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                             TALES OF SYMPHONIA
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                          BATTLE SYSTEM FAQ & GUIDE
                                   v 1.71
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                                 by Cyllya
                       email: cyllya@mad.scientist.com
                    mboard: http://cyllya.myikonboard.com
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 CONTENTS:                                   INFO TO COME:
  -Summary                                    -More Character info
  -Basics                                     -(any suggestions?)
  -Battle Modes                               
  -Multiplayer and Character Choice           
  -Effects of Attributes                      
  -Targeting            
  -Using Skills
  -Combos
  -Unison Attacks*
  -Defending
  -Status Effects
  -Character Specifics:
    Lloyd
    Colette*
    Genis
    Raine
    Kratos
    Zelos
    Sheena
    Presea
    Regal
  -Strategies
  -Technical Smash
  -Stealing
  -Over Limits*
  -Grade Points
  -Special Effects of Equipment
  -Elemental Attack/Defense*
  -Running Away
  -Damage Formula

*just added or updated to a noteworthy extent

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Summary
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following is the rest of the FAQ crammed into one little list, just in
case you're in a hurry:

-This battle system is real-time.
-Target enemy with R.
-Attack with A. Use the control stick for different kinds of attacks.
-Use skills with B and the control stick.
-Defend with X. Defending is handy.
-You control one character while the other three are AI-controlled.
-There are settings to control how the AI characters work. You can command
 them via the battle menu also.
-You get bonuses for combos (hitting the enemy multiple times before it
 recovers)
-When your combo gauge fills, you can do a team attack on an enemy.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Basics
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The camera will change so that P1's character and the target form a
horizontal line across the screen. Here are the general button commands.

push... UP           - jump (manual mode only [See: Battle Modes])
        UP+X         - jump (semi-auto mode only [See: Battle Modes])
        LEFT/RIGHT   - walk to and from the target. Tap twice to run.
        A            - slash (or club or punch)
        UP+A         - attack upwards or jump and attack
        DOWN+A       - stab/thrust/kick
        B            - use first equipped skill
        UP+B         - use second equipped skill
        DOWN+B       - use third equipped skill
        LEFT/RIGHT+B - use fourth equipped skill [See: Using Skills]
        X            - defend [See: Defending]
        Y            - open the menu
        Z            - initiate U-Attack [See: Unison Attacks]
        START        - pause
        Cross D-Pad  - change user commands [See: Strategies]
        C-Stick      - UP and DOWN are skill short cuts

When fighting in Tales games, you must consider the movement speed, attack
speed (how fast they can attack), casting time (how long they stand still
while preparing to cast a spell), and recover time (how quickly they are up
and moving again after being hit) of both your characters and the enemies. 
In the case of the enemies, you should also consider their size and distance.

Press A a couple times to make a few hits in a row (depending on the
character and the type of attack, you can usually do a two- or three-hit
combo). 

Whenever a character uses a normal attack on an enemy, they regain a tiny
bit of TP per hit.

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Battle Modes
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You can switch battle modes in the skill menu. In battle, you can open the
battle menu and change between modes with the START button. Here are the
battle modes.

SEMI-AUTO - The default setting. If your character is not in range of an
enemy when you tell him/her to attack, he/she will run forward to attack.
You must push UP+X to jump, which makes it easier to do your UP+B skill and
UP+A attack without jumping by accident, but it's much harder to jump over
enemies. Your character will also defend automatically when attacked, but
I'm not sure how reliable it is.

AUTO - The character is controlled by the AI. Sit back and watch.

MANUAL - the character does nothing except what you tell him/her to do. If
your character is not in range of an enemy when you tell him/her to attack,
he/she will attack thin air. Since only pushing UP makes you jump, you have
to be careful not to jump instead of doing your UP+B skill and UP+A attack,
but it's easier to jump over enemies (why attack from the front when you can
attack from behind?) or to dodge by jumping. The character will never defend
without you using the X button.

All characters who are being controlled by a human player should be on
either Semi-Auto or Manual mode. All others should be on Auto. DUH.
[See Also: Multiplayer and Character Choice]

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Effects of Attributes
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These are the effect of attributes according to the game manual:

Strength 
  Directly effects attack power. Higher strength means more damage.
Accuracy
  Higher accuracy means more damage when the attack hits the enemy.
Defense
  Higher defense means less damage taken.
Evade
  Higher evade means less damage taken when an enemy attack hits a
  character.
Intellegence
  Higher intellegence means casting stronger/more effective spells and
  taking less damage from enemy spells.
Luck
  Affects many things, including critical hit percentage (changes randomly
  whenever you sleep).

