________________________________________________________________________________


If you are reading this guide because you are having trouble with learning TSTX
or STTX, press XTTS, until you learn both of them. This is likely the only
piece of information in this guide that you'll find useful at your current
position in the game.

________________________________________________________________________________


1st edition: January 3, 2007, Alpha
2nd edition: January 3, 2008,  Zeta
3rd edition:  April 10, 2008, Sigma (added Japanese buttons, updated damages)

Xenogears Deathblow Learning Guide

John Monroe
fidormula@gmail.com

I have licensed this under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share
Alike 2.5 License. Visit this site to find out what that's all about:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/


                                                                This Version:
Table of Contents                                              Added   Updated

-0- Acknowledgements & Disclaimers                                        X
-1- Introduction
-2- Basics                                                                
  -2.1- Japanese Version and 2.0 Patch                           X
-3- Optimized Learning Combinations
  -3.1- Four Through 6 AP Deathblows                                      
  -3.2- Seven AP Deathblows                                               
  -3.3- Six and 7 AP Combined                                             
-4- Learning Tips and Strategies
  -4.1- Six AP
  -4.2- Seven AP
-5- Appendix 1 - Move Combinations Chart                                  
-6- Appendix 2 - Move Experience and Level Requirements Chart
-7- Appendix 3 - Damages Calculations                                     X
-8- Appendix 4 - Gear Deathblow Learning Correlations            


________________________________________________________________________________

-0- Acknowledgements and Disclaimers:

Terence contributed the basis for Appendix 4, and apparently started a thread
before RocksuneJustice v2's 1/5/2006 topic, on the same subject.

Zach Keene deserves credit for determining the number of button pushes required
for each move, for the experience coefficients and for the amount of move
experience Emeralda starts with.

PedanticOmbudsman provided the framework for correlating button pushes to
animations and for pointing out some interesting flaws in the learning system,
to which this guide makes an effective remedy.

phiefer3 has corrected several of my mistakes and provided me with some
excellent charts. I am greatful for his continual assistance.

Last, but not least, various thanks to Duke Darkwood for his general guidance
on the board.

I merely used all of this information to figure out how to learn all of the
Deathblows as quickly and efficiently as possible.

If you have any questions, suggestions or corrections concerning anything in
this guide or Xenogears, contact me at my e-mail address. If you deserve credit,
believe you deserve credit or simply want your name on my guide, write me and
I'll be happy to oblige.

Minor *SPOILERS* follow. I wrote this guide so that it could be used by people
who are playing through for their first time, so events, places and items are
mentioned without detailed explanation.

May the Wave be within you,
John Monroe


________________________________________________________________________________

-1- Introduction:

Xenogears' programming is flawed in that some Deathblows don't require the
actual moves contained in them. It is impossible to learn either TSTX or STTX
solely by performing them (which, in reality, makes things easier). T1 S2 T3 X
and S1 T2 T3 X instead require move experience from T1 T2 S1 and X to learn
them. (Stranger is the fact that Emeralda comes with 80 useless S2 experience.)
So, the last three tetra-elemental Deathblows require the same moves: T1, T2, S1
and X. As I was testing things out, I confirmed this by learning Billy's Dear
Friend (TSTX) before Sky Walker (TSX). TTX doesn't require T2, either. This
guide rectifies these problems by focusing on the move experience required to
learn ALL Deathblows. I'm not sure why this flaw exists, or if it exists on any
version of the game other than the U.S. one.

However, even if there weren't any flaws in the learning system, repeatedly
performing the Deathblow that you'd like to learn isn't always what's best for
learning later Deathblows. If you learned all of the initial Deathblows with
Fei, who is the slowest learner, one at a time only by performing the
Deathblows, it would take 300 rounds and you would have too many Xs. The
strategy that I've come up with only requires 238 rounds and balances the 
number of buttons pushed with the requirements of the 7 AP Deathblows.

Section 2 contains everything you ever wanted to know about how Xenogears' 
character battle system works and a little bit on Gear Deathblows.

Section 3 contains several simplified lists of moves that will teach you
all of the Deathblows.

Section 4 contains my strategy for performing the moves in section 3 as
quickly and efficiently as possible.


