Black Onslaught: Unleashing the fullest might of his Azure Grimoire, Ragna unfolds his Blood-Scythe and begins hacking away at the target repeatedly, all the while growing darker in appearance until he assumes the form of a black monster. Fully unleashed, Blood-Scythe draws in the target's soul as fuel to utterly erase their existence in one last swing. Visually astounding to behold, the fact it inflicts 15K+ damage is no laughing matter, either.
Valkyrie Veil II: Daring the opponent to strike, Noel proceeds to unload Bolverk in a flashy display of fireworks. After dumping both clips, she clangs the butts of her handguns together - and the energy spheres dispersed across the arena detonate at once, nuking the opponent. A great improvement over the original, and proof that Noel has grown a real spine in the month-and-a-half since Kagutsuchi.
Nine Gates of Heaven: Launching the enemy skyward, Litchi vaults after them, slams them with her feet repeatedly, and delivers one last devastating kick to blow them back to the ground. This doesn't appear too impressive... until you realize it inflicts a whopping 20K+ damage, easily more than any other Astral Heat in the game! Not bad for a human, eh?
The Ultimate Bang: Bang opens in a not-so-impressive manner by jabbing the enemy with his ginormous nail. He then proceeds to plow through several oriental-style doors, screaming at the top of his lungs, and slamming a fist, burning out of his sheer Hot Blooded nature, head-on into the misfortunate victim - said flames burn so hot that even Bang's clothes are incinerated! Then again, what did you expect from the mortal incarnation of ham?
Deus ex Machina II: On command from Carl, Ada makes a ball of energy, but this time it isn't a bomb. If the enemy touches the enemy ball, Carl drapes his cape over them, and teleports them to another dimension, a curtain rises, to reveal that the enemy is surrounded by gears and cogs - the gears encroach and proceed to grind the enemy to dust. Like Noel's, a vast improvement over the original time-bomb.
Kokujin Ogi: Akumetsu: As befitting his reprisal-heavy combat style, Hakumen raises Okami before him with a seal between him and his opponent. Should anything strike the seal, time freezes as Hakumen unleashes the fullest of his available power, rendering slash upon slash on the foe's prone body, with blood spraying everywhere until the screen is doused with it. Overwhelmed by pain and excessive bleeding, the opponent promptly collapses as Hakumen turns away from the audience and sheathes his sword.
Requiem Aeternam: Unleashing Izayoi's power, Tsubaki turns into an angel and charges the foe, immobilizing them in a magic circle. The scene shifts to the goddess statue in Library headquarters, which moves to form a magic spearhead in tandem with Tsubaki's Badass Creed. As if on cue, both move in sync, the spear jabbing into the victim's prone body and felling them instantly. This almost makes Izayoi worthwhile...
White feathers for innocence... black feathers for darkest sin...! We are the messengers and hammers of God, come forth to deliver righteous justice! Let sinners be punished...! Let justice be done!!
Hungry Darkness of 1000 Souls: A truly badass and sinister finishing move for the world's greatest troll. Hazama summons a bunch of chains from the ground which snares the opponent, after which he summons a mass of snake which eventually form one gigantic snake. The gigantic snake would devour the opponent.
Blut Vollmund: Harkening back to his vigilante days, Valkenhayn flash kicks the opponent airborne. After a brief pause, he fully transforms into the bipedal werewolf that our lore has accustomed us with, leaps after the prone victim, strikes from multiple directions only to, like Hakumen, saturate the screen in blood. How his outfit stays clean through all that will always remain a mystery...
Puppeteer's Altar: As if by command, Ignis lunges outward and catches the opponent in a Face Palm of Doom. The scene then cuts to the nightmare house they call Relius' lab, where the opponent is bound in a very secure fashion, only for the man himself to rise, approach, and announce his intent before the doors slam shut. Each character is bound in a different fashion designed around their equipment and their powers - clear-cut cred for Relius (due to him being Crazy-Prepared in this fashion) and for the art team (for going out of their way to design all of these in the first place).
