Melty Blood

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Melty Blood
MeltyBlood.jpg
Cover of the first game
メルティブラッド
(Meruti Buraddo)
Game
DeveloperType-Moon
French-Bread
GenreFighting game, visual novel
PlatformWindows
Released
  • JP: December 30, 2002
Game
Melty Blood: ReACT
DeveloperType-Moon
French-Bread
PlatformWindows
Released
  • JP: May 2004
Game
Melty Blood: Act Cadenza
DeveloperType-Moon
French-Bread
Ecole Software
PublisherSega (Arcade)
Ecole Software (PS2)
PlatformArcade (Sega Naomi)
PlayStation 2
Windows
Released
  • JP: March 25, 2005
(Arcade)[1]
  • JP: August 10, 2006
(PS2)
  • JP: July 27, 2007
(Windows)
Manga
Written byKinoko Nasu
Illustrated byTakeru Kirishima
Published byKadokawa Shoten
DemographicSeinen
MagazineComp Ace
Original runJune 2005August 2011
Volumes11
Game
Melty Blood: Actress Again
DeveloperType-Moon
French-Bread
Ecole Software
PublisherSega (arcade)
Ecole Software (PS2)
PlatformArcade (Sega Naomi)
PlayStation 2
Released
  • JP: September 19, 2008
(Arcade)
  • JP: August 20, 2009
(PS2)
Game
Melty Blood: Actress Again Current Code
DeveloperType-Moon
French-Bread
Ecole Software
PublisherSega (arcade)
Arc System Works (Steam)
PlatformArcade (Sega RingWide)
Windows
Steam
Released
  • JP: July 29, 2010

  • JP: May 18, 2011
(1.05)
  • JP: October 14, 2011
(1.07)
  • JP: December 30, 2011
(Windows)
  • WW: April 19, 2016
(Steam)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Melty Blood (メルティブラッド, Meruti Buraddo), is a visual novel and fighting game, co-developed by dōjin circles Type-Moon and French-Bread, originally released at Comiket in December 2002. It is shortened as simply Merubura (メルブラ).

Based on Type Moon's visual novel game, Tsukihime, it later spawned an arcade version titled Act Cadenza, developed by Ecole Software and has also been ported to the PlayStation 2, the first Type-Moon title to receive a console release. A manga version by Takeru Kirishima has been serialized in Kadokawa Shoten's Comp Ace.

Plot[edit]

The story of Melty Blood follows one year after Tsukihime and some days after Kagetsu Tohya. In the beginning of August 2001, Shiki Tohno hears of a new series of murders in Misaki Town, similar to the ones that took place in Tsukihime, in the last weeks of October 1999. Whilst searching for the murderer he meets Sion Eltnam Atlasia who initiates a fight with him, attempting to capture him. After the fight she reveals that her reason for trying to capture him is to get in contact with the "True Ancestor" (referring to Arcueid) so that she may acquire information on the "cure for vampirism". Shiki then decides to help her with this task.

The story moves through a series of fights. Depending on the outcome of the fight the story will branch in one of two ways. Ultimately this corresponds to the ending of the game.

Gameplay[edit]

Melty Blood makes use of widely used concepts in fighting games such as cancels (canceling a normal attack with a special attack before its animation ends, allowing for more complex and damaging combos) chain combos (normal moves that cancel into other normal moves) and the use of super bars (Magic Circuits). It also introduces Shielding, an advanced defensive technique.

