BlazBlue: Central Fiction (also known as BlazBlue: Centralfiction) is a 2D sci-fi fantasy fighting game developed and released by Arc System Works for arcades (digitally via the NESiCAxLive service for PC-based Taito Type X² hardware) in Japan on November 19, 2015.
The fourth and final main installment of the BlazBlue series (after BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma and its revision), Central Fiction concludes the main storyline while adding a variety of new characters, an updated user interface, and new gameplay mechanics (namely the Exceed Accel attack and Active Flow system).
The game later received a console version for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, released in Japan by Arc System Works (on October 6, 2016), in North America by Aksys Games (on November 1, 2016), and in Europe by pQube (on November 4, 2016). It was also released for the PC (digitally via Steam) on April 26, 2017.
All versions of the game received a "Version 2.0" update in August-September 2017, adding more balance changes while bring the console-only characters into the arcade version. This version was used for a Nintendo Switch port on February 7, 2019.
Much of the game is identical to BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend, with new additions and updates:
- Characters in Overdrive now have their remaining Overdrive time shown on the HUD. In addition, the duration of each Overdrive is no longer based on the character chosen (with all characters having 2-8 seconds based on the remaining health and whether or not it was cancelled into).
- The Technical and Stylish button configuration system is revamped as Technical Type and Stylish Type. Both allow the standard Type-A and Type-B configurations, but Stylish Type now adds a fifth "SP" button used for special moves (dependent on joystick direction) and Distortion Drives (when combined with an attack button). Much of the Stylish mechanics from the previous game, such as Barrier auto-guards, return in that Type.
- A new type of super move is added, known as the Exceed Accel. Activated by pressing A+B+C+D while in Overdrive, Exceed Accels have the character perform a single attack that, when hit, follows up with additional powerful attacks. It does not consume any of the Heat Gauge to perform, but prematurely ends Overdrive mode.
- When the player is playing "aggressively" (such as constantly attacking or activating Overdrive), they are put into a new state known as Active Flow. The opposite of the Negative Penalty status, characters in Active Flow have increased damage output and increased Burst Gauge recovery while improving both Overdrive and Exceed Accel. Characters can only activate this state once per round, and performing a Break Burst disables the state for the remainder of the round.
All characters from BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma Extend return, along with four new characters (two of which were time-locked) in the arcade version, followed by four additional characters in the console version (some of which were DLC, all of which were brought back to the arcade version in a later update) for a total of 36 characters.
- Hibike Kohaku - A Captain of the Novus Orbis Librarium and Kagura's secretary, who is skilled in the art of stealth and assassination. His Drive, "Double Chase", allows him to use a shadow clone of himself as a distraction while attacking.
- Naoto Kurogane - A high-schooler from an alternate universe who possesses a special power known as the "Hunter's Eye" (which allows him to quantify the strength of a persons lifeforce by looking at them). He is the main protagonist of the spin-off Bloodedge Experience light novel and fights using martial arts. His Drive, "Bloodedge", allows him to attack with blades formed from his own blood, which can be charged-up for increased range and guard break properties.
- Nine the Phantom - One of the legendary Ten Sages who introduced magic to the world and the original creator of the Nox Nyctores used to defeat the Black Beast. Despite supposedly dying during the Dark War, she has actually been kept alive as "Phantom" throughout the series' story as a servant of the Imperator. Unlike other characters, Nine does not have a Drive (though some materials refer to her D ability as "The Abyss Driver"), but players can use the D button to have her cast various elemental spells (using a combination of three "mana" from normal attacks, with the strength of the attack determining the mana's element). In addition, she can store a second spell in a backup slot and uses teleportation instead of dashes. Released in the arcade version on December 3, 2015.
- Hades Izanami - The central antagonist of the BlazBlue series, Izanami is an immortal being seeking to wipe out everything by using Ragna's sister Saya as a vessel and becoming the Imperator (manipulating the events behind the scenes). Her Drive, "Exodus Arc", allows her to switch to an alternate mode that is used to fire Magatama projectiles at the opponent, at the cost of being unable to block. She cannot double jump, instead being able to float in mid-air. Released in the arcade version on January 28, 2016.
- Susano'o - The divine form of Yuuki Terumi after ripping Hakumen's soul from his armor (the Susano'o Unit) and fusing with it. His Drive, "Divine Warrior", allows him to unlock and upgrade his special moves using Drive attacks. He starts with only one special move unlocked, and has a cursor that cycles through eight icons (each one representing a particular special move) by performing normal attacks. Added in the console version as an unlockable (who can also be unlocked via DLC).
- Es - Also known as "Embryo Storage", Es is an artificial human and the guardian of the Azure Gate. A major character in the spin-off visual novel XBlaze Code: Embryo and the main protagonist of its sequel, Es fights with a large sword (Signati Gladio Crystalis: Murakomo) that can destroy magic Crystals. Her Drive, "Crest Arts", allows certain attacks to generate an "afterimage" as a delayed follow-up attack. Added in the console version on October 6, 2016 as DLC.
- Mai Natsume - The heir to the Duodecim's Hazuki family and a classmate of Noel and her friends during their days at the Military Academy, who was transformed into a woman after stumbling upon a magical grimoire. She is the main protagonist of the spin-off manga series BlazBlue: Remix Heart and BlazBlue: Variable Heart and fights with a magical spear (Gallia Sphyra: Outseal), which is capable of destroying undead and immortal beings. Her Drive, "Exseal", allows her to throw her spear like a javelin in multiple directions (which can partially track the opponent). She can continue certain combos after whiffing attacks, can cancel her forward-dash into special attacks, and can perform a unique backflip. Added in the console version on October 27, 2016 as DLC.
- Jubei - One of the Six Heroes of legend, and a small feline beastkin who serves as Nine's husband, Kokonoe's father, Ragna's teacher, and the progenitor of the Kaka tribe. A NPC throughout the series, he wields twin Nox Nyctores swords (Dream Blades: Musashi) and fights with a small and quick stature (which introduces new dashing options and causes certain attacks against him to whiff). His Drive, "Shuranui", allows him to perform a fast slashing dash through his opponent (which also enhance his Distortion Drives). He can change his Drive to "Shiranui Hagane" after performing a certain Distortion Drive, allowing him to hover-in-place followed by a teleporting dash attack. Added in the arcade version on August 3, 2017 and in the console version on August 31, 2017 (as DLC).
The arcade story of BBCF is told in three "Acts."
Act I: Phantom of Labyrinth
After the events of Chrono Phantasma, the Imperator was able to partially succeed in turning many remaining humans back into seithr. Though Ragna and the renewed Ikaruga Federation were able to defeat the Imperator, she simply vanished, drawing out Ragna's Black Beast from within.
Later, the Black Beast was sedated, and Ragna was somehow revived within Kagutsuchi. However, he appears to have lost his memory.
Act II: Nightmare Memory
The characters all reached their respective perfect world, only to be informed by Nine that what they see is merely one of many different possible worlds that may not even be real. Nine tells the player that "Izanami must be defeated. By your hands." Then the player finds themselves shifting into a different figment of reality.
Act III: The Replacement Blue
After the battle against Izanami, the characters regained their memories and continue to go after Noel for she is the one denying all of those entitled their wishes. Being the Master Unit's core, she is guarded by secret gate of the gods after being forcefully separated from Mu. However, Ragna and those who are close to her decide to protect her.