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Video Game / Melty Blood

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Spin-off Fighting Game based on TYPE-MOON's famous visual novel, Tsukihime. As a direct sequel to Tsukihime and Kagetsu Tohya, it is rather story-heavy, expanding the canon considerably; a surprisingly large amount of content can be taken as correct interpretations of various characters' skills and abilities.

First co-developed by Watanabe Production (now French-Bread) and TYPE-MOON and released for the PC, the game has gone through several iterations:

  • Melty Blood: The original, with the first storyline (Story Mode). Six playable characters with eight unlockable. Released in 2002.
  • Re-ACT: Introduced Arcade Mode (unique string of matches for each character, and second storyline), new move sets for doppelganger characters, and two new playable characters (Len, Satsuki). Released in 2004. "Story Mode" tells a branching story of how the initial Tatari as Wallachia was beaten, and is not included in later iterations.
  • Re-ACT Final Tuned: Patch that upgraded the game to resemble its console port. Introduced a new, analog-friendly control scheme, multi-button commands, interface adjustments, and changeable color schemes. Released in 2005.
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  • Act Cadenza: Arcade (then later console) port that, as a result of its focus on the fighting aspect, took out Story Mode (the first storyline). Introduced two new playable characters (Aoko Aozaki, Kouma Kishima) and upgraded sprites. Released in 2006.
  • Act Cadenza Version B: Update (later PC port) that tweaked the controls to be a bit more context-sensitive. Introduced Tag-Team Mode, Four-Player Mode, the training dummy, White Len as a playable character, stat changes for many characters, and a hidden storyline for Neko-Arc Chaos that introduced a new hidden boss, known as Neko-Chaos Black G666, that when beaten unlocks a new mode. Released in 2007.
  • Actress Again: Added new fighting styles (Crescent/Half/Full Moon) and moves, new Guard Meter, and two new playable characters (Roa and Riesbyfe). The console version gets 3 more characters: Shiki Ryougi, Akiha in her Seifuku outfit, and "Archetype:Earth", a fully-powered, fully awoken Arcueid.
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  • Actress Again Current Code: Essentially the PlayStation 2 version of Actress Again brought back to the arcade with some slight tweaking. Among the differences: different hardware (Sega RingWide instead of NAOMI), HQ2X Filtering on sprites, and some new visual effects, but nothing else major. It was later updated to Ver. 1.05 which adds one more playable character in the form of Powerd Ciel (yes, it's spelled that way, and the official term is Executioner Ciel). A final update has been released which includes a fully playable, non-broken version of Archetype:Earth. It was later ported to PC in at the end of 2011, based on the latest arcade revision (Ver. 1.07). A demo for the PC version is available. The game was published by Arc System Works for worldwide release through Steam on April 19, 2016.
  • Type Lumina: Set in a What If? of the Tsukihime remake, Type Lumina is a Continuity Reboot of the series, shrinking the roster to thirteen and featuring new characters Noel and Vlov who made their debut in the remake. Saber also appears as a Guest Fighter. It was released internationally on September 30, 2021, a month after the remake's release. It is available for Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.

What sets it apart is the atmosphere and the characters, who have powers rarely seen in fighting games in general.

  • Life Meter: one for health (Physical Strength, yellow) and another (Vital Source, Red) for actual health-recovery limit.
  • Mana Meter: Magic Circuits, 0 to 300%, or 200% if playing Actress Again and using the Half-Moon Style. Used for special shielding, EX Specials, Shield bunkering, and combos. Can also recover health (up to the limit mentioned above).
  • Charge Meter: certain attacks and some specials can be charged. In the game terminology these are called "Blowback Edges" but are usually simply referred to as charged attacks.

It has incorporated many features from other fighting games; clashing (two attacks hit and cancel each other), cancelling (cancel one move into another), shielding and EX-Shielding (the latter allows for a riposte at cost of the Magic Circuit). Regular combos can be powered up by using the Magic Circuit. Specials made during Heat or Blood Heat Mode (when Magic Circuit is high) are called Arc Drives. Counters made during Blood Heat are called Last Arcs that look very cool and deal a ton of damage with some causing Circuit Break to the opponent (self-explanatory).