Story and Arcade incidents
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If a story can be defined by its villains, then BlazBlue is a hell of a read. Between Yuuki Terumi and Relius Clover, there is enough madness and malice to keep the series going for a long time - and with both of them having solid fanbases, the moments where they show just how evil they really are will just keep piling up.
Yuuki Terumi, aka Hazama - "The Smooth Criminal"
In the True Ending of Continuum Shift, Terumi gets the absolute hell beaten out of him by Ragna the Bloodedge, having restored the functionality of his Azure Grimoire courtesy of Lambda's Idea Engine. You'd think this is the moment a villain crumbles, but no - he proceeds to infiltrate Takamagahara via a miniscule blind spot during Ragna's encounter with Mu-12, boast outright that he calculated every single possibility of the Continuum Shift, and infect them with a magical virus that cripples their ability to influence the timeline permanently. To get his ass handed to him and exploit the defeat to succeed in his plans anyway - especially against an allegedly omniscient supercomputer - proves his ability as a Magnificent Bastard.
Hazama vs Ragna in Arcade mode (both of theirs) is suitably epic. Ragna activates his Azure Grimoire, thinking he can easily trash Terumi, but Terumi just laughs in his face, shuts down Ragna's Grimoire (Ragna's Arcade only) and tells him he invented the stupid thing - and his version is better.
Hazama scores one in general when he unleashes the Azure Grimoire, as he manages to catch a sizable portion of the cast - from Carl and Taokaka to Noel and Tsubaki to even Tager and Kokonoe (via Lambda) - by total surprise in the process! With one exception, the only characters in control of themselves are those who lived before the Dark War.
Relius Clover - "The Mad Puppeteer"
In the True Ending of Continuum Shift, after getting the shit torn out of him, Terumi is left to bleed by Ragna the Bloodedge out of Cruel Mercy. However, he managed to pull his plan off anyway, and the manner is revealed in Relius' Arcade mode ending - Relius, per his coherence with Terumi, sics Ignis on him, tearing him to shreds. Shows that these two are a different breed of villain when they cooperate so willingly and efficiently!
Makoto's bad ending, and Relius' hand in it, is said by many to be either an utterly terrifying thing or Tear Jerker, and they'd be right. However, one thing that tends to be glossed over is that it serves as Relius' Crowning Moment of Awesome, a testament for his villain caliber. Why? Makoto serves as a massive Spanner in the Works for Hazama's plans. She thwarts him several times during her Story Mode, something that no other character has really done - the significance of this is listed in Makoto's section. Relius, understandably, will stand for none of it. He successfully leads her into a trap using Jin as the bait, and proceeds to... ahem, put the spanner back in the toolbox, shall we say. Also, if what he says is any indication, he smelt Makoto's soul into a Nox without using a cauldron. Succeeding where goddamn Hazama of all people failed, succeeding spectacularly at that, and leaving little doubt he could repeat it in a canon path? Maybe Hazama isn't the one to fear after all.
On that note, while he loses his battle against Valkenhayn in Hunting Dog, he does manage to collect enough combat data to make the ordeal worthwhile. Whereas gambits of any stripe and/or level of complexity require defeats to be planned for, battle data with which to study the opponent is always welcome, and it shows that Relius is flexible enough that a non-critical defeat can be turned into a possibility of victory at a later date.
The Six Heroes
The Six Heroes are a gathering of the most badass individuals who ever lived in this world and Yuuki Terumi. Amongst the playable cast are two of them - Hakumen and Valkenhayn R. Hellsing - and while some of the cast may aspire to be more awesome than the two of them were (and let's be honest, taking down the Black Beast is a crowning moment in any light), Valkenhayn has much to show the younger generation yet, and Hakumen is not giving up his claim to badassery without a fight.
While Platinum the Trinity is another Six Heroes member, Trinity Glassfield has too little influence in the world to make a lasting mark on her own, but she makes every second count regardless. Luna and Sena, however, have much work to do to aspire to their counterpart's greatness.
Hakumen - "The end has come!!"
