Counter Hit (カウンターヒット Kauntā Hitto) is the act of interrupting the opponent’s attack with an attack, which is a classic mechanic in many a fighting game. This occurs any time the player’s attack hits the opponent before their attack is active. A counter hit will be notified by the “Counter Hit” dialogue on the screen, and the opponent’s character will flash red. Compared to normal hits, the hit-stun duration is increased and damage will increase by a specific range (which can carry to other subsequent hits in the multi-hitting move used to land the said counter hit), in addition to other benefits. As a result, it becomes easier to follow-up the attack with a massive-damage combo.
There are certain attacks that cause a Fatal Counter (フェイタルカウンター Feitaru Kauntā) that has been added in since BlazBlue: Continuum Shift as a codifying “bonus/stronger counter hit” mechanic. When it happens, there will be a notification that says, “Fatal Counter” on the screen (while the announcer says “FATAL”). When a Fatal Counter occurs, the hit-stun period for each proceeding attack is extended by 3 frames, allowing for combos that normally would not chain. However, any form of Fatal Counter that can occur automatically under special non-counter hit conditions cannot stack with a prior Fatal Counter hit in the same combo, meaning the extended frames will still remain as 3 extra instead of 6 and onwards throughout the combo. Most Fatal Counters are often attacks mapped to the C button, with the most recurring one being 2C.
Normally in the case of the very latter, most characters normally have around 2-to-3 Fatal Counter hit-based moves in total (and some characters would have just 1) in Continuum Shift. In fact, in the said installment; Ragna, Bang and Carl were originally the only characters with only one Fatal Counter attack before Chronophantasma. However, Makoto also partly thanks to her Drive mechanic, has the most amount of Fatal Counter moves in the series.
With the Fatal Counter mechanic in mind, a majority of fighting games after BlazBlue: Continuum Shift make use of a similar mechanic; this makes BlazBlue: Continuum Shift the first fighting game to introduce a bonus/stronger-counter hit mechanic in the genre.