BlazBlue: Central Fiction (BBCF) is the fourth main iteration and seventh major update of the BlazBlue franchise that started with Calamity Trigger.
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.
The basic gameplay of BBCF remains the same: 1v1 battles where each player must fight in real-time to reduce their opponent's life bar to zero, and do so enough times to win the match. However, there have been some new and updated elements introduced to this game that were not in previous versions of BlazBlue.
Exceed Accel: A special type of Distortion Drive that can only be activated by pressing A+B+C+D while already in Overdrive. It begins with the character performing a specific attack in their moveset, and once it connects the rest of the background shatters away into the Overdrive background effect when the attack is performed. It dishes large damage, but immediately ends Overdrive.
Active Flow: The opposite of Negative Penalty status, where a character who runs away for too long would start losing defensive power. A character that fights aggressively soon goes into an Active Flow, which boosts damage and recovery of the Burst Gauge. Active Flow also increases damage of Exceed Accel (and may add extra effects and animations for certain characters). When a character enters Active Flow, their emblem on the health bar becomes purple-pink.
At least 32 characters are confirmed to be playable in BBCF. The playable cast from the previous games returns, along with four new characters, including one who has not appeared in a BlazBlue game before.
- Hibike Kohaku: Kagura Mutsuki's servant and Captain within the NOL. A member of the Kohaku family within the Duodecim, known for their stealthy assassins in that they are rarely mentioned in the history books, yet always seem to have a hand in shaping or observing events. A fast-moving ninja who can create temporary clones of himself with his Double Chase Drive.
- Naoto Kurogane: A high-school boy who possesses the "Hunter's Eye" that allows him to quantify the exact number of life points someone has when he looks at them. His life followed a similar path to Ragna, where his right arm and leg were cut off by an enemy and later replaced with an artificial one by Relius Clover. In battle, he uses mostly melee attacks. His Drive, Bloodedge, allows him to create temporary blades from his own blood.
- Nine the Phantom: One of the legendary Ten Sages who introduced magic to the world, the original creator of the Nox Nyctores used to defeat the Black Beast, and later Jubei's wife and Kokonoe's mother. Despite supposedly dying during the Dark War, Nine has actually been kept alive as "Phantom" throughout the BlazBlue story as a servant of the Imperator. Now with all restrictions released, she can use all her powers in battle, but still retains some of her previous personality. Nine does not have a Drive (though some materials refer to it as The Abyss Driver), but can cast multiple elemental spells, having two slots to store different magic that can be unleashed on her opponent.
- Hades Izanami: The main villain of BlazBlue. Using Saya, the Imperator, as a vessel, she managed to end the Continuum Shift by using Terumi to damage Amaterasu. Like her namesake in Shinto legend, Izanami seeks to create a world where death is permanent and everywhere. Her Drive, Exodus Arc, can be used to fire Magatama projectiles at the opponent, but she cannot block until her Drive is deactivated.
- Es (DLC): A character from the Xblaze franchise. Artificial human who loves pudding. Her weapon is the Vowed Crystal Sealing Blade: Murakumo, a large sword that can destroy magic Crystals. Her Drive, Crest Arts, allows her to create trails in the air with her sword swings that enhance her attacks.
- Mai Natsume (DLC): A character introduced in the manga spinoff Remix Heart and appeared in an unplayable role in Chrono Phantasma Extend. Mai was turned into a girl after stumbling upon a magical grimoire, and ended up living with Noel, Tsubaki, and Makoto during their time at the NOL Academy. She keeps in touch with Kokonoe and her best friend, Kajun. Her weapon is called Gallia Sphyra: Outseal, a weapon capable of destroying undead and immortal beings. Her Drive, Exseal, allows Mai to throw her spear like a javelin and can even partially track the enemy.
- Susanoo: The final boss of Centralfiction, Susanoo is the form of Terumi fused with Hakumen's armor after Terumi manages to rip Hakumen's soul out of it. Susanoo fights with his bare hands, powered by incredible rage. His Drive, God of Military Arts, increases the power of his special attacks with every hit that he lands.
- Jubei (DLC): The legendary swordsman/catperson who has been added as a playable character with the 2.0 patch. Arguably the strongest of the original Six Heroes, the husband of Nine and father of Kokonoe, and Ragna's teacher who has tried multiple times to defeat Terumi after being betrayed and almost sealed away by him after the Dark War. He wields the Nox Nyctores Dream Blades: Musashi, swords with incredible power and speed. His Drive ability is Sea Fire, which allows him to slash through an enemy in an instant and enhance his Distortion Drives.