Where Melty Blood really begins to stand out are in the ways it plays with fighting game conventions. For starters, each special move a character has carries a super variant activated by doing the input and pressing the heavy attack button. This gives characters an unusually high amount of super moves for a fighting game, especially when one factors in the game's high meter gain. Upon reaching full meter, the player automatically enters into Heat Mode, which slowly drains meter and gives access to techniques like bursting and the aforementioned Arc Drives. This threat of all your meter being drained unless you efficiently use it coupled with easy to access and plentiful supers creates a game where resources are constantly being spent and insanely cool moves are being tossed out all the time. Later iterations would add further character diversity with the introduction of Moons, unique movesets for each character that can drastically change how each character plays to the point where official tier lists place the same character at multiple tiers depending on which Moon they have equipped. The combo oriented Crescent Moon, the powerful resource-spending Full Moon and the balanced Half Moon provide unique opportunities to play the same character and effectively triple the size of the cast. Lastly, Melty Blood is unique in that its air mobility for the cast is universal. Every character gets a double jump and an air dash whenever they enter into the air, meaning it can be difficult to pin people down as they zip about the stage. All of this combines to form a fighter that thrives on Rule of Cool while still providing a deep and enthralling experience.

Gameplay footage can be seen here here. The game made its American professional tournament debut at Evolution 2010. A tournament-centric fansite exists for Western fans in the form of Melty Bread.

Received a Spiritual Successor in 2012 called Under Night In-Birth, where Sion appears as a Guest Fighter (under the re-tweaked name of Sion Eltnum Atlasia).

For blood that actually melts things, see Bloody Murder.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Adapted Out: Due to Type Lumina being set over a week before the remake, unlike the original where it served as a sequel to Tsukihime, TATARI and Sion have been explicitly stated to not be part of the new plot written for Lumina.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Zepia laments his failure to prevent Program No. Six in his Final Speech to Sion, but his last words in the manga adaption is a more fitting example:
    "I just wanted a future that could not be foretold..."
  • All Just a Dream:
    • Hisui's route in Act Cadenza.
    • Ryougi believes that her route is this.
  • All There in the Manual: Every game assumes you have played the original visual novels as well as any previous iterations.
    • This kind of gets thrown away as of Act Cadenza though, whose Arcade mode stories don't tie in to the original visual novels the way it did in the original Melty Blood or Re-ACT.
  • Animation Bump: Compared to her appearance in Re-Act, G-Akiha recieved quite the improvement when it came to her animation in Actress Again's Boss Rush, going from a static sprite with only one visible arm to a fluidly-animated monster of a boss character.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: Inputting throws (grab) command on the ground in Type Lumina will have your character run forward a short distance before grabbing the opponent if they are within throw range instead of grabbing on the spot (and possibly whiffing due to throw's traditional short range nature in fighting games, which often bugs newbies to no end) Note that this does not effect the defending side at all; the running phase have limited range, and throws can still be avoided or broken out in the same manner as before.
  • Anti-Villain: Even though he is an Ax-Crazy vampire, Walachia's ultimate goal was to somehow prevent The End of the World as We Know It that will occur in the future.
  • Ax-Crazy: Wallachia, especially notable during his Arc-Drive where he constantly screams "katto" ("cut"), which makes him sound like a slasher flick.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: G-Akiha.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Sion does this by turning her brain into a supercomputer (massively parallel processing).
    • To be more specific, given her explanation, she's capable of up to 18.446 quintillion parallel processes, which is double the limit of a modern day 64-bit CPU.
  • Beam Spam: Aoko Aozaki's magecraft. One particularly impressive Arc Drive has her launching them off both her fists and her leg in midair.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Arcueid, Satsuki, Hisui, and Kohaku.
    • The protagonist, Shiki, practically embodies the "nice guy protagonist" archtype.
  • BFG: The pile bunker that is Ciel's Seventh Holy Scripture. Not exactly a gun, but it sounds like one.
  • Big Bad:
  • Blood Bath: Vampire Sion's ending in Actress Again. She defeats pretty much everybody, including Osiris. The ending CG shows her bathing in blood, completely naked, and her eyes glow red.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Wallachia gets into such bloodthirsty frenzies that he drinks too much and it starts flowing out of every orifice.
  • Blown Across the Room : Any particularly strong attack.
  • Boss Rush: A highly-requested mode that eventually was added in the console version of Actress Again that pits the player against all boss characters from the previous Melty Blood revisions in exclusive "Eclipse" forms that give them their previous SNK Boss qualities. It climaxes with a Final Boss fight against the terrifying G-Akiha, now with a considerable Animation Bump.
  • Bowdlerise: Later installments for the series dropped the blood splash effect some attacks inflicted on the opponents, such as Shiki Tohno and Shiki Nanaya's Arc Drives, and specific attacks from other characters as well.
