Following the events of Calamity Trigger, the static timeline has been thrown into a state of flux from which an infinite number of futures are possible. A number of shadowy factions intend to use this "continuum shift" to bend the future to their will, setting the cogs of an ancient conspiracy into motion.
Unaware of all this, Ragna the Bloodedge aggressively pursues his arch-nemesis Terumi within the walls of Kagutsuchi. Meanwhile, N.O.L. agent Tsubaki Yayoi is ordered to hunt down and execute her unrequited love Jin Kisaragi, and her best friend Noel Vermillion.
Released for arcades on November 20, 2009, exactly a year after the previous game, this update/sequel features two new playable characters: Tsubaki Yayoi, and Hazama (who acts as the Final Boss of the Arcade Mode). It implements several gameplay changes such as adding new moves to the already existing characters, and tweaking many of their existing features to add more balance. Nu-13 has been excised and replaced by an inferior clone called Lambda-11, who plays exactly like her predecessor but more balanced. The stages are also redone, featuring new graphics ala Champion Edition.
The console version was released July 1, 2010 in Japan, July 27 in America and December 3rd in Europe. It once again features Kotoko as the singer for the opening theme, Hekira no Sora e Izanaedo, as well as an insert song from an as-of-now unknown artist. There are three new modes: Legion, which is played like a strategy game, Challenge, which is similar to the challenge modes of other fighting games, and a Tutorial mode where Rachel shows new players how to work the game's mechanics, all while verbally abusing them in her own wonderful way. All of that and a new playable character: Mu-12, Final Boss of the Story Mode.
The game is mostly the same as it's predecessor. It uses a 4 button system: Weak Attack (A), Medium Attack (B), Strong Attack (C), and a Drive Attack, (D) unique to each character. The original arcade release had a total of 14 characters, with four new ones getting added in the console release and, eventually, Continuum Shift II. As of Continuum Shift Extend, the total of playable characters is 19.
Continuum Shift has two more incremental Updated Rereleases:
BlazBlue Continuum Shift II acted as a balance patch for the arcade and console versions, and featured a new theme song: Shinsou, sung by Asami Imai (Tsubaki's voice actress). A standalone version for the PSP and 3DS also included all three DLC characters, along with Arcade modes for them and Mu-12 and two extra story modes based around the NOL trio and Sector Seven.
BlazBlue Continuum Shift EXTEND, released as a standalone game for arcades, PS3, Xbox 360, Playstation Vita and PSP, once again rebalanced the existing game. It includes all of the content from Continuum Shift II, Story modes for the three DLC characters, and adds Mad Scientist Relius Clover as a new playable character along with his own Arcade and Story modes. It also features a compressed retelling of the Calamity Trigger Story Mode, bonus DLC scenarios, "Unlimited Mars" mode (a Harder Than Hard Boss Rush against Unlimited characters) and a new theme tune (Soukyuu no Hikari, sung by Faylan). In December 2014, EXTEND was released on Steam.
Rebel 2, ACTION!
- Arc Words: "One of the many possibilities...of the Continuum Shift."
- The Artifact: Tager and Noel still call out "Barrier Overload" and "Barrier Burst" when they break-burst, despite the burst system being changed to a new mechanic that doesn't have anything to do with the barrier mechanic. That only happens with their English voice (because their battle grunts in English are reused from the first game) while the Japanese version has new voices.
- Ascended Meme: Bang mentions "Ice Cars" after one storyline battle with Jin in Calamity Trigger Reconstruction.Stay back, my loyal subordinates! This is my fight, and you stand no chance against one who spams "Ice Cars" so frequently...
- Battle Intro: Nearly every pair of characters has a unique one. This is taken to the point that several of the characters even have special sound clips that they only use against each other when fighting and unique animations/sounds when the fight is over.
- Hazama is possibly the best example here. If the character he's fighting is key to the story (Ragna, Jin, Noel, Rachel, and Hakumen for example) then he's got a special opening with them. Even if they're not key, some characters like Makoto have special voice sets to use when fighting him.
- Big "NO!": Noel gets a huge one.