________________________________________________________________________________

-2- Basics:

1. Each character has seven unique moves: four for T, two for S and one for X. 

2. All of the move combinations can be figured out from the chart below, which
was contributed by phiefer3 in correspondence and is much simpler than my own.
There is only one X, so it has been omitted from the chart.

===========================
 Previous        T        S
===========================
       --       T1       S1
       T1       T2       S2
       T2       T3       S1
       T3       T4       S2
       T4       T1       S1
       S1       T2       S2
       S2       T3       S1
        X       T1       S1
===========================

For example, if the last button you pushed was T3, your next attack will be
either T4, S2 or X.

3. Each move has its own experience level. Move experience points are hidden
in the game. Any reference to a character's move experience which I don't
specifically address with text will be placed in parentheses and listed in the
logical order (T1, T2, T3, T4, S1, S2, X). For example, the move experience
required for all of Fei's deathblows is (440, 340, 100, 50, 310, 90, 430). The
amount of move experience required for each Deathblow is listed in Appendix 2.

4. Except for Emeralda, who begins with (230, 180, 90, 40, 150, 80, 195),
everyone starts with 0 move experience, even if they have Deathblows.

5. Move experience is not acquired for X when it triggers a Deathblow. This is
why Appendix 1, Non-Deathblow Move Combinations, is so relevant to this guide.
For instance, Deathblows are reversible in that XTTS contains the same moves as
TTSX, but it won't result in a Deathblow if TTSX has been learned.

6. Move experience points are acquired at different rates for different
characters per the following multipliers:

     Fei - 1
    Elly - 3
   Citan - 2
    Bart - 3
   Billy - 4
    Rico - 3
Emeralda - 1

Equipping a Wizardry Ring adds two to each person's multiplier (non-cumulative).
Fortunately, you earn one at basically the same time which 7 AP Deathblows 
become available, so be sure to use it.

7. Each of a Deathblow's required moves account for equal percentages of that
Deathblow's percentage on the status screen. For example Fuukei requires 5
moves, so each move is worth 20% of the number reflected on the Deathblow
Status screen, even though T1 requires 240 experience and T4 requires 50.

8. Experience is always gained for a move performed, as long as you don't get a
Game Over. In fact, if a move misses, it still gains experience. Calling a
Gear, running from battle, or (amazingly) having 0 HP when a battle ends, don't
affect move experience gained for moves performed during battle.

9. Chu-Chu and Maria don't have Deathblows. (A commonly overlooked fact about
Maria is that she is able to do the greatest amount of damage of any character
without a gear, because she cheats and uses her Gear. The Robo Kick, with an
Ether Doubler, is capable of doing 9999 damage to a Dragon when Maria is
around level 70. Sorry, end tangent.)

10. Gear Deathblows are unlocked in one of three ways: learning character
Deathblows, equipping Deathblower Parts, and achieving certain levels. For a
comprehensive list, see Appendix 4.


-2.1- Japanese Version and 2.0 Patch

I wrote this guide specifically for the U.S. release of the game, but the
method remains essentially the same across the versions. The only difference is
in terms of the button configurations. The U.S version has triangle at 1 AP,
square at 2 AP, X at 3 AP an O as cancel. That's S, T, O and X, respective to
the functions, in the Japanese version or the 2.0 Patch, which is based upon
the Japanese version. I can't make it simpler than this chart:

US=JP
 T=S (weak)
 S=T (strong)
 X=O (fierce)
 O=X (cancel)

I'd rather not go about doubling the sizes of all of my appendices, so please
note that this guide only uses the U.S. button assignments.

________________________________________________________________________________

-3- Optimized Combination Chart:

If you are at level 22 or above, then you have 6 AP, so you're all set to learn
everything in section 3.1. If you've gotten through the first visit to
Shevat and are at level 50, you have 7 AP and can start learning the moves in
3.2. If you've passed Shevat and have a character who doesn't have anything
learned, I recommend you move on to section 3.3 to learn all of their
Deathblows as quickly as possible.

I only list what you need to get done in this section. If you want to know how
to best get it done, read section 4. Section 3 contains the most efficient
move combinations, and the number of each combination that needs to be done to
learn all of the Deathblows. The number of 7 AP Deathblows possessed varies by
character, so the move combinations I recommend vary as well.