  • But Now I Must Go: Several endings in the first story end with Sion leaving the town for various reasons.
  • Cat Fight: Literally whenever any of the Neco are involved. Also Len, who can turn into a cat.
  • Canon Immigrant: Shiki Ryogi is in Actress Again, despite Word of God saying they were in separate continuities. But then, Nasuverse continuity is a funny thing. In her route, Ryougi says that the events of her route must be All Just a Dream.
  • Catgirl: Len. Made from the corpse of a kitten and the soul of a dead little girl, she ended up equally cat and girl. Also, White Len, who mirrors Len's existence.
  • Catchphrase: Before, during, and after matches, characters will recite both original lines and those from previous games (the top of the Tsukihime entry has one).
  • Chick Magnet: The Tohno Gland: works on every single potential female protagonist, ever. Except, apparently, Ryougi, who isn't impressed.
    Shiki Ryougi: You're ten years too early to talk about how to kill something... rather, three years too late? I'm your senior when it comes to these eyes, lady-killer. (victory quote over Shiki Tohno)
  • Chinese Girl: Miyako, whose kung fu gets an insane boost because of Wallachia.
  • Combination Attack: Hisui and Kohaku (when used together), Sion's Last Arc (with the "ghost" of another character), Wallachia's Arc Drive (with doppelgangers of various characters appearing for just an instant to hit the opponent).
    • Actress Again adds teams of Kohaku & Mech-Hisui and Mech-Hisui and Neco-Arc.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: A manga is being written based off this game. Unlike the Tsukihime anime adaptation, this is more of Adaptation Distillation. It condenses the plot and characters together in an excellent way. Also replaces the fight against Nero/Nrvnqsr that happened in the original game as a sign that Tatari is gaining power with with an excellent Tear Jerker of an arc in which Tatari takes the form of Satsuki.
    • Did well enough to get a second season which is... well, you could still call it a distillation, only this time what it's distilling is all the ridiculously insane parts of the games, like Mecha-Hisui and that sort of thing. It's... interesting.
  • Company Cross References:
    • Neko-Arc Chaos' Last Arc involves dropping a giant Kaleidostick (from Fate/hollow ataraxia) on the opponent. Neko-Arc's Last Arc does the same, but with the goddamn Nasu mushroom avatar instead.
    • Everyone in Type Lumina has a Saber Alter palette available as a character color choice.
    • In Type Lumina Aoko mentions El-Melloi, Touko, and Alice during her ending.
  • Continuity Nod: To other Type-Moon works:
    • After defeating Dust of Osiris in Ryougi's route, White Len asks her if she was summoned by the Counter Force to get rid of TATARI for them.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: In the manga, Akiha's punishment for Kohaku attempting to take over the Tohno mansion (and wiping out the Tohno family's fortune in the process of mass-producing her Mecha-Hisui army) is to invite everyone to a beach party - and Kohaku isn't allowed to change out of her heavy kimono and apron. She collapses approximately halfway through the day.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: Ryougi's ending against a fully powered Archetype:Earth; a.k.a. "Princess Arcueid." note  We don't know what happens next.
  • Creepy Children Singing: The track "Tsukimori no Toki ni" consists of a young girl singing a song about not being beloved as she used to be and finding herself regrettably holding a blade, but the verses are arranged as a sort of Japanese counting song using the hito-futa-mi system.
  • Crossover: Shiki Ryogi in the console version of Actress Again. Taking bets on how many ports/releases it takes for Saber to find her way in.
    • Lo and behold, Saber has been confirmed for Type Lumina's roster, so the answer is either two or three, depending on if you count baseline Actress Again or not.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Shiki Tohno, again. The guy really just loves living.
  • Cursed with Awesome: It's easier to list the characters who aren't.
    • Mystic Eyes of Death Perception: horrible headaches, shortened life, death with frequent use. Then again, you can destroy anything that exists under Gaia.
      • Originally for Shiki Tohno, fixed for him later on for gameplay reasons. Ryougi seems to have no problems with it...because their eyes don't have the exact same source.
    • Vampirism: changes your soul, slowly kills your measly human body, undying thirst for blood. Then again, superhuman strength, perception, agility, and immortality (as long as you drink blood) are nice perks...
  • Dead to Begin With: Only Satsuki, really, as the undead form of vampire. Arcueid is a True Ancestor — a form of vampire that isn't undead. Len's not so much undead as half-alive, due to her artificial creation from dead things.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Sion and Shiki, Sion and Akiha (generally more so when Sion loses).
