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Hopeless Masquerade/Gameplay

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Title screen of the game

This article describes the overall gameplay and background information for Hopeless Masquerade.


Hopeless Masquerade may be played using either a keyboard or a gamepad. The default keyboard controls for Player 1 are as follows:

  • The Arrow Keys move the character.
  • The Z key corresponds to the A button.
  • The X key corresponds to the B button.
  • The C key corresponds to the C (A+B) button.
  • The A key corresponds to the X button.
  • The S key corresponds to the Y button.
  • The D key corresponds to the Z (X+Y) button.
  • The Esc key corresponds to the Pause button.

Character movement will be represented using the button placement found on the numpad of a typical PC keyboard.

7 8 9
4 5 6
1 2 3

The number 6 will denote the forward button, and the number 4 the backwards button. Note that this means that 6 means moving right for the character on the left, but moving left for the character on the right of the screen. To avoid confusion, we'll always assume that your character is on the left side of the screen. The number 2 is the down button, and the number 8 is the up button.

The numbers 7, 9, 1, and 3 indicate the diagonal directions, which can be simulated on a keyboard by pressing the two appropriate direction keys. For example, pressing 8 and 6 simultaneously would be the same as pressing the number 9.

The number 5 indicates that no direction is pressed at all.

A number or letter surrounded by square brackets (like [6]) indicates that the input should be held down.

Basic Gameplay

Hopeless Masquerade plays like a fighting game in most respects. Two characters fight each other on screen with a variety of moves until one player's or opponent's health bar runs out or the timer reaches 0. However, since all characters are constantly in flight and that there's no physical ground, movement is significantly different from a traditional fighting game. In the scenarios, the player can choose one character, where they'll go through a series of stage that contain a battle with another character, or in other words, a boss.

Besides a health bar, each player has a spirit meter, a popularity rating (with an accompanying circle chart around the character's portrait), and a character-specific meter (next to the spirit meter).

In the event of a timeout, the player with the higher popularity rating wins. If both players have the same popularity rating, then the player with more health wins.

Movement and Flight

Moving around is generally similar for all characters, though each character may have some differences in movement and speed.

  • 6 and 4 move the character forwards and backwards respectively.
  • 1, 2, and 3 makes the character fly downwards, with either a backwards, straight down, or forwards angle, respectively.
  • 7, 8, and 9 makes the character fly upwards, with either a backwards, straight up, or forwards angle, respectively.
  • 66 makes the character dash forwards and graze. If the player holds 6 down, the character will continue to dash for a certain amount of time. After holding down 6 for a brief time, a blue burst will appear and the character's dash will accelerate. Flight path can be adjusted slightly with 2 and 8.
  • 44 makes the character dash backwards and graze. If the player holds 4 down, the character will continue to dash for certain amount of time. Flight path can be adjusted slightly with 2 and 8.

If the player is not dashing, attacking, or blocking, they will naturally gravitate towards their starting height.

Standard Moves

Each character has a set of standard moves available to them. Moves using A and B buttons are melee attacks, while moves using the X and Y buttons are projectile attacks.

Pressing the A button results in a light melee attack. These have short range but come out relatively quickly. Pressing the A button additional times after one connects will start an automatic combo. The 4th and finishing move of an auto-combo is a heavy melee attack as though the final attack was a B button attack. Holding a direction before the 4th hit of the auto-combo will change the move that finishes the auto-combo. Note that you can also use the B button for the 4th attack in the auto-combo, although it will still result in the same attack.

Pressing the B button results in a heavy melee attack. Pressing a direction (2, 4, 6, or 8) while pressing B will result in different attacks.

There are also additional attacks that can be performed while forward dashing. 66A and 66B will result in a dashing attack. Holding down a forward dash until a blue burst appears allows for an alternate set of dashing attacks. 6[6]A and 6[6]B will result in more powerful dashing attacks.

Pressing the X or Y button will result in a light or heavy projectile attack, respectively. As with heavy melee attack, a direction can be held to change the move that comes out.

Special Moves

In addition to the standard moves, characters have a set of special moves unique to them. The details of these moves are highly dependent on the character.

