Under Night In-Birth
|Under Night In-Birth|
Under Night In-Birth arcade flyer
|Producer(s)||Nobuya Narita |
|Genre(s)||2D fighting game|
|Cabinet||Sega RingEdge 2|
Under Night In-Birth (アンダーナイトインヴァース Andā naito invāsu) is a visual novel and 2D fighting game co-developed by Ecole Software and French-Bread, known for the Melty Blood series. Since its initial arcade release in Japan, Under Night In-Birth has received numerous version updates, adjusting various system features and character attributes as well as adding several new playable characters to the roster.
Under Night In-Birth takes place in a fictional modern-day setting some time in the 21st century. A phenomenon called the Hollow Night (虚ろの夜 utsuro no yoru) has been enveloping particular regions of Japan once a month for several centuries. Each area engulfed in the Hollow Night is beset by shadow-like creatures called Voids (虚無 kyomu (Immortals (イモータル imōtaru) in Japan)) that utilize and feed upon a power known as "Existence", or EXS (イグジス igujisu). Normal humans cannot see or come into contact with Voids, but certain people have the potential to perceive them. Those who acquire this perception are targeted by Voids and risk either being consumed by them or losing their sanity. Under special circumstances, a person who maintains their sanity after being attacked by a Void can become a being known as an In-Birth (インヴァース invāsu). If a person or even an In-Birth becomes a fallen type of Void, their EXS transforms into FLS (ファルス farusu), the power source of the Voids and the man-made ancient being known as Autonomic Nerves (オートノミックナーヴ otomatiku neruvēsu), powered by Curse Commandment (呪戒 noroikai). While this status places a person into a sort of limbo where they are neither living nor dead, they also gain the ability to control Existence. The protagonist, Hyde Kido, is one of the characters who survived a Void attack and became an In-Birth.
Many characters are involved with the Hollow Night phenomenon, and several of them are affiliated with particular organizations. Two main rival groups, the Nights Blade (夜刀 Yatō) and Licht Kreis, both serve to maintain order in areas affected by the Hollow Night but differ in their methods. The now disbanded Nights Blade primarily hunted Voids, while Licht Kreis uses its lawful order and hierarchy to protect civilians and police other In-Births on the use of their abilities. A third organization, Amnesia, is more chaotically structured and seeks to stop the influence of both the Nights Blade and Licht Kreis. A fourth faction known as Demon Society (万鬼会 Bankikai) used to exist and managed to catch the attention of both Amnesia and Licht Kreis. However, due to a freak incident during a gang war against Amnesia, the faction is now disbanded after the death of their leader, Ogre. Due to an incident involving one of the higher ranking male members of Licht Kreis (namely Waldstein) defecting and joining the Night Blade centuries ago, the group's leader, Adelheid, dismissed the male members of Licht Kreis. The male members of Licht Kreis created their own independent organization called Ritter Schild, which mainly specialized in investigating the mysteries behind the Hollow Night. The last organization is a student run organization known as the Existence Force Guardians, or EFG for short, which specialized on teaching new and young In-Births to control their EXS, but forbids them from abusing their EXS abilities. As the artificial beings since the ancient time, the Autonomic Nerves units are programmed to watch over the Hollow Night, no matter whose master will be.
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The gameplay is similar to that of French Bread's previous Type-Moon based game, Melty Blood and its updates, and Arc System Works's Guilty Gear and Blazblue, with an additional gameplay systems introduced for this game. Following the standards of other 2D fighting games, the goal of the game is to deplete the opponent's Vitality (or VIT) gauge to zero. A single match can consist of multiple rounds, referred to as "Clauses," which can be won in not only the aforementioned way (reducing the opponent's VIT gauge to zero), but also by either holding the higher remaining VIT when a "Time Up" occurs, or more rarely, upon a double down in which both fighters are knocked out at the same time which grants an extra round regardless of who had the advantages in matches. The game works under a four-button layout with the four buttons being A- Light Attacks, B- Medium Attacks, C- Strong Attacks, and D- the universal mechanic button. The three normal attack buttons are able to cancel into each other (called "Passing Link") but these moves also retroactively can be canceled with a technique called reverse beat. Most other 2D fighters allow the simple A-B-C attack strings but will not allow strings such as C-B-A. With reverse beat, moves such as a heavy attack, with high amounts of recovery frames, can be canceled into a light attack to quicken the recovery so as long as the move was not utilized previously within the same combo. Every character has their own unique special, input-based moves as well as a character specific Force Function move done by pressing B+C together that provide a variety of effects such as an extra attack, an extra jump, etc. The A+D button combination is the universal throw technique and specific characters also have another ability tied to pressing A+B together while it is also another option to use a universal dash when held forward along with the button combination. The game does not have traditional "air-dashes" and instead has an angled hop that acts as the "double jump" of the game while certain characters have more mobility options than others such as Linne, Seth, Nanase, Eltnum, and Akatsuki. The super meter, referred to as the EXS gauge, fills up whenever a player lands an attack or is hit by an opponent. The special moves when used with the C-button without 50% of meter will use the B-version of the attack while when the meter is sufficient, a powered up EX version of the move will be used instead with extra properties or more damaging effects. When the super meter is at 100%, characters can utilize their Infinite Worths that are highly damaging techniques that are the strongest moves they possess. A stronger version of this can be utilized when their health is below 30% where pressing all four buttons will activate their Infinite Worth EXS which is the true highest damaging technique accessible to the character. Lastly, a technique called Veil Off can be utilized if a character has above 50% meter where, after a slight invulnerable state and blockable "burst" occurs, the character enters a powered up state where they are able to do more damage as well as utilize their rapidly draining super meter without limitations, aside from the 30% health requirement for the IWEXS.