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Satsuki wasn't even in the original game, despite the story allegedly following her non-existent route. Even when she was introduced into the games as of Re-ACT, she's still not on Shiki's romance radar. And in the Manga Adaptation, it's not Sacchin at all, but just a Tatari avatar.
    • Despite being the villain of Tsukihime, Roa (who amusingly is half-responsible for Satsuki's vampirism) doesn't appear until Actress Again. The other guy, SHIKI Tohno hasn't appeared at all. Isn't it sad, Capslock-kun?
  • Doppelgänger: Lots of 'em.
  • Development Gag: In the Boss Rush, you face what is said to be the regular Akiha in her Half Moon groove as the penultimate opponent, but Shiki's dialogue with her reveals that she is, in fact, the Half Moon Akiha from the original arcade version of Actress Again, who was considered one of the most broken characters in the game at the time. Kohaku and Neco-Arc hang a gigantic lampshade over this;
    Kohaku: As a matter of fact, that Akiha-sama there is the strongest of the strong! She's the one who rampaged all across the country back before Actress Again updated to Ver.A... the H-Akiha who placed at the top of the tier lists by a wide margin!
    Neco-Arc: Hmm... her cheap j.C cross-up, her super high defense, and her extreme rushdown... you could say that they were cranking out H-Akihas all over town. A true H-hell... or maybe heaven?
  • Downloadable Content: Type Lumina is the first game in the series to feature DLC additions to its roster with Dead Apostle Noel and Aoko Aozaki being the first ones in the lineup.
  • Easter Egg: If you play the PC version of Act Cadenza on a specific date, the game puts itself into Holiday Mode, and you'll get an image at the title screen, referencing that date. note 
    • On September 9th, you get a "Happy Birthday, Len!" image.
    • On December 25th, you get a Merry Christmas image.
    • On January 1st, you get a Happy New Year image.
  • Enemy Within: The entire point of characters like Nanaya Shiki, Sion Tatari, Red Arcueid (Warcueid), and White Len. Many of them physically manifest due to Wallachia's (and later, White Len's) power.
    • Shiki Nanaya: what Shiki Tohno would have become — an amoral, assassin-of-demons who loves his job.
    • Red Arcueid: Arcueid if she gave in to her bloodlust, using her normally-restrained powers to kill.
      • Archetype:Earth. The Full power of Arcueid Brunestud; not given in to just bloodlust but as a copy of the Crimson Moon itself. As in, the original vampire template.
    • Akiha Vermilion: Same deal as Red Arcueid - Akiha Vermilion has lost pretty much all of her humanity.
    • Sion Tatari: Sion if she completely becomes the next Tatari. This is treated as an "Alternate Continuity" character. Sion Tatari and "Good" Sion as playables don't exist in the same timeline. And the Dust of Osiris is a third Sion.
  • Enemy Without: This is basically the point of the Tatari's ability in the games.
    • Subverted at one point. Tatari can cause the manifestation of all the above-listed evil counterparts, and starting in Re-Act, they all have a story mode...all but one, that is. White Len is immensely surprised when she realizes that the Vermillion Akiha who approaches her is, in fact, Akiha herself.
  • Evil Counterpart: See Enemy Within above.
  • Evil Feels Good and Cool: Shiki Nanaya.
  • Evil Laugh: The psycho variety, courtesy of Wallachia. Pretty much anything he says eventually devolves into insane rambling.
  • EX Special Attack: All characters have more powerful variants of their regular special moves, and consume 100% of the Magic Circuit.
  • Eye Beams: Mech Hisui (in addition to several other Homages to Humongous Mecha).
    • Neco-Arc and Neco-Arc Chaos (Shinso Beam and Chaos Beam, respectively).
  • Eyes Always Shut: Wallachia (because they're pools of blood).
  • Fighting Your Friend: The original Back Alley Alliance, there are instances where Sion and Satsuki are fighting to keep the other from getting killed.
  • Final Speech: The further you get into the (first) story, the longer the defeated tends to talk.
  • Finishing Move: Using an Arc Drive or Last Arc to finish will give a special message, nothing else.
  • Flash Step: The superhuman characters can teleport. Nanaya just moves too fast to see.
  • Foreshadowing: Actress Again arguably has one for Fate/Grand Order, with dialogue for Red Arcueid confronting Dust of Osiris over her plan, Red Arcueid notes that trying to destroy and then reconstruct all of humankind into an immortal form to overcome humankind's mortality has already been attempted before by "the Ancient I", with the thinking behind it being a thousand years out of date. This almost exactly descibes the end goal of Beast I, Goetia, and considering it's all but established he attempted his plan in various timelines but only managed to get it off the ground in a handful where the conditions were just right, it seems in the classic Melty Blood timeline Goetia attempted his plan a thousand years prior and failed.
