t start with 2), but BlazBlue has had my attention from day one (mostly because I got into Guilty Gear… as of the third entry). As a result, I can do that old man thing wherein I talk about the “good ol’ days” of Teach Me Miss Litchi and Arakune having infinite combos. This entire article is likely the result of that wistfulness…
  • Are you still mad about the lack of an English dub in Centralfiction? Yes, absolutely. Why did you carry that football all the way to the endzone, and then fumble at the last minute? And why did you then dub Cross Tag Battle with the same (great) actors all over again, just to never revisit Centralfiction. I want to hear English Ragna be happy with his life just once in this franchise! Is that too much to ask!?
  • Did you know? It is so damn obvious that the BlazBlue team had three games’ worth of story left, and had to cram it all into this final adventure. Exhibit A? The arcade mode has three different sections, complete with three different endings for each character. BlazBlue: Menace the MILF, we never knew ye…
  • I like greenWould I play again: I seem to have purchased this game on multiple systems at this point, so odds are pretty good there. I guess we’re due for a BlazBlue collection next? That would have probably been a more appropriate time to roll out a story guide…

What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… Wild Guns! Let’s turn the Old West into swiss cheese! Please look forward to it!

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