Eternal Fighter Zero/Game Mechanics

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Game Mechanics

Guard or Block

[Hold 4 for high block, hold 1 for low block]

Blocking prevents an opponent's attack from connecting, which either cancels or greatly reduces the damage taken. There are three types of guarding: standing guard, crouching guard, and air guard. Whether a type of guard will prevent an attack depends on the opponent's attack. However, one of the most fundamental rules regarding guarding is that an air guard will not block any normal attack of a grounded opponent.

Dash and Backstep

[66 and 44]

A quick movement forward and backward, respectively. This move ranges widely from the character running on the ground, hopping around, or flying in the sky, but in all cases you will be unable to guard while moving. It is also possible to dash and backstep in midair (usually called an Air Dash), but the number of times it can be done differs from character to character. Note that, unlike Guilty Gear, double jumping does not remove your ability to air dash.


[7 or 8 or 9]

Causes the character to jump. 7 is a jump backwards, 8 is straight up, and 9 is a forwards jump. Also, any running-style dashes will affect the momentum of any jumps immediately following the dash. For example, dashing and then 8 will turn into a slight jump forward. It is also possible to jump once more while in midair (usually called a Double Jump), but it is no longer possible after air dashing.


[When next to the opponent, 4C or 6C]

A close-range grappling move which cannot be blocked by the opponent. It is possible for a throw to fail, like if the person is within throwing range when the command is input, but has moved out of range in the small period of time before the throw actually happens. It can also fail when trying to throw the opponent during invincibility frames. If a throw fails, a failure animation will show for a split second.

Air Throw

[When next to the opponent midair, 6C]

A close-range aerial grappling move which cannot be blocked by the opponent. You are unable to perform an air throw while doing an air dash. However you could do an air throw after the dash is finished. There is no failure animation for air throws, and a j.C attack will come out instead.

Air Recovery

[When stun bar empties, 4A/B/C or 6A/B/C]

After being knocked into the air by the opponent's attack and the stun timer disappears, pressing left/right and any attack button will allow the character to "recover" in midair. However, you will not have any control over your character for a half-second after the recovery, leaving you vulnerable to any further attacks from the opponent. For this reason, recovering is usually not recommended if the opponent is within immediate striking distance. Air recovery will not work against certain attacks which disallow recovering. It is also often called air teching.


When the opponent is grounded, combos are fairly straight forward. The more hits you perform in a combo, the more pushback this will cause. Certain moves can "launch" the opponent into the air, allowing for juggles.
When juggling in EFZ, you have a "budget" for how many attacks you can connect in one combo. This budget is determined by the combo's "Power", which is listed below the damage counter during combos. Power will always start at 100% at the beginning of a combo, and from the second hit onwards will reduce by specific amounts depending on the move used. For practical purposes, like uses in real matches with stable combos, your budget will typically run out at 30% power, although this may be different for certain characters. When you run out of budget, comboing further in a meaningful way will be very difficult, if not impossible.
Every move in EFZ has a value attached to it that will subtract from your combo budget should it hit the opponent, this is the proration value (PV). Using Sayuri as an example, her 5A has a PV of 7, so every time it hits the opponent, the Power will be reduced by 7.¹ In this way, you can judge how many more times you can connect with an attack before you run out of combo budget.
Power doesn't only indicate your remaining budget, it also shows how long you will have to connect an attack before the juggle bar runs out. The higher the Power, the more time you will have before the juggle meter disappears and makes any further comboing impossible.² This means that certain methods of comboing, such as air dash cancels (like Sayuri jC j66 jAC), will stop working at certain Power levels. These are called Combo Break Points.
Blue Instant Charge is a way to replenish your budget by up to 50%. Power is not capped at 100% either, so it may go beyond this. However, at over 100% Power, attacks will apply their PV reduction twice.

1 In order to keep things simple, I opted to omit the fact the actual value taken from Power is PV * Power. This part can be ignored by newer players. At 100% power, Sayuri's 5A will take 7 from power on the second hit. If Sayuri does 5A again, 6.51 power will be removed, as the power is now 93%.
2 The actual mechanics are a little bit more complex than this. Attacks have a juggle value attached to them that can affect how long juggles will be possible for.

Instant Charge (IC)

[RF gauge must be red or light blue, 22C during an successful attack]

If the RF Meter is in the red or light blue stage, pressing 22C during attacks which connect (hit or blocked) will cause the character to perform an Instant Charge, which cuts the attack's animation short and completely empties the RF gauge. It is also accompanied by a split-second freeze, providing some bonus time to input the next attack. While most attacks are followed by a recovery delay during which the player cannot attack or defend, a well-timed IC lets you ignore this recovery time, allowing the creation of some particularly innovative combos.
Also, if the RF gauge was in the light blue stage, an IC will boost damage and increase the opponent's juggle timer for the remainder of the combo. The increase in damage and juggling is directly related with the amount in the RF gauge at the time of the IC.

