To those who have only glanced at the Blazblue series, it may look like any other fighting game. It has a diverse cast of characters, tons of crazy moves, and a deep fighting system that allows both veteran and casual fighters to enjoy it in their own way. But Blazblue has one significant difference from other fighters and that's its story. Rather than a simple tournament that rounds up a crazy stable of fighters, Blazblue tells a complex tale filled with many foreign terms and a web of interpersonal relationships between the characters.
With the imminent release of Continuum Shift II, I thought it would be appropriate to catch new players up to speed and refresh fans of just what happened. In my previous article, I detailed the history and world of Blazblue leading up to the events of Calamity Trigger. Before explaining the events themselves, it is necessary to know all of the characters and learn just what their motivations are. No two fighters are the same in Blazblue and their stories reflect that.
Ragna the Bloodege
Ragna never really knew his parents, instead growing up in a church along with his younger siblings, Saya and Jin. They were happy but Ragna found himself devoting most of his attention to Saya due to her sickly nature. This created intense jealousy in Jin until he and a man known only as Terumi burned down the church, killed Saya and the caretaker, and cut off Ragna's arm before disappearing. Ragna's life was saved by a vampire named Rachel, who turned him into a dhampir (half-vampire) and caused his blonde hair to turn white and one of his eyes to turn red. Ragna was eventually found and trained by Jubei of the Six Heroes, considered by many to be the most powerful being on the planet. It is from him that Ragna was given the Azure Grimoire, also known as the Blazblue, which took the form of his missing arm. After his training was complete, he began his journey to take down the Library.
Jin always looked up to his older brother, Ragna, and constantly pestered him to play. He cared little for his sister, Saya, and saw her as merely an obstacle between him and Ragna's affection. No matter what he tried though, Jin could never gain the attention that he so craved. It was then that Terumi told Jin of Ragna's destiny to become the Black Beast and his destiny to kill it. Jin turned a blind eye as Terumi destroyed everything he had ever known, and the incident was buried deep within his memory. Jin was eventually adopted by the prestigious Kisaragi family and enrolled in the Library's Military Academy. He was immensely talented and quickly rose through the ranks, garnering the reputation of a prodigy. This mattered little to Jin though as he was only going through the motions of life and felt completely empty inside, even though he earned the title of Hero of the Ikaruga War and was granted the full use of the Nox Nyctores Yukianesa. It wasn't until he heard rumors of the Grim Reaper that he awakened inside, disobeyed orders from his superiors, and went to Kagutsuchi to see if this man was who he thought it was.
Little is known of Noel's childhood. She was discovered in a burning field near Ikaruga and adopted by the once prominent Vermillion family. Shortly thereafter, she joined the Military Academy and became friends with Tsubaki Yayoi, Makoto Nanaya, and Carl Clover. Noel also looked up to Jin Kisaragi for his amazing prowess though he was usually cold to her in return. Though Noel lacks confidence, she showed true potential when wielding the Nox Nyctores Bolverk. No other could use the weapon like her, and she was granted the title of Lieutenant under Jin. Because of her status of subordinate, Noel has been tasked with retrieving the rogue Jin with the help of the NOL's intelligence division captain, Hazama.
Rachel Alucard is a vampire and the current head of the Alucard family. Though she takes the appearance of a young girl, Rachel is quite old and knows much of what is going on behind the scenes of the world. Rachel's personality is that of an aristocrat as she looks down on others out of arrogance and apathy though she is always ready to have a cup of tea. She despises her vampire urges and is able to keep them at bay at all times. Rachel is always accompanied by her companions Gii, a stout red bat, and Nago, a black cat that's able to take many forms. It is these two that are always hit in combat but despite their constant abuse at the hands of Rachel, they are fiercely loyal. At times Rachel is also joined by her butler, Valkenhayn, who is always ready to do as Rachel asks. Rachel sets out for Kagutsuchi out of boredom, hoping to find something to do to entertain her.