The order in which you do these combinations doesn't matter.


-3.1- Four Through 6 AP Deathblows

I've considered many sets and all of them came out to require about the same
number of turns. The move experience required to learn all of these
Deathblows is (190, 140, 50, 0, 110, 40, 175), except for Emeralda, who
knows all but XX. She is the only character who joins with 7 AP,
move experience, and all but one of the level 6 deathblows, which she
mysteriously has the Move Points for, so you'll learn it on your first battle.

======================================
         TTSTT      XX   TSTTT   TOTAL
======================================
   Fei     110      88      40     238
  Elly      37      30      13      80
 Citan      55      44      20     119 
  Bart      37      30      13      80
  Rico      37      30      13      80
 Billy      28      22      10      60
======================================


-3.2- Seven AP Deathblows

Higher/lower values are due to equipping of a Wizardry Ring.


-Fei:

Fei takes the most input of all characters because he has the most deathblows
to learn and he learns as slowly as possible.

   XTTS 100/34
   SSST  50/17
    XTX  77/26
TTTTTTT  37/13

That's 264 rounds or 90 with a Wizardry Ring. Equipping it is worth the
176 rounds you'll save.


-Everyone else: 

This simple chart tells you how many times you need to do XTTS or TTTTTTT.
Yep, that's all.

========================================
              XTTS    TTTTTTT      TOTAL
========================================
Elly         50/30        9/6      59/36
Citan        75/38       13/7      88/45
Bart         50/30        9/6      59/36
Rico         42/26        5/3      47/29
Billy        32/22        4/3      36/25
Emeralda    110/37       10/4     120/41
========================================


-3.3- Six and 7 AP Combined

If you manage to get to this far without learning a single Deathblow, I
applaude you.


-Fei:

I don't recommend waiting this long to get all of Fei's Deathblows. If you
really want a challenge, here's the list.

 XTTTT  50/17
  XTTS 260/87
  XTST  20/ 7
   XSS  20/ 7
   XTX  40/14
 TSSTT  30/10
TSTTTT  20/ 7

That's 440 or 149. In light of 238 + 90, 149 doesn't sound bad.

-Everyone else:

Same deal.

Emeralda starts with all of her 6AP Deathblows.

==============================================================
              XTTS      TSTST        XTX    TTTTTTT      TOTAL
==============================================================
Elly         87/52        7/4        6/4      17/10     117/70
Citan       130/65       10/5        9/5      25/13     174/88
Bart         87/52        7/4        6/4      17/10     117/70
Rico         70/42        7/4       10/6      17/10     104/62
Billy        53/35        5/4        7/5      13/ 9      78/53
==============================================================


________________________________________________________________________________

-4- Learning Tips and Strategies

The strategy is, in short, to fight against enemies which characters cannot
realistically defeat, in order to  to fit as many moves into a battle as
possible, which minimizes the number of battles required, which limits the
amount of time spent running in circles. However, it is important to know the
number of moves to perform because you won't be able to look at your Skills
Status screen during battle and it will take a long time for Fei to
bare-handedly kill a Spear Trooper or a May Fly at 0-6 damage per round.
Keep track of your moves however you like.

In terms of efficiency, it makes sense to have your AP as high as possible. The
characters get 6 AP at level 22 and upon that, learning all of Fei's Deathblows
should only take a few, long, well-prepared-for battles against Gear sized
enemies. After learning all of Fei's lower Deathblows, I recommend getting
through Shevat as quickly as possible (escape like mad...) to get the last AP.

Also, I don't learn everybody's Deathblows. Bart and Rico are pretty useless
beyond the times that you are forced to use them and Elly, Billy and Emeralda
are ether monsters, so Deathblows aren't the best way to get damage out of them.
That leaves Doc. If you want to have an extremely easy time playing this game,
especially while fighting character bosses, learn all of Citan's Deathblows
in addition to all of Fei's.