- Big "WHAT?!": Ragna shouts this in Rachel's joke ending when he's surprised at every female character's obsession with him.
- Bilingual Bonus: During Valkenhayn's gag reel, he forces Rachel to count "butlers." Butler in Japanese is pronounced similarly to the word for sheep, with butler being "shitsuji" and sheep being "hitsuji."
- Black Comedy Rape: Strongly implied during Jin's 'Help me, Professor Kokonoe!' segment. Poor Ragna...
- Also implied when Ragna gets the ero spectacles and Kokonoe tried to put him to sleep...
- Bowdlerize: Relius' Astral Finish, in the North American version of the game his lab is "cleaned up", the blood splatters on the wall and silhouette of the hanging corpses on the ceiling are all gone, supposedly to avoid a M rating. The European version, which was rated PEGI and USK 12, surprisingly has no such censorship. This change ended up reverted in the sequel.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the end of Arcade Mode, Terumi thanks the player for revealing a new possibility in the Continuum shift, and claims that soon he will control all possibilities.
- Break the Cutie: Poor, poor Noel. Bloody hell, does Hazama know what he's doing.
- Butt-Monkey: Ragna gets put in this role a lot in the gag reels.
- Button Mashing: The Beginner Mode lets you literally play using this method and look like a pro - simply hit the A and/or B buttons repeatedly to execute combos. It shows an S next to your heat gauge online though.
- Capcom Sequel Stagnation: With vanilla CS, II and Extend, some think this iteration of the series is becoming this.
- Character Shilling: Makoto Nanaya has been enjoying quite a bit shilling for someone who's just minding her own business rather than taking part of the plot actively. Hazama considers her a Spanner in the Works (to make matters worse, how is she one? Because she said Noel's name in a universe where Noel doesn't exist. Really), Relius Clover becomes obsessed with her apparent 'strong soul', as he described, and the one moment she met the resident snobby bitch Rachel... the latter wasn't even being snobby and instead praising her like hell. Nearly every bit of dialogue talking about her is revolved around praising her as well. Whether she lived up to the shilling is for the sequel to report.
- Cliffhanger: Noel is saved, and Jin and Carl regain some of their sanity. But the bad guys achieve all their immediate objectives: Tsubaki is Brainwashed and Crazy, Litchi has defected to the NOL and is suffering early symptoms of Boundary corruption, Nu is recovering and is back in the hands of the bad guys and Arakune has been captured by Relius. Meanwhile Kokonoe has a stockpile of nuclear weapons and is running out of patience/sanity, and Ragna and Jin's dead little sister is actually the Imperator of the NOL. Not to mention that Ragna had to lose his arm. Now wait until the next installment for conclusion.
- Combo Breaker: Break Burst is used, which can only be performed twice in a single match, and its second use can only become available if you lose a round (which can be lost if an Astral Heat is attempted). Also, unlike Guilty Gear, gold Bursts act as a makeshift Launcher Move instead of filling the user's meter.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Tager, at least in Extend, is able to ignore the balancing restriction on his moves when controlled by the AI. This leads to things like a Tager in neutral instantly using an attack that deals insanely heavy damage but forces you to broadcast it by doing a small hop without any previous action.
- Continuity Lockout: Even if you watch the "previously" that gives you a very rough version of the true ending of Calamity Trigger, you're going to have a very limited idea of what's going on in this one's story mode. Extend fixes this to some extent, including a reworked version of the aforementioned true ending path in its story mode.
- The drama CDs for The Wheel of Fortune are only available in Japan. Being able to listen to them makes Slight Hopenote easier to swallow.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: No matter how many times you activate Blood Kain in gameplay, it doesn't stick until that point in the True Ending. If you activate it yourself, as opposed to him doing so while still out of your control, you get a wimpier version.
- Dead Alternate Counterpart: in a variation, Makoto finds out in her story - where she accidentally Mental Time Travelled to the Makoto of alternate timeline - that Noel wasn't supposed to exist.
- Deus Est Machina: Sort of; there are two that potentially fill this role. The first is the Amaterasu Unit which is responsible for the Stable Time Loop of the first game, the second is Takamagahara. The latter gets disabled thanks to Terumi going inside the system while carrying Phantom's special virus, and in the third game the Imperator took control of it to try to destroy the Amaterasu Unit.