  • Friendly Enemy: Due to nature of fighting game, most of people who would have no reason to fight each other (along with Ciel and Arcueid) fall into this. Most winning quotes of Shikis love interests against him are variation of "huh, huh, I won, now you have to go on date with me <3". Contrast winning quotes Shiki, Ciel, and Arcueid have against each other, to that they have against Nero or Roa.
  • Gambit Roulette: Through training, Alchemists have the mental capacity to plan every possible outcome for a situation. However, once they reach a certain level they realize all paths through history inevitably lead to the destruction of humanity and the planet itself, and are driven to despair and complete insanity by the fact that they can't plan a way out of it.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Used often throughout the backgrounds of various stages, such as graffiti under a bridge declaring "Cogito ergo sum", "Dum spiro spero" and "Et arma et verba vulnerant" being carved into the walls of a temple, or a neon sign saying "Nihil sub sole novum".
  • Future Badass: The Dust of Osirus is a clone of Sion who became the Tatari.
  • Genki Girl: Miyako, Kohaku.
  • Glass Cannon: Vermillion Akiha has insanely powerful attacks, but the second lowest defense in the game. The only character lower is Neco-Arc Chaos. Ironically, normal Akiha has the second HIGHEST defense in the game — the only character who's higher is the horribly-broken Archetype:Earth (at least before she got nerfed in Current Code).
  • Gratuitous English: Just look at the title. It gets worse, naturally.
    • The names refer to the Tatari's habit of referring to everything it does in stage terminology.
  • Guest Fighter:
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Akiha Tohno/Vermilion Akiha, Kouma Kishima.
    • Arguably, Len, due to being part human and part cat. White Len is even a Tri-hybrid, of a human girl, a cat, and TATARI.
  • Hammerspace: Many, including Ciel, who can throw dozens of swords without a break, Mech-Hisui with tools like a flamethrower, Sion with an unlimited amount of ammo and most notably Hisui who has exploding bentos, chairs, an always filled watering can, a bucket full of water, several cooking tools (including pans, ladles and a wok) even though she can't cook, and a...table.
  • Happy Ending Override: Miyako's story in Type Lumnina ends with her defeating Akiha, thus allowing Shiki go return back home with his little sister where they can spend their lives together. When you boot up Boss Rush, it begins with Neco-Arc breaking the ending to pieces, informing Miyako that her "story" was nothing more than a dream scenario she was having, something she can't achieve unless she does something about her shyness.
  • Homage: Several to scenes in Tsukihime and Kagetsu Tohya (and The Garden of Sinners in Actress Again):
    • Shiki Tohno's Arc Drive, the Seventeen Piece Dissection, is an homage to how Shiki cuts Arcueid into seventeen pieces in their first meeting. His quote during his Last Arc is the exact same as what he said when he defeated Roa in Arcueid's route of Tsukihime.
    • Arcueid's Last Arc, when used against Shiki, will hit exactly 18 times; a revenge for his "17 Dissection" of her in the beginning of Tsukihime.
    • Hisui's Last Arc is a jab at the numerous grammar mistakes she made in the original Tsukihime, including the famous "You will be the criminal". Her Arc Drive is a more badass version of the ridiculous-looking attack she uses in "Omogirisou" in Kagetsu Tohya.
    • Shiki Nanaya's Last Arc is the exact same move that he uses against Shiki Tohno in Kagetsu Tohya (he throws his knife at the heart, and simultaneously leap over their head and break their neck).
    • Satsuki's Arc Drive does extra damage against Shiki Tohno (and Shiki Nanaya) as revenge for failing to protect her in Tsukihime - despite it having been out of his power to do so at the time. To emphasize the point, her Arc Drive ends with her screaming "BAKA!" ("idiot!") to the person on the receiving end, but changes to "USOTSUKI!" ("liar!") against both Shikis.
    • Kohaku's Arc Drive involves a quick change into the Chinese dress and accent she cosplays in during Kagetsu Tohya.
    • For Shiki Ryougi:
      • Her leitmotif makes it into her stage in Actress Again, which is titled "...and nothing heart" (the subtitle of the second chapter and movie).
