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Bushido Blade 2/System
As stated in the PS1 manual: "This game is designed to reproduce realistic sword fights. So, battles may end by just one fatal hit to the head, chest or abdominal area." This can be achieved with a singular weapon attack. The key to winning lies in your character of choice, and weapon of choice. Each weapon has an inherent weight to consider. Each character has a preference in speed, power, or balance of the two, as well as Weapon Effectiveness, their level of proficiency with each weapon. When combined, these preferences give access to faster attacks, unique moves, unique weapon stances, and the advantage in combat.
The game uses a standard Playstation controller.
- D-pad: Move character
- Left Stick: Unused
- Right Stick: Unused
- Square: Change Weapon Stance
- X: Reverse Attack
- Circle: Frontal Attack
- Triangle: Unused, except in menus to de-confirm selections
- L1: Run
- L2: Unused
- R1: Hop
- R2: Crouch
- Start: Pause game
- Select: Surrender
Basic Attacks and Movement
- Pressing right or left moves you Towards or Back from the opponent. Up sidesteps into the background. Down sidesteps into the foreground.
- Double tapping any direction does a large step in that direction. Stepping is a good way to cover ground quickly and dodge the opponents attacks.
- Press Circle, or O, to do a Frontal Attack - Straightforward attacks with no wrist movement. These are usually stabs and vertical swings.
- Press X to do a Reverse Attack - Attacks using wrist movement. These are usually horizontal or upward swings.
Attacks can vary when holding a direction or inputting multiple directions, for more unique attacks.
The basic attacks also change depending on your weapon and stance.
- Hold L1 while pressing any direction to free run. Attack with Circle or X to do unique attacks. Running in front of a still opponent can start a Sword Clash, and knock them down from behind. 2 opponents running each other will knock each other down.
- R2 causes you to crouch momentarily. While crouched, you can press R1 to do a full high jump, Circle to use Sub-Weapons, or X to Blind the opponent. Pressing Towards the opponent plus R2 causes you to crouch while moving forward. During this forward crouch, you can perform Major Attacks or a high jump forward. You can also crouch while running.
- R1 makes your character do a little hop and a quick attack above their head. If timed well, you can hit someone jumping over you.
Pressing R1 while your opponent's lying on the ground performs the pursuing Disadvantaged Attack.
- Press R1 while crouching to high jump. Press it while crouching forward, to high jump forward. You can attack with Circle or X after jumping.
You can also climb up cliffs and higher planes when standing near a ledge by pressing a direction towards it plus R1. Attack immediately after climbing up, with Circle or X.
- When you are lying on the ground, press up or down to roll into the background or foreground. Towards and Back to roll forward or backwards and then stand up. Press an attack button during the roll to do a rising attack as soon as the roll is finished. (Attacking while remaining on the ground is only in the first game.)
Every weapon has three Stances. Press Square to cycle through them. Most generally fall into the categories of High, Normal, and Low, but some characters replace one of them with the special Two Sword Stance or Iai Stance, depending on the weapon they're using.
- High Stances give the highest offense capability. The weapon is usually held over the wielder's head.
- Normal Stances are balanced in offense and defense, with the weapon held in front of the character.
- Low Stances are more defensive, are lower to the ground, and have the weapon pointed down, or behind the character.
- Two Sword Stance is only available to the Narukagami characters who have a Kodachi as a Sub-Weapon, with the exception of Highwayman, on the Shainto side. Specifically: Tatsumi, Utsusemi, and Matsumushi. This Stance gives high versatility with fencer-style poking stabs and multiple quick slashes, but hits to the arm holding it will cause the sword to be knocked down away, and completely unusable when it's injured.
- Iai (quick-draw) Stance can only be used by certain Shainto members, and only with the Katana or Longsword. Specifically: Gengoro, Kaun, and Tony Umeda. Attacks in this Stance have quick startup but long recovery, and since the sword is sheathed, you're more open to attacks.
Power vs. Speed
Power characters tend to have the advantage after attack exchanges, winning them and following up with a killing blow. Speed characters naturally have quicker strikes and movement, such as overhead strikes while maintaining a run, and make it easier to avoid clashes altogether, moving around to an enemy's open spots. Picking a speed-based character with a light weapon, or a heavy character with a heavy weapon may lead to the highest advantage for that character, but success is not guaranteed. Victory is achieved by recognizing the visual flaws in your opponent's stance and attack swings, timing your blocks when necessary, and attacking the areas they've left open in these states.
Single Hit Fatality System
Weapon strikes are represented by a burst of color at the point of impact. Different visual effects represent different situations.
- Red (blood) - Shown during a Fatal Hit, when the opponent has been killed.
- Blue and Purple – Shown during a perfect parry / Perfect Defense.
- Green – Shown during a defensive parry / Defense Break, where the character is thrown off balance, open to attack.
- Red and White - Shown during a Neutral Hit, when weapons hit each other or other obstacles.
