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    Strategy/Orders FAQ by Yaezakura

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 01/21/05 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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    Tales of Symphonia
    Strategy / Orders FAQ
    
    Written by: Sara Miyamoto, AKA: Yaezakura
    Version: 1.0 (1/21/2005)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    -----------------
    Table of Contents
    -----------------
    
    1 - Introduction
    2 - What does the Strategy menu do?
    3 - Strategy List
        (a) Action
        (b) Skills/Magic
        (c) Position
    4 - Strategies by Character
        (a) Lloyd
        (b) Genis
        (c) Colette
        (d) Kratos
        (e) Raine
        (f) Sheena
        (g) Zelos
        (h) Presea
        (i) Regal
    5 - What are Orders?
    6 - Useful Orders
    7 - Copyright/Disclaimer
    
    ------------------
     1 - Introduction 
    ------------------
    
      Not sure what that "Strategy" option in your menu does? The standard Orders
    that the game starts you with just not working well enough when it's time to
    get down and dirty? Then you're in the right place. This is here to help those
    that just don't manage to 'get' the Strategy options. And since this is here
    for that reason, and not for me to babble, let's get down to it!
    
    -------------------------------------
     2 - What does the Strategy menu do? 
    -------------------------------------
    
      Put simply, the Strategy menu lets you control how the computer-controlled
    members of your party fight. Changing different options in the character's
    Strategy menu makes them fight in different ways. There are a lot of options,
    which means Tales of Symphonia gives you an amazing amount of control over how
    the characters behave in battle.
      Each character has three options you can set in the Strategy menu. The first,
    "Action", affects which enemies your party will focus on attacking. The second,
    "Skills/Magic", affects what types of techs your characters use, and how often
    they use them. The final option, "Position", effects how close to the action
    your characters will get.
      Just be careful how you combine your settings--it's useless to set a
    character like Genis to "Do Not Use" his magic and put his position at "L-Range
    Magic". He'll sit in the back and do absolutely nothing!
    
    -------------------
     3 - Strategy List 
    -------------------
    
      The entries will appear in the following format:
    
    Name: Setting name.
    Description: In-game description.
    Notes: My personal notes on the setting.
    
      I'll list the skills in the order they appear in your menu, starting with
    Action, then Skills/Magic, and finally Position.
    
      ------
      Action
      ------
    
    Name: Attack Freely
    Description: Attack the enemy based upon the character's own thought patterns.
    Notes: The standard option, and usually alright. Characters all have different
    ideas about which enemies are more important to take down, so you might not
    get backup when you need it if this option is set.
    
    Name: Attack Close
    Description: Attack the closest enemy.
    Notes: Largely useless. The closest enemies are almost never the most dangerous
    ones.
    
    Name: Attack Far
    Description: Attack the farthest enemy.
    Notes: Potentially useful if you want your spellcasters to attack enemies in
    the back of enemy formations, but I've never found a serious use for it.
    
    Name: Attack Same
    Description: Attack the same enemy as the player.
    Notes: One of the most useful settings of all, and one you'll be using in every
    boss battle, especially multiple bosses and bosses with annoying sidekicks.
    
    Name: Scatter
    Description: Party members fight different enemies.
    Notes: Never found a real use for this setting. It's usually safer and quicker
    to have one or more people team up on an enemy to reduce numbers than to split
    your focus amongst multiple enemies.
    
    Name: Aim High
    Description: Attack priority given to enemies in the air.
    Notes: Another setting I find marginally useful at best. Aerial enemies are
    usually the weakest, and their attacks tend to be easy to dodge.
    
    Name: Block Magic
    Description: Attack priority given to enemies that use magic.
    Notes: This one can serve a real purpose. Magic is as deadly to you as it is
    to your enemies, and Block Magic will ensure that the character goes out of his
    way to interupt enemy spellcasters.
    
    Name: Reduce
    Description: Attack prioty given to enemies that are receiving the most damage.
    Notes: While I find Attack Same to be more effective and simpler to control,
    Reduce will make the character focus on taking out enemies already receiving
    heavy damage, eliminating them quicker.
    