Tager started out as a professor with Sector Seven as well as a leader of an Ikaruga unit during the war. In one vicious battle, Tager was mortally wounded and forced to withdraw from the conflict. He was saved by Sector Seven's top scientist, Kokonoe, who gave him an enormous cyborg body. Tager has pledged his loyalty to Kokonoe no matter what for saving his life, and he now acts as her field agent. His appearance has given him the nickname of the Red Devil though in actuality Tager is calm and calculating, only engaging in combat when he needs to. Kokonoe has sent him to Kagutsuchi to retrieve Hakumen, one of the Six Heroes, with a secondary objective of capturing Ragna if possible.
A catgirl and member of the Kaka tribe, Taokaka wants to bring the sky back to her village (which has been sealed off due to the towns built above it) and protect it from Arakune's attacks. This is more difficult for Taokaka as she is enormously food-obsessed, forgetful, and simple minded. Those who know her know she has good intentions, but she is too absent-minded to really follow through with them. She is good friends with Litchi Faye-Ling, who teaches the Kaka tribe, and lovingly refers to her as the boobie lady because of her large breasts. Taokaka also has an odd habit of wanting to play with Litchi’s breasts due to their resemblance to steam buns. The Kaka tribe was actually genetically engineered from the DNA of Jubei in order to help fight the Black Beast and cannot achieve a population over one hundred. However, the tribe will always maintain that number unless wiped out all at once. Taokaka is tasked by the Elder of the tribe to go to the surface of Kagutsuchi and capture Ragna in order to secure a new homeland for their clan.
A doctor in the Orient Town district of Kagutsuchi, Litchi was originally a scientist working with Sector Seven as an assistant to Kokonoe. However, an incident turned a man she cared about into the creature Arakune, and she left the organization in order to track him down. Litchi is desperately searching for a cure for Arakune and is willing to protect him if his life is threatened. She is also friends of the Kaka tribe, who are at times victims of Arakune's attacks, and tries to teach its children while protecting them. Her abilities allow her to control a staff thanks to the help of Lao Jiu, a small panda that she uses as a hairpiece. Though she has knowledge of many of the people, organizations, and the objects they wield on their quest to capture Ragna the Bloodedge, Litchi's main concern is with protecting those around her.
A viscous collection of black goo, Arakune was once a human researcher with Sector Seven. His thirst for knowledge led him to endlessly research the Boundary, and its powers transformed him into his current form. His body is made up of a mass of bugs beneath his black veil as well as various bones that can be molded together at will to form arms and legs. Changing into this form has driven Arakune insane and wiped out most of his memories. His speech is also nearly incoherent as it consists of broken sentences, endless repetitions of words, crazy laughter and screams. Arakune resides in the sewers of Kagutsuchi where he devours any who enter his domain as well as members of the Kaka tribe for sustenance. Despite his insanity, it is his lust for knowledge and power that drives him to leave his sewer and pursue the Azure Grimoire in Ragna's possession.
A ninja and citizen of Ikaruga, Bang fought in the Ikaruga War until the very end. Even when the final battle seemed hopeless, he devoted himself to saving as many citizens as he could before going to rescue his master. He found his master dead at the hands of Jin Kisaragi (the same action that made Jin a Hero of the Ikaruga War) and received the scar on his forehead from a duel with Jin. After the war, Bang and other people of Ikaruga began living in Kagutsuchi's Ronin-gai district waiting for the right moment to strike back at the NOL. Despite his desire for revenge, Bang has a strict no-kill policy and considers himself a hero of love and justice. His loud, boisterous nature and overzealous speech make him a buffoon in the eyes of some though he has the respect of the people of Ikaruga. Bang is also romantically obsessed with Litchi though she is completely oblivious to his affections. He begins searching for Ragna in order to use the bounty to rebuild Ikaruga.
