Eternal Fighter ZERO

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Introduction

Eternal Fighter ZERO (EFZ) is a fan-made 2D fighting game developed by Twilight Frontier. It uses characters originally created by the "visual novel" studio Key, including characters created while Key was still part of its parent company Tactics. Due to the popularity of the original material, the quality of the sprite work, and the sillyness of the concept, EFZ has gained a relatively large fan following. With every release came detailed feedback concerning bugs, balancing issues, and suggestions, which they would then then address in the next patch. Eternal Fighter ZERO -Memorial- is the last and final version in its long history of evolution. Behind the cute and wacky graphics lies an incredibly solid fighting engine and a well-balanced character roster that was born out of the efforts of the entire fan community.

In Eternal Fighter ZERO, there is no overlying storyline or reason for fighting; it is simply a dream battle between Key's most beloved female characters. The backgrounds are faithful renditions of important locations within the original games, and the entire soundtrack is based on remixed BGMs from the original games. As much as EFZ is based off characters from visual novels, many of the characters' moves and abilities are parodies from other fighting games, like Guilty Gear, Street Fighter, and The King of Fighters.

Notation

Joystick Notation

Directional command notation is as follows:

                   .- up (u)
                   |
  up+back (ub) - 7 8 9 - up+forward (uf)

      back (b) - 4   6 - forward (f)

down+back (db) - 1 2 3 - down+foward (df)
                   |
                   `- down (d)

Note: These numbers can be easily referenced by looking at your keyboard "numpad". Think of it as a joystick/controller that is facing to the right. "5" is used to signify "neutral".

Button Notation

  • A - Light Attack
  • B - Medium Attack
  • C - Strong Attack
  • S - Special (not used by every character)

Miscellaneous Notation

  • j. - The following move should be performed in the "midair" position (i.e. "j.236A" means to perform "236A" whilst in the air).
  • (c) - Refers to the close version of the preceding move (i.e. "B(c)" refers to the B attack when in close range).
  • (f) - Refers to the far version of the preceding move (i.e. "B(f)" refers to the B attack when far away).

Game Screen

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FPS

Displays the number of Frames Per Second the game is currently running at. The normal value is 64.

Life Gauge (ライフゲージ)

Displays the amount of remaining life for the players 1 and 2 respectively. With default settings, both players start out each round with 10,000 life. Once a player's life gauge is empty, they are "down" and the opponent's win count will be incremented by 1. Chip damage can bring one's life to "zero vital", but chip damage will not defeat the player. Only a direct hit will cause a player to lose the round.

Win Count (勝利カウント)

Displays the number of rounds won. Once a player's win count reaches the maximum number required, that player wins the match.

RF Gauge (RFゲージ) or RF Meter

Used to power Instant Charges and Reinforce Attacks, discussed in more detail later. It has three distinct stages which it cycles through:
  • Dark blue: Represents 0% to 50% RF meter. The meter fills slowly over time, but fills up twice as fast while blocking the opponent's attacks, and stops filling momentarily while in hit stun or in a knockdown state. Left alone, it takes about 10 seconds to completely fill and move to the red stage.
  • Red: Represents 50% to 100% RF meter. It behaves just like the dark blue state, but fills at a slower rate. Left alone, it takes about 25 seconds to completely fill and move to the light blue stage.
  • Light blue: Represents 100% down to 0% RF meter. The meter no longer fills up with time, and taking damage will drain it slightly. The longer you stay in hit stun, the more RF meter is drained. Once the meter empties, it loops back to the dark blue stage.

SP Gauge (SPゲージ) or Super Meter

Displays the character's SP. The number beside the gauge and the color of the gauge represent the number of SP Levels currently available to the player. SP is gained by attacking or being attacked by the opponent, and is consumed by performing advanced moves, called Eterny Specials. Therefore, you will not be able to perform those moves if you do not have sufficient SP. Also, the maximum SP Level is 3.

Untechable Time (受身不能時間) or Stun Timer

Typically when the opponent is launched into the air, this coloured bar appears below them. This quickly-decreasing bar dictates how long the opponent can be juggled without being able to do anything about it. Every hit on the opponent will extend the timer for a certain amount. Once the bar depletes the opponent will be safe from any further attacks, and the opponent can then choose to either fall safely to the ground in a knockdown state, or perform an air recovery to regain control quicker. However, there are certain moves which do not display a stun gauge and still allow the opponent to be juggled.
The initial value of the opponent's stun timer depends on the value of the opponent's guard meter. The guard meter appears as a light blue bar that appears below the opponent while they are in a state of block stun. It increases in value for every attack the opponent blocks in quick succession, but completely empties after 2 to 3 seconds of respite. The higher the guard meter, the longer the stun time once launched. It discourages overly defensive play, since the increased timer can lead to longer and more damaging combos than what would normally be possible.

Game Mechanics

Guard (ガード) or Block [Hold 4]

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 (ダッシュ) and Backstep (バックステップ) [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.

Jump (ジャンプ) [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.

Throw (投げ) [When next to the opponent, 4 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 (空中復帰) [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 (空中復帰) [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.

Instant Charge (インスタントチャージ) or IC [RF gauge must be red or light blue, 22C during an successful attack]

If the RF gauge is in the red or light blue stage, pressing 22C during a successful, non-projectile attack 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 stun 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 (フリッカーインスタントチャージ) or 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 (レインフォース必殺技) or RF 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 (リコイルガード) or RG [Just as opponent's attack is about to hit, tap 4]

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 (リコイルカウンター) [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 (リコイルアーマー)

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.