Hakumen's origin cements him as an absolute badass - basically, Terumi's being his twat self, and since the Six Heroes (down to two due to Terumi turning traitor, Nine dead, Valkenhayn guarding Rachel, and Trinity MIA) are in no shape to take him out, Claudius and Jubei use their combined abilities to open a gate to the Boundary - and Hakumen tackles Terumi through it. Ninety years of confinement in the Boundary later (felt like ten to him), much of it composed of pursuing Terumi until he was paroled by Takamagahara, Kokonoe drags him out at 20% of his former power - and that's still enough to beat the shit out of Ragna. So, basically, he executes a Sealed Evil in a DuelHeroic Sacrifice, their shared prison a nexus between all timelines that fucks up anyone who enters it, carries on the hunt through sheer force of will, and survived the experience. While many others would challenge the Boundary (with one total success and a few partial successes) afterward, Hakumen did it first; Hakumen does it best.
Hakumen's Continuum Shift story has him slice time itself so he can view another timeline where he was defeated by Arakune.
His "alternate truth" path in Calamity Trigger. "I am the white void. I am the cold steel. I am the just sword. With blade in hand shall I reap the sins of this world, and cleanse it in the fires of destruction. My past incarnation is no exception! I am Hakumen. The end has come." He then proceeds to beat Unlimited Jin silly.
There are protagonists who are not horrified or otherwise startled when Hazama unleashes his Azure Grimoire in Arcade Mode. Unsurprisingly, Hakumen is one of them, and while he's not completely suppressed, he makes it clear it will take more than the Azure Grimoire to cause him to lose his cool.
The final act of Hunting Dog shows that Valkenhayn's fangs have not rotted out after ninety years. Valkenhayn's third match is against Hakumen, and after the two of them finish, Hazama shows up and summons Phantom, who dumps "Fido" into Izayoi's domain - an extracontinuual pocket into which observation is impossible. When Valkenhayn realizes where he is, he notes that Relius is experimenting on Ragna the Bloodedge, proceeds to intervene and send the Grim Reaper on his way to Rachel, facing the Mad Puppeteer's wrath alone in his place. That's part of what makes it awesome - the other part is that Valkenhayn actually wins against who is otherwise the Game Over Man, and who would have experimented thoroughly on Platinum were it not for the combined efforts of Bang and Hakumen. It would have been more awesome if Valkenhayn defeated Relius thoroughly enough to derail the gambit, but alas.
Also worth noting that Relius, the monster who views nearly everyone else in the game as either a tool or a plaything, views Valkenhayn as the Worthy Opponent. That speaks volumes.
Brothers in Arms
Ragna the Bloodedge and Jin Kisaragi are deep in their own Sibling Rivalry, orchestrated by outside events and factors to pit them against each other and keep them from uniting. What they do have in common, however, is that they are two of the most badass individuals to come from the younger generation, and two of the most powerful - between Ragna's Azure and Jin's Order, there is enough rolling around that Terumi and Relius are monitoring them very closely, either to factor in how to manipulate them for their own ends or to annihilate them before they can pose a greater threat or, worse, wholly unite under a common banner.
Ragna the Bloodedge - "The Grim Reaper"
For all the treatment Ragna gets throughout the story, he shows just how capable he is at kicking ass and taking names throughout the True Ending. Heartwarming also ensues.
Picking up from where Ragna's ending left off, Ragna has just found out that Terumi created the BlazBlue, and not only wields a stronger one, but has the ability to keep Ragna's on lockdown (in this case, denying his Drive attacks (the D button)), and kicks Ragna's ass. Ragna's down for the count, and Terumi is about to finish him off when Lambda comes out of nowhere and takes the hit instead. After an exchange between Ragna and a dying Nu/Lambda (in which players get to hear, for the first time, Nu speak to Ragna in a way that wasn't crazy or Yandere), Ragna gets uber-pissed, absorbs Lambda's Idea Drive, uses it to restore his own BlazBlue and render it immune to Terumi's control, then goes Unlimited. What follows is one of the most satisfying fights in the game, finally getting to beat down a guy that deserved more than a simple beatdown, to a slightly-revamped version of Iconoclast. The only way that a three-minute period like that (maybe longer, depending on loading times) could be more awesome would be if it actually was the last fight of the True Ending. Or if you actually got to kill him. Or if it wasn't integral to his plan in any way.
