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
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
Released
  • JP: December 30, 2002
Game
Melty Blood Re-ACT
DeveloperType-Moon
French-Bread
PlatformMicrosoft Windows
Released
  • JP: May 30, 2004
Game
Melty Blood Act Cadenza
DeveloperType-Moon
French-Bread
Ecole Software
PublisherSega (Arcade)
Ecole Software (PS2)
PlatformArcade (Sega Naomi)
PlayStation 2
Microsoft Windows
ReleasedArcade
PlayStation 2
  • JP: August 10, 2006
Microsoft Windows
  • JP: July 27, 2007
Manga
Written byTakeru Kirishima
Published byKadokawa Shoten
MagazineComp Ace
DemographicSeinen
Original runJune 2005August 2011
Volumes9
Game
Melty Blood Actress Again
DeveloperType-Moon
French-Bread
Ecole Software
PublisherSega (arcade)
Ecole Software (PS2)
PlatformArcade (Sega Naomi)
PlayStation 2
ReleasedArcade
  • JP: September 19, 2008
PlayStation 2
  • JP: August 20, 2009
Game
Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code
DeveloperType-Moon
French-Bread
Ecole Software
PublisherSega (arcade)
Arc System Works (Steam)
PlatformArcade (Sega RingWide)
Microsoft Windows
ReleasedArcade
Micrsoft Windows
  • JP: December 30, 2011
  • WW: April 19, 2016
Manga
Melty Blood X
Written byTakeru Kirishima
Published byKadokawa Shoten
MagazineComp Ace
DemographicSeinen
Original runMay 2011November 2011
Volumes2
Manga
Hana no Miyako
Written byTakeru Kirishima
Published byKadokawa Shoten
MagazineComp Ace
DemographicSeinen
Original runJanuary 2013August 2014
Volumes3
Manga
Melty Blood Back Alley Alliance Nightmare
Written byTakeru Kirishima
Published byKadokawa Shoten
MagazineComp Ace
DemographicSeinen
Original runDecember 2015October 2016
Volumes2
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Melty Blood (メルティブラッド, Meruti Buraddo) is a series of 2D visual novel fighting game, co-developed by dōjin circles Type-Moon and French-Bread as the meta-sequel of the Type-Moon's first visual novel Tsukihime. The first game was originally first released at Comiket in December 2002. It is shortened as simply Merubura (メルブラ). it later spawned multiple sequels, such as an arcade version titled Act Cadenza, developed by Ecole Software, which was also been ported to the PlayStation 2, the first Type-Moon title to receive a console release.

A manga series, Written and illustrated by Takeru Kirishima was first serialized in Kadokawa Shoten manga magazine Comp Ace in 2006. The series ended in 2011 with nine bound volumes released in Japan.[2]

A new game in the series, called Melty Blood: Type Lumina, was released for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows on September 30, 2021. Unlike the previous games, it takes place in a new timeline depicted in the visual novel remake of Tsukihime titles, -A piece of blue glass moon- and the upcoming -The other side of the red garden.

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; and French-Bread games’ staple gameplay mechanic Reverse Beat, a type of chain combo that can cancel from a higher normal move to a weaker normal move. Melty Blood's primary gameplay mechanic is an ability to cancel a normal attack to an air throw.

Plot[edit]

The first four games takes place in one year after Satsuki Yumizuka's non-existent route of Tsukihime and a month after Kagetsu Tohya, in original timeline. 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 first four games’ story moves through a series of fights. Depending on the outcome of the fight the story will branch in one of two ways. This corresponds to the ending of the game.

Characters[edit]

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

This is for playable characters depicted in original timeline. For playable characters who appeared in reboot timeline, see Melty Blood: Type Lumina#Characters.

Tsukihime characters:

Kagetsu Tohya characters:

The Garden of Sinners characters:

New characters:

  • Sion Eltnam Atlasia (シオン=エルトナム=アトラシア, Shion Erutonamu Atorashia): Rio Natsuki (Melty Blood), Satomi Akesaka (Under Night In-Birth)[3] - the main character of the original Melty Blood series
  • Night of Wallachia (ワラキアの夜, Warakia no Yoru) (real name: Zepia Eltnam Oberon (ズェピア・エルトナム・オベローン, Zuepia Erutonamu Oberōn): Yasunori Masutani - the main antagonist of the first entry
  • Miyako Arima (有間 都古): Miwa Kōzuki - A bajiquan rookie, whose family use to temporarily adopted Tohno Shiki when the former was still young prior to the latter returning to Tohno household
  • Mech-Hisui (メカヒスイ, Meka-Hisui): Miyu Matsuki - A robot counterpart of original Hisui, created by Kohaku
  • White Len (白レン, Shiroi Ren): Kaori Mizuhashi - Len's doppelganger, created from the remains of Zepia and the unused part of original Len by Aoko
  • Riesbyfe Stridberg (リーズバイフェ=ストリンドヴァリ, Rīzubaife Sutorindovari): Akeno Watanabe - Sion's partner who died in prior to the first game's event started, but suddenly revived as a sentient TATARI
  • 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 from alternate timeline): 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 Current Code 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. Sion later appeared in the French-Bread's spiritual successor of the series, Under Night In-Birth, under her middle name Eltnum.

Release[edit]

Release timeline
2002Melty Blood
2003
2004Melty Blood Re-ACT
2005Melty Blood Act Cadenza
Melty Blood Re-ACT Final Tuned
2006
2007Melty Blood Act Cadenza Ver.B
Melty Blood Act Cadenza Ver.B2
2008Melty Blood Actress Again
2009–2010
2011Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code
Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code Ver. 1.05
Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code Ver. 1.07
2012–2020
2021Melty Blood: Type Lumina

Original Tsukihime timeline[edit]

Original 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.[4] 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.[5]

The full version of Melty Blood was released in December 2002 for Windows.[6] An expansion patch, Re-ACT released two years later in May 2004, and an update, Re-ACT 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.[7] Later, a PlayStation 2 version of Act Cadenza was released on August 10, 2006.[8] 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.[9]

Actress Again[edit]

Melty Blood Actress Again is the fourth game in the Melty Blood fighting game series. It was released on September 19, 2008 in Japan for the 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, Crescent Moon (most similar to Act Cadenza) and Half Moon, which change not only the way in which the 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 the Japanese arcade game magazine Monthly Arcadia, published by Enterbrain.[10] [1] [2] Additional new artwork and a description of the three styles were introduced in the January 2008 issue of Tougeki Damashii magazine.[11] Also in early 2008, Ecole launched the official Actress Again website. Actress Again was released for the PS2 in Japan on August 20, 2009.

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.[12] 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 US$3,560.83 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 May 18, 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 Re-ACT) 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 October 14, 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 (just as Neco-Arc in the PlayStation 2 version of the game) 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 December 30, 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 October 10, 2014; however, direct connection is still available. Four patches have been released, the latest one bringing the game to version 1.4.0.[13] This version was made available on Steam, published by Arc System Works on April 19, 2016.[14]

Tsukihime remake timeline[edit]

Type Lumina[edit]

Melty Blood: Type Lumina is the fifth game of Melty Blood fighting game series. Unlike the previous four games, it takes place in the reboot timeline. It was released worldwide on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows on September 30, 2021.

Reception[edit]

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[17] in 2006, 2007, and 2008, but was not present at the 2009 Tougeki.[18] 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.[19]

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. ^ "MELTY BLOOD X (2)". Kadokawa Shoten. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  3. ^ "Voice Of Sion Eltnam Atlasia - Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late". Behind The Voice Actors. Inyxception Enterprises. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
  4. ^ Kazami, Akira (2001-10-08). "かざみあきらの雑記(2001年10月)". Archived from the original on 2019-02-01. Retrieved 2019-02-09.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ "MELTY BLOOD". Type-Moon (in Japanese). Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  7. ^ "Melty Blood pouring into Japanese arcades". GameSpot. July 15, 2004. Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  8. ^ "Melty Blood soaking PS2s". GameSpot. February 24, 2006. Archived from the original on July 16, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  9. ^ (in Japanese) Act Cadenza ver.B PC Site
  10. ^ "Melty Blood Actress Again". Arcadia (91). December 2007. pp. 36–37.
  11. ^ "Melty Blood Actress Again". Tougeki Damashii. 8. January 2008.
  12. ^ "{{in lang|ja}} Ecole Software's Location Test Notice". Archived from the original on 2011-07-20. Retrieved 2010-01-18.
  13. ^ http://meltyblood.info/?p=651 (in Japanese)
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-12-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code for PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  16. ^ "Review: Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code".
  17. ^ Tougeki 2007's Official Site Archived 2004-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Tougeki 2009's Official Site Archived 2004-07-18 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Evo 2010 Players Choice Poll". shoryuken.com. Archived from the original on July 12, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2010.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 1.05 title update was released on May 18, 2011. 1.07 title update was released on October 14, 2011.

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