- Orange - Shown during a Damage Hit.
While the blocking mechanic from the first game has been removed, it has been replaced with parrying. To parry an attack, you must press an attack button just before your opponents attack connects. It is roughly similar to parry timing in Third Strike. There are two different types of parry defense:
- Perfect Defense, or perfect parry, occurs when you parry an attack using the attack button opposite from the one your opponent used, visually shown by a blue and purplish hit spark. For example, if your opponent did a Frontal Attack with O, you would press X just before the attack connects. (It is suggested in the official strategy guide that you follow up a Perfect Defense using the type of attack your opponent used.) However, your character's Weapon Effectiveness and power determines if you're actually at an advantage after a parry. For example, when a Speed character with a light weapon perfect parries an attack from a Power character with a heavy weapon, the Speed character can still be staggered.
- A Defense Break (Poor Defense or Defensive Parry), happens when you parry successfully, but used the same type of attack your opponent did, shown by a green hit spark. You'll be thrown off balance, and, against Power type characters with heavy weapons, highly susceptible to fatal hits before you can recover.
It is not impossible for Speed characters to win these exchanges, but it may be preferable to use free running, sidestepping and fake outs with quick strikes to get to your opponent's open spots, or whiff punish their overall slower attacks.
If your weapon clashes with the opponent's, a Neutral Hit occurs, where a red-white tinted spark will flash. If you were not thrown off balance after the clash, press Circle during this to do a retaliating slash. In certain situations, depending on your stance or the position you're in after your attack, you can also retaliate with X. If the weapons clash again, you can attack again.
If a Neutral Hit occurs, but you are significantly thrown off balance due to your previous attack or stance, press X to do a counter attack. There are four different animations depending on the direction your weapon is deflected.
When the opponent is hit by a strike, but not killed, causing an orange circular hit spark. Non-critical damage is inflicted, but after enough hits, attacks become slower and weaker. When an arm is severely damaged, you cannot use Sub-Weapons or Blind, and weapon stance functionality is reduced overall, losing access to some moves.
Extra Combat Mechanics
Sword Clash / Close Contest
This occurs when attacks from you and your opponent connect with each other at the same time, as opposed to before or after the attacks. You will then enter a tug of war to see who can push the other to the ground. Mash X or Circle button repeatedly to win the struggle. If both players started off in a standing position, they must win 3 struggles in a row to knock down the opponent. The opponent can regain balance and advantage by winning a struggle. To exit the struggle altogether, press back while both players are standing. You can also initiate this by running in front of an idle opponent, beginning the struggle with them at a disadvantage.
Major Attacks may leave you open to attacks during the initial crouch's startup, but lead to unique powerful moves, like far-reaching thrusts, leg-sweeping strikes, or a special move unique to that character. Press Towards+R2 to crouch step forward, then press Circle or X.
Press R1 when your opponent is lying on the ground. Your character will jump high into the air and stab the opponent. Generally the opponent has enough time to see it coming and roll out of the way, but doing it quickly enough can be useful. The Yari amd Naginata have a short jumping spin which is difficult to get a fatal blow with, but can knock the opponent back down.
After crouching in place with R2, press Circle. Depending on the Sub-Weapon, it can cause stagger on hit, or kill the opponent outright. Sub-Weapons can be parried using either attack button. If they're still on the ground after being used, you can stand over them and crouch to pick them back up. You can pick up your opponent's Sub-Weapons and throw them back, or hold on to them so they can't use them. If your arm is injured enough from Damage Hits, where an orange flash occurs upon non fatal hits, you cannot throw or pick up Sub-Weapons.
Blinding The Opponent / Sand Attack
Press X while crouching. The range is shorter than most Sub-Weapons, but causes the same stagger, cannot be blocked, and can be used as long as you are standing on ground terrain or water. If you're not standing on a natural surface, your character will do the animation without throwing anything. If your arm is injured, you cannot perform a sand attack.
Karami Waza / Grabs
Some characters have access to these, depending on their weapon and stance. Press Back then X when close to the opponent. These typically perform an instant kill, but can be parried before they start, with Circle at the right time. These are only possible with certain character/weapon combinations. Weapons themselves can physically get in the way of you being close enough to grab, but if you were too far away for a grab, you will just do a normal X attack. You have to be very close for it to connect, barely one foot away at most. However, as long as you are facing towards them, you can grab them from any angle they're facing.
There are some battle stages with cliffs where the drop is too far for your character to survive, leading to instant death. As the PS1 manual says, "The character will die if they fall from a location higher than 20 feet."
For those that have lost the will to fight, press Select to be granted an honorable death: your character will sit, lay down their weapon, and face execution via beheading by your opponent in a special cutscene. However, for the ultimate disgrace of the Bushido code, press Select before your character fully sits, to regain your will to fight! In all seriousness though, this holdover from the first game has no known practical use in gameplay.