The main feature that is associated with the fourth D-Button correlates with the mechanic known as the Grind Grid that dictates the flow of the match. Situated in the bottom middle of the screen between the two players' super meters, the GrD Gauge is the "tug of war" mechanic that rewards both offensive and defensive play. As the circular timer on the Grd Gauge approaches a full revolution, the actions of the players influence the amount of GrD Blocks they obtain in a GrD cycle. Landing attacks, walking forward, landing throws, teaching throws, and blocking the enemy's attacks will reward GrD Blocks while getting hit, walking backwards, whiffing throws, and getting grabbed will deplete GrD. At the end of the cycle, whichever player has the most GrD blocks will be granted with a temporary buff called Vorpal State. The character with Vorpal will glow blue, have a 10% damage buff, gain access to character specific Vorpal Traits, and be allowed to use an active cancel known as Chain Shift. Utilizing Chain Shift will consume the current Vorpal State buff, freeze the screen for a quick duration, and reset the character who used it back into a neutral state as well as converting any Grd Blocks into extra super meter charge. It is in the players' best interest to seize Vorpal State as often as possible to gain the most amount of advantages it brings. From there, the D-button influences the Grd Gauge for the player's use in influencing the GrD Cycles. Holding down D will have the characters "Concentrate" which will rapidly accrue GrD Blocks in exchange for super meter, although it can be done without meter. Forward and D is an "Assault", a jumping forward air dash-like that gives a GrD Block and issue a command jump where its distance is calculated relative to the player's proximity to the opponent character leading into offensive pressure. "Ground Assaults" will never jump over the opponent while "Air Assaults" can. "Air Assault" can also be done via traditional Air Dash input, which is tap forward twice. Holding back and D activates "Shield" which is an advanced guard that is essentially the barrier block or push-block mechanic from other fighting game titles. There are two types of Shield techniques, one being the regular "Shield Block" and other being "Guard Shield". Both fulfill the same purpose in pushing away opponents who are mounting an offensive, gaining frame advantage after shielding an unsafe move, and granting GrD to the defending player but Guard Shield is utilized if the player presses D as they are blocking after an attack lands. While gaining GrD, Guard Shields costs meter to utilize and quick usages of Shield Blocking is generally more advantageous. Guard Shields are colored green while Shield blocking is colored blue. Should a player get hit or thrown while they have their Shield up they will enter "Grd Break Status" where they lose all the previously mentioned abilities granted by the D-Button for a certain period of time. The player also has the option to "Guard Thrust" where they either utilize 50% of their meter and forcibly enter GrD Break status to launch a fully invincible attack to knock the opponent away to reset the pace of the match or expend their Vorpal State. GrD Breaking also applies if a character is hit with the burst from a Veil Off or if a character utilizes their IWEXS without Vorpal.
[st] added a new feature known as "Cross-Cast Veil Off" where if a character has more than 50% meter and Vorpal, they can cancel into an alternate version of Veil Off where they can chain together EX moves and utilize their IW/IWEXS should they meet the requirements.
Under Night In-Birth featured 11 characters at launch. Additional characters were added in subsequent updates and sequels.
