Act Cadenza Strife Wiki
This page refers to contextual directional controls. It should be noted that '→' denotes 'toward the enemy' and '←' denotes 'away from the enemy'.
Note that anything with a ? after it is unconfirmed.

The A.C.S. "TAILS STUOID" LTD. logo.

Starting and Settings[]

ACS operates with an 11-button control set, and can be played with either the keyboard or a joystick/game controller. There are 4 directional inputs (Up, Down, Left, Right), 6 action buttons (A, B, C, D, E, F), and 1 pause button. ACS can toggle in and out of "Full Screen" mode by pressing F4, and can be reset at any time by hitting the assigned "Pause" button (ESC by default) and then pressing the assigned A, B, and C buttons at the same time.

ACS's Settings may be accessed by using the in-game menus. Their functions are listed below.

  • Window
    • WindowSize 1x1
      • Choosing this option will change the ACS window dimensions to accommodate 640x480 dimensions for the in-game content (not including the Windows elements, such as the title bar, menus, and borders)
    • Full Screen
      • Choosing this option will change your Graphics Resolution to 640x480 and fill the screen with the in-game content.
  • Option
    • Game
      • Choosing this option pops up a window where you can specify the VS. Mode background, VS. Mode Rounds, VS. Mode Team Rounds (unsupported?), Game Speed, VS. Mode Timer, and Enabled/Disabled Joystick. Please note that the Game Speed should not be altered from the default 10, and the VS. Mode Timer will put large Japanese text on the screen, which mentions that the game is intended to run without the timer.
    • KeyBoard
      • Choosing this option pops up a window where you can specify the keys which will be used to move and perform the 6 basic actions for Player's 1 and 2.
    • JoyStick
      • Choosing this option pops up a window similar to the KeyBoard option, which is designed for Joystick assignments, instead. Please note that setting buttons here will not serve any function until you enable the Joystick in the Game section.
  • help(H)
    • About

Settings may also be altered by manually editing the "game.ini" file, located within the same folder as ACS. Some of these settings are either unsupported or do not do anything, and are just there as inherent parts of the game engine. The ones you can edit are:

  • Editor.TestPlay.HitJudge
    • This enables "HitJudge" mode, which will display technical information about the game state while you play. While in this mode, you will see all character's HP amounts, as well as damage amounts, various sprite states and conditions, both player's hitboxes (in red), spaceboxes (in blue), and Penetrate status (blue surrounded by red).
  • Editor.TestPlay.GameInformation
    • Displays system information such as Frame Rate, the number of skipped frames and the number of objects currently displayed on the screen.
    • Enabling this feature will often crash the game.
  • Editor.TestPlay.StageNb
    • This sets the VS. Mode stage. Each Stage in your ACS folder corresponds to a number. It is simply easier to use the in-game "Options > Game" dialog box for this.
  • Editor.TestPlay.JoyStick
    • This enables the Joystick commands. Note that you will have to set these up in the "JoyStick" dialog box in-game.
  • Editor.TestPlay.time
    • This sets the VS. Mode Timer. Changing this option from the default (0) will display large white Japanese text informing you that the Timer function is untested and not intended to be used.
  • Editor.TestPlay.VSSinglePlay
    • This sets the number of rounds for VS. Mode.
  • GameWindowPoint_x
    • This sets the horizontal position (by pixels) of the top left corner of the ACS Window.
  • GameWindowPoint_y
    • This sets the vertical position (by pixels) of the top left corner of the ACS Window.
  • GameWindowSize_x
    • This sets how horizontally large (in pixels) the in-game content is.
  • GameWindowSize_y
    • This sets how vertically large (in pixels) the in-game content is.
  • GameScreenMode
    • 0 is "Window" Mode and 1 is "Full Screen" Mode.

Story Mode[]

To enter Story Mode, select the top option from the main menu. From here, the Character Select screen, you'll need to select the character you want to use. Keep in mind that the button you use to select your character selects the difficulty mode as well:

A = Easy
B = Normal
C = Hard
D = Mania
E = Unknown
F = Chaos

Note that not all characters have all difficulties and P2 (the second player) can play these by entering Story with P2's controls and select the difficulty with P1's controls the select character with P2.

In Story Mode, you will go up against several AI-controlled enemies, and the characters you fight, as well as certain benefits granted to these AI opponents, are specific to the character and difficulty you choose. At the end of each run, you will fight a boss, a "Grade" will be applied to your performance. Based on this "Grade", certain skits can be viewed, featuring discussions between Tales parties.

For character-specific lists of Story Mode opponents, refer to the Story Mode section on their character pages.

VS Mode[]

VS Mode allows you to play against a friend (on the same computer, or via Netplay). You will fight a default of three rounds (modifiable via the "Options > Game" menu selection, or manually through game.ini), the first person to run out of HP loses the round. The first person to lose the majority of the rounds loses the game.