A talented prodigy, Carl originally enrolled in the NOL's Military Academy and was classmates with Noel, Tsubaki, and Makoto. The three girls took an instant liking to him because of his cute appearance, but he mysteriously dropped out halfway through his schooling. He reappeared as a vigilante with a large doll that he believes is his elder sister, Ada. In actuality the doll is the Nox Nyctores Nirvana that is subliminally increasing Carl's urge to kill. The two make a formidable pair and are able to catch many criminals for their bounties. He comes to Kagutsuchi in search of Ragna and his bounty.
Hakumen was the leader of the Six Heroes and is one of the most powerful people on the planet. He is never seen without his mask and wields the Nox Nyctores Ookami which is able to kill those who would otherwise be immortal. His armor is actually a Sankishin, one of three powerful sacred treasures that served as the inspiration for the Nox Nyctores, called the Susanoo Unit. After the successful defeat of the Black Beast, he was locked away for unknown reasons in a portion of the Boundary known as the Edge. Through pure force of will he was able to maintain his sanity in the blackness for ninety years until Kokonoe is able to retrieve him. She needs his help for an unknown purpose, but Hakumen finds little interest in her needs. Amazingly, he is one of the most powerful characters in the game despite only having access to twenty percent of his strength at the time.
Nu is programmed to be the protector of the gate to the Boundary in the Library's Kagutsuchi branch. She is one of thirteen Murakumo Units that have been created, all of which are living embodiments of the final Nox Nyctores, which was built after the defeat of the Black Beast. Nu is emotionless to anyone she faces, speaking more like a machine than a human. She is able to summon numerous swords and fling them at opponents making her extremely dangerous. For some reason, she bears a striking resemblance to Ragna and Jin's sister Saya.
One of the most brilliant scientists in the world, Kokonoe works in Sector Seven and is daughter to Jubei and another of the Six Heroes, making her a half-beastman. Almost always serious and cynical, Kokonoe seems to have a poor relationship with her father. Her cranky and foul-mouthed nature only ever disappears when she's near her creations. She is unable to fight and instead uses Tager to carry out tasks. She also rescued Hakumen for an unknown purpose though she personally can't stand him due to her lack of control over him. She is the one who sends Tager to Kagutsuchi to track down Hakumen and potentially capture Ragna the Bloodedge.
Kokonoe's father, Ragna's master, the genetic father of the Kaka tribe, and one of the Six Heroes, Jubei is considered to be the strongest being alive. This fact is driven by the fact that he wields the Nox Nyctores Musashi and yet shows none of the ill side effects whatsoever. It is unknown why he has appeared in Kagutsuchi, but he is always willing to protect his friends and keep an eye on his student.
Tsubaki is only seen before the events of Calamity Trigger as she was childhood friends with Jin and roommates with Noel and Makoto in the Military Academy. A straight 'A' student, Tsubaki is intelligent, serious, and often reserved. Her role does not become significant until after the events of the first game.
A squirrel-type beastman, Makoto was friends with Noel, Tsubaki, and Carl in the Military Academy. Much like a squirrel, she is always hyperactive and has a short attention span though she can still be reliable to her friends. She is outgoing and adventurous with enormous strength from her beastman race. Makoto may have a few complexes associated with her race, but she is still proud of her heritage. Makoto makes her first appearance in Calamity Trigger but won't make a true impact until the events of Continuum Shift.
Captain of the NOL's intelligence division, Hazama provides backup and information for Noel as she searches for Jin. Little is known about his personality or history, but his position with the intelligence division seems to have granted him knowledge of many of the goings-on in Kagutsuchi. His exact purpose for being there, however, is still a mystery.
While only twelve of these characters are fighters, all of them have a role to play in the Blazblue series. They help flesh out the story and see the events from several points of view. Some are more entwined in the core plot more than others, but all of them have a role to play. Those roles will be explained tomorrow when I unravel the twisting events of Blazblue: Calamity Trigger.
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