Some of this info is a little questionable though. [See: Damage Formula]
for a little information on Accuracy. Evade is a total mystery (it doesn't
seem to be the opposite of Accuracy, like Defense is the opposite of Attack,
because enemies are not given Accuracy and Evade stats), but I'm guessing it
effects how effectively the characters will automatically guard on Semi-Auto
mode. I'm no expert on Semi-Auto in this game though.  

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Multiplayer and Character Choice
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Outside of battle, you can change the order of your characters in the menu.
To change characters in battle, open the battle menu and flip through your
four characters with the Z button (only works on single-player). The
character in the first slot is the one you control in battle. (This is not
necessarily the character who's shown walking around.)

The second player controls the character in the second slot and so on. To
activate a second/third/forth character, go into his/her skill menu and
change him/her to semi-auto or manual. [See: Battle Modes]

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Targeting
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

People who have played past Tales games should keep in mind that targeting
is more important in this game than it has been in the past.

An enemy is automatically targeted at the beginning of the battle, but you
can change it with the R button. The camera will change so that the first
player's character and the target form a horizontal line across the screen.
(So that left and right move to and from the enemy predictably.)

If you're using offensive magic, you target enemies the way you do with
weapon skills and normal attacks.

If you're using a skill that targets a party member, the target is indicated
at the bottom of the screen, and you select it during your character's
casting time. (Multi-target healing/support spells effect everyone, no
matter who you target.) [See: Using Skills]

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Using Skills
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can equip four skills for your player-controlled character to use. Use
them in battle by pushing B, Up+B (careful not to just jump instead when in
manual mode), Left/Right+B, or Down+B. 

You can open the menu (Y button) to change which skills you have equipped or
to command another party member to use a particular skill on a particular
enemy. You can turn off certain skills to keep the AI from using them (so
they don't waste TP casting powerful spells on weak enemies or don't waste
time casting less effective spells on strong enemies).

You can set two shortcut skills (for characters other than the one you're
controlling) to be used by pressing the yellow C-stick either up or down.
Handy for healing or comboing.

Like in past Tales games, you need to keep in mind how long it takes for a
skill to take effect. Most physical skills start hitting the enemy right
away, but there are a few that leave you vulnerable for a split second before
attacking. When it comes to spells, there's a very notable amount of time
before the spell takes place, while the character does the incantations and 
everything, so remember to move away from enemies before casting spells.

Only two spells can be seen on the screen at a time. One is the enemies'
and one is yours. The exceptions to this are novice spells, they all be on
the screen at the same time with anything  else, those are: Fireball,
Lightning, Wind Blade, Icicle, Stone Blast, and Aqua Edge.

[See Also: Targeting]

[Thanks: Kiko]

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Combos
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Whenever your team hits an enemy multiple times before it recovers from the
first attack, that's a combo. The number of hits will appear in the
upper-right corner (upper-left if the enemy is comboing on you!). When the
enemy recovers, your combo is broken, and the game will display the total
amount of damage you did to that enemy during the whole combo.

You get some bonus EXP based on whatever your biggest combo was. (Say if you
got a 10 hit combo and a 9 hit combo in one battle, you get bonus EXP for 10
hits, not 19 hits.) 

The formula is
Earned Experience * (HIT)% = Bonus EXP
(rounded down)

When you get combos, it fills up a combo gauge. [See: Unison Attacks]

Try linking normal attacks into lv 1 skills, then into lv2 or lv3 skills,
because you can attack this way without a pause that gives the enemy a
chance to recover. As a character does continuous strikes, the damage gets
weaker. [See: Damage Formula]

A good way to get high combos is to have all your characters participating
in using good combo skills on an enemy, then initiate at U-Attack at just
the right time. Use good combo skills in the U-Attack too, including
something that makes a combonation skill, especially Prism Stars or Stardust
Rain.

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Unison Attacks
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

When you get combos, it fills up a combo gauge. [See: Combos] Also, if
your character has the Taunt (aka Appeal) EX-Skill (level 1), you can
increase the combo gauge by pushing Z.  

When it's full, you can push Z to perform a U-Attack. (Your character will
attack when you do this, and the attack must hit the enemy for the U-Attack
to begin successfully.) In a U-Attack, the battle pauses for a short time
to let each of your characters pummel the enemy with one skill. (You equip
four skills to choose from for each character just as you equip four skills
for your controlled character, but each character is assigned a different
button out of A/B/X/Y.)

The skills will be listed along the side as they are used. Based on which
skills they used during the U-Attack, two characters may combine their two
skills together. For example, if Genis uses Lightning and Colette uses
Pow Hammer, after all four characters go, they will use Mjolnir together.

