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Get a Glimpse at The 3rd Birthday's Controls

Plus, what is the mysterious Liberation system? Find out here!


Just ahead of its public playable debut at next week's Tokyo Game Show, Square Enix has provided a detailed look at The 3rd Birthday's control scheme via the game's official site.

Visit the site and click on the Tokyo Game Show control chart icon to the lower left of the page. You'll be able to zoom in and zoom out onto the chart that pops up.

The control chart appears to be the same as the instruction card that Square Enix will be printing out and handing out at the show to upcoming players as they wait for their turn (yes, you have to give it back, or they won't let you into the actual demo area).

Here's a summary of the chart:

L: Reload

L (Hold): Open weapon change menu

D-pad: When in lock-on mode (R pressed and held), switch off between lock-on targets. In other situations, free camera control.

Analogue pad: Player movement

R: Camera reset

R (Hold): Ready weapon/lock on

Triangle: Overdive. If you hold this down, you can press left or right on d-pad to select target and press down to cancel out.

Circle: Hand grenade

X: Evade and various actions

Square: Shot

Triangle + Circle: Engage Liberation

Start: Pause

The demo will let players select from three save files: EP01, EP02 and EP03. EP01 is Easy Mode. 02 and 03 are Normal mode. The control chart recommends the EP02 file.

(Note: There's a misprint on the card that says when you want to fire at an enemy you should hold L and press square. It's actually R.)

Your normal attack consists of holding down R, which readies your weapon and locks you on to an enemy, and pressing square to fire.

There seems to be somewhat of a QTE-like attack system in The 3rd Birthday. The card says that some enemies will occasionally display a Triangle icon. When this happens, you can press R to lock on, then press triangle to do great damage to the enemy.

When you want to change your weapon, you press and hold L, then select a weapon with one of the face buttons. During this selection process, X will let you select the Overdive character's weapon. This weapon is different depending on the character. Triangle selects your standard hand gun, which has unlimited bullets. Square and Circle select certain usable weapons. In the demo version, these two weapons are fixed according to the stage.

The card also provides some long awaited info on the game's "Liberation" system. When you unleash Liberation by pressing Triangle and Circle together, you go into a special attack mode where your shots become special for a limited time. During this time, Aya will automatically evade enemy attack.

Liberation depletes Aya's Liberation gauge. The gauge gradually fills up as you combat enemies. You can only unleash Liberation when the gauge is full.

Weapon selection (left) and Liberation (right).

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