And then he shines yet again in the build-up in the True ending to his fight with Mu/Tempered!Noel Vermillion, which actually is the True Final Boss of the story. Noel is as Brainwashed and Crazy as physically possible and talking in Robo Speak to boot, not to mention being controlled by his worst enemy to kill everything in her path. Both Hakumen and Jin are beaten half to death, and Rachel's told him she can't be saved. So what does Ragna do against the god-killing sword? Delivers the most blunt, effective, heartwarming and badass speech possible.
Phase 0 : Ragna is transported back in time and has to deal with... the Black Beast. On top of that, due to shenanigans, he doesn't have the Azure anymore. He's just Badass Normal now. Still doesn't stop him from stopping it for a year. Yep, ya heard me right. The Six Heroes barely defeated it yet he handled it basically while being human preventing it from causing havoc. Even if in the end his fate is being consumed, or perhaps he's consumed but took about a year to digest, it gave him a worthy moment to be referred as the Grim Reaper.
Hell, just getting back there counts - he pulls off the same trick as Makoto and Jin below. Granted, he loses his memory and his Azure Grimoire in the trip, but neither of them had to worry about a BFS gouging out their chest.
Jin Kisaragi - "The Hero of Order"
Jin's true path in Continuum Shift has him being unable to use Yukianesa because it doesn't want to be used. Ragna points out that a Nox Nyctores either controls its user or must be completely overpowered by willpower to be used. He states Jin needs to be stronger if he wishes to win. When he confronts Tsubaki, who is eventually mind controlled by Hazama, Jin states that if she stands in his way, she will be his enemy and activates Yukianesa against its will. This is awesome for gameplay reasons as well - since Jin was locked out of all of his ice attacks up to this point, being able to unload with Unlimited Jin was extremely cathartic.
Jin: I am the cold steel, the blade that will restore balance to this world. Nox Nyctores: Yukianesa, Activate!
Jin's entire CS story is one long ode to his grinding in badass. After escaping from a hospital ship, he manages to fight off Hazama while protecting Makoto, freezes Hazama in his tracks when things start going south, fights Rachel at full power and holds his own despite being too badly injured to stand up straight, receives a painful healing treatment, challenges Hakumen and gets stomped on, holds off Ragna without Yukianesa, has that lovely little tiff with a Brainwashed and Crazy Tsubaki (read: she's trying to kill him) and fends her off despite being unable to use his Nox for most of the fight, encounters Hazama and fights well enough to make him retreat, fights the powerful magic user Phantom (implied in another story mode to be Nine herself) offscreen and apparently wins, and then tells Hakumen to back off so he can take on Mu all by himself. Would you believe this is the same Ax Crazy sissy who obsessed over Ragna in Calamity Trigger? Jubei wasn't kidding when he said Jin had grown.
And lest we forget, surviving a trip through the Boundary on determination alone and becoming the legendary hero Hakumen. And he may top it yet.
Compared to the raw power that the above three groups throw around, Bang Shishigami and Makoto Nanaya are having trouble staying competitive. But what they lack in output, they make up for in more subtle ways - and both of them possess untapped potential that could easily shift the tide of the conflict away from the Big Bad Duumvirate. If you need a reason to understand their popularity, this is but a part of it.
Bang Shishigami - "The Pride of Ikaruga" Bang Shishigami is the least augged person in BlazBlue history, bar none. He makes up for it by being Weak, but Skilled, utilizing the fullest of his ninjitsu training to engage, trap, and overcome his opponents. His endurance is nigh-unrivaled, surviving the worst the rest of the cast can throw at him, and even Hakumen - the Hero Antagonist who exemplifiesGood Is Not Nice - speaks very highly of his undying spirit.
In Calamity Trigger, Bang triggered a calamity in the upper levels of Kagutsuchi and survived despite being at the epicenter of that incident. Pardon the pun, but to come out from that means that Bang is clearly hard as nails.