Special moves are performed by pressing a direction and either A+B or X+Y. For convenience, the C and Z buttons are available as shortcut buttons for these inputs. A character has 2 sets of special moves, the first of which is accessed using A+B and the second of which is accessed using X+Y.

Using the Profile page, a player can assign special moves to the 8 slots available per page. The 4 on the left correspond to the first set of special moves, while the 4 on the right correspond to the second set of special moves.


Health works much like other standard fighting games in that there's a set amount of health for each player at every round.

Both players start with a full white bar of health. Attacking or being attacked will turn some of this white health into blue health. Being attacked generates blue health more quickly than attacking. Blocking generates no blue health. When there is no white health remaining, their health bar will gain a green outline and that player is now able to declare a spell card. (see Spell Cards)


When hit, a character can block if the player is holding a back direction (1, 4, or 7). If a character blocks an attack, the character takes far less damage, often none, but may suffer a penalty.

Blocking light melee or projectile attacks will incur no penalty. Blocking heavy melee or projectile attacks will deplete your spirit meter by some amount.

If you block right before an attack hits, a blue barrier will surround your character and the opponent will be pushed further back than usual. If you do this on the first hit of a multi-hit attack, you will automatically Barrier Guard the rest of the hits in that attack. However, if you block the first hits of a multi-hit attack normally, you can shift into Barrier Guarding by tapping back during the blockstun.

Spell Cards

Spell cards are powerful super moves that can be used in combat. Similar to Immaterial and Missing Power, characters must declare before using a spell card. Unlike Immaterial and Missing Power, a character can equip multiple spell cards, but they can only declare one at a time. There is a short delay before declaring a spell card and using a spell card.

You can only declare a spell card when the blue section of your health bar matches your current life. Blue life is increased by both dealing damage and taking damage. However, because your blue life accumulates starting from the center and as you lose life, your health bar depletes towards the center, it's easier to declare spell cards if your life is low.

Once you are ready to declare a spell card, your health bar will be outlined in green. You then declare the spell card by pressing the command your spell card is bound to, which causes a cut-in of your character to occur. After this happens, the green outline over your health bar will begin decreasing and the background will change. During this time, you can use your spell card once, but only if you do so before the green outline completely fades away. During that time it is also possible to declare another spell card, resetting the timer of the green outline for the new spell card.

Once a spell card is declared and the period for usage on it expires (through using the spell card or running out of time), your life will be reset to completely white. You can then begin accumulating blue life to declare again during the round. Note that this means you can declare more than one spell card per round, but the game does not allow you to declare the same spell card more than once per round.


Spirit is used to fire projectiles and perform certain special moves. It is the meter at the bottom of the screen on each player's side. Consumed spirit is red and will regenerate after a short delay. Blocking heavy attacks will temporarily reduce the maximum spirit of that player. This spirit will recover slowly over time if they are not blocking.

If a player's maximum spirit reaches 0 (that is, there is no blue visible), and they are hit by certain melee attacks, they are guard crushed. When guard crushed, the character is knocked back and temporarily unable to take any actions.


Dashing with 66 or 44 will allow a character to graze projectiles, passing through them undamaged and unaffected.


During the course of a match, a player's popularity rating can change. Offensive actions will raise popularity, while defensive actions will lower it.

Popularity is gained when the player:
  • moves forwards (minute)
  • attacks (minute)
  • deals the first hit per round (+10%)
  • counter attacks (+5%)
  • guard crashes (+5%)
  • dealt more than 2000 damage in a combo or causes a white stun (+5%)
  • declares a spell card (+5%)
  • damages opponent with a spell card or causes a red stun (+10%)
  • interrupts opponent's spell card declaration (+5%)
  • has a blue aura (+2% every 3 seconds)
  • deals a lot of damage while life is low. (+5% to +20%)
  • evades the opponent's Last Word (+25%)
  • captures Spell Card (Story Mode only, varies)
Popularity is lost when the player:
  • moves backwards (minute)
  • blocks (minute)
  • touches the corner (minute, increases gradually)
  • is countered (-5%)
  • is guard crashed (-5%)
  • is interrupted during a spell card declaration (-5%)
  • is damaged by an enemy spell card or stunned red (-5%)
  • is not using a declared spell card (-10%)
  • has a red aura (-2% every 3 seconds)

Gaining enough popularity may randomly grant blue aura to the player. Blue aura gives more attack chaining options (such as 5B->any other direction B), increased spirit regeneration, and more spirit-efficient blocks.