An in-game screenshot depicting the concept of shielding in Melty Blood Re-ACT: Final Tuned
  • EX-Shielding: A high-risk/reward technique which eliminates the damage and 'block-stun' from an attack. Activated by a button press, it requires exact timing to 'deflect' the opponent's attack, thus exposing them to a reversal. However, if mis-timed, an EX-Shield attempt leaves the player extremely vulnerable. EX-Shielding also carries a damage penalty for subsequent attacks, but grants a small amount of Magic Circuit and disallows the opponent to cancel his/her attack into another one. Finally, in later versions of Melty Blood, EX-Shielding during the Blood Heat state activates a unique attack known as a Last Arc. In Melty Blood: Act Cadenza, a new type of Shielding was introduced which allows the player to hold the Shield button for an extended length of time to defend against multiple attacks. However, this rapidly drains Magic Circuit, and grants fewer retaliatory options upon recovery. In Melty Blood: Actress Again shielding varies depending on which style the player picks, with Half Moon having the ability of an auto-counter and Full Moon with the same ability, except it is manually executed after successfully landing a shield.
  • Magic Circuit: A system that allows players to store up to 300% for its dedicated meter, for various uses such as EX Attacks (high-powered versions of special techniques) and the Heat and Blood Heat modes. These modes allow players to regenerate a portion of their lifebar, as well as allow access to their character's ultimate attacks, known as Arc-Drives and Last Arcs. All of these techniques consume Magic Circuit, which is accumulated by attacking the opponent, and to a lesser degree, successfully defending against the opponent's attacks. Magic Circuit carries over between rounds. Magic Circuit is also required for the Circuit Spark technique.
  • Clashing: An offensive state where certain attacks or maneuvers impact directly with an opponent's attack, thus resulting in a 'clash'. No damage is taken as a result, and both players are allowed to cancel their attacks as if they had connected successfully.
  • Aerial Recovery: A defensive measure used after being attacked in mid-air by pressing any button and, optionally, while holding a direction. It grants temporarily invulnerability to the player and allows them to resume action, but may be detrimental in certain circumstances if the attacking player predicts which direction the Aerial Recovery is performed.
  • Tactical Recovery: After being attacked, this technique is performed by pressing any upward direction upon impacting the floor. Doing so allows a player to quickly regain momentum and avoid 'OTG' (On The Ground) combos while utterly defenseless. However, players are not allowed to block during the recovery animation, and thus will expose themselves to punishment if the attacking player predicts the recovery attempt. This is an aspect of the Okizeme meta-game found in many fighting games.
  • Shield Bunker Canceling: More akin to a glitch than an actual feature, Shield Bunker Canceling (known as "Baka Cancel" in Japan and "Bara Cancel" in the USA) is a powerful technique where a player, while blocking an attack, can counter-attack with a Shield Bunker, but cancels the beginning animation into an attack of their choice. This is typically an EX Attack with invincibility properties. This can drastically affect how one attacks an opponent. There are several methods to counter this technique, but it remains a feature of high-level play in Melty Blood. As proof that this accidental technique was accepted by the game's designers, this technique was altered to incur an additional 50% Magic Circuit cost to balance out its effectiveness in Version B. As of Melty Blood Actress Again the Bara Cancel technique is no longer possible.
  • Circuit Spark: Used during MAX mode only, a Circuit Spark allows a player, who is either blocking an attack or suffering damage, to 'break out' of the attack with an unblockable, invincible 'aura' that sacrifices all available Magic Circuit. This can only be performed if the character is standing or crouching; if the character is airborne or lying down, this technique is unavailable. In Melty Blood Actress Again it is possible to execute Circuit Spark in the air with all three styles.
  • Reverse Beat: A feature of Melty Blood not found in many other games is the ability to cancel attacks with large amounts of recovery into fast jab attacks, thus negating the disadvantage of using heavy slow attacks against a blocking opponent, however there's an adverse effect of damage decreasing in Reverse Beat combos. This features extremely heavily in high-level play for most of the characters.

Characters[edit]

As of Melty Blood: Actress Again Current Code Ver. 1.07, there are 31 playable characters.

Tsukihime characters:

  • Shiki Tohno (遠野 志貴, Tōno Shiki): Kenji Nojima
  • Arcueid Brunestud (アルクェイド=ブリュンスタッド, Arukweido Buryunsutaddo): Ryōka Yuzuki
  • Ciel (シエル, Shieru): Kumi Sakuma
  • Akiha Tohno (遠野 秋葉, Tōno Akiha): Hitomi
  • Hisui (翡翠): Miyu Matsuki
  • Kohaku (琥珀): Naoko Takano
  • Hisui & Kohaku
  • Nrvnqsr Chaos (ネロ=カオス, Nero Kaosu, Nero Chaos): Jōji Nakata
  • Miyako Arima (有間 都古): Miwa Kōzuki
  • Satsuki Yumizuka (弓塚 さつき): Omi Minami
  • Aoko Aozaki (蒼崎 青子): Kotono Mitsuishi
  • Michael Roa Valdamjong (ミハイル=ロア=バルダムヨォン, Mihairu Roa Barudamuyōn): Ken Narita

Kagetsu Tohya characters:

Kara no Kyoukai characters:

New characters:

  • Sion Eltnam Atlasia (シオン=エルトナム=アトラシア (Shion Erutonamu Atorashia): Rio Natsuki - the main character of Melty Blood series
  • The Night of Wallachia (ワラキアの夜, Warakia no Yoru): Yasunori Masutani
  • Mech-Hisui (メカヒスイ, Meka-Hisui): Miyu Matsuki
  • White Len (白レン, Shiroi Ren): Kaori Mizuhashi
  • Riesbyfe Stridberg (リーズバイフェ=ストリンドヴァリ, Rīzubaife Sutorindovari): Akeno Watanabe
  • Dust of Osiris (オシリスの砂, Oshirisu no Suna) (boss of Melty Blood: Actress Again, full vampiric form of Sion Eltnam Atlasia): Rio Natsuki - not playable in Current Code 1.07

Alternative/bosses and hidden characters:

  • Akiha Vermillion (紅赤朱 秋葉, Kurenai Sekishu Akiha) or 赤主秋葉 Sekishu Akiha: Hitomi
  • Sion TATARI (吸血鬼 シオン, Kyūketsuki Shion): Rio Natsuki
  • G-Akiha (G秋葉): Hitomi - does not appear in CurrentCode 1.07
  • Red Arcueid (暴走 アルクェイド, Bōsō Arukueido, Berserk Arcueid): Ryōka Yuzuki
  • Neco-Arc (猫アルク/ネコアルク, Neko Aruku): Ryōka Yuzuki
  • Neco-Arc Chaos (ネコアルク・カオス, Neko Aruku Kaosu): Jōji Nakata
  • Damien Armies (ダミアン・アーミー, Damian Āmī) - does not appear in Current Code 1.07
  • Neco Chaos Black G666 (ネコカオス=ブラックG666, Neko Kaosu Burakku G666): Jōji Nakata
  • Kohaku & Mech-Hisui: Naoko Takano & Miyu Matsuki
  • Neco-Arc & Mech-Hisui: Ryōka Yuzuki & Miyu Matsuki
  • Seifuku Akiha (制服 秋葉, Akiha wearing school uniform): Hitomi
  • Archetype: Earth (True Ancestor Arcueid (真祖 アルクェイド)): Ryōka Yuzuki - playable character and the boss in her own route
  • Powerd Ciel (Executioner Ciel (完全 武装 シエル, Kanzen Busō Shieru, Fully Armed Ciel)): Kumi Sakuma

In the original Melty Blood, only six (Sion, Arcueid, Ciel, Akiha, Kohaku & Hisui, and Shiki Tohno) of the characters above were available for play, with eight more being unlockable through story mode. However, in a later update released for the game (the "Nero" patch), all the characters are available from the start. The reasons for this are slightly unclear; it appears to be the result of a legal misunderstanding whereby Type-Moon mistakenly thought they would no longer be allowed to produce updates/patches, and thus made a "last patch" which unlocked the characters as a sort of gift for the fans. Whatever the case, Type-Moon has left these characters available throughout all subsequent releases. In addition, Aoko and Kouma were both added to the game as of Act Cadenza, although Aoko was an unplayable boss character in previous versions. Act Cadenza also changed the given names of several characters, generally to make easier identification of the doppelgangers by name.

Release[edit]

The original Melty Blood was announced on October 8, 2001 at Tsukihime Matsuri Himehajime (月姫祀〜秘初〜), the dōjin convention hosting only Tsukihime content.[2] The plan was suggested by Nobuya Narita of Watanabe Seisakujo (French-Bread, from 2003). Kinoko Nasu wrote scenarios and Takashi Takeuchi designed characters. Watanabe Seisakujo developed the game system and pixel arts. They were known as the creator of parody games, but Nasu requested not to break the style of Tsukihime. They had difficulty thinking of attacks because original characters didn't have an attractive skill suited for the fighting game. They also worked hard to create frames of animation exceeding Street Fighter III.[3]

The full version of Melty Blood was released in December 2002 for Windows.[4] An expansion patch, Re-ACT released two years later in May 2004, and an update, ReACT Final Tuned, released in July 2005. An arcade version of the series, Melty Blood: Act Cadenza, was later developed by Ecole Software and released in March 2005.[5] Later, a PlayStation 2 version of Act Cadenza was released on August 10, 2006.[6] A Windows version, Melty Blood Act Cadenza Ver.B, was also released on July 27, 2007. The series' newest game, Melty Blood: Actress Again, was released on September 19, 2008.