    Name: Protect Friend
    Description: Attack priority given to enemies targetting member with lowest HP.
    Notes: Useful when a character is about to croak. Enemies have a knack for
    concentrating on the character that is hitting them the most, and this setting
    can draw attention away from a failing melee character or a caster that got too
    close to the fight.
    
      ------------
      Skills/Magic
      ------------
    
    Name: Use Skills Freely
    Description: Use skills and magic based upon the character's own thought
    patterns.
    Notes: While good enough to take on normal enemies and most bosses, characters
    have a tendency to burn through all their TP very quickly, leaving you with
    little to work with when the boss finally shows up.
    
    Name: At Once
    Description: Use attack-based skills and magic without any regards to TP.
    Notes: With this, characters focus on one thing, and one thing only--dealing
    as much damage is as little time as possible. Save this for boss battles, as
    you'll quickly notice your dropping TP bars.
    
    Name: Keep Reserve
    Description: Stop using skills or magic once TP is below 25%.
    Notes: Useful for melee characters against normal enemies. Unlike spellcasters
    they restore HP while fighting by scoring normal hits, so they don't need as
    large a store, though 25% is still fairly low for big fights.
    
    Name: Retain
    Description: Stop using skills or magic once TP is below 50%.
    Notes: Quite a bit more useful than Keep Reserve. Standard enemies don't need
    much to go down, so I'd say use this setting for melee fighters, until you
    reach the boss. Passable for spellcasters, but 50% is fairly low when you might
    require almost constant healing and spell damage.
    
    Name: Save
    Description: Stop using skills or magic once TP is below 75%.
    Notes: My personal favorite setting for spellcasters, this will ensure you have
    a solid supply of TP when it comes time to fight bosses.
    
    Name: Do Not Use
    Description: No not use skills or magic.
    Notes: Honestly never found a use for it. The TP-reserving settings are more
    than enough to satisfy TP requirements. Possibly useful if you want enemies
    to survive longer to get Tech-usage up on rarely used moves to learn new ones.
    
    Name: Moderation
    Description: Use skills or magic less frequently once TP is below 50%.
    Notes: Not very useful. Between the TP-reserving settings and cooking, you
    should always have enough TP on hand to finish off normal enemies before you
    reach your lower TP limit and tech usage stops.
    
    Name: Heal
    Description: When a party member's HP decreases, priority is given to healing.
    Notes: A very useful setting. Causes your healers to focus on healing, which
    can be a real life-saver. Switch to this setting if you find yourself in a
    near-death situation.
    
    Name: Support
    Description: Priority is given to support skills and magic.
    Notes: Only Raine gets this setting, and man does it ever work! You should
    have her set to this almost constantly. She focuses on raising stats and
    healing, but will still fling her share of Photon and Ray spells in the fight.
    
      --------
      Position
      --------
    
    Name: Move Freely
    Description: Move based upon character's position and thought patterns.
    Notes: Fine for normal battles. Might want to change it for boss fights or
    certain random encounters.
    
    Name: Frontlines
    Description: Approach enemies as much as possible and mainly use short-range
    attacks.
    Notes: Very good for melee characters, especially in boss fights. In true Lloyd
    fashion, a character set to this will run directly up to the enemy and start
    pummeling at close range. Use to tie up bosses to keep them away from spell-
    casters.
    
    Name: Don't Persue
    Description: Move while keeping a distance from the enemy.
    Notes: Not very useful. Possibly useful for Colette due to her unusual style
    of fighting. Try it out and see if it works for you.
    
    Name: Hold Position
    Description: Stay at that position and no not attack.
    Notes: For serious battle? Useless. While trying to use techs with a certain
    character as many times as possible, it's wonderful. Have the others stand
    still while you handle the entire battle with nothing but your techs. Great
    while trying to learn higher-level techs.
    
    Name: L-Range Skills
    Description: Mainly use long-range skill attacks.
    Notes: Potentially useful under certain circumstances. If you REALLY need to
    Demon Fang and Para Ball something to death, you can use this.
    
    Name: L-Range Magic
    Description: Mainly use long-range magic.
    Notes: Genis and Raine should ALWAYS be set to this. Zelos and Kratos can be
    set to it as well, if you really need the power of a second elemental spell-
    caster.
    