You can only do one combination skill per U-Attack. Just in case someone
uses a skill that can be combined with more than one of the other skills you
used, there's a predefined priority for which skills will be used. If you add
Lloyd using Tiger Blade in the example I used above, Colette will do Pow 
Blade with Lloyd instead of Mjolnir with Genis.

Only two spells of a certain level can be used instantly in a U-Attack. The
third one used will take its normal casting time to come out, and the
U-Attack will still end after time is up, even if the effect of the spell
hasn't finished. The novice spells will still take their casting time, so
they may or may not come out in time; it depends on how long the Unison is
lasting.

If an enemy has Absorb status for a certain element, that element will
suddenly cause damage so long as it's in a U-Attack. It's only for Absorb,
however; Reduce and Invalid work the same as normal. [See: Elemental
Attack/Defense]

[Thanks: GallyYouko, dgjk, maiwurm, Kiko, Kratos_Aurion75]

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Defending
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Push (and hold) X to go into a defensive stance. While holding X, push
LEFT/RIGHT away from the enemy to hop backwards. Press DOWN while holding X
to use the character's barrier skill (Guardian, Force Field, Guardian Seal,
Earthly Protection, etc), which takes 10% of their max TP. Holding DOWN and
then pushing X won't work.

While defending, you will take a mere 1/4 of the damage you would have
normally taken. Also, you're ready to attack again right after the enemy is
done attacking, instead of waiting a split second while Lloyd is in 
"Ouch~ ;_;" mode. If an enemy throws you into the air, push X while in
flight, and you're almost guaranteed to land on your feet and ready to
fight, instead of on your back ready to get hit as you stand up.

[Thanks: dgjk, Chuc]

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Status Effects
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PHYSICAL AILEMENTS
  Effective until cured by item/spell/sleeping. Use a Life Bottle to cure KO
  and a Panacea Bottle for everything else.

STATUS           APPEARENCE            EFFECT
Poison           green hue/bubbles     HP decreases gradually
Deadly Poison    green hue/bubbles     HP decreases more quickly than poison
Paralysis        lightning over head   Sometimes stagger when attacking
Petrified        chara is a statue     Can't do anything
Curse            XX over head          Can't use skills
Dead             dead-looking          HP is 0. No world-saving for you.

MAGICAL AILEMENTS/BOOSTS -
  Effective during only one battle, can be cured with Anti-Magic Bottle.
  (icons are above a chara's picture in battle)

STATUS             ICON               EFFECT
Attack Up/Down     Arm                Attack is increased/decreased
Defense Up/Down    Shield             Defense is increased/decreased
Accuracy Up/Down   Arrowhead (?)      Accuracy is increased/decreased
Mag Att Up/Down    Staff (?)          Magic Attack is increased/decreased
Holy Song          Flower? Light?     Attack and Defense increased
St Change Immune   Heart              Immune to the other stuff in this list
St Effect Immune   Body shape         Immune to the stuff in the above list
Weak               chara pic is red   Max HP decreases by half
Reduce Item Effect Gel(?)             Item effects are halved


MISC - effective for a short a few seconds

STATUS             APPEARENCE            EFFECT
Stun (Dizzy/Piyo)  birds around head     Can't do anything for a few seconds
Heavy              slow                  Slowed movement (Heavy Boots)
Near Over Limits   flashing red lines    [See: Over Limits]
Over Limits        black aura            [See: Over Limits]
Just Stood Up      flashing red          [See: Damage Formula]

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Character Specifics
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I thought I'd add some info specific to each character, since the manual and
most other info usually focus on Lloyd. If you have any comments on how to
use a specific character (especially non-Lloyd characters) more effectively,
please feel free to send them too me (email or messageboard(above)).

-------
 Lloyd
-------

He attacks quickly because he two swords. He is pretty good at everything
since he's the default character.

To use Falcon Crest, equip the Material Blade and the Eternal Swordsman title
and push X+A+B together while HP is in red.

--------
 Colette
--------

Colette is meant to be a ranged fighter, so whenever you put her right up in
an enemy's face, she's likely to get clobbered. If you do want to use her at 
close-range, make sure you have you thumb entirely off the Control Stick when
pushing A. Pressing LEFT/RIGHT+A will make her throw her chakram upward, and
DOWN+A will make her throw her chakram far, neither of which something she
does quickly, so she's very vulnerable to nearby enemies in the process. She
can combo two hits with a close-range attack so long as the first hit doesn't
push the enemy too far away. 

Paraball is a great skill, but many choose to sacrifice it for Hammer Rain
(necessary for the Stardust Rain U-attack).

Colette is the only character who can steal. [See: Stealing]

About Colette's DOWN+A... Pretend this is a view of the battle field from
directly above: (C=Colette, E=Enemy)
  
   C    E
      EE

Colette will often be able to hit all those enemies with DOWN+A.