Losing enough popularity, on the other hand, may randomly results in red aura. Red aura results in lowered spirit regeneration and more costly blocks.

If a player reaches 100% popularity, the timer will pause, and the character will have a gold aura around them. During this time, the character is treated as though they had blue aura at all times and they may use their Last Word by pressing C+Z (or A+B+C+D). After the Last Word is used, their popularity rating will reset. However, if a player reaches 100% popularity within the game's Story mode, the opponent will instantly skip to their final spell whenever their health is depleted.

In the event of a timeout, the winner is the one who has the highest popularity. If both players have the same popularity rating, then the player with more health wins.


Skill cards, when equipped, add to or subtract from certain faiths. Of the four faiths, there are Shinto, Buddhism, Taoism and None. The faith that a character has for a particular religion will affect their normal attacks and projectiles.

Effects in detail:

  • Pros - Number of projectiles increases. Projectiles now gain the ability to home in on opponents.
  • Cons - Projectiles have weaker penetration when colliding opponent projectiles. Projectiles disappear much easier when grazed.
  • Pros - Projectile stunlock time increases. Projectile size increases. Strong melee attacks can now be charged.
  • Cons - Projectile range decreases.
  • Pros - Projectile speed increases. Projectiles penetrate enemy blocks easier. Projectiles disappears much harder when grazed.
  • Cons - Projectile size decreases.
  • Pros - Has none of the penalties of other faiths.
  • Cons - Has none of the benefits of other faiths.


Players can create profiles using the Profile menu. Each profile contains a name, an icon, key configuration data, and movesets for each character. Each character can have 4 separate movesets that they can configure.

Using cards, players can assign special moves, spell cards, and items to each of these movesets. There are 8 slots, the left 4 of which are activated using a direction plus A+B in combat and the right 4 of which are activated using a direction plus X+Y. Certain skill cards will behave differently according to the direction it is placed in. Any card type can go in any slot.

There are 4 types of cards:

  • Skills: These have a single yellow/orange border around them. They are special moves that the player may use by consuming part of their spirit meter.
  • Spell cards: These have a double yellow/orange border around them. These are powerful attacks that a player must declare before using.
    • Last Word: These have a double red border around them. They are only usable when a player is at 100% popularity, but they are very powerful. Unlike normal spell cards, these require no declaration.
  • Items: These have a single silver border around them. They grant the user some special effect (such as healing) on use.

Game Modes

Vs Com

Vs Com allows the player and a computer-controlled character to fight each other in a single battle.

Vs Player

Same as Vs Com, except the player fights another player.

Vs Player/Vs Com Hotkeys

  • F1: Sets player 1's popularity rating to +100% and player 2's popularity rating to -100%.
  • F2: Sets player 1's popularity rating to -100% and player 2's popularity rating to +100%.
  • F3: Changes auto-blocking for both players. Changes between no auto-block, normal auto-block, and auto-Barrier Guard.
  • F4: Enables or disables training mode. While training mode is on, the timer stops, both players regenerate health whenever they are in a neutral state, both players are able to declare, and F5 and F6 become available.
  • F5: Sets maximum health for both players in 10% increments. Changes between 100%, 90%, 80%, 70%, 60%, 50%, 40%, 30%, 20%, and 10%.
  • F6: Sets maximum spirit for both players in 10% increments. Changes between 100%, 90%, 80%, 70%, 60%, 50%, 40%, 30%, 20%, and 10%.


This is a list of known glitches, bugs or other unusual capabilities that aren't suppose to be part of the original gameplay.

  • Pause-Screen overlaps with the Main Screen Affects: unspecified
    When you pushing in the Character Select the Esc-Button, the Ingame Pause-Screen overlaps with it.