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A sweet selection of sunglasses, a swaggy walk animation which might be a counter and what looks like a reversal — Belial trailer analysis

No matter what it is he's up to, he'll be doing it with maximum levels of style

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • August 10, 2020 at 6:36 p.m. PDT • Comments: 10

Last weekend, we were finally treated to our first glimpse at the second season of Granblue Fantasy Versus, which confirmed that we have balance changes coming, that Cagliostro will be joining the roster in October, that new RPG mode content has already launched for the game and even gave us a handy roadmap for everything coming up. All of this was of course very nice, but the showstealer who had everyone talking was none other than the suave evildoer who this article will be focusing on — Belial.

We got to see full gameplay glory of Belial which gave us looks at tons of hype animations and intricate cinematics featuring him and also gave us the clear release date of September 24th for when we can expect him to drop as a playable character to kick off Granblue Fantasy Versus' second season. While the trailer obviously didn't go too far into detail about how Belial's moves actually work, there's more than enough footage there to parse through to get a good idea, or at least give some educated guesses, on how some of his moves will function — so I decided to do just that, so you don't have to. Let's see what we can figure out about Belial based on his extravagant gameplay trailer.

Let's get the most stylish part of Belial out of the way right from the start — his sunglasses. As you're likely fully aware if you're a Granblue Fantasy Versus player, the game has a variety of weapon skins for each character, which lets you add some extra flavor of customization to your character when you pick them, based on which ones you have unlocked.

What we can see from Belial's trailer is that he largely fights unarmed or by conjuring energy with his attacks, even making a scythe or blades with said energy. Since just changing the color of his energy wouldn't be very engaging and could possibly cause issues with seeing what he's doing on some stages, the developers made the genius decision of leaving his weapons the same and instead giving you the option of equipping Belial with your favorite brand of sunglasses.

The trailer shows us four variations of sunglasses which are all quite distinct from each other, and they all compliment Belial's swaggery nature quite well, though I'd imagine there'll be at least one option that's absolutely ridiculous since each character has that so far (such as Djeeta slapping you around a bit with a large trout).

As for his gameplay, it's obviously impossible for us to accurately judge any of the specific properties of Belial's moves, but after looking through the trailer a good 10 to 15 times, there are some things I noticed and will outline in this piece, one at a time.

The first one is that the absolutely amazing walk animation Belial shows off at the beginning of his trailer might not actually be his walk animation at all. Much later in his trailer, we see him walk again and it isn't nearly as cocky and showy as the first one we see. It's also notable that he instantly teleports above Lancelot and stomps down on him during the portion with his open-armed walk, making me believe that this is highly likely to be the animation for one of his moves which either functions as a counter or can be cancelled at will to certain followups, similar to the menacing Savage Rampage which Vaseraga has in this game.

Next up, we have Belial's projectile which makes an appearance several times during the trailer. At first glance, you only see it fly straight forward and trade with Gran's projectile, but the next time Belial uses it it flies up at around a 30 degree upwards angle and stops mid-air, then releasing a second attack which looks like a small spinning scythe (Death from Castlevania, anyone?) right at his opponent's position.

This is showcased several more times in the trailer through the EX version of his projectile, making me believe that he has a projectile which can either be followed up on after it's been released or which simply has different versions, some of which shoot down extra scythes. The EX version seems to do this quite accurately and possibly even with some level of tracking properties, and seems to be a highly reliable combo extender for Belial. My personal take is that it has a followup, since we see these mini-scythes show up at different angles throughout the trailer.

Another move we see from him is a strong upwards ascending punch which looks very much like a traditional Dragon Punch and leads me to believe this will have reversal properties, though it's entirely possible it'll function like Zooey's move and not be a reversal at all, but simply an ascending move good for combo usage or anti-airing.

Interesting to note is that when Belial uses the EX version, he will ascend first and then slam the opponent down as evidenced by him using it on Zeta. The trailer shows two non-EX moves which are probably the very same move, since he does the upwards ascending punch against Percival and later when fighting Ladiva he doesn't do the ascension at all, but descends with the downward slam from the air.

This leads me to believe that his ascending punch is likely the light version, the slamming version from above is the medium version and the EX version is clearly both of them together. While the trailer doesn't show any evidence of reversal properties for any of the versions, it seems reasonable to me to expect that the EX version may well be a reversal, though the regular versions may not be, which would in that case put him as the only character besides Ferry to have a reversal which only has invincibility if the EX version is used.

Another move we see him unleash which is used as a combo ender against Ferry in the video seems to function as a hitgrab, where he grasps Ferry's face with the palm of his hand and proceeds to burn her with surging energy from his entire body.

It's hard to say given we don't have a look at the User Interface at all during this, but the animation leads me to believe that this may be a move which has some sort of absorption properties — perhaps stealing a small amount of life, some super bar or even being related to a charge mechanic similar to what Percival and Soriz have. That's just my personal theory, though, and it's entirely possible that this is simply a cool animation for a regular move which hurts the opponent.

Based on this, my personal judgment is that Belial's four special moves are his swagger-filled walk, his fireball, his possible reversal and this ominous hitgrab, though there's obviously no telling based on just this trailer what the exact properties of any of them are.

Finally, we get a quick glimpse at the actual in-game animation (and tons of views of the cutscene animations) of Belial's Skybound Art. At a specific time in the trailer, 33 seconds in to be exact, Belial can be seen moving forward at a fast speed, making it likely that he has a forward-moving Skybound Art, which tends to be extremely useful to punish tricky moves which push you too far away under normal circumstances.

The reason I feel confident that this is Belial's Skybound Art specifically is because he gets some sort of tattoos or inscriptions on his body towards the end of the trailer in what looks like a much more extravagantly animated move, making that one much more likely to be his Super Skybound Art.

Of course, there's no telling how good or bad Belial will be before he's even in the game, but what we can say for sure is that he's an incredibly stylish character with some absolutely amazingly animated moves. Add the intense expressiveness of the character on top of that and you end up with a trailer filled to the brim with charisma — everyone I know who has even a passing interest in the game has expressed massive excitement for his inclusion after the trailer, and I'm right aboard that same hype train myself.

Belial will be releasing on September 24th alongside a ranked mode reset and balance changes for the entire cast of Granblue Fantasy Versus as the game's second season kicks off, so please look forward to a full gameplay breakdown of him as well as the potential impact of the game's balance changes from yours truly shortly after that date.

If you feel like you need another look at his trailer, check it out below.

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