When in a situation like below, use Ring Whirlwind, Whirlwind Rush, or 
Ring Cyclone. It works great. ^_^

   E
   C E
  E E
  
Tip for using Holy Judgement:
Holy Judgement has a random chance of happening in place of Holy Song if
you've used Judgement and Holy Song 50+ times each. Since Holy Song is a
support skill, the target indication will show up at the bottom when you
start to cast it. It doesn't show up for Holy Judgement, so if you see the
target thing pop up, cancel with X and try again.

Colette doesn't have very good AI, but if you want to have Colette in your
party on Auto, choose her strategy carefully. If you want her to use Long-
Range attacks (not spells), I suggest not only changing her strategy setting
to Long-Range Skills but also disable all her short-range skills.

--------
 Genis
--------

Pay attention to how much range Genis has, because you tend to expect him
to have more than he actually does. He loses a lot of range when jumping, so
try to keep him on the ground.

The Randomizer EX-Skill (Tough + Rythm) makes it possible to occassionally
cast a spell almost instantly. Alternate pushing B and X, and anytime it
doesn't come out instantly will be canceled and you can try again. Lots
of people find this useful for casting spells quickly.

To use Indignant Judgement, use Indignation 50+ times and use it again while
in Over Limits.

--------
 Raine
--------

Remember to read about targeting healing spells. [See: Targeting] She jabs
with Down+A and tends to miss when attacking downward from the air. Not much
to say about her otherwise. She seems better at physically than Genis because
she can actually hit the enemy easier. She can combo two hits, but she moves
a bit slow, so it only works if the enemy doesn't recover too quickly.

The Quick Spell EX-Skill (Neutralizer + Happiness + Spell Save) makes it
possible to occassionally cast a spell almost instantly. Alternate pushing
B and X, and anytime it doesn't come out instantly will be canceled and you
can try again. Lots of people find this useful for casting attack spells
quickly.

Raine is definately better as a T-Type, at least for healing spells.
Photon can upgrade to Ray on T or Holy Lance on S. Comparing each of those
by itself, Holy Lance is better, but Ray can combine in a U-attack with
Genis's Lv.3 T-type skills to form Prism(ic) Stars, which is a guarunteed
30 hits.

-------
 Kratos
-------

Kratos is pretty powerful even though he's slower than Lloyd or even Zelos.
He slashes normally and stabs with DOWN+A.

-------
 Zelos
-------

He does stab/slash just like Lloyd does. He's very good at all types of
normal attacks. He's handy in a clump of enemies because his slash swings
around to both sides of him. He does three hits in a row easily.

--------
 Sheena
--------

She just swings her ofuda with A, and Down+A is the same thing only lower.
(Might be handy with small ground-going enemies.) She attacks upwards pretty
well. She can do a three-hit combo pretty easily.

Remember that you can only use summons other than Corrine while in Over Limits.
[See: Over Limits]

--------
 Presea
--------

She jabs with Down+A. Considering her axe is often almost as big as she is,
she swings it pretty fast. She can usually combo two hits with normal
attacks.

She is very strong, with the highest attack power in the game.

-------
 Regal
-------

He does a wide kick with Down+A and flips up to kick the enemy with Up+A. He
can do a two-hit combo easily. It takes a lot of skill to use Regal
effectively, but he has very excellent AI!


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Strategies
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The settings you chose on the Strat menu effect what the characters do when
they're on Auto mode. [See: Battle Modes] There are three settings per
character:

TARGET/ACTION
   This tells the character which enemy to attack, e.g. the same one the
   Manual/Semi-Auto character is attacking or  that pesky mage in the back.
SKILL FREQUENCY
   This tells the character how often to use skills versus how often to use
   normal attacks to save TP.
SKILL TYPE/POSITION
   This tells the character what kind of skills to use, like magic or
   physical skills.

Don't forget to read the description of each option. 

The diagram at the bottom of the screen (with the cute little heads) shows
the position your characters will be in by default, and its affected by that
third catagory above.

Now, you probably have a different strategy for bosses than normal enemies,
right? Sometimes you might want to change back and forth depending on what's
going on in the battle. Since all those options would be annoying to change
all the time, you can save three sets of settings. Push X in the menu to
pick between the three commands: Reserve, Guard, and All Out (you can rename
them).

Choose all the options you want for each of those three commands. Then when
you get in battle, use the D-Pad up/left/right to swap between them. Push
D-Pad down to cancel.

Don't forget you can access the Strat menu from the battle menu.

