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Schwarzerblitz is a classical 1v1 3D fighting game with some mechanics similar to SoulCalibur, Dead or Alive and Tekken. Each character starts the match with 250 health, at the center of the stage. The round timer can be set to 15, 30, 60, 99, or infinite. The number of round can be set between 1 and 15 (first to 8). All characters share the same movement speed and basic movement options.
There are three separate conditions for winning a round:
- K.O. the opponent by reducing their health to 0;
- Send the opponent out of the ring (in the stages which allow so);
- Have the life lead when the timer reaches 0 (the player who has the life lead has an additional blinking round counter, see the HUD section for more details).
If two players K.O. each other at the same time, ring out each other at the same time or end a round with exactly the same amount of health, the round is a draw and both player receive one round counter. If the last round ends in a draw, additional rounds are played until one is won by one of the two players.
The game uses a five buttons layout, plus 8 directions. The five action buttons are:
- Guard (G), used for blocking incoming attacks, crouching, jumping and wake-up after a knockdown
- Punch (P), used for a variety of attacks, mostly involving punches, shoulder tackles, elbow blows or headbutts
- Kick (K), used for a variety of attacks, mostly involving kicks, stomps and knee blows
- Tech (T), used for performing throws and for special actions not covered by or , such as performing special moves, projectile attacks, and stance transitions (for specific characters)
- Trigger (Tg), used for performing special actions, mostly involving Bullet Counters, such as Trigger Combos, Trigger Guard and Impact Cancels
The movement options in this game are similar to those found in the SoulCalibur series. Pressing one direction results in the character moving around in the 3D space in that specific direction. For a character facing right, using numpad notation:
|7: away from opponent, towards background||8: background sidewalk||9: towards opponent, towards background|
|4: away from opponent||5: neutral||6: towards opponent|
|1: away from opponent, towards foreground||2: foreground sidewalk||3: towards opponent, towards foreground|
Foreground and background sidewalks circle around the opponent instead of moving parallel to the stage borders. All sidewalks make the character fully invincible against projectiles, unless their movement is stopped by a wall.
Jump and crouch
A character can crouch by pressing the Guard Button (G) together with 1, 2 or 3 and keeping 2 pressed. While crouched, the player can let go of G to keep the character in this state and make use of their crouching attacks. A crouching character is immune to High attacks (see the relevant section about attack types).
A character can also jump, by pressing the Guard Button (G) together with 7 (back jump), 8 (neutral jump) or 9 (forward jump). A jumping character has access to two or more jump attacks and is immune to Low attacks (see the relevant section about attack types). If a jumping character is hit by an attack, they will be propelled away as if hit by an Impact Attack (see the relevant section about the topic). Characters are considered airborne from the instant the buttons are pressed, but won't be able to perform any aerial attacks until frame 6.
Dash and run
By double tapping 8, 2 o 4 (6 for a character facing left), a character can perform a background sidedash, a foreground sidedash, or a backdash respectively. The backdash is fully invincible but has a 18 frames cooldown before it can be used again, while the sidedash is invincibile against High and Mid attacks only. A sidedash can be canceled into a backdash once by pressing 4, while a backdash can be canceled into a sidedash once by pressing 2 or 8. No more than a cancel dash is possible.
By double tapping 6 (4 for a character facing left) and keeping it pressed, the character will start to run. After starting to run, there is a 8 frames window where no attack can be inputed, effectively making all running attacks at least i8. If 9G is pressed during a run, the normal jump is replaced by a Run Jump Cancel, effectively increasing its range by a significant amount. Run Jump Cancel (RJC) is an effective technique in closing in to zoners.
In Schwarzerblitz, there are five main types of attacks:
- High: attacks aimed at the upper part of the body. They whiff on crouching opponents, can be blocked with a standing guard
- Mid: attacks which hit both standing and crouching opponents. Must be blocked with a standing guard;
- Low: attacks which whiff against jumping opponents. Must be blocked with a crouching guard;
- Throw: subdivided into High Throw, Mid Throw and Low Throw, they are unblockable attacks which lead to a throw. Most of the times, it can be teched by pressing the Tech Button (T) in a short time window. They cannot be teched while Triggered (see the Trigger Combo section for an in-depth explanation). Throws do not generally work against characters with active hitboxes - so, they usually lose a trade with a standard attack;
- Throw Attack: subdivided into High Throw Attack, Mid Throw Attack and Low Throw Attack, they are attacks which can be blocked normally but, if they connect, lead to an - usually - untechable throw. They cannot be blocked while Triggered (see the Trigger Combo section for an in-depth explanation). Some throw attacks, like Johnson's 3K or Mono's running P, have priority against normal attacks and will win trades with them, in contrast with the general throw rule highlighted above.