Several elements will always be incorporated into the strategy, when they are
available:

- the encountering of Gear-sized monsters which do not attack characters
- the equipping of Speed Rings and a Wizardry Ring on the learning character
- the equipping of two Magnetic Coats and one Old Circuit on the anchor Gear
- the slaying of extra party members
- the casting of haste-type spells, such as Goddess Call


-4.1- Six AP

There are two specific times that I recommend for learning all of Fei's 6 AP
Deathblows: in the Stalactite Cave after opening the sand barrier or in the
Aveh Desert once you have control of the Yggdrasil. I think that the Desert
is the more logical choice, but the encounter rate of tough gear enemies is
much higher in the Stalactite Cave. Bart may also learn his Deathblows in
these areas. Citan should definitely learn his in the Desert. Elly, Rico and
Billy should learn theirs in the Goliath Factory, if you want to learn them.


-Stalactite Cave

   Advantages: Brag to your friends about defeating Calamity in the fastest time
                 possible
               High encounter rate of high-defense enemies
               Fei will own all of the upcoming bosses and pretty much
                 everything else from this point on
               It's kind of fun to watch Brigandier make Fei-sized jumps

Disadvantages: Characters will be below level 22 (I had the Barrier open at 2:24
                 and Fei was at level 10)
               The May Fly targets characters

After you open the sand barrier, you'll notice a new enemy called the May Fly
that doesn't appear in the rest of the cave. Start off by leveling Fei to 22
with Bart in his gear and Fei not, and have him perform TSTT and XS, while Bart
Kills the enemies, which all provide decent experience around here. Once you
have Fei at level 22, refuel Bart's gear. Be sure to upgrade both gears in
every way and put two Extra Armor +1s and Fei's Old Circuit on Bart. Now,
try to encounter a May Fly, with Fei still outside of his gear.

May Fly's attack pattern is a defense lowering spray followed by an attack.
Casting Wild Smile should cause it to miss. Wild Smile is important because
the May Fly's defense effect is cumulative and after a few its hits do
>450 damage. I don't feel that I should have to say this, but don't attack
with Bart. In fact, let him die and call Weltall to finish the battle.
DO NOT LET THE MAY FLY ATTACK FEI! IT DOES INSTANT DEATH TO CHARACTERS!

In my trial, I had all of Fei's 6 AP Deathblows learned at 4:20 game time.
I chose to do it this way to prove that it can be done. The other way is better
though. In fact, if you have elected to complete Fei's repertoire in the
Stalactite Cave, I further suggest that you complete Citan's and maybe Bart's
using Weltall as your anchor in the following area. As for Calamity, he should
be quick to fall to Level 2 Deathblows.


-Aveh Desert

   Advantages: Do two characters at once!
               Speed Rings are available!
               Better Gear Upgrades are available
               Fei should be very close to level 22
               Speed Stars are available, but are expensive and short-lived
               Fei will own everyone at the tournament and pretty much everyone
                 else from this point on

Disadvantages: Low encounter rate of high-defense enemies.

Use Brigandier as your anchor and learn Citan's deathblows too. Spear Troopers
and Troopers are the high-defense enemies in the area, but it's alright for Fei
and Doc make short work of some Neo Tin Robos before encountering the better
enemies. Buy two Magnetic Coats for Bart and give him an Old Circuit.
(Put these on Fei when you're done learning and leave them on him for the rest
of the game. He will scarcely get hit with them equipped.) Fill Fei and Doc
up with Speed Rings because they won't be getting attacked. Once you are done
with Citan, switch him and all of his stuff with Bart and his. Actually, there
isn't any good reason to learn Bart's Deathblows but go right ahead if you want.
Honestly, Fei and Citan are the only characters that make good use of their
Deathblows under my control, so if you want to stop with them, you aren't wrong
to. Once you are done with Bart, if you learned his Deathblows, switch back to
using him as the anchor and have him use Heaven Cent on Citan until he dies so
you don't have to waste time defending. Brigandier is slower than Heimdal, so
he gets in the way less, too.


-Goliath Factory

Normally, I don't bother learning any of Rico's or Elly's Deathblows, but if you
want to, they are perfect together:  they are slow on foot and they learn at the
same rate. I'm not trying to discourage you from using them, well, Rico maybe;
Elly is more useful doing other things. If you want to learn their Deathblows,
the Goliath Factory is fine, otherwise they both can wait until you have access
to their last AP, at which point you still won't have much of a reason to learn
their Deathblows.