- Hyde Kidod (Voiced by: Ryōhei Kimura (Japanese); Kyle McCarley (English))
- Linned (Voiced by: Ayane Sakura (Japanese); Sarah Anne Williams (English))
- Waldsteind (Voiced by: Kōji Ishii (Japanese); Keith Silverstein (English))
- Carmine-Primed (Voiced by: Takashi Kondō (Japanese); Greg Chun (English))
- Orie Ballardiaed (Voiced by: Saori Hayami (Japanese); Erica Mendez (English))
- Gordeau the Harvesterd (Voiced by: Kōsuke Toriumi (Japanese); Ian Sinclair (English))
- Merkavad (Voiced by: Hidenobu Kiuchi (Japanese); Benjamin Diskin (English))
- Vatistad (Voiced by: Nao Tōyama (Japanese); Xanthe Huynh (English))
- Seth the Assassind (Voiced by: Yūki Kaji (Japanese); Mark Whitten (English))
- Yuzurihad (Voiced by: Ayumi Fujimura (Japanese); Erica Lindbeck (English))
- Hilda the Paradox (Voiced by: Hatsumi Takada)
- Sion Eltnum Atlasiac (Voiced by: Satomi Akesaka)
- Bloody Chaosa (Voiced by: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka)
- Akatsukiac (Voiced by: Shinobu Matsumoto)
- Nanasea (Voiced by: Mayu Iizuka)
- Byakuyaa (Voiced by: Mutsumi Tamura)
- Phonon the Chermetib (Voiced by: Saori Ōnishi)
- Mika Returnabd (Voiced by: Aya Suzaki (Japanese); Cassandra Lee Morris (English))
- Gaien Enkidub (Voiced by: Shunsuke Takeuchi)
- Erika Miyashiro Wagnerb (Voiced by: Shizuka Ishigami)
- ^a - Added in EXE:Late
- ^b - Added in EXE:Late[st]
- ^c - Guest characters
- ^d - English voice available only in BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle
Development of the game began some time in 2010. Producer Nobuya Narita discussed how the project arose from the development team's experiences working on Melty Blood. French-Bread originally planned to work on a new HD title in the Melty Blood series, but development later stalled while Type-Moon went on to work on Mahōtsukai no Yoru. Early prototypes eventually provided the foundations for Under Night In-Birth. Narita particularly emphasized that they wanted to differentiate the game from Melty Blood, so the lore, visuals, systems, and combat flow are much different from their previous work. It is also the team's first game to run in high definition and features hand-drawn high-resolution sprites.
In March 2013, Sega added support for its ALL.Net P-ras Multi service, a distribution network that allows multiple arcade owners to receive copies of the game without having to provide a dedicated arcade cabinet for each copy. Other games that utilize this service include Arc System Works' Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R and Triangle Service's Game Center Love.
Sega released the arcade version in Japan on September 20, 2012. A major revision of the arcade version, entitled Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late (アンダーナイトインヴァースエクセレイト Andā naito invāsu ekusereito), was released on September 9, 2013. It was announced that Arc System Works would release the game for PlayStation 3 on July 24, 2014 in Japan, A 2015 release for North America and Europe was later announced. The North American release date, which was set for March 31, 2015, was revealed on the GameStop website. However, Aksys Games revealed the true release date for Exe:Late, they said that the game will be releasing on February 24, 2015 for the PlayStation 3, as well as confirmed there wouldn't be an English dub in Western releases. Exe:Late was also released on Steam for Microsoft Windows systems on July 12, 2016.
A further update to the game entitled Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] (アンダーナイトインヴァースエクセレイトエスト Andā naito invāsu ekusereito esuto) was announced on May 15, 2015. Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] was released on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in Japan on July 20, 2017, then in North America and Europe on February 9, 2018. Exe:Late[st] was also released on Steam for Microsoft Windows systems on August 20, 2018.
Yet another revision of the game , entitled Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late [cl-r] (アンダーナイトインヴァースエクセレイクリア Andā naito invāsu ekusereito kuria), is in development for PlayStation 4 and Switch.
The PlayStation 3 version of Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late received a 29/40 from Famitsu. Destructoid said that it was "an intelligent, tactical fighting game that I'll surely be playing for a long time to come." IGN said it was "One good fighting game. Maybe it's not as deep as previous Arc System Works games, but successfully achieves what it is aiming: to let the player enjoy it." Eurogamer concluded "an interesting 2d fighting game with a very unique fighting system. Just try it, and you'll be amazed."
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- "Voice Of Mika - Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late". Behind The Voice Actors. Inyxception Enterprises. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
- "Voice Of Enkidu - Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late". Behind The Voice Actors. Inyxception Enterprises. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
- "Voice Of Wagner - Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late". Behind The Voice Actors. Inyxception Enterprises. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
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- Under Night In-Birth
- Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late
- Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st]