Guard Attack (ガードアタック)

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 (エタニースペシャル) or 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 (ファイナルメモリー) or 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 Arcanae

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).

Damage Scaling

There are 3 factors that can affect your damage output:
  • Power: As you chain hits together in a combo, the power of subsequent attacks will be lowered by the proration of all previous attacks. As the combo gets longer, the proration accumulates, and the power decreases more and more. The current power factor is shown as part of the combo display.
  • Guts: As the opponent's life decreases, they will take less damage, to a minimum multiplier of 0.5. The exact formula is:
  • Guts Factor = 0.5 × (life / 10000) + 0.5
  • RF: As your RF meter increases, your damage will increase linearly, to a maximum multiplier of 1.1. The exact formula is:
  • RF Factor = 0.1 × RF meter percent + 1.0
Damage dealt = Base Damage × Opponent's Guts Factor × Player's RF Factor × (Player's Power / 100)

The Characters

MOON

ONE ~kagayaku kisetsu he~

Kanon

AIR

Miscellaneous

Title Screen

The following choices are available to you from the title screen:

  • Arcade — Play 7 matches against random opponents, ending with a final match against either Kanna or UNKNOWN.
  • VS CPU — Play a match against a CPU opponent of your choosing.
  • VS Human — Play a match against a human opponent.
  • Practice — Train against a practice dummy of your choosing.
  • Replay — Watch or record your own matches.
  • Options — Goes to the Options Screen to adjust the game's settings.
  • Exit — Exits the game.

Options Screen

The following choices are available to you in the option screen:

  • FPS — Choose between "30" or "60" frames per second.
  • Damage — Choose between "50%", "100%", and "200%" damage levels.
  • Visual Effects — Choose between "Plain" or "Normal". Plain removes some of the extraneous hit-effects and particle explosions.
  • CPU — Set the CPU difficulty level, from 1 (easiest) to 4 (hardest)
  • Win Count — Set the number of rounds needed to win a match, from 1 to 3.
  • Loading Screens — Browse through all the loading screen artwork used in the game.
  • Character Stats — Browse through a few statistics for each character:
    • Number of matches played
    • Number of matches won
    • Number of matches lost
    • Most damage in a single combo
    • Most hits in a single combo

Special Function Keys

Key Mode Function
F4 VS/Practice Sets the automatic regeneration point of your RF meter.
F5 VS/Practice Changes game behaviour between the options:
  • Automatic regeneration with full RF, full SP, and full life
  • Automatic regeneration with full RF, full SP, and 1/3 (flashing) life
  • No automatic regeneration
F6 Practice Changes the practice dummy's stance between ducking, jumping, and standing.
F6 Replay Restart the recording of your replay.
F7 Practice Toggles the practice dummy's blocking on/off.
F8 All Modes Pause the game.
Esc All Modes End the match prematurely.

Game Versions

Eternal Fighter ZERO

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EFZ version 1.x. It was released by Twilight Frontier on December 2001, during Comic Market 61.

There were 12 playable characters in this version, with 6 characters coming from ONE (Mizuka, Rumi, Akane, Misaki, Mayu, and Mio) and another 6 from Kanon (Ayu, Nayuki, Makoto, Shiori, Mai, and Sayuri). UNKNOWN from ONE was used as the final boss.

Eternal Fighter ZERO was later released as Eternal Fighter ZERO –RENEWAL–.

The latest version of this release is 1.20.

Eternal Fighter ZERO –Blue Sky Edition– (EFZ:BSE)

Efzbse-cover.png

EFZ version 2.x. Released by Twilight Frontier on August 2002, during Comic Market 62.

This version added 3 new characters from AIR (Mizusu, Kano, and Minagi), and added UNKNOWN as a hidden playable character, bringing the total number of playable characters to 16. Kanna from AIR was used as the true final boss.

A second edition of Eternal Fighter ZERO –Blue Sky Edition– was released after the Comic Market release.

The latest version of this release is 2.13.

Eternal Fighter ZERO –Bad Moon Edition– (EFZ:BME)

Efzbme-cover.png

EFZ version 3.x. Released by Twilight Frontier on August 2003, during Comic Market 64.

This version added 4 more characters to the mix (Ikumi from MOON, Doppel Nanase from ONE, Mishio and Kaori from Kanon), bringing the total to 20 characters. Physics become a bit floatier. Air throws are introduced. Guard meter is moved to the HUD.

The latest version of this release is 3.10.

Eternal Fighter ZERO –Memorial– (EFZ:M)

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EFZ version 4.x. Released by Twilight Frontier on October 2005.

This version added 2 more characters (Nayuki (awake) and Akiko from Kanon) and made Kanna an officially playable character as well, bringing the total to 23 characters. Guard meter is moved back below the character.

Eternal Fighter ZERO –Memorial– was first released in Twilight Frontier's web page as an update patch for previous Eternal Fighter ZERO editions. A packaged, DVD release was later published.

The latest version of this release is 4.02.

External links

Eternal Fighter ZERO

Game MechanicsMove List Notation

AkaneAkikoAyuDoppelIkumiKannaKanoKaoriMakotoMaiMayuMinagiMioMisakiMishioMisuzuMizukaNayuki (asleep)Nayuki (awake)RumiSayuriShioriUNKNOWN