Within the Goliath Factory, the only enemy that you should be concerned with
encountering is the Neo Musha. Harquebus, Hatamoto and Shinobi Gears attack
characters, which is bad news. Kill them off quickly, or simply escape. The
Neo Mushas attack in bands of three and seem to appear at a higher rate around
the very entrance of the factory, so run ins a circle there. Rico may be able
to withstand some Gear attacks if he uses Steel Body, has the Knight Armor,
the Knight Helm and a Gallant Belt, but put three Speed Rings on him and
look for the right enemies.


-Aquvy, but not really

Aquvy's Gear-sized monsters all attack characters so it's not a friendly place
to learn Deathblows, so take Billy up to the Goliath Factory. Billy is a great
character to have around, but not because of his Deathblows. He starts with an
impressive selection of "white" magic, including a haste-type spell known as
Goddess Call. If you really want to get some damage out of Billy, put an Ether
Doubler on him and use his S attacks exclusively. Of course, that won't help
you learn his Deathblows. After the cleaning up the transport ship, I recommend
collecting 76,000 G (while at sea) and buying two Ether Doublers in Nisan.
While you're on the Ignas continent, take Billy to learn some moves. Remove his
Ether Doubler so that he doesn't do too much damage. He's a quick learner,
especially if you use Goddess Call, but there isn't much of a reason to learn
his moves because he's so good at other things.


-4.2- Seven AP

The heroes get 7 AP after having their limiters removed in Shevat AND after
reaching level 50. I had 6 AP when I left because I was at level 46. I also
had quite a few of my Deathblows already learned. If this happens to you, which
it should, you'll likely be better off with not attempting to learn the
remainder in the same battle. That said, I recommend you use the same set up as
above, except it's pretty likely that you'll be able to defeat early Gears in
character form, so you'll have time to look at your Skills screen. Of course,
if you have a character who is without Deathblows, feel free to attempt to learn
all of his or her Deathblows in a single battle. I recommend sticking with the
Goliath Factory on Disk 1. Also, at your current levels, you may be able to
withstand attacks from gears, especially with better armor and Spells
(Goddess Eyes), which opens up the variety of Gears that make acceptable
learning targets.

**If you have a character who is able to withstand (without needing frequent
healing) attacks from Harquebuses or Hatamotos, this creates an ideal setup
for learning Deathblows. These Gears are often encountered with mechanics, so
the battles could go on forever. Be sure to kill extra mechanics so that they
don't bog down your battle.**

Above all else, equip the Wizardry Ring. Take Billy and use someone slow as an
anchor. It is also possible to lower a Gear's agility by equipping Chargers,
GRNS, Power Magics and some other parts. If you are killing enemies off quicker
than you'd like, cast Yang Power or Koga or equip a weaker weapon if you can.

Again, I also recommend only learning Fei's and Citan's and skipping everyone
else's, but that's just my opinion.


________________________________________________________________________________

-5- Appendix 1 - Move Combinations Chart:

Thanks to phiefer3 for correcting me generally, and presenting this in a less
redundant format than my previous chart had. He also hand-checked them.