- Divide and Conquer: Hazama uses the seat of "Ministerial Secretary to Major Jin Kisaragi" as this for controlling Noel and Tsubaki. Noel is planted to Jin's side to make her psyche susceptible to Mind Rape, while Tsubaki is planted far away from Jin's side to make her hate Noel and also make her susceptible to Mind Rape. It takes their mutual friend, Makoto, to try to mend things her own way for this to be resolved.
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: At the very end of the story mode, it's revealed that the Imperator of the NOL is, in fact, Saya, "missing" younger sister of Ragna and Jin, who has been previously implied to be a Distressed Damsel or a dead little sister.
- Becomes subverted when you take account on the supplemental materials that Saya was genuinely kidnapped and probably modified by Terumi and Relius, making her act more like Puppet King and a figurehead while they still act like the masterminds. And the third game reveals more about the Imperator's true nature.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Loads of it. There's one scene with Hazama laughing as Noel cries and screams things like "Stop it" and "I don't want it" yet Hazama simply replies "It doesn't matter."
- Also when Relius Clover meets Noel, she can't move as he claims he wants to takes her home and experiment on her. And of course, his interests on Makoto can easily be interpreted the wrong way.
- Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: In Jin's Help Me, Prof. Kokonoe segment, this happens between him and poor Ragna. The whole thing is pretty much Played for Laughs.
- Dub-Induced Plot Hole: The title of Bang's Story Mode this time around is called Bang Stories: Lost ARCH ENEMY, some might wonder what is this lost arch enemy, Jin or the NOL perhaps? Not exactly, it turns out that for some reason Bang's Story Mode was translated literally from the Japanese title, not adaptated as usual. In Japan the Nox Nyctores are called Arch Enemy, so making a connection to Bang Stories' title, Lost Arch Enemy refers to the Phoenix Rettenjou which was presumably lost since the Dark War, so to avoid confusion overseas Bang's Story Mode should have been named Bang Stories: Lost NOX NYCTORES.
- Also when the Imperator says that she destroyed the Amaterasu Unit. In the original Japanese, she was actually expressing doubts about doing it.
- Easter Egg: In Carl's joke ending, there's a shot of him, Noel, Tsubaki and Makoto in their school outfits during the night at their academy. If you look carefully at the buildings in the background, you can see part a white figure that looks like a humanoid ghost peeking out of a window.
- Effortless Amazonian Lift: In Carl Clover's story mode, we have Makoto demonstrates her strength by escaping from Carl with Tsubaki in tow. To emphasize, Makoto's roughly 49 kilos, Tsubaki is 47 kilos (possibly without Izayoi), and she still dead sprints away from Carl.
- Embedded Precursor: Continuum Shift Extend has an altered version of the story mode for Calamity Trigger.
- Emotions vs. Stoicism: These two factors eventually becomes a part of the Carl vs Relius conflict, respectively. In this case, Emotions are (generally) good, stoicism is evil.
- Evil Is Hammy: Terumi. And we love him for it.
- Fun with Acronyms: Many shorten down BlazBlue Continuum Shift Extend to BBCSEX.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: Hazama's final battle in Arcade has him activate the Azure, which puts him in Unlimited in every other Arcade. It does not do so when you control him, and you have to fight normally. Not only that, you may beat him but then in the cutscene after, he's shown to be still standing without any problems while your character is kneeling on the ground, beaten.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Rachel shows actual jealousy in Ragna's joke ending (lampshaded by others), and of course all of Ragna's Unwanted Harem do as well.
- Tsubaki shows it in story mode after Hazama manipulated her.
- Guide Dang It!: Some Unlimited characters have extra attacks, but none of the inputs show up in the command list. The only ways you'll know they exist are if you saw a guide or the computer used the attacks on you first. Many attacks have special (and very nice) properties that the in-game description doesn't even remotely hint at.
- While better than Calamity Trigger, some alternate endings require the player to end battles certain ways. Tsubaki's is the worst, as her alternate ending requires her to end a battle with a Distortion or Astral (her normal ending prohibits her from doing so), and her gag reel requires her to lose to Jin.