Flicker Instant Charge (FIC)

Certain attacks will let you perform an IC even if the attack is not successful (i.e. the attack completely misses the opponent), or if the attack is a projectile. Doing this is called a Flicker Instant Charge. An FIC has the same properties as an IC, except that it can only be done in specific frames of the attack, making the timing more difficult.

Reinforce Attack (RF Attack/EX Attack)

RF attacks are typically high-damage, high-priority versions of special moves, and are performed by doing particular special move inputs using C. They can only be performed when the RF gauge is in the red or light blue stage. If the gauge is red, it will cost 50% RF to perform an RF attack (which will certainly drop the RF gauge back to the dark blue stage). If the gauge is light blue, it will only cost 25% RF, or whatever amount is remaining if there is less than 25% RF left.

Recoil Guard (RG)

[Just as opponent's attack is about to hit, tap 4 for high RG, tap 1 for low RG]

A Recoil Guard is a strictly-timed block. It differs from a normal block in that RGing an attack will negate the block stun, pushback, and chip damage normallly associated with blocking the attack. However, it will not stop the opponent from cancelling the RGed attack into another attack as if it were a normal block, so you will have to choose when to counterattack at your own discretion.
In order to recoil guard an attack, you must generally be in the same state (standing, crouching, or midair) as you need to be if you were just going to block normally. For example, if an attack can only be guarded low, it can only be recoil guarded low as well. If an attack is unblockable, then it cannot be RGed. The only exception to this rule is that you can use RG to block non-throw attacks in midair that cannot be normally blocked midair.

Recoil Counter

[Just as opponent's counterattack from RG is about to hit, tap 4]

If the opponent recoil guards your attack and tries to counterattack during your attack's recovery frames, you will be allowed to recoil guard, cutting your attack's animation short. It is then possible for you to counterattack back and for the opponent to recoil counter back, and so on. So these are some ways to prevent the opponent from recoil countering:
  • Use a throw command if the opportunity arises. These can never be recoil countered.
  • Don't counterattack immediately. Instead, wait a bit before attacking in order to ruin their timing.

Recoil Armor

Recoil Armor is a property that allows a character to take a hit without receiving hit stun. When a character with Recoil Armor is hit, she will flash white and pause for a small moment, then continue to move. Recoil Armor is activated when performing certain attacks, Eterny Specials, and Final Memories.
Recoil Armor only provides protection from hit stun. Full damage will be taken from incoming attacks, and multiple hits will not be considered a combo. As a result, their damage will not be scaled. Also, Recoil Armor can be defeated by throws and certain attacks.
Anti Armor Moves
  • Normal Text - Antiarmor move.
  • (Parenthesized Text) - Throws or grappling moves. Includes unblockables that break armor.
  • ! Mark - Not antiarmor, but multihitting moves that often last longer than armor. Alternatively, moves that are not advised to be used during Rumi's Kimchi FM.
Nagamori Mizuka
  • 2C [with bow]
  • Note explosion
  • 214214A/B Explosion
  • (236236A/B/C)
  • (6BA6A)
Nanase Rumi
  • 214B/C
  • (41236A/B/C)
  • 41236~236B
  • 214214A/B/C
  • 236236A/B/C
Satomura Akane
  • !5C
  • (AA6BC)
  • (214*~4C)
Kawana Misaki
  • (623A/B/C)
  • 22A/B
  • (6321463214A/B/C)
  • 222S
Shiina Mayu
  • 41236D
  • 214S
  • (641236A/B/C)
  • (23693S)
Kouzuki Mio
  • 236A/B [plus followups]
  • ![Close Range Mode] 2B
  • ![Long Range] j5D - Float can be used to hover close to the opponent, above the range of the armored attack's hitbox. This can give you a much better position to punish from as opposed to doing a full jump.
  • ![Long Range] 412X
Tsukimiyu Ayu
  • !214214A
  • !641236A/B/C
  • !AA4BC
Minase Nayuki (Asleep)
  • 236236A/B/C
  • C236236
  • !214214C
Sawatari Makoto
  • f5B
  • 5C [second bullet and onward]
  • jC
  • j2C
  • 263S
Misaka Shiori
  • 641236A/B/C
  • 236236BC
Kawasumi Mai
Kurata Sayuri
  • (41236A/B/C)
  • (2141236A/B/C)
  • (6321463214A/B/C)
  • (22A2S)
  • 236236A/B/C
Kamio Misuzu
  • 214214A/B/C
  • 41236A
  • 41236C
  • (AA2BC)
Kirishima Kano
  • 214214B
  • 236236C [falling meteors]
  • (214236S)
Tohno Minagi
  • 412A/B/C
Amasawa Ikumi
  • 41236C
  • (4123641236*)
  • Rampage [startup explosion]
Doppel Nanase
  • (41236A/B/C)
  • (236236A/B/C)
  • 463214A/B/C
  • j236236A/B/C
  • 236236A/B/C
Minase Nayuki (Awake)
  • 641236A/B/C
Amano Mishio
  • None
Misaka Kaori
  • (641236)
  • (666S)
Minase Akiko
  • 236B [Durian only]
  • 41236A/B/C
  • 236236A/B/C
  • 214214A/B/C
  • (641236A/B/C)
  • (2A2BC)