There are seven kinds of standard attack reactions, with a set hitstun value:
- Weak: the opponent almost stands in place, hitstun duration is 15 frames. If a Weak attack connects with a jumping opponent, it is turned into a Weak Impact;
- Strong: the opponent is pushed significantly back, histun duration is 24 frames. If a Strong attack connects with a jumping opponent, it is turned into an Impact;
- Impact: the opponent is sent flying and land with a techable knockdown;
- Weak Impact:the opponent flies on the spot for a very short time and lands with a techable knockdown;
- Standing Impact: the opponent flies on the spot and lands with a techable knockdown;
- Reverse Impact: the opponent flies towards the attacker and lands with a techable knockdown;
- Smackdown: the opponent suffers an untechable knockdown.
Notice that throws operate with their own set of rules and can have a wild variety of additional effects.
Projectiles have some specific interaction rules:
- they don't hit any sidestepping opponent, unless their path is blocked by a wall;
- they don't get any additional properties from Trigger Mode;
- they collide and can canel each other.
Projectiles have different priorities. During a collision, a projectile loses 1 unit of priority and, if its overall priority falls to 0, they are automatically deleted. Thus, a high-priority projectile (like Skeleton's 698T) can mow through a full barrage of lower priority projectiles, before being stopped. Notice that the damage of a projectile is not dependent on the amount of priority left.
Unlike most fighting games, damage scaling in the game does not depend on the number of hits of a combo; instead, it is calculated based on the amount of damage dished out during a combo, considered as a percentage on the overall lifebar. Since health is universally set to 250 outside Story mode, this translates into the following table:
|damage (%)||damage (points)||scaling factor (%)|
|< 17%||< 42||100%|
|> 40%||> 100||10%|
The scaling factor is calculated depending on the total combo damage before the current move. Thus, if the combo has dealt e.g. 82 damage so far and one performs a 20 damage move, the applied scaling will be 40% (total damage: 82 + 20*0.4 = 90). The next move in the combo will have a damage scaling of 30% instead.
Independent of scaling, moves always deal a minimum of 1 damage. Projectiles, as well as some throws, are not affected by damage scaling. Some moves, like Evilobster's Empire State Suplex, have a reduced scaling penalty, dealing a higher minimum guaranteed damage.
When a character is knocked down, it can be still hit by most Low and some Mid attacks, causing a restand and receiving full damage - however, all Impact attacks will cause instead a Strong reaction on the downed character. For the actions that can be taken while in a knocked down state, please consult the relevant section.
If an opponent has its back at the wall on an open side of a stage, they can suffer a Ring out if they are hit with an Impact attack (see the relevant section about the topic). A ring out is an instant win condition for the current round, independent from the amount of health left or the amount of remaining time.
Only certain stages allow ring out - it can be toggled On or Off at the character selection screen, while selecting a stage.
Guarding an attack, much like in Soulcalibur, is performed by pressing the Guard Button (G). There is no chip damage in the game, not even from projectile attacks. There are two kind of guards:
- Standing guard: used against High and Mid attacks, performed by pressing and keeping pressed G while standing;
- Crouching guard: used against Low attacks, performed by pressing and keeping pressed 1G, 2G or 3G while standing or crouching.
You can switch guard even during blockstun by simply pressing or releasing 2 while keeping G pressed. Using the wrong guard (e.g. a crouching guard against a Mid attack) and being hit by said attack will put the defending character in a counter state(see the relevant section).
Whenever a character is hit while performing a move or while performing the wrong guard (e.g. trying to block a Low attack with a standing guard, the hit is considered a counter hit, netting a 20% additional damage and 50% additional hitstun (up to a hitstun cap of 36 frames).
Infinite Prevention System
From version 1.1 on, there is an infinite prevention system in place to avoid infinite combos to take place. If the same moves hits the opponent more than once in a combo outside of Trigger mode, the hitstun of said move will be reduced to 70% of the normal value. If the move hits more than twice in the same combo, the hitstun is instead halved. This prevents Bullet-less loops to be a viable tactics.
Some characters (Krave, Cyphr and Wally, as of version 1.0) have access to special stances with different movement options. Usually, a specific command is involved to transition from or to this stance. If a character is hit while in a Special Stance, they will be brought back to the standard Standing Idle stance, no matter the kind of hit.
The equivalent of EX-meter, they can be used for a variety of effects. See the relevant section for additional details.