- A House Divided: Even though the Duodecim are supposed to be the central nobility in the NOL, not all of them are as wholeheartedly supportive of Library policy as House Yayoi if Makoto's commentary is to be trusted. During her mission, of course, she finds an answer to her own question, but it may only be her own and not Mutsugi's."I know House Mutsugi is the most powerful family of the Duodecim, but who in their right mind mouths off to the NOL...?"
- How Dare You Die on Me!, This Is Unforgivable!, Prepare to Die: All in quick succession in Continuum Shift's True Ending
- Irony: Terumi is a master Troll who almost always wins. There was one character in particular who managed to willfully get the best of him; Bang Shishigami.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: In addition to the above, one cannot help but get the feeling that if Makoto Nanaya knew about her status as an extracontinuual anomaly, Hazama's plot in Slight Hope (and, by extension, Wheel of Fortune) might have gone off a bit more smoothly than it had. That's The Power of Friendship for ya.
- The best outcome of all the arcade endings belongs to Relius Clover, one of the most evil characters in the game.
- It's a Wonderful Failure: If you fail to beat the boss in the Arcade Mode, either see the Big Bad's plan go through and be faced with Mu-12, or see Hazama get torn to pieces... by the other Big Bad. And either way, you still don't win. The bad ending of the Story Mode also plays this way too.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When completing an arcade mode run sufficiently enough to fight Mu-12 Terumi mocks the player, thanking them for showing him another variance of the continuum shift. With the players character absent from the still it begs the question: Is Terumi mocking your character or is he mocking you?Terumi: Now I've learned of another possibility! Good moves out there, bud! But really, I owe you thanks. All the possibilities of this world...The Continuum Shift. I will make it MINE! HYAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!
- Limited Wardrobe: Hazama's gag reel has him open his closet to reveal that he only owns suits. They all look the same, but he has one in particular he likes more than the others.
- Lost in Translation: Aside from the Dub-Induced Plot Hole above, this gets lampshaded in Valkenhayn's Help Me, Professor Kokonoe section, where he retorts that "We're all children... children of life." Kokonoe then says that it must've been a hardly-understandable pun and that translating Japanese script directly into English would end in weirdness.
- Mind Screwdriver: Hakumen's story explains particular plot points that were hinted at, but never really explained in the other character's story paths. They make the plot MUCH easier to understand.
- Mistaken for Object of Affection: Occurs with Taokaka groping Bang's chest when she assumes it's Litchi's.
- Mood Whiplash: After you get the bad ending, there are some comedic hijinks with Professor Kokonoe!
- More Than Mind Control: What Terumi's using to control Tsubaki, artificially exacerbating her existing sense of duty and feelings of jealousy towards Noel, and spicing things up with some juicy Jedi Truths.
- Multiple Reference Pun: Mu-12 isn't just continuing the Greek-alphabet theme the Murakumo units have going on. "Mu" (although pronounced differently) is also a Japanese word that can mean "none," "null" or "without meaning." Now, consider that Terumi wants to use Mu-12 to erase the world from existence...
- Mythology Gag: In Noel and Tsubaki's Help Me, Professor Kokonoe sections, they're started with "Noel Poem" and "Tsubaki's Whisper" respectively. Both are actually references to the Blue Radio show where those two segments are re-occurring segments of that show. By the same token, HMPK itself takes its name from one of Blue Radio's special episodes where Kokonoe makes an appearance.
- Nice Job Breaking Yourself, Noel: "One last thing. Try to stay away from Captain Hazama, OK?" Sure, Hazama would have found his way to her sooner or later, but Makoto was trying to warn Noel that the guy was bad news. If only she paid attention...
- No Fourth Wall: The "Help Me! Professor Kokonoe" segments.
- Makoto's gag ending practically ignores the fourth wall completely.
- Nuclear Option: Kokonoe has an entire nuclear arsenal stowed away, just in case she needs a quick and permanent solution to anything Terumi cooks up in Kagutsuchi.