[Thanks: GallyYouko]

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Technical Smash
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

You get a Technical Smash if you meet certain conditions when killing an
enemy. A few examples:

NO DAMAGE  Kill the enemy before your party takes any damage
COUNTER    Kill the enemy just before it was about to attack you
SKILL      Kill the enemy with a skill
SUMMON     Kill the enemy with a summon
AERIAL     Kill the enemy while it's airborne (higher % if non-flying enemy)
COMBO ~+   Kill the enemy with a ~ or more combo. (~ usually intervals of 5)
HIGH SPEED Kill the enemy quickly
CONTINUE   Kill the enemy with the next attack after killing the last enemy

Tech Smashes increase the chances of getting item drops. It doesn't have an
effect on Grade, but since a lot of the stuff that gets you Grade is the
same as the stuff that gets you Tech Smashes, you'll probably end up with
Higher Grade in the battles where you get good Tech Smashes.

[Thanks: Huff n puff 20]

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Stealing
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Only Colette can steal. Her Item Thief skill can steal an item, and Item
Rover will steal an item and gald. I don't think either skill has a higher
chance of stealing an item than the other. A successful use of Item Rover
will always steal both an item and gald (if the enemy has an item), never
one or the other.

Here are the rules of stealing;

1: THE ENEMY MUST HAVE SOMETHING TO STEAL
   -This one's obvious. A particular type of monster will either have an 
   item to steal or it won't; check the Monster List. If there's a line of
   question marks, it has an item to steal, but you've never stolen from it.
   If it's a blank space, the monster doesn't have an item.
   -You can only steal from each individual enemy once, so you might as well
   kill it go find a new one.
   -All enemies have gald.

2: THE ATTACK MUST CONNECT AND DO DAMAGE
   -Colette will trip when using Item Thief or Item Rover. She must land on
   the enemy and do damage. If the enemy has Invalid or Absorb status for
   her attack attribute, it won't do damage and thus won't work. (Note that
   Fakes have Invalid for physical/non-elemental.)
   [See: Elemental Attack/Defense]

3: THE ENEMY DOESN'T BLOCK
   -Even if you do damage, it will often (always?) fail if the enemy blocks.

4: RANDOM CHANCE MUST BE IN YOUR FAVOR
   -Yup, like all RPGs. I don't know whether Colette's LCK stat has any
   affect on this at all. If you want to completely remove this rule, equip
   these Ex-Skills on Colette: Sharp-Eyed + Magical + Lucky + Stat Boost.
   You still have to follow the other three rules though.

I could be mistaken, but I believe you will always steal 500 gald.

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Over Limits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

When a character goes into Over Limits mode, "Over Limits" will flash up and
the character will be surrounded by a black aura. It lasts for about eight
seconds (more like 9.8 if you have the Limiter aka Over Limit compound
EX-Skill), and during this time, you have these advantages:

-less damage taken
-you don't stagger when hit (no "Ouch!" mode)
-immune to Stun/Dizzy status effect (with the little birds) (but if you are
 already stunned upon entering Over Limits, being hit will not take you out
 of being stunned like it normally would!)
-Sheena can summon non-Corinne Spirits
-Genis can use Indignant Judgement (if he's used Indignation 50+ times)

Whether a character goes into Over Limits is determined by a hidden
parameter which represents the character's tension value. Think of it as a
meter that fills up like the Combo Guage, except you can't see it. (When it
gets about 90% full, the character's outlines will flicker red.) This chart
lists how you can force the invisible "Over Limits Guage" to fill.

 +-----------------------------------------+------------------------------+
 |EVENT                                    | EFFECT ON TENSION            |
 +-----------------------------------------+------------------------------+
 |Get hit (guard doesn't matter)           | +1                           |
 +-----------------------------------------+------------------------------+
 |Use Sylva/Tethe Seal                     | +2 (for Sheena)              |
 +-----------------------------------------+------------------------------+
 |Chara dies                               | That character drops to 0    |
 |                                         | +10 for others               |
 +-----------------------------------------+------------------------------+
 |Chara cooks (nuetral)                    | +5% *                        |
 +-----------------------------------------+------------------------------+
 |Chara fails dish (nuetral)               | -5% *                        |
 +-----------------------------------------+------------------------------+
 |Chara cooks (liked food)                 | +10% *                       |
 +-----------------------------------------+------------------------------+
 |Chara fails dish (liked food)            | -0                           |
 +-----------------------------------------+------------------------------+
 |Chara cooks (disliked food)              | +0                           |
 +-----------------------------------------+------------------------------+
 |Chara fails dish (disliked food)         | -10% *                       |
 +-----------------------------------------+------------------------------+
 |Different chara cooks (nuetral)**        | +0                           |
 +-----------------------------------------+------------------------------+
 |Different chara cooks (liked food)**     | +5% *                        |
 +-----------------------------------------+------------------------------+
 |Different chara cooks (disliked food)**  | -5% *                        |
 +-----------------------------------------+------------------------------+
   *Percentages refer to the percent of the required amount of tension for
    that character, e.g. +10% is +5.6 for Sheena but +6.7 for Lloyd
    (see chart below)
   **This means the effect on Chara X's tension if Chara Y cooks something
    with Chara X's favorite food. e.g. the effect on Lloyd's tension if
    Colette cooks something with Lloyd's favorite food.

