I have a lot of outstanding questions that I really hope get answered in Central Fiction. That game has the power to make or break the BlazBlue series for me.
Of course: Who's in the Master Unit? What exactly does an Embryo do?
Why were Ragna, Saya, and Jin in a laboratory when Jubei rescued then? There better be a big reveal in Central Fiction as this has been hinted at since Calamity Trigger.
What is Hazama's backstory? What's his end goal? I'm actually really hoping he ends up as a chaotic good character.
What is Terumi's background? What's his end goal?
What's the timeline before the Dark War? Who created Izayoi and why? How long have the Observers been around? How long before the Black Beast experiment was humanity exploring the Boundary?
What exactly happened with the First Boundary Interface Prime Field Device? Is it still in the Boundary?
What are all these hints about Makoto having a special soul about?
Is there something special about Minerva? Does she have a soul in her like Ada and Ignis?
Is there any meaning to the fact that the spinoff XBlaze and Bloodedge Universe share very similar characters to BlazBlue? Shared souls or something?
When was Sector Seven founded?
Is the Calamity Trigger timeloop a paradoxical event (ie, how can there be a Black Beast if Ragna and Nu hadn't fallen into the Cauldron yet?) or was there a timeline that led into the current timeline? Maybe the Black Beast and Hakumen were created differently the first time. Or maybe Takamagahara created the timeloop for some other reason and there was originally no Black Beast at all.
What are the actual conditions to becoming a Kusanagi? When exactly did Noel inherit the Eyes of Azure? Could she access the power of the Azure before Terumi smelted her into Mu?
How does the Azure Grimoire work? Does it draw on the Azure or does it contain its own universe? I also wonder how Takamagahara works.
Since I spent so much time on this BlazBlue story guide, I ended up with a lot of opinions on BlazBlue. I just felt like typing my thoughts out. No strong reason for you to read the rest of this.
I like the BlazBlue games. I'm not a fighting game fan, I mainly enjoy the story, presentation, and characters. I thought I understood the story. After going through the wikia and forums, I realized there was a ton of stuff I didn't get. Unlike similar experiences (like Final Fantasy VII), I don't think I even really followed the main plot devices when I first played. I probably just enjoyed the characters and tropes. I used to think that people who didn't understand the story just weren't trying hard enough... maybe that was true with just Continuum Shift, but now I think it's pretty arrogant to feel that way.
It's really difficult to fully understand the BlazBlue story. IMO, here's why:
The world building includes alternate universes, rewriting history, time travel, and time loops. Most of the arcade modes happen in alternate timelines to the main story mode (which is a really cool way to make everyone's arcade mode stories seem exciting.)
Although this is less and less the case as the games go on, Story Mode is presented non-linearly. This makes it difficult to order events.
The background concepts are not explained well and very key concepts are passingly referenced in what seems like throw away dialogue.
Lots and lots of made up words and pretty poor terminology. Terms are difficult to remember because they are often composed of multiple words or are in a mix between Japanese and English. And lots of terms have multiple names that the characters switch between.
But those reasons are surmountable by a careful, thinking reader. IMO, the following reasons make things much more difficult:
As I said, there are a lot of bad endings that probably happened in alternate timelines. But some of the events happened in the final timeline too. Which ones? It's impossible to say. Based on what's presented, a completely accurate timeline of events in a game is probably impossible.
The story is spread across multiple games, manga, light novels, drama cds, radio shows, and artbooks. Lots of these aren't available in English, official or otherwise. They add a ton of detail to the story and lore, but are near inaccessible to English-only players.
The biggie: Some facts are not consistent throughout all the works. It's really hard to decide if alternate timeline shenanigans are to blame or if plot is just being conveniently retconned.
It's clear BlazBlue is meant to be an experience like Xenogears, Final Fantasy VII, or Evangelion. In these experiences, there's supposed to be really rich worldbuilding that's never forcefed to the consumer. But the story is still decently conherent without understanding. For example, FFVII is still fun even with a vague understanding of what Jenova or the Lifestream are. In BlazBlue, not enough of the world building is presented to even really understand what's happening at the moment. And the explanations that are presented are usually presented way too late.
Some of the English naming choices make some of the concepts confusing.
It was a lot more frustrating to make this guide than I thought it would be, so I just wanted to vent for a bit. I still really enjoy the story though!