Bang only gets two fights in his CS story, the last one against Hazama. In what can only be described as "Did you just cockslap Terumi?", after colliding head-on with Hazama's plot armor, Bang decided it was in his best interest to bail - and take Carl and Tao with him! Two kids Hazama had just torn the hell out of (one to soften up for Relius, the other because mindrape isn't an option), and while Bang was ready to breakThou Shalt Not Kill, he was wise enough to temper himself and live another day. So far, Hazama hasn't been bested in combat completely, but considering Rettenjou is inactive and therefore Bang's power comes entirely from his training and skill, it's damn impressive he was able to survive the encounter at all - even Hazama concurs..
Taking things even further, Platinum's story ends with a battle against Relius Clover, of all people, and while there's a hell of a stand, Luna and Sena lack the power needed to subdue the Mad Puppeteer. But before Relius can act upon the opening, Bang Shishigami drops in and engages Relius himself. The awesome doesn't come from the fact Bang fights Relius, but it's the fact that it happens after the above moment, and that he manages to stall Relius long enough for Hakumen to show up - at which point he believes it's in his best interest to conclude his experiment. To wit, Bang got his ass handed to him by Hazama, escaped with Carl and Tao, occupied Relius long enough for Hakumen to arrive, and got Platinum out of harm's way as well. Coupled with the Dare to Be Badass Trinity gives him, it's clear that Bang's relevance to coming events is on the up-and-up - we'll see how far he takes it. Godspeed, Bang Shishigami...
Starting off is Slight Hope, which takes places Jan. 3, 2200 - three to four days before Continuum Shift proper. While Makoto did achieve a number of feats in the main story, this puts weight behind all of them, and shows why she is not to be ignored in the future.
The story takes place in the Wheel of Fortune timeline - what this means is Makoto was dragged into the Boundary, tossed into this timeline, and found her way back with aid from Rachel, all unscarred both mentally and physically both ways. Pretty impressive, considering Lotte "Roy" Carmine became the aberration known as Arakune within moments of his one entry, and only the aforementioned Hakumen managed this feat as well. So how did she pull that off?
Once Makoto arrived, in a reversal of Jin's story, she parries a coup de grace from Hazama and fights him immediately (this is Makoto's first fight in Story mode). Sure, Hazama "wins" and Jin has to bail her out after she gets paralyzed from a Death Glare, but what makes this awesome is that later, when Hazama shows up while Makoto's chatting with Tsubaki, Makoto decides to interrogate Hazama - the same guy who almost knifed her for messing up his hit on Jin - and sends Tsubaki ahead to meet with Jin. The sheer moxie of this catches Rachel's attention, and Makoto survives a second paralyzing glare due to her involvement.
In the interim between those two, Makoto also met with Tager and Kokonoe and explained her objectives to them, and when Relius helped Jin away from Ronin-gai as bait for Makoto in her absence, she instead asked Bang to look for him while she "put out some other fires". As a result, Relius was indisposed with Bang and his posse, and that chat with Tsubaki took her mind off of Hazama's mindrape as she pondered just what kind of girl Noel Vermillion is (in this timeline, Noel was obliterated in Ibukido) - the collateral damage from Continuum Shift Makoto's involvement in Wheel of Fortune, coupled with Hazama's inability to understand friendship and trust, sent his local plans tits-up! Long story short, Makoto earned that "Ratatosk" nickname - she's the only person to date to render Hazama's schemes "fair-to-middling FUBAR", and with everything she learned, she can willfully do it again!
At first glance, Friendship is Makoto going about doing her thing, with some heartwarming moments mixed in. But look back on it after playing Slight Hope, and it shows that detour paid off.
