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Akatsuki Blitzkampf (アカツキ電光戦記 Akatsuki Denkō Senki ) is a Japanese dōjin 2D fighting game, developed by the dōjin circle SUBTLE STYLE for the PC. Released on April 30, 2007, the game is a sequel to Akatsuki Shisei Ichigō. The title got a lot of attention in Japan and elsewhere for its high-resolution sprites and older style gameplay.
On September 27, 2007, Arcadia Magazine confirmed that the game would be launched as an Arcade title, published by SUBTLE STYLE itself. The Arcade game was called Akatsuki Blitzkampf Ausf Achse and it was released on February 20, 2008 for the Sega NAOMI system.
Akatsuki Blitzkampf (or Denkō Senki in Japanese) is set in a fictional future involving several characters that roughly resemble the German soldiers of the World War II era, among others. In-game visuals supplement this sort of specific militaristic theme and environment, portrayed by the flat and somewhat cubist character portraits and story sequence images. Blitzkampf is also a follow-up to a previous SUBTLE STYLE release from 2003 called Akatsuki Shisei Ichigō, involving many of the characters from the previous game.
In terms of Blitzkampf's play style, it is regarded as relatively "old school" in comparison to many other dōjin fighter releases such as Melty Blood, Eternal Fighter Zero, or Big Bang Beat, as many of the systems and conventions in the game are rather similar to several late 90's fighting games created by Capcom. For example, many players allude to the parry system, which resembles the one from the Street Fighter III installments. The gratuitous amount of extra modes the game provides (such as Survival, Time Attack, or SUGOROKU) and the ways that they are unlocked is largely reminiscent of a console release of an arcade fighting game, further reinforcing the semi-retro feel. In other words, the game focus is upon space control and careful footwork instead of flashy combos and intense aerial combat.
- Akatsuki: High class technical officer of the Imperial army. Believed to have died in the Arctic oceans at a critical time when the war was coming to its end, during the transportation of a new military unit from an allied country. Fifty years later, he returns alive and unchanged in appearance. Now wielding superhuman abilities, he resumes his mission.
- Mycale: A witch that belongs to a secret society called "Gesellschaft"; they have been manipulating history from behind the scenes since the Middle Ages. She plans to recover the missing weapon.
- Sai: Agent for the Xinhua computer company. He, through clandestine means, gathers information throughout the world. Rumors say that behind his sunglasses lurks an evil eye that can kill a man instantly.
- Kanae: An intelligence operative, attached to the second office of the Ground Staff Overseeing Department. With the news of Akatsuki's revival, she is ordered to recover a secret "Blitz Engine", lost at the end of the war.
- Fritz: A military surgeon who practiced in the Imperial army during the war. Albeit becoming unaccounted for afterwards, he sets off on eliminating all those who have appeared concurrently with Akatsuki's revival.
- Marilyn Sue: An assassin for the continent's largest international mafia "Black Hand" and a master of assassination techniques with basis in, presumably, "Breaking Fist". By plundering the Blitz Engine from Akatsuki, she aims to rise in influence and power.
- Wei: A master of Xingyiquan, who, as a cold-blooded assassin, rose up to the ranks of Black Hand's leaders. After his patron was assassinated, Wei searches for the criminal.
- Anonym: An Armed Inquisitor of Heresy, within a religious society - The Sacred Club. She is sent to destroy the headquarters of an organization, charged with the heresy of aiding Gesellschaft, - the Perfecti Kyōdan. Anonym is a master of the Ranbas-style gun technique - a combination of Chinese self-defense and pistols.
- Elektrosoldat: Private army of "Gesellschaft". Although equipped with the same Blitz Engine as Akatsuki, the connection between them lies shrouded in mystery.
- Blitztank: An electrical tank, assumed to have a Blitz Engine as its source of power. According to a copy of the document on new engine research labeled "Gesellschaft", a test piece was developed. However, it was revoked along with the plan itself before the full-scale production could take place.
- Adler: Formerly, as an officer within the organization "Ahnenerbe", he did research on German ancestry, organization. He participated in excavation of Tibet's ancient heritage, but upon the discovery of the ancient city of Agartha, he uses the science for his own ambitions.
- Murakumo: The final boss of the game. At the time of the previous war, he was a military officer stationed in Germany who planned actions for an inspection group on military affairs. In this position, he got in touch with a religious society called Perfecti Kyōdan, and established the Military Technique Research facility, nicknamed "Gesellschaft". Towards the end of the war news from Berlin is interrupted.
The original Akatsuki game, Akatsuki Shisei Ichigo, was released in 2003 with mixed reviews because of its lack of characters (only three in the first edition, and five with a patch) and gameplay problems, but the second game was released with new characters, backgrounds and a deeper system that includes new modes and online play. Akatsuki Blitzkampf has a strong community in Japan with tournaments and ranking battles in famous Japanese arcade centers like Ko-Hatsu and some non-Japanese enthusiasts have gathered in communities like Shoryuken.com (the official host of the Evolution fighting game tournaments in the US), where the game has received unofficial nicknames such as Jewpuncher.
Akatsuki Blitzkampf Ausf. Achse
After finding success on the Dōjin soft scene, on September 27, 2007, Arcadia Magazine confirmed that the game would be launched as an Arcade title, with the provisional name "Akatsuki Blitzkampf AC", published by SUBTLE STYLE itself. The first location test was held on November 23, 2007 at High Tech Land Sega AViON in Japan. The game was renamed as Akatsuki Blitzkampf Ausf. Achse and was improved with graphical enhancements and a new character named Perfecti. Akatsuki Blitzkampf Ausf. Achse was released in Japanese arcades on February 20, 2008 for the Sega NAOMI system and published with the help of PIC company.
It is a common misconception that the subtitle is a misspelling of the German phrase "Auf Achse," meaning "on tour/on the road/on the move". In fact, the term "Ausf." is short for "Ausführung" and has been very common in historic German military nomenclature, meaning "option model" or "version". Therefore, "Ausf. Achse" literally means "option model with axle(s)" or "moveable/mobile/non-stationary version".
- Subtle Style. Akatsuki Blitzkampf Official Site. Akatsuki Blitzkampf. Arcadia Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-08-06
- Subtle Style. Akatsuki Shisei Ichigou Official Site. Akatsuki Shisei Ichigou. Subtle Style. Retrieved on 2007-08-06
- Subtle Style. Arcadia Magazine Website. Akatsuki Blitzkampf. Arcadia Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-09-06
- Subtle Style. Akatsuki Blitzkampf Ausf Achse Website. Akatsuki Blitzkampf Ausf Achse. Subtle Style. Retrieved on 2008-04-06
- Ko-Hatsu. THE BATTLE OF KO-HATSUKI: Akatsuki Blitzkampf tournament. Akatsuki Blitzkampf Tournament. Ko-Hatsuki. Retrieved on 2007-08-06[dead link]
- Shoryuken.com. Akatsuki Blitzkampf Shoryuken Thread. Shoryuken.com. Shoryuken.com. Retrieved on 2007-08-06
- SUBTLE STYLE. Akatsuki Blitzkampf AC Location Test flyer. Akatsuki Blitzkampf AC. SUBTLE STYLE. Retrieved on 2007-11-22
- Subtle Style. Akatsuki Blitzkampf Ausf. Achse Website. Akatsuki Blitzkampf Ausf. Achse. Subtle Style. Retrieved on 2008-04-06