Guard Attack/Guard Point

A guard attack is an attack that protects the performing character from getting hit as if she is guarding. They allow characters to guard incoming attacks with another attack: the guard attack will guard the incoming hit and continue its animation after a short pause. Similarly to guarding, no damage is taken from normal attacks, chip damage is taken from special moves, and the guard visual effect and sound are shown.
Guard attacks are useful for counterattacks with the benefit that little or no damage is taken. However, a guard attack does not protect during all its animation, so using them properly requires good timing.

Eterny Special (Super)

An Eterny Special is a special move that requires SP gauge to be performed. There are three levels of Eterny Specials; level 1 is the weakest and level 3 is the strongest. The stronger an Eterny Special, the more SP gauge it consumes. In most cases, the level of an Eterny Special is determined by the button used to enter its command.
  • Level 1: Light attack button. Consumes one level of SP gauge.
  • Level 2: Medium attack button. Consumes two levels of SP gauge.
  • Level 3: Strong attack button. Consumes three levels of SP gauge.
If you input the command for a particular level of Eterny Special but do not have the required super meter for it, then the highest available level of Eterny Special will be performed instead. Also, some Eterny Specials are level 1 no matter what button is used. On these cases, the button determines the Eterny Special's behavior and/or effect. Eterny Specials have a time stop and flash effect that is common in fighting games. The flash effect will change with the level of the Eterny Special.

Final Memory (FM)

A Final Memory is a character's last resort move. They require 3 levels of SP gauge and the character's life gauge should be at 33% or less (flashing red). The time stop and flash of a Final Memory are the same as a level 3 Eterny Special.
Final Memories are also called hidden supers because their commands were not shown in the user's manual. They were officially printed for the first time in the Eternal Fighter ZERO –Memorial– manual.

System Arcane

Damage Scaling

Damage scales according to the Power displayed under the combo hit counter; the damage of a move is the maximum between the Base Move Damage and Power * Base Move Damage.
Power can increase beyond 100% by using a Blue Instant Charge.
During a combo, Power is computed according to the following equation:
New Power = Old Power - (Old Power * Current Move's Proration Value)
If the factor (Old Power * Current Move's Proration Value) is above 1 (or 100%), then the Move's proration is applied twice. It is therefore more efficient to use BIC later in the combo.

Juggle Timer

Power also scales your juggle time. As a result, the more hits in your combo, the lower power gets, and the less juggle meter you gain for each subsequent hit.
For a more in-depth explanation, please refer to Eternal Fighter Zero/Advanced Mechanics#Juggle Gauge

Guard Gauge

When blocking attacks, a cyan bar fills below the defending player. This bar is invisible when not blocking, but it hasn't gone away. It drains slowly over time, and when a character is juggled, it increases their juggle time toward the beginning of a combo. While the Juggle Gauge is displayed, the Guard Gauge will rapidly and invisibly drain. Until then, the juggle time for the opponent will be frozen; each successful hit will correctly set the opponent's hitstun, but the hitstun will not tick down until the Guard Gauge is emptied.

Move Cancelling

A move cancel is when you "cancel" the recovery frames of an initial attack by performing another attack. Doing this allows the player to chain moves together in rapid succession. You can move cancel an attack only if the initial attack landed on the opponent (almost all of the time it does not matter if the opponent blocks). Usually, a move can be only cancelled into a higher class move, in the order of A normals, B normals, C normals, and special/super moves. Sometimes, moves can be cancelled by a move of the same class. For example, all A normals can cancel into themselves, and all characters have some form of B-button normal sequence where a B-move chains with another B-move. Rarely, a move might be cancelled by a lower class move, such as Kaori's B-version "Cyclone Upper" move into an A normal.

Jump Cancelling

A jump cancel is when you "cancel" the recovery frames of an attack with a jump. Doing this allows the player to follow their opponent into the air for an air combo, or to confuse the opponent with a high/low mixup. You can jump cancel an attack only if the initial attack landed on the opponent (most of the time it does not matter if the opponent blocks).

Nayuki (asleep)
Nayuki (awake)