Re-ACT[edit]

An expansion to the original game, featuring an 'Arcade Mode' whose storyline takes place after the original Melty Blood. The expansion made numerous changes in regards to character balance and to remove many infinite-combo sequences. New movesets were created for the doppelgänger characters, whereas in the original, most of these characters had nearly identical movesets to their counterparts. It also made changes to the game's mechanics and added several new characters, though only two are playable the other four NPCs: Ren, Satsuki Yumizuka, Neko-Arc (non-playable character) Executioner Ciel (Ciel holding the Seventh Holy Scripture, non-playable character), White Ren (Sub Boss) and Aoko Aozaki (non-playable boss).

The final update to Re-ACT, Final Tuned, adds several features designed to allow the game to be configured to resemble the gameplay of Melty Blood: Act Cadenza. It also adds a large number of gameplay tweaks and slightly updated animations, such as the inclusion of a new, analog-friendly controller setup; new configuration options that lets players assign multi-button commands to individual buttons; the ability to alter and adjust many of the game's internal variables (via new interface options); and four new colors for each player.

Act Cadenza[edit]

Melty Blood: Act Cadenza was the first arcade port of the series and was published by Ecole Software. The visual novel was removed, while the Arcade Mode dialogue featured in Re-ACT returns. It completely revamped Aoko Aozaki's movelist for use as a playable character, and introduced Kouma Kishima into the series, a man who was deeply involved in Shiki Tohno's past. It also introduced the Shielding mechanic (separate from EX-Shielding), as well as including various changes to the properties of characters. This version (as well as the later released Ver. A) can be identified by the Atlasia crest, and the phrase "Through the Looking-Glass, Black Light transparently", both present in the logo.

Melty Blood: Act Cadenza, released for the PlayStation 2, was unique as a port in that it included an option to revert to Version A mechanics, yet introduced significant changes that were later included in Ver. B, including an early version of Neco-Arc Chaos as a hidden character. It is sometimes known as "Ver. A2".

Melty Blood: Act Cadenza Ver. B is an arcade port of the PS2 game with various changes and upgrades, the most notable of which is the inclusion of White Len as a playable character, with a significantly weakened moveset. It also introduced a fifth button that served as a contextual action depending on the situation and the direction held on the joystick when pressed, such as dodging or throwing. This version can be identified by a dual silhouette of Len and White Len in the logo and the phrase "Through the Looking-Glass, Northern Light transparently".

Melty Blood: Act Cadenza Ver. B2 is a Windows port of the arcade Ver. B. It has added features including tag-team mode, a 4-player team battle mode, a programmable dummy for training purposes and a new hidden boss character, Neco-Arc Chaos Black G666(replacing G-Akiha from Melty Blood: Re-ACT). It also included subtle gameplay changes, most notably altered defense ratings for characters and adjustments to the game's input system. It was released on July 27, 2007.[7]

Actress Again[edit]

Melty Blood: Actress Again, is the third game in the Melty Blood fighting game series. It was released in the 4Q 2008 on Sega Naomi hardware. Compared to Act Cadenza, the game features three entirely new playable characters, as well as several new alternate versions of existing characters in the PS2 version. All characters now feature selection between three different fighting styles, known as Full Moon Style, Crescent Moon Style (most similar to Act Cadenza) and Half Moon Style, which changes not only the way in which life and Magic Circuit meters function, but also each characters' basic and special attacks. Actress Again was first announced in the December 2007 issue of Arcadia, a Japanese consumer arcade game magazine published by Enterbrain; most available information to date is derived from translations of the article in this issue.[8] [1] [2] Additional new artwork and a description of the three styles were introduced in the January 2008 issue of Tougeki Damashii magazine.[9] Also in early 2008, Ecole launched the official Actress Again website. Actress Again was released for the PS2 in Japan on August 20, 2009.

Actress Again Current Code[edit]

Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code is an arcade port of the PS2 version. The game underwent location testing in Akihabara from December 19–20, 2009.[10] The characters formerly exclusive to the PS2 version of Actress Again became available for use, and the game runs on Sega's RingWide arcade system, as opposed to NAOMI like Act Cadenza and the original Actress Again.

The game's website was launched February 11, 2010, and after being unveiled officially at Japan's Arcade Operators Union show on February 20, 2010, the game began undergoing another two week round of location testing. Unverified reports stated that the price for the game and RingWide hardware would be ¥230,000 plus ¥100,000 for a RingWide Harness and shipping costs, equaling $3,560.83 USD at exchange rates as of May 13, 2010. Several arcade machine distributors showed the game as being pegged for a release on July 29, 2010.