- Off-Model: The numerous story mode cutscenes are an extreme example of off model-ness. New scenes from Extend avert this by being made by a competent animation studio.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
- There are two major offscreen fights involving non-playable characters during the story mode of Continuum Shift - Jin vs. Phantom and Jubei vs. Relius Clover.
- We leave Hazama's story just before he faces off with Phantom. Jin's own story is already over at this point, so it's not covered there either.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: Takamagahara.
- Opposites Attract: Non-romantic example - the Kisaragi and Yayoi families of the Duodecim are exact ideological opposites (a flourishing, modernist meritocracy and a dwindling, inbred bunch of traditionalists respectively), as well as being the staunchest allies of any of the great families.
- The Power of Hate: Hazama provokes Hakumen enough that the latter ends up using this instead of Order. Hazama notices that it makes him much stronger, but it won't work against someone whose very existence runs on others hating him.
- Revised Ending: The original Continuum Shift ended with the characters preparing to leave to Ikaruga, Extend adds an animated cutscene with Ragna and Taokaka already getting into the city's grounds.
- Secret Final Campaign: Downplayed. Not every character's story is required to unlock the final chapter. you only have to finish certain characters' story modes to get the final story.
- Sequel Difficulty Spike: All the unlocks are now based on Score Attack rather than Arcade mode. On the other hand, story mode completion is much easier. Fewer paths require Distortion/Astral Heat Finishes, you don't have to lose every fight on purpose for 100% completion (Ragna's "Help Me! Professor Kokonoe!" segment even mentions that this pissed people off last time) and using "Taunt" the first time in battle will set your Heat Gauge to 100%. Score Attack is still ridiculously hard.
- Short Story Long: In Help Me, Professor Kokonoe segments, Kokonoe often holds back from giving her advice (which your character needs to go out of her place), often speaking filler things until after well over 2 or more minutes. It's not always her fault, though; sometimes your character is just not that cooperative (like, say, Rachel or Jin) or, after she gives advice, she or your character starts talking about something else first. Even in Lambda's segment, when Kokonoe's going to end it quickly (because she's Lambda's operator and all), Tager interrupts and tells her to give Lambda a proper advice.
- Lampshaded in Tsubaki's segment where Kokonoe says it's over too quickly and that they have to fill the rest of the video's time with something.
- In Hazama's segment, neither he or Kokonoe particularly want to talk to each other, and she's going to end it quickly but he pointed out that he can't go out unless she gives her advice.
- Snakes Are Evil: Terumi Yuuki uses snakes as his motif: his drive is called "Ouroboros" and for the most part, is a set of snake-like chains that are thrown around to drastically increase his mobility which is also capable of inducing Mind Rape. His finishing move involves summoning a giant snake to consume the opponent.
- SNK Boss: Score Attack is SNK Boss Mode.
- Averted in Extend, where Score Attack's difficulty is on medium at best. However, it introduces a new mode, Unlimited Mars, where you fight Harder Than Hard enemies while they're Unlimited.
- That Came Out Wrong: At one point in Ragna's story mode, a waitress accuses him of lusting after Jin. When he tries to correct her, he ends up telling her that he's into little girls instead. He almost immediately recognizes his mistake, but never gets the chance to correct himself.
- Theme Music Power-Up: The battle track changes to the game's opening themenote when an Astral Heat is performed, though this can be turned off in the options.
- The battle track also changes in the battle between Unlimited Ragna and Unlimited Hazamanote in the True Ending of II.
- Unwanted Harem: Brutally inflicted on Ragna in Rachel's joke ending. Even Jin shows up!
- WTH, Casting Agency?: A rare in-universe example in Makoto's gag reel. Played for Laughs, natch."[Depicting my family life] was supposed to be the point of this! But then you had to go balls it up by mis-casting everyone!"
- To specify how horribly miscast everyone was we have Noel as the dad, Hazama as the mom, Bang is the adorable little sister, Carl and Ada are twin brothers, Valkenhayn is the eldest brother and Ragna is the baby. Basically the roles were ether Flanderizations (Valkenhayn as the eldest brother) or had some traits reversed (Ragna is cast as a baby, though Makoto should be lucky Rachel wasn't cast instead)