    Name: Skills/Magic
    Description: Do not use normal attacks and only use skills or magic.
    Notes: Useful while trying to have characters get tech usage up to learn new
    skills. Otherwise, spellcasters won't be able to protect themselves at all if
    an enemy slips by or teleports to them.
    
    -----------------------------
     4 - Strategies by Character 
    -----------------------------
    
      Not all of the Strategy settings are avaliable for every character. After
    all, characters with no healing spells hardly have need of a "Heal" strategy.
    I'll list the settings avaliable to each character. Reference above to see what
    they do--or just look at your game.
    
      -----
      Lloyd
      -----
    
     _____________________________________________________________________________
    |          Action         |      Skills/Magic       |         Position        |
    |-------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------|
    | Attack Freely           | Use Skills Freely       | Move Freely             |
    | Attack Close            | At Once                 | Frontlines              |
    | Attack Far              | Keep Reserve            | Don't Persue            |
    | Attack Same             | Retain                  | Hold Position           |
    | Scatter                 | Save                    | L-Range Skills          |
    | Aim High                | Do Not Use              | Skills/Magic            |
    | Block Magic             | Moderation              |                         |
    | Reduce                  |                         |                         |
    | Protect Friend          |                         |                         |
    ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    
      -----
      Genis
      -----
    
     _____________________________________________________________________________
    |          Action         |      Skills/Magic       |         Position        |
    |-------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------|
    | Attack Freely           | Use Skills Freely       | Move Freely             |
    | Attack Close            | At Once                 | Frontlines              |
    | Attack Far              | Keep Reserve            | Don't Persue            |
    | Attack Same             | Retain                  | Hold Position           |
    | Scatter                 | Save                    | L-Range Magic           |
    | Aim High                | Do Not Use              |                         |
    | Block Magic             | Moderation              |                         |
    | Reduce                  |                         |                         |
    | Protect Friend          |                         |                         |
    ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    
      -------
      Colette
      -------
    
     _____________________________________________________________________________
    |          Action         |      Skills/Magic       |         Position        |
    |-------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------|
    | Attack Freely           | Use Skills Freely       | Move Freely             |
    | Attack Close            | At Once                 | Frontlines              |
    | Attack Far              | Keep Reserve            | Don't Persue            |
    | Attack Same             | Retain                  | Hold Position           |
    | Scatter                 | Save                    | L-Range Skills          |
    | Aim High                | Do Not Use              | L-Range Magic           |
    | Block Magic             | Moderation              | Skills/Magic            |
    | Reduce                  |                         |                         |
    | Protect Friend          |                         |                         |
    ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    
      ------
      Kratos
      ------
    
     _____________________________________________________________________________
    |          Action         |      Skills/Magic       |         Position        |
    |-------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------|
    | Attack Freely           | Use Skills Freely       | Move Freely             |
    | Attack Close            | At Once                 | Frontlines              |
    | Attack Far              | Keep Reserve            | Don't Persue            |
    | Attack Same             | Retain                  | Hold Position           |
    | Scatter                 | Save                    | L-Range Skills          |
    | Aim High                | Do Not Use              | L-Range Magic           |
    | Block Magic             | Moderation              | Skills/Magic            |
    | Reduce                  | Heal                    |                         |
    | Protect Friend          |                         |                         |
    ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    
      -----
      Raine
      -----
    
     _____________________________________________________________________________
    |          Action         |      Skills/Magic       |         Position        |
    |-------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------|
    | Attack Freely           | Use Skills Freely       | Move Freely             |
    | Attack Close            | At Once                 | Frontlines              |
    | Attack Far              | Keep Reserve            | Don't Persue            |
    | Attack Same             | Retain                  | Hold Position           |
    | Scatter                 | Save                    | L-Range Magic           |
    | Aim High                | Do Not Use              |                         |
    | Block Magic             | Moderation              |                         |
    | Reduce                  | Heal                    |                         |
    | Protect Friend          | Support                 |                         |
    ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    
      ------
      Sheena
      ------
    