An upgrade for Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code was launched on 18 May 2011, branded as Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code Ver. 1.05, with new changes in gameplay and adding 2 new playable characters, including Powerd Ciel (Ciel's Executioner Version from Melty Blood ReACT) with her own Story Mode and ending, along with new moves and sprites for her. A final upgrade for Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code was launched on 14 October 2011, named Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code Ver. 1.07. It includes a complete version of Archetype: Earth (princess version of Arcueid Brunestud) with new sprites and moves and her own Story Mode and ending. Also added were Story Modes and endings for the Neco & Mech and Kohaku & Mech teams. Riesbyfe Stridberg (as happened with Neco-Arc in the PlayStation 2 version of Melty Blood Actress Again) can gain a new route in Story Mode, showing her as living her new life with Sion Eltnam Atlasia and Satsuki Yumizuka as a member of the Back-Alley Alliance (after the endings of Sion and Satsuki).

Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code was released for Windows on 30 December 2011, along with the Blu-ray release of Carnival Phantasm Season 3 limited edition. It included an online multiplayer option and an online matching mode. The matching server was taken down on 10 October 2014; however, direct connection is still available. Four patches have been released, the latest one bringing the game to version 1.4.0.[11] This version was made available on Steam, published by Arc System Works on April 19, 2016.[12]

Manga[edit]

The Melty Blood manga, illustrated by Takeru Kirishima was first serialized in Kadokawa Shoten manga magazine Comp Ace in 2006. The series ended in 2011 with eleven bound volumes released in Japan.[13]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(Actress Again Current Code) 78/100[14]
Review score
PublicationScore
Destructoid80%[15]

Destructoid concluded their review with "Nearly 14 years after first bursting onto the scene, Melty Blood has aged to the point of near-perfection. While a few aspects of the package leave something to be desired, the fact remains that, at its core, this is a supreme fighter with a diverse roster and deep, compelling mechanics that merit your attention."

Melty Blood: Act Cadenza has been featured at the international fighting game tournament Tougeki[16] in 2006, 2007, and 2008, but was not present at the 2009 Tougeki.[17] Melty Blood: Actress Again was featured at the Evolution Championship Series 2010 tournament after winning a poll, beating titles such as Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ メルティブラッド アクトカデンツァ (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2005-08-22. Retrieved 2019-02-04.
  2. ^ Kazami, Akira (2001-10-08). "かざみあきらの雑記(2001年10月)". Retrieved 2019-02-09.
  3. ^ "渡辺製作所×TYPE-MOON スペシャル座談会". 同人ゲームマニアックス2. Kill Time Communication. 2002. pp. 60–69. ISBN 4-86032-028-X.
  4. ^ "MELTY BLOOD". Type-Moon (in Japanese). Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  5. ^ "Melty Blood pouring into Japanese arcades". GameSpot. July 15, 2004. Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "Melty Blood soaking PS2s". GameSpot. February 24, 2006. Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ (in Japanese) Act Cadenza ver.B PC Site
  8. ^ "Melty Blood: Actress Again". Arcadia (91). December 2007. pp. 36–37
  9. ^ "Melty Blood: Actress Again". Tougeki Damashii. 8. January 2008
  10. ^ (in Japanese) Ecole Software's Location Test Notice
  11. ^ http://meltyblood.info/?p=651 (in Japanese)
  12. ^ http://arcsystemworksu.com/arc-system-works-releasing-5-titles-on-steam-by-summer-2016/
  13. ^ "MELTY BLOOD X (2)". Kadokawa Shoten. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  14. ^ "Melty Blood: Actress Again Current Code for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  15. ^ https://www.destructoid.com/review-melty-blood-actress-again-current-code-357616.phtml
  16. ^ Tougeki 2007's Official Site Archived 2004-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Tougeki 2009's Official Site Archived 2004-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "Evo 2010 Players Choice Poll". shoryuken.com. Archived from the original on July 12, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External links[edit]

Melty Blood
Melty Blood Re-ACT Final Tuned
Melty Blood: Act Cadenza
Melty Blood: Act Cadenza ver.B
Melty Blood: Actress Again
Melty Blood: Actress Again Current Code
  • Official website for Arcade release (in Japanese)
  • Official website for Steam release