Makoto's fights in Arcade mode are, in exact order, three randoms, Tager, three randoms, Tsubaki, Noel, U.Hazama. This is not coincidental - defeating Tager allows Makoto to pass off her disc and bail, thus leaving Sector Seven off her tail; defeating Tsubaki means she won't attempt to kill Noel; and defeating Noel snaps her out of her mindrape-induced trance, only for Hazama to show up and pull the poor girl away. Look back on Slight Hope, and the truth is clear: Makoto Nanaya was one pep talk away from pretzelling Hazama's schemes again, and Hazama had no choice but to act at this time. Makoto's abilities as a Lieutenant in the Intelligence division and a spy for Sector Seven are thegenuine article.
And when Makoto finally fights Hazama, her state of mind is clear, even while he's barelyholding himself together. No amount of feigned compliments from Hazama, and especially not the Azure Grimoire, are going to convince Makoto that Hazama is anything other than a menace that needs to be put down - and even afterwards, the only trolling she doesn't shrug off with a retort inquiry is his mashing of her secondary Berserk Button, which cues a loud and clear "Shut the hell up!" Hazama does get some props, though, for invoking this much of a reaction at all. All of the above explains whyRachel put Makoto back on the board - it is a testament to her abilities and her potential.
Also, a minor CMOA in Arcade Mode if she loses to Hakumen. It seems Bang isn't the only one who impresses Hakumen:
Hakumen: To refine untainted power to this level... You are truly impressive.
Inversely, if she takes him down, it turns out the respect is mutual:
Makoto: Dear god, you're strong...! And it was almost like you could predict my attacks... Don't tell me... you've mastered the power of your mind's eye?!
With Chronophantasma coming to light, Makoto's continuing to build her impressive resume of achievements. At the end of her Arcade run, she has a run-in with Tsubaki, who succumbs and engages Izayoi - which Makoto then proceeds to fight. By the end of the resulting stalemate, Tsubaki's brainwashing crumbles and she freezes in her tracks, desiring not to kill the last friend she "betrayed". When you realize that Tsubaki was wielding power akin to a Murakumo (the Izayoi was their prototype) and she was meant to be subdued by Jin - or he already damaged Mind Eater and Makoto held the line until it gave way completely, it says that much more about Makoto's endurance and strength of will.
The Best of the Rest
Honorable mention goes to Rachel for her handling of a noncombat Hazama encounter. The guy chooses to drop her partway into the ground so she can listen to his usual rant about how the world is lies, how it needs to be purged, how Rachel can do squat to stop it. Since she's in no position to argue on a physical level, she just snarks back at him, countering every point she can or at least making his blood boil, especially by invoking his inner Green-Eyed Monster. Sure, he kicks her teeth in in the end, but points for putting on a brave front anyway.
Tsubaki also gets one for defeating the immensely powerful Jin in her Story Mode. Even she is shocked.
Tsubaki: "I... I won? I actually beat Jin!?"
Even Noel gets one in Calamity Trigger, when she fights flippin Nu, endures that beatdown, and still manages to save Ragna from falling into the Cauldron, thus ending the century-long time loop that has spanned countless continuua up until that point. Here's hoping she can rock this hard again in the near future.
The ending of Relatives is one for, of all people, Litchi - and it doubles as a heartwarmer. After Litchi manages to calm Carl down, Relius comes along and the Clovers proceed to throw down. Even though she was supposed to be working with the now-corrupt NOL, she insists on calling Relius out for his poor parenting - this after Carl and Ada are left broken. Granted, things would have ended poorly if Ada didn't evacuate them both, but it is proof enough that political allegience hasn't dulled her morality - and if she has the nerves for this, there may be hope for her own recovery yet.
Extra bonus points: If you consider that Relius is usually nonchalant and doesn't kill or fuck people off unnecessarily unless they are a person of his interest (unlike Hazama), the fact that Litchi made Relius flip off (as much as you can say that) and want to kill her even if she's not 'a person of interest' or even worse, used to praise in the past as seen in the EX Story of Sector Seven, does speak a lot of how much her kind heart is capable of doing something that awesome (Relius is probably only stopped once he is told off-screen that she was supposed to be his ally, from Hazama). What's more, the early reports of Chrono Phantasma also showed that she still retain her sanity and kindness, when the corruption, by all means, should've done that badly to her. Yes, we probably could see recovery in both terms for her.