     _____________________________________________________________________________
    |          Action         |      Skills/Magic       |         Position        |
    |-------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------|
    | Attack Freely           | Use Skills Freely       | Move Freely             |
    | Attack Close            | At Once                 | Frontlines              |
    | Attack Far              | Keep Reserve            | Don't Persue            |
    | Attack Same             | Retain                  | Hold Position           |
    | Scatter                 | Save                    | L-Range Magic           |
    | Aim High                | Do Not Use              | Skills/Magic            |
    | Block Magic             | Moderation              |                         |
    | Reduce                  |                         |                         |
    | Protect Friend          |                         |                         |
    ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    
      -----
      Zelos
      -----
    
     _____________________________________________________________________________
    |          Action         |      Skills/Magic       |         Position        |
    |-------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------|
    | Attack Freely           | Use Skills Freely       | Move Freely             |
    | Attack Close            | At Once                 | Frontlines              |
    | Attack Far              | Keep Reserve            | Don't Persue            |
    | Attack Same             | Retain                  | Hold Position           |
    | Scatter                 | Save                    | L-Range Skills          |
    | Aim High                | Do Not Use              | L-Range Magic           |
    | Block Magic             | Moderation              | Skills/Magic            |
    | Reduce                  | Heal                    |                         |
    | Protect Friend          |                         |                         |
    ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    
      ------
      Presea
      ------
    
     _____________________________________________________________________________
    |          Action         |      Skills/Magic       |         Position        |
    |-------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------|
    | Attack Freely           | Use Skills Freely       | Move Freely             |
    | Attack Close            | At Once                 | Frontlines              |
    | Attack Far              | Keep Reserve            | Don't Persue            |
    | Attack Same             | Retain                  | Hold Position           |
    | Scatter                 | Save                    | Skills/Magic            |
    | Aim High                | Do Not Use              |                         |
    | Block Magic             | Moderation              |                         |
    | Reduce                  |                         |                         |
    | Protect Friend          |                         |                         |
    ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    
      -----
      Regal
      -----
    
     _____________________________________________________________________________
    |          Action         |      Skills/Magic       |         Position        |
    |-------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------|
    | Attack Freely           | Use Skills Freely       | Move Freely             |
    | Attack Close            | At Once                 | Frontlines              |
    | Attack Far              | Keep Reserve            | Don't Persue            |
    | Attack Same             | Retain                  | Hold Position           |
    | Scatter                 | Save                    | Skills/Magic            |
    | Aim High                | Do Not Use              |                         |
    | Block Magic             | Moderation              |                         |
    | Reduce                  | Heal                    |                         |
    | Protect Friend          |                         |                         |
    ```````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````
    
    ----------------------
     5 - What are Orders? 
    ----------------------
    
      So, what's an Order exactly? It's precisely what it sounds like! To put it
    simply, which is the only way it needs to be put, an Order is a command you
    give to your computer-controlled allies, who follow the order immediately. In
    Tales of Symphonia, Orders are used to instantly change the Strategy settings
    of ALL your computer-controlled party members, making switching battle tactics
    as simple as pressing the D+Pad.
    
      You can store up to three orders (technically four, if you consider your
    default Strategy settings as a fourth order), set to the D+Pad. Pressing Left,
    Up, or Right will instantly initiate that order, changing the Strategy settings
    of your characters. You can press Down to "Cancel Orders", returning your
    characters to the default settings. All battles start with the default
    settings, however in the second or two that you're in the battle screen before
    you're able to move, you can initiate the Order, making sure it's followed from
    the very beginning of the battle.
    
      The game starts you off with three Orders already in place. Pressing Left
    will give you Reserve, which is used for normal battles. Up gives you the Guard
    Order, which makes healers heal, and your other characters focus on attacking
    an enemy that's focusing on your weakest character to try and drag them away.
    Right gives the All Out Order, which makes your characters throw caution (and
    TP) to the wind, and focus on doing as much damage as possible, while reducing
    enemy numbers as quickly as possible.
    
      It's simple enough to change Orders to whatever you want. Simply go into
    the Strategy menu and press Y. You can now change the settings of all three
    orders, as well as change their names to better fit the new orders.
    
