Eternal Fighter Zero/Game Mechanics

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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, 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 (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. It is also often called air teching.
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)


Most attacks cause 10f hitstop for both the attacker and defender, but certain moves inflict additional hitstop on the defender only (e.g. Mai c.5B or Rumi 5A). Attack level does not affect hitstop in any way. This applies on hit and on block.

Juggle Gauge

The Juggle Gauge appears when a character is launched into the air (also known as Untechable Time). Its maximum length represents 35 frames of hitstun, and if an attack would inflict more, the Juggle Gauge will maintain its maximum length until the remaining hitstun drops below this value. When there are 20 frames of hitstun remaining, the Juggle Gauge turns yellow, and when there are 10 frames of hitstun remaining, it turns red. When the Juggle Gauge completely empties, the opponent enters an invincible state and falls to the ground, able to Airtech.
Juggle Time is calculated according to the following formula (Math.Floor indicates that the result is rounded down):
  • Juggle Time = Math.Floor(Untech Time of move x Current Proration x Correction Factor)
Untech Time can be found in the frame data for each character, and Current Proration should be taken as the proration before the move hits. Tests with Shiori and Rumi indicate that Correction Factor = 0.8, but other sources say it's 0.75. It's possible that this value is character-specific, but that will require further research.

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 untechable time toward the beginning of a combo. While the Juggle Gauge is displayed, the Guard Gauge will rapidly and invisibly drain. Until then, the untechable 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.
It takes 146 frames to empty a full Guard Gauge for a juggled opponent (this timer continues ticking during hitstop). If the opponent hits the ground before emptying the Guard Gauge, the Guard Gauge is not reset; it remains at whatever value it was just prior to hitting the ground.
The Guard Gauge fills proportional to the damage of the blocked attack, but the bar does not increase during a Recoil Guard. Treating 1000 damage as 1000 units, the Guard Gauge has a max of ~12000 units and recovers ~7.5 units per frame (while not in hit or blockstun), recovering from full in exactly 25 seconds.
Eternal Fighter Zero

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