Training with Kakashi Scarecrow[]

You can select the Kakashi Scarecrow as P2 if you wish to emulate a "Practice Mode".

The Kakashi Scarecrow can be commanded like a normal player with the P2 controls and has many unique and very useful tools that can help you hone your skills:

Name Command Hits Power Comments
Scarecrow Cut
Kakashi Kiri
A 1 10 Standard single attack.
Super Scarecrow Cut
Super Kakashi Kiri
F 1 100 Strong single attack.
Mystic Arte
Hi Ougi
↓ A 6 150 Costs 100 HP.
TP Max B - - Maintains full TP on the opposite player.
Minor OVL Up ↓ C - - Adds 20% to the opposite player's OVL Gauge.
Major OVL Up C - - Adds 50% to the opposite player's OVL Gauge.
Passive Mode D - - Makes Kakashi Scarecrow air-tech out of combos, if possible. Used to check for "Invalid Combos".
HP Lock E - - Makes Kakashi Scarecrow automatically revert to its maximum amount of HP (500) when a combo ends.

Kakashi's Story Mode[]

If Kakashi is selected in Story Mode, he will be faced against the following tales characters and have most of his commands disabled except for Scarecrow Cut and Mystic Arte. Also, his Super Scarecrow Cut will be nerfed and have the same power as his Scarecrow Cut. Unlike other ACS characters, Kakashi has only one story mode.

Klarth F. Lester
Nanaly Fletch
Fog, Chat, & Race
(with 3 Kakashi Scarecrow as allies).

Battle Basics[]


  • Moving a character is done by pressing ←, ↑, →, and ↓. To move left or right, press and hold ← or → to Walk. To Dash, double tap the direction you want to move in (← ← or → →).
  • When on the ground, hold ↓ to Crouch. If done while walking or running, this stops all horizontal momentum (including skidding from running).
  • When on the ground, press ↑ to Jump.
  • After Jumping, you can press ↑ again to do a Double Jump.
  • While Crouching, you can press ↑ to do a High Jump.
  • While walking forward, you can press ↑ to do a Forward Jump.
  • While walking backward, you can press ↑ to do a Backward Jump.
  • After Jumping, Double Jumping, High Jumping, Forward Jumping, or Backward Jumping, you can do a Forward Air Dash (→ →), or a Backward Air Dash (← ←).
  • When on the ground, press ↓ → ↑ to perform a Forward Step.
  • When on the ground, press ↓ ← ↑ to perform a Backward Leap.

Note that some characters do not have all of these capabilities.


  • To Guard, simply press and hold ←.
  • While on the ground, you can press and hold ↓ ← to Crouch-Guard. This prevents yourself from walking backward while your opponent is not attacking you.
  • While casting a spell you can double-tap-and-hold the ← key to Spell Cancel directly into a guard.

If you get hit by an attack that throws you into the air, you can perform an Air-tech by double tapping in the desired direction of movement, or, by pressing any of the attack buttons in the same situation, you can perform a Static Air-tech. Note that you can only Air-tech at certain times during certain Artes, or during certain combos. A combo in which the opponent is capable of Air-teching is considered an Invalid Combo


Attacks are all character-specific, however most characters attack via pressing the A button.

"Techniques/Specials" in ACS are accomplished by inputting a specific order of directional buttons, followed by an attack button (eg. ↓ → A, or ↓ ↓ E). These attacks are referred to as Artes (though, depending on the character you choose, this can be named differently). For most characters, you can combo a chain of Artes together. Each character has their own specific orders and mechanics in reference to these chains, which are noted on their respective character pages.

Some characters, instead of (or in addition to) following a chain order, utilize the Chain Capacity System (or CC for short). These characters have a gauge that displays how much CC they currently have in the bottom corner of the screen. Each Arte they use will consume a certain number of CC. When the CC Gauge is empty, or filled insufficiently for another attack, the character will be unable to continue the current combo. When a combo ends, the CC gauge refills. On occasion, characters can regain a small amount of CC mid-combo.