    -------------------
     6 - Useful Orders 
    -------------------
    
      The Orders that come with the game are fairly good. They'll get you through
    most of the game, possibly even all of it. However, sometimes it's simply not
    enough to tackle the bigger, meaner bosses of the game. I'm going to list the
    Orders I used to get through the game--I set these the moment I could open
    my menu (and set the Strategies for new party members as they joined), and the
    setup has yet to fail me. From your humble beginnings, trying to sneak into
    Martel Temple, to taking on Mithos in the final chambers of Dharris-Kharlon,
    this setup should see you through.
    
     D+Pad Setting: Left
     Name: Wimps..
     Purpose: Normal battles.
     Notes: I use this Order for most battles. It proves to be effective for all
    but the strongest of random encounters, and saves your TP for when you need
    it most--boss fights.
     Settings:
    
     Lloyd:              Genis:              Colette:
     Attack Freely       Attack Freely       Attack Freely
     Retain              Save                Save
     Move Freely         L-Range Magic       Move Freely
    
     Kratos:             Raine:              Sheena:
     Attack Freely       Attack Freely       Attack Freely
     Retain              Support             Retain
     Move Freely         L-Range Magic       Move Freely
    
     Zelos:              Presea:             Regal:
     Attack Freely       Attack Freely       Attack Freely
     Retain              Retain              Retain
     Move Freely         Move Freely         Move Freely
    
     D+Pad Setting: Up
     Name: HELP!
     Purpose: Emergency Healing.
     Notes: This setting is used when a fight doesn't go your way. Party members
    with healing spells will focus on using them, while your other characters will
    rush to the aid of the character with the lowest HP, hopefully saving them from
    being KO'ed and wasting the time and resources needed to use a Life Bottle or
    cast Ressurection.
     Settings:
    
     Lloyd:              Genis:              Colette:
     Protect Friend      Protect Friend      Protect Friend
     At Once             At Once             At Once
     Frontlines          L-Range Magic       Move Freely
    
     Kratos:             Raine:              Sheena:
     Protect Friend      Protect Friend      Protect Friend
     Heal                Heal                At Once
     L-Range Magic       L-Range Magic       Frontlines
    
     Zelos:              Presea:             Regal:
     Protect Friend      Protect Friend      Protect Friend
     Heal                At Once             Heal
     L-Range Magic       Frontlines          Frontlines
    
     D+Pad Setting: Right
     Name: DIE!
     Purpose: Boss battles.
     Notes: The ultimate offense. Characters focus on dealing as much damage as
    possible, ignoring TP consumption. Raine focuses on boosting the stats of your
    party, but she and other characters with healing spells can be counted on to
    heal when needed (usually--if things get hairy, switch to the HELP! Order).
     Settings:
    
     Lloyd:              Genis:              Colette:
     Attack Same         Attack Same         Attack Same
     At Once             At Once             At Once
     Frontlines          L-Range Magic       Move Freely
    
     Kratos:             Raine:              Sheena:
     Attack Same         Attack Same         Attack Same
     At Once             Support             At Once
     Frontlines          L-Range Magic       Frontlines
    
     Zelos:              Presea:             Regal:
     Attack Same         Attack Same         Attack Same
     At Once             At Once             At Once
     Frontlines          Frontlines          Frontlines
    
      If you have Orders you've found useful, and would like them to appear in this
    guide so they may prove useful to other people as well, send an email with the
    name you would list to be listed as in the credits, the name of the order, the
    purpose it serves, notes about what it does, and the Strategy settings for all
    9 characters to <sara.riane@gmail.com>. Good Orders will be added to the guide
    at the next update, with full credit given.
    
    --------------------------
     7 - Copyright/Disclaimer 
    --------------------------
    
    Tales of Symphonia is owned and copyrighted by Namco. While I'm sure the rest
    of us would love to say we owned it, they do.
    
    This FAQ is the property of Sakura Riane Miyamoto <sara.riane@gmail.com>, AKA
    Yaezakura. This document may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without
    the express written permission of the author. This document may be reproduced
    for personal use only.
    
    This document may only be hosted on websites approved by the author. To gain
    approval, email your request to <sara.riane@gmail.com>, with a link to the
    website in question. Poorly done websites will not be granted approval.
    
    The following sites have permission to host this FAQ:
    GameFAQs <www.gamefaqs.com>
    
    If you see this FAQ on a website not listed above, please email a link to the
    offending page to <sara.riane@gmail.com>.