      • Some of her moves are taken from the movies (the jump and upside-down spin knifing the enemy in the head is from the first movie against one of the ghosts; the throw is from the third movie against Asagami Fujino (with the addition of a stab), and her Last Arc is from the fifth movie with the appearance of a katana-wielding Void!Shiki). And speaking of that Last Arc, it is a One-Hit Kill against you if you're in Heat or Blood Heat. Not so when you got hit? Well then, go into Heat or Blood Heat later in the round and see your HP get drained to one point. Truly a god-killing technique.
      • Some of her lines come from the movies. The most awesome came from the third movie (where she says that she could kill anything that exists, even a god), which she repeats in the end of her story mode in Actress Again against Archetype:Earth.
    • Finally (though maybe a coincidence), this video shows a palette-swapped Ryougi. Why hello there, Lio.
    • Also already in Act Cadenza: Aoko tells the enemy in one of her winning quotes to beat up a teacher-like, smoking woman, who uses her name to get money from the Association.
    • In the first game we got this. A homage to a scene in Kagetsu Tohya in which Arcueid stole Ciel's lunch, resulting in a fist fight between the two in which they knocked each other out.
  • Horny Devils: Len and White Len, which ups the Squick since they both look about twelve.
  • Jig Saw Puzzle Plot: It's tricky to get the entire plot of Melty Blood because the first part was in Story Mode of "Re-Act" and that wasn't carried over to later versions.
  • Joke Character: Neco-Arc, the adorable super-deformed cat-eared Arcueid. Neco-Arc Chaos, the same thing for Nrvnqsr Chaos, except not as adorable, smoking a cigarette, and swearing quite a bit.
    • And in terms of the story, there are several instances of Satsuki and White Len trying hard not to become a "gag character."
  • Knife Nut: Shiki Tohno and Shiki Nanaya.
    • And Shiki Ryougi. Ciel can also qualify.
  • Large Ham: Neco-Arc Chaos' voice acting. JYAN JYA JYANNNNNN~
  • Leitmotif: Every character has their own stage, which is tied to a specific theme song.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Neco-Arc, Neco-Arc Chaos. Also, the noncombative characters in the original games — the twin maids, for example — are given comedic moves (most of Hisui's are tied to her cleaning of the mansion, for example).
  • Love Hurts: Archetype:Earth's Last Arc (pre-Current Code) is pretty much a guaranteed KO for any opponent. Any, that is, except for Tohno Shiki. When against Shiki as the opponent, her Last Arc does significantly less damage than usual, only cutting around a quarter of his health.
  • Magical Eyes: Shiki Tohno's Mystic Eyes of Death Perception that can see the "concept of death" on anything. His Arc Drives shatter the entire screen.
  • Meaningful Name: Wallachia is a vampire. The real world Wallachia was a small country (now part of Romania) from whence Vlad the Impaler, the man Dracula is based on, came from.
  • Merging the Branches: The game declares a combination of two endings (Ciel's and Kohaku's) plus events that never actually happened in any canon route.
  • Mirror Match: Lampshaded in Re-Act by Ciel and Arcueid in Arcueid's story mode, among other examples.
    Arcueid: Look who it is. Are you the real one?
    Ciel: That is understandable. I had to kick around many of my fake selves before I came here.
    Arcueid: If you're involved in something that troublesome, you're the real one. So, how are you doing Ciel?
    • There are several curious matchups: for example, you can put normal Sion against Sion Tatari, despite the fact that both exist in separate timelines. Even more curious if you put any of them against The Dust Of Osiris.
    • Or, what about putting normal characters against Tatari avatars, such as Shiki Tohno Vs. Shiki Nanaya?
    • Or what about normal Akiha Vs. Vermillion Akiha? Or any of tham against G-Akiha?
    • Or Arcueid Vs. Red Arcueid, or Vs. Archetype:Earth.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters + X Beings, 1 Body: The whole existence of Nero/Nrvnqsr Chaos, whose body is made of chaos and consists of 666 beasts, who share consciousness with him.
  • Musical Nod: The soundtrack of Type Lumina is mostly new content, but the Moonlit Altar stage music has the first section of "Blood Drain", the opening for Actress Again, in its composition.
  • Ninja Maid: Kohaku and Hisui (thanks to the influence of TATARI; they are otherwise total non-combatants).
  • No Antagonist: Unlike all of the other games in the series, Act Cadenza does not have an overarching Big Bad who drives the plot like Wallachia, White Len/Aoko, and the Dust of Osiris have/would do in the games inbetween, with most of AC's storylines covering 'dream match' scenarios from the perspectives of various characters (such as Nrvnqsr settling his score with Arcueid, or Shiki battling his 'sensei' Aoko on more fairer terms than when he did in the previous game).