TTTTTTT = T1,T2,T3,T4,T1,T2,T3
TTTTTS =  T1,T2,T3,T4,T1,S2
TTTTST =  T1,T2,T3,T4,S1,T2
TTTSTT =  T1,T2,T3,S2,T3,T4

TTSTTT = T1,T2,S1,T2,T3,T4
TSTTTT = T1,S2,T3,T4,T1,T2
STTTTT = S1,T2,T3,T4,T1,T2
TTTTX =  T1,T2,T3,T4,X

TTTXT = T1,T2,T3,X, T1
TTXTT = T1,T2,X, T1,T2
TXTTT = T1,X, T1,T2,T3
XTTTT = X, T1,T2,T3,T4

TTTSS = T1,T2,T3,S2,S1
TTSTS = T1,T2,S1,T2,S1
TSTTS = T1,S2,T3,T4,S1
STTTS = S1,T2,T3,T4,S1

TTSST = T1,T2,S1,S2,T3
TSTST = T1,S2,T3,S2,T3
STTST = S1,T2,T3,S2,T3
TSSTT = T1,S2,S1,T2,T3

STSTT = S1,T2,S1,T2,T3
SSTTT = S1,S2,T3,T4,T1
TTSX =  T1,T2,S1,X
TSTX =  T1,S2,T3,X

STTX = S1,T2,T3,X
TSXT = T1,S2,X, T1
STXT = S1,T2,X, T1
SXTT = S1,X, T1,T2

TTXS = T1,T2,X, S1
TXTS = T1,X, T1,S2
XTTS = X, T1,T2,S1
TXST = T1,X, S1,T2

XTST = X, T1,S2,T3
XSTT = X, S1,T2,T3
TSSS = T1,S2,S1,S2
STSS = S1,T2,S1,S2

SSTS = S1,S2,T3,S2
SSST = S1,S2,S1,T2
TXX =  T1,X, X
XTX =  X, T1,X

XXT = X, X, T1
SSX = S1,S2, X
SXS = S1,X, S1
XSS = X, S1,S2


________________________________________________________________________________

-6- Appendix 2 - Move Experience and Level Requirements Chart

===========================================================================
                 T1      T2      T3      T4      S1      S2       X   Level
===========================================================================
1        TX      30                                              10       5
2       TTX      40                                              11      10
3        SX                                      20              30      16
4      TTTX     130     100      50                              75      22
5       TSX     190                                      40     100      30
6       STX             140                     110             125      38
7        XX                                                     175      46
===========================================================================
Max             190     140      50       0     110      40     175
===========================================================================
8     TTTTX     240     190     100      50                     205      50
9      TTSX     290     240                     160             235      50
10     TSTX     340     290                     210             265      50
===========================================================================
Max             340     290     100      50     210       0     265
===========================================================================
11     STTX     390     340                     260             295      50
===========================================================================
Max             390     340     100      50     260       0     295
===========================================================================
12      SSX                                     310      90     325      70
13      XTX     440                                             430      80
===========================================================================
Max             440     340     100      50     310      90     430
===========================================================================

Thanks to Duke Darkwood for correcting the levels for TX and TTX from 6 and 12.


________________________________________________________________________________

-7- Appendix 3 - Damage Calculations

Terence contributed his notes on the present subject, which include damage
values for each move and Deathblow. Pheifer3 has helped me greatly simplify
this equation to the extent that he might as well have done it without me,
and he also provided an approximation for Neo Tin Robo's defense.

D=[(CA-.75*ED) * sum(M)]+(B*CA)

D=Damage
CA=Character Attack Stat
ED=Enemy Defense Stat
M=Move Coefficient
B=Deathblow Bonus


Move Coefficients (M)
T1:     1.0
T2:     1.0
T3:     1.2
T4:     1.4
S1:     2.0
S2:     2.4
X :     4.0

Deathblow Bonuses (B)
TX:     1.2
TTX:    2.0
SX:     2.8
TTTX:   3.6
TSX:    4.4
STX     5.2
XX:     6.0
TTTTX: 11.2
TTSX:  11.6
TSTX:  12.0
STTX:  12.4
SSX:   20.0
XTX:   46.0

So, for example, Yamikei contains XTX, for a sum(M) of 9, and because it
results in a Deathblow, it has a B of 46. To further our example, let's say
that Fei has a CA of 150, and he's fighting a Neo Tin Robo with an ED (needs
Cialis) of 32, so D=((150-.75*32)*9)+(150*46)=1134+6900=8034.


________________________________________________________________________________

-8- Appendix 4 - Gear Deathblow Learning Correlations

Conventional Deathblows:
TT - Learn TX
TS - Learn TTX
ST - Learn SX
SS - Learn TSX
XT - Learn STX
XS - Learn TTTX
Character XX unlocks nothing.

Item-induced Deathblows:
TX - Equip Deathblower 1 Part  
SX - Equip Deathblower 2 Part
XX - Equip Deathblower 3 Part

Hyper Mode Deathblows:
 T - Achieve 7 AP
 S - Achieve level 60
 X - Achieve level 70