The required tension is a fixed value which varies between characters.
Getting the "Increased Tension" option from Grade Shop lowers the required
value to 67-70%.

 +--------+----------+---------------------+--------------------------+
 |CHARA   | TENSION  | FAVORITE            | LEAST FAVORITE           |
 |        | REQUIRED | FOOD                | FOOD                     |
 +--------+----------+---------------------+--------------------------+
 |Lloyd   | 67       | Beef                | Tomato                   |
 |Colette | 91       | Fruit Group         | Bell Pepper              |
 |Genis   | 84       | Milk**, Potato*     | Carrot                   |
 |Kratos  | 100      | Tuna**              | Tomato                   |
 |Raine   | 84       | Lemon               | Mushroom                 |
 |Sheena  | 56       | Rice Group          | ?                        |
 |Zelos   | 72       | Snapper**, Tuna**   | Octopus **               |
 |Presea  | 100      | ?                   | ?                        |
 |Regal   | 84       | Tofu                | Beef, Cucumber**, Melon**|
 +--------+----------+---------------------+--------------------------+
  *These foods I have only tested slightly, I could be wrong
  **These foods I haven't tested at all; I'm going off hearsay.
  I'm certain of the other foods listed, but if you have more info, feel
  free to tell me.

As you can see from the first chart, damage doesn't matter at all. A
character is will go Over Limits after getting hit 100 times for 1 HP
of damage but not getting hit one time for 100 HP of damage.

Most humanoid bosses are capable of Over Limits, as well as some non-boss
enemies (noteably angels). It may be possible that all enemies can get Over
Limits except that you kill them too fast, because I've seen several
different kinds of enemies get that red flicker that suggests they are
near Over Limits.

There can't be more than two characters in Over Limits at once. A character
can go into Over Limits multiple times in the same battle.

[Uber-Thanks: MEE, Majestic Fantasian]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grade Points
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The system grades how well you fought after each battle. Most battles tend
to range between -2.00 and 2.00 grade points, but the total possible range
is bigger (not sure how big... -15.00~15.00?). The grade increase option in
the Grade Shop makes the max +20.

You can use your grade points to purchase stuff sometimes. It also effects
which things you get to keep when you go into Clear File (playing the game
after beating it).

Details of grade acquisition:

Defend against enemy attack                +0.01 (each time)
Use defensive skill against enemy attack   +0.02
Get 5+ combo                               +0.02 (20hit=0.02*4= +0.08, etc)
Enemy killed w/ combo                      +0.04 (combo number * 0.04)
HP is full at battle end                   +0.25 (per person)
TP is full at battle end                   +0.25 (per person)
Do a successful U-Attack                   +0.50
Battle ends within 15sec                   +0.50
Battle ends within 5sec                    +?
Take damage                                -0.01 (each time)
Use an item                                -0.05 (each time)
Attack w/ element enemy is strong against  -0.05 (each time)
Enemy gets an 8+ combo                     -0.10 (16 hits is -0.20, etc)
Character dies                             -0.50 (each time)
Character you control dies                 -1.00 (each time)
Dead character at end of battle            -0.50 (per person)
Status effect at end of battle             -0.50 (per person)

Your grade is also decreased if you're at a very, very high level compared
to the enemy. Nonetheless, it's still efficiant to hunt for Grade near
Iselia at the end of the game because of the bonuses you get for speed and
full HP/TP.

[Uber-Thanks: Majestic Fantasian]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Special Effects of Equipment
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Obviously your biggest concern in your choice of equipment is the numbers. 
[See: Effects of Attributes] to figure out what those numbers mean to you. 
Remember when choosing weapons for Raine and Genis that INT is more 
important than ATK, because they cast spells more than they beat on the
enemy with their weapons.

Your second biggest concern is element. [See: Elemental Attack/Defense]

The other stuff is what this section is about. If the descriptions aren't
clear enough, you can view the effects of your equipment by checking the
second page of the character's status screen (push C-Stick down). Here are
some more details:

 WEAPON BONUS AND MONSTER TYPE
   Certain weapons give you bonus against certain kinds of monsters. To see
   what bonus, if any, is provided by your weapon, equip it and check the
   second page of the character's status screen. It will be listed as "Added
   damage to...." You can check an enemy's type in the upper-right corner of
   its Monster List entry. When you attack an enemy for which you have a
   weapon bonus, damage will be increased by 12.5%.
 REGENERATION
   "Small HP Regeneration" means you will regain 1% of your max HP every six
   seconds. "Large HP Regeneration" means you will gain back 3% every six
   seconds. The same goes for TP.