  • No Pronunciation Guide: How the hell do you pronounce Nrvnqsr? note 
  • "Not So Different" Remark: What Walachia tells Sion when Shiki and her confront him. He tells her that they cannot live without taking something from others, information for Sion and Blood for Walachia. This causes her to freak out and allow her Superpowered Evil Side to take over, and Walachia lets her loose on Shiki.
  • Odd Couple: Shiki and Arcueid (a Canon pairing.)
  • Odd Friendship: Satsuki and Sion (tragic vampires unite!). Now with Riesbyfe-brand Spirit Church Knight goodness!
  • Ojou: Akiha.
    • Akiha even has an attack, consisting of her crossing her arms and push-kicking her opponent, nicknamed "Gangster Princess Kick" by fans.
    • Ryougi Shiki can qualify as well.
  • One Steve Limit: Subverted. As of Melty Blood: Actress Again, there are at least three Shikis.
    • Also, two Sions, (technically) two Lens, two Arcueids, three Akihas, and depending on your interpretation, the Neko versions of Arcueid and Nero Chaos may also count, as well as Mech-Hisui being based off Hisui. Plus the 17th and 18th incarnations of Roa may also count... And as of version 1.05, there is now another Ciel which is essentially a playable version of Executioner Ciel from Re-ACT.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Characters defeated in Story Mode are never actually dead. Except the bad guys.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Hisui and Kohaku.
  • Puppet Fighter: In Actress Again we have a team conformed by Kohaku & Mech-Hisui, and other by Mech-Hisui & Neko Arc: You control Kohaku in the first one, and Mech Hisui in the second, with their partners ready to assist when called via special moves, however, unlike Hisui & Kohaku (Who also counts), You can't change characters.
  • Recurring Riff: Aoko's theme is an instrumental rock remix of the original game's main theme song.
    • Ciel's new stage in Actress Again is yet another remix of the very same theme, but this time with a (naturally) Ominous Latin Chanting motif to it.
  • Retcon: Nero/Nrvnqsr Chaos as the boss of the first game was later retconned to be a Tatari Avatar.
    • Then again, a fair bit of stuff was retconned when they did Re-ACT.
  • Sequel Hook: In Type Lumina, any foreshadowing to the upcoming routes in Tsukihime -The other side of red garden- could count. Of particular note is Noel's ending which hints at a her having a potential role in Satsuki Yumizuka's route.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Giant Akiha is one bigass shoutout to Apocalypse as encountered in X-Men VS Street Fighter / Marvel Superheroes vs. Street Fighter, complete with Eye Beams, drill attack, her onscreen appearance consisting only of one arm and upper body... The only gameplay difference is that she can turn to face either direction, as opposed to Apocalypse, who was easy pickings once you got behind him.
      • Getting there is another story entirely. GIANT UPPER!!!!!
    • From the All Around TYPE-MOON drama CD comes Ryougi calling Arcueid "stupid woman" in her victory quote, as well as "This is the answer -de gozaru!" after a Last Arc Finish.
  • Sliding Scale of Silliness vs. Seriousness: Within the same game, there's two "modes" of reality. One is completely serious, the grimdark world of Tsukihime and all. The other has super deformed catgirls and catboys, mecha-maids, Magical Amber, and Giant Akiha. Satsuki has to put up with both.
    • In fact, it has gone so out of control that there are two manga adaptations : Melty Blood, that puts up with the Sion/Wallachia serious storyline, and Melty Blood ACT Two, which follows the raw silliness of Miyako and Kohaku's antics.
    • In general, if we include an Affectionate Parody named Carnival Phantasm, we might place Tsukihime in the serious extreme, and Carnival Phantasm in the silly extreme, with Melty Blood in the middle.
  • Shared Life Meter: Hisui & Kohaku, when fighting together, share the same life bar, and it depletes regardless on who's in charge. Should they be KO'ed, the girl receiving the last blow will be the one who is knocked down, while the other laments the defeat.
  • SNK Boss: Certain non-playable characters verge on this (Executioner Ciel, G-Akiha, etc...)
    • Mech-Hisui, but that's namely due to her playstyle.
    • Archetype:Earth pre-Current Code definitely qualifies with insane frame advantage, high damage output and defense, an exclusive Moon Style (Eclipse) which allows her to Circuit Spark even if she's not in Max Mode and automatically refills her Magic Circuit gauge and not to mention her damn infinite combo. Largely why she's banned in tournament play.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The Neco characters. Is it Neco or Neko? Most people can't seem to agree on it (there are even examples of it on this very page), though most people use Neco. Interestingly, their names are spelt as Neko in Japanese, while TYPE-MOON decided to romanize it as Neco for the English translations.