Attack Types[]

Aside from the tiers of normal attacks, there are several other types of attacks:

  • Spells are a special type of attack that require concentration. As you cast the spell, you cannot be hit by ann attack or you'll be interrupted.
    • Depending on the character, spells can either be linked together or be used after a certain tier of Arte.
    • You can cancel a spell by double-tapping ←.
    • When casting a spell, make sure that you are not too close to this edge of the arena (facing the edge). This will often result in wasted TP, the spell forming offscreen (dealing no damage to you enemy) and sometimes a Tinted Screen (this can usually be fixed by connecting another spell).
  • Cameo Artes are attacks performed by one of the character's companions. These attacks are usually used to interrupt the opponent in the middle of combo, or to simply continue, start or end a combo. Usually, Cameo Artes require TP.
    • One important thing to remember when using Cameo Artes is that you cannot re-summon them for a few seconds, and that some of the attacks your cameo will use are chosen randomly.
  • Mystic Artes, Hi Ougis or Blast Calibur are very special attacks that have many requirements and deal a serious amount of damage. Certain artes require TP, low HP, Overlimit or any combination of the three.
    • Sometimes if a Mystic Arte does not connect properly, the sc reen will stay tinted black. This can be fixed by connecting another Mystic Arte.
    • Every effort must be taken to avoid getting hit by such an attack, as it can be the difference between a win and a loss. This can be done by guarding, going into Overlimit at the correct time, or avoiding it altogether.
    • The videos below are a compilation of all the Hi Ougis/Blast Caliburs available in ACS, courtesy of Lyrrad.

ACS Special Exhibition v5.502


ACS Special Exhibition v5.502 Part 2








Game Mechanics[]

Gauges & Conditions[]

There is a total six guages displayed on the screen. Below is a short break-down of what each guage represents and how to empty or fill it.

HP Gauge[]

The HP Gauge displays how much health each player has remaining.

The Health Gauge is the yellow-red gradient that is on top of the three. The HP bar obviously represents how much health the character has left. HP is subtracted by an opponent connects attacks. When their HP drops to zero, the round is over. Some characters can heal small amounts of HP, but it is usually negligable.

During most Mystic Artes, if for whatever reason, the last hit misses, none of the damage will be dealt. This is either something to hope for or be careful of, depending on which side you're on.

Low HP is a condition required for certain Artes to be used. This condition may allow new attacks to be accessed or their conditions and properties modified, once a character's HP is reduced to a certain amount (this is usually 100).

TP Gauge[]

The TP Gauge displays how many Technical Points each character has.

The Technical Points Gauge is located under the HP gauge. TP is gained slowly by attacking, or faster by being attacked. When a skill that require TP is used, TP is subtracted from the TP Gauge (if the character is hit before the attack actually starts, but after the TP is taken, the TP will not be returned). The amount of TP required to use certain skills is dependant on the skill itself. For a fill listing of this, refer to your character's respective Command List.

TP is also a condition that is required for certain Artes to be used. If the TP is not present, the attack will not innitiate.

Overlimit Gauge[]

The Overlimit Gauge displays how many bars of Overlimit each player has. Overlimit has different effects for different characters.

The Overlimit (OVL) Gauge is located below the TP Gauge, on the bottom. The gauge is filled by both attacking and getting attacked. It can be emptied by the user by pressing F, or ↓ F, or by the enemy by taunting ("E". Not all characters can taunt. This amount is also negligable).

There are two stages to the Overlimit Gauge, OVL1 and OVL2. After using Overlimit once (if you have a full gauge displaying a "2"), you can enter it again. Alternatively, you can enter Overlimit 2 directly by pressing ↓ F. This will use up the entire OVL Gauge.

Overlimit 1 is denoted by a blue glow over the character, while Overlimit 2 is denoted by a red/orange one. To enter Overlimit, press either F, or ↓ F (OVL2). Overlimit is also useful to interrupt an enemy's combo on the ground, as it can be used at almost any time while on the ground.

When in Overlimit, the Overlimit Gauge will slowly deplete. When the gauge reaches the end, your Overlimit is over.

Also note that if the Overlimit is used with an amount of gauge between 2 and 1, the gauge will deplete completely, aside of depleting exactly 1 gauge.

CC Gauge[]

The CC Gauge displays how many CC points each character has to work with during their current combo.

Certain characters use an alternative system of attacking called the Chain Capacity System. As mentioned in the section above, the CC Gauge allows the character to chain together attacks in no particular (of couse Hi Ougis cannot be used in the middle of combos for most characters).

The gauge fills when the character completes an attack and empties as they attack, subtracting a certain amount of CC particular to the attack being used. Occasionally, some CC may be refunded during attacks (this looks like "CC +1" for example).

Round Gauge[]

The Round Gauge displays how many rounds were won be each character.

This is not a gauge of any particular importance, however a gauge nonetheless. The Round Gauge is located in the centre of the screen, above the HP Gauge and displays the number of rounds required to win and the number of rounds won by each player. When a player wins a number of rounds required to win, they obviously win the game.

Timer Gauge[]

The Timer Gauge is useless in ACS, however it can still be used. The Timer Gauge displays the number of seconds left in the current round. If neither player is defeated in the time alloted, the win goes to the character with the most HP.

Other Game Mechanics[]

  • TTL (Time to Live)

Status Effects[]

Status Effects are special conditions that alter a playable character normal state into another that could be either benefitial or harmful depending on the effect. ACS has a total of 7 common status effects.