The other stuff should be obvious enough. You now have no reason to make a 
topic on any message board asking what Yata Mirror, Yasakani Jewel, and
Turquoise do!

[Thanks: Majestic Fantasian]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Elemental Attack/Defense
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The elemental attack attribute of special skills or spells can be seen in
the skill menu next to TP usage amount. A character or enemy's attack
attribute is the element of his or her normal TP-free attack. Elemental
defense affects whether and to what extent the character or enemy is damaged
when attacked with an element.

For your characters, the elemental attack/defense attribute comes from what
you have equipped. The list of the item's stats should specify what kind of
elemental defense it provides or takes away, but does not specify how much
(see below). 

There are five ways to have an attack attribute:
1: It's part of the weapon
2: Use Sheena's Sylva Seal or Tethe Seal skills (wears off)
3: Use a Quartz item (one time use in battle; wears off)
4: Equip one of the gems you received from the summon spirits
5: It's part of the skill you're using (i.e. Hurricane Thrust = Wind)

To see what kind of elemental defense or attack you have, check the second
page of the character's status screen (C-stick DOWN). You can only have one
attack element at a time. The character's weapon is the default detirminant
of attack element, but it is canceled out by accessories, the second
accessory having priority. You can have multiple elemental defenses. Here
is the terminology used by the status screen:

 "REDUCE" STATUS
   Damage of that element is halved
   Have 2~4 units of a certain elemental defense
 "INVALID" STATUS
   No damage taken from attacks of that element, you do not stagger
   Have 5~6 units of a certain elemental defense
 "ABSORB" STATUS
   Attacks of that element HEAL you, you do not stagger
   Have 7+ units of a certain elemental defense
 "WEAK" STATUS
   Damage of that element is doubled
   Have any negative value of that element
 (blank) STATUS
   Element icon appears on status screen without label
   Damage of that element is normal
   You have 1 unit of that element, or you have positive/negative units of
   that element canceling each other out.

The game doesn't tell you how much of a certain elemental defense an item
gives you; the above numbers are based on Majestic Fantasian's armor/accessory
guides. Those guides don't take much Japanese knowledge to use, but those of
you who don't know any are out of luck. Just know this: most armors give or
take two units, while some accessories only give/take one.

Here's an example:
Sheena has an armor (Shaman Dress) which gives +4 Light defense and +2 Dark
defense. If she equips that, a Stun Check (+2 Light), and a Reflect Ring (+1
all), she'll be healed by most of what the first form of the last boss has
to throw at you. ^_^ 

Elements work the same way for you as they do for enemies. When viewing the
Monster List or Magic Lens display, the elements listed as S or Str are
either Reduce, Invalid, or Absorb for that monster, but it doesn't say
which. The elements listed as W or Weak are the Weak element, obviously.
Attack attribute is only visible in the Monster List as AA. Don't assume
that the monster's elemental weaknesses are the opposite of its strengths
or that it's attack attribute is the same as its strengths.

[Thanks: Majestic Fantasian]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Running Away
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

The last option on the menu is to run away from battle. A little meter
appears after you select this option, and when it fills, you leave battle.
How long it takes depends on your levels, monster type, etc..

If you run away from a battle in a dungeon, the monster is still RIGHT THERE
once you're out of battle, so it will catch you again if you don't leave
quickly.

If you change your mind and don't want to run away, choose the option from
the menu again to cancel.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Damage Formula
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Majestic Fantasian provided a damage formula (detailed mathmatics used by
the game to calculate damage), so I occassionally translated it and posted
when someone asked for it on a forum. Since enough people have asked, I
figure I'll put it in this FAQ.

I found this all very confusing, so forgive me if I've made mistakes.
Instead of listing it in the form of a formula followed by miles of 
explaination, I've listed it like a step-by-step process to find the damage
number.

If you don't want to mess with all this, just think of it as half of ATK
minus DEF. Otherwise....