  • Super-Deformed: Neco-Arc and Neco-Arc Chaos.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Vermilion Akiha and Sion Tatari. Also, see Enemy Within above.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In terms of function, White Len for Wallachia in Act Cadenza; they are very different otherwise.
  • Tag Team Twins: Hisui and Kohaku can fight solo, or together as a team: They share the same life bar, you play one at a time (with the other providing some special moves) but you can change them at any time; they even have an Arc Drive move where they can stun their opponent on place, and proceed to beat him/her up.
  • Time Travel: The first Tatari is Nigh-Invulnerable unless his Curse Escape Clause is met. The Red Moon shines down on him. Since this won't happen until 1000 years or so; Arcueid reaches forward in time and pulls the moon temporarily to the present; so that Shiki or Sion can destroy him permanently.
    • This leads to the events of Actress Again in the alternate future that Arcueid pulled the moon from; humanity died and only the Dust Of Osiris was left. She follows the moon to the present and decides she'll end the world now.
  • Title Drop: Arcueid's Blood Heat Arc Drive is called "Melty Blood." Though Arc is the main heroine of the franchise, Sion is technically the main heroine of this spin-off, not that it really matters given the nature of this game.
    • There is also the stage in which the Dust of Osiris is fought in Actress Again, "Emerald Table: Melty Blood Texture;" the Alternate Universe in which most of humanity has perished and has been turned into Philosopher's Stones (which make up the blood-red sand in the background) that are used to empower TATARI.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: In Nero Chao's win quote against Kohaku, he tells her he will spare her life and she should leave. It really has to mean something if the embodiment of chaos, who usually eats and devours his victims, tells you to leave because his beasts have trouble dealing with you.
  • Vampire Refugee: Sion is actively looking to reverse her vampirism, and despite her Superpowered Evil Side; does manage to handle most of the symptoms quite well in her "good" storyline; though Arcueid says an outright "cure" is impossible.
    • Sion falls and falls hard in her "V. Sion" story branch.
    • Vampire Sion's summons in-game are actually her friends and are "good" (Riesbyfe, Arcueid, Akiha, Satsuki, Ciel), as opposed to Wallachia's summons of Tatari "villains" (Red Arcueid, Nero Chaos, Shiki Nanaya and Vermillion Akiha).
  • Techno Babble: Sion with the Etherlite in the storyline.
  • Tournament Play: Popular with arcade and PC versions. Was part of the Super Battle Opera tournament lineup in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010 and Evo 2010, and is considered one of the most balanced 2D fighters ever made.
  • Tsundere: Akiha, White Len. Sion probably counts as well towards Shiki at times.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: In Current Code, playing as Archetype:Earth through the arcade mode will pit you against 10 stages instead of the usual 9. Also, on the last stage, you suddenly get to control Arcueid, fighting Archetype:Earth as the final boss.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Archetype:Earth!Arcueid. Although her 'girlfriend' status is questionable, when Ryougi Shiki kills Tohno Shiki at the end of her story route in Actress Again, the exchange below occurs. Despite the fact that Archetype:Earth claims not to have anything resembling sentimentality, the sight of Tohno's corpse is enough for her to have the desire to kill Ryougi.
    Archetype:Earth: Looking at those battered limbs, an awful smile comes over me. Therefore, I am willing to buy into this challenge.
    Ryougi Shiki: Heh, is this vengeance for that weird person a while back?
  • Wall Jump: Ciel, who can then throw a projectile or go for a kick.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Sion's Black Barrel Replica, which is a lesser copy of the Eldritch Abomination fighting weapon from Angel Notes.
    • Aoko has wave motion finger.
  • Weirdness Censor: Inverted. People noticing strangeness that isn't there actually causes the Big Bad to appear. It would be hard to explain.
  • Writers Can Not Do Math: Despite being called Seventeen Piece Dissection, Shiki's Another Arc Drive hits seventeen times. Go on, try cutting something seventeen times and see how many pieces you get.
  • You Will Be Spared: During Archetype:Earth's story mode, she decides on a whim to try destroying the planet and everyone on it just to see what it's like. Before she does so, she promises that she'll spare the lives of two people - the first is, obviously, Shiki, and second is her sort-of-enemy sort-of-friend Ciel.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Sion's legs. As well as Ciel when she's with her BFG