------------------
 IMPORTANT BASICS  (you NEED these things to calculate damage)
------------------
-- Start with ATK x 0.5
-- If using a skill, MULTIPLY by the appropriate number according to skill
   usage count (not applicable for basic attacks, Falcon Crest, or Ex-Skill
   "Pow Hammer") (for skills such as Grave Blade, their count is that of the
   skill they came from)
   [Using basic attack = 1]
   [0~49 = 1]
   [50~99 = 1.01]
   [100~149 = 1.02]
   [150~199 = 1.03]
   [200~249 = 1.04]
   [250+ = 1.05]
-- Consecutive basic attacks decrease in strength, so MULTIPLY accordingly.
   (Lloyd gets two hits of the same strength) (Skills use the same numbers
   based on how many times in a row you use that same skill*) (left column
   is normal, right column is w/ EX-Skill "Combo Force")
   [First Hit = 1]       [First Hit = 1]
   [Second Hit = 0.85 ]  [Second Hit = 0.9]
   [Third Hit = 0.7]     [Third Hit =  0.8]
   [Fourth Hit = 0.55]   [Fourth Hit = 0.7]
   [Fifth Hit= 0.4]      [Fifth Hit= 0.6]
   [Sixth Hit = 0.25]    [Sixth Hit = 0.5]
-- Multiply by something between 1 and 0.8 according to Accuracy/Evade.
   (details unknown) 
   [Target is "Dizzy" = 1] 
-- If using a skill, multiply by the appropriate number according to the
   strength of that skill (all hits as part of a skill are not necessarily
   the same) (see Majestic Phantasian's skill guide**) 
-- Multiply by a random number between 0.96~1.04 (nine possible numbers) 


------------------
 COMMON VARIABLES
------------------

-- If you get a critical hit ("CRITICAL DAMAGE"), multiply by 1.5
-- If your weapon type is strong against the monster type of the target
   (i.e. "Added Damange to _________"), multiply but 1.125
-- Multiply by the appropriate number according to the target's 
   elemental weakness
   [Nonappicable = 1]
   [Weak = 1.5]
   [Reduce (strong) = 0.5]
   [Invalid = (no damage)]
   [Absorb = 1 (HP recovered)]
-- Multiply by the appropriate number according to the status of the target
   [Guarding (normal) = 0.25]
   [Guarding (attacker has "EX Attack") = 0.4]
   [Guarding (w/ "Absorb" attribute) = 1]
   [Lying on ground = 0.25]
   [Just stood up or trying to stand up = 0.125]
   [In Over Limits = 0.5] 

------------------------------
 CHANGES BY ITEMS/SKILLS/FOOD
------------------------------
-- If applicable, multiply by the appropriate number according to "Attack
   Up" Status. (No stacking; Keenness or Summon: Fire will take priority) 
   [Meat Stew, Paella, Sharpness, Acuteness, Summon: Birth*** = 1.10.]
   [Keenness, Summon: Fire = 1.15]
-- If you've used Holy Song or Holy Judgment, multiply by 1.10.
-- If the target's DEF has been lowered by Power Seal, Power Seal Absolute,
   or Power Seal Pinion, multiply by 0.9.****
-- If using a Flare Bottle or Flanoir Potion, multiply by 1.2
-- If using a Syrup Bottle, Palma Potion, Mizuho Potion, or Shell Bottle***,
   multiply by 0.8
-- If equipped with an Attack Ring, multiply by 1.1 

--------------------
 UNCOMMON VARIABLES
--------------------
-- If using active Devil's Arm, ADD [number of enemies killed x 0.5] (do
   this MULTIPLYING any multiplying) (max enemies killed is 5000)
-- If you used an All Divide, multiply by 0.5.
-- If applicable, multiply by the appropriate number according to the
   attack-power-effecting torches in Niflheim
   [Normal = 1]
   [Attack Up = 1.25]
   [Attack Down = 0.75]
-- If applicable, multiply by the appropriate number according to which
   floor of Niflheim you're on. (Living Armor and Hell Knight fights are
   normal) 
   [Not in Niflheim = 1]
   [F1 = 0.8]
   [F2 = 0.77]
   [F3 = 0.74]
   [Etc, lowering by 0.03 each time until 0.38 at F15]

-------
 NOTES
-------
*   May be translated incorrectly, sorry
**  For example, you should multiply by 1.2 if using Demon Fang. The big 
    number list is too detailed to post here; belongs in a skill FAQ.
    I don't currently know any English skill guides which list this. If
    you find one, make sure they use the right number scale by comparing the
    Demon Fang example.
*** May not be correct English version name, sorry
****I think it's translated right, but I wonder if the website made a
    mistake. If the target's defense is lowered, shouldn't the damage go UP?
    I think the number was supposed to be 1.1.

[Uber-Thanks: Majestic Fantasian]
   
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Credits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
We all know Cyllya sucks at video games, ToS being no exception, so help me
and I will put you here.

- GallyYouko
- dgjk (http://www.gamefaqs.com/features/recognition/45191.html)
- Chuc
- maiwurm
- Majestic Fantasian (http://www.din.or.jp/~albion/tales/), the website
  which puts all guidebooks to shame
- MEE
- Huff n puff 20
- Kratos_Aurion75