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    Magic Casting FAQ by PentaroX

    Version: 1.7 | Updated: 07/14/01 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    seiken_densetsu_3_magic_casting.txt - PentaroX's Magic Casting FAQ v1.7
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                      PentaroX's SD3 Magic Casting FAQ
              v1.7 | 07/14 | pentarou@NOSHPAMnekonekowai.com
                     (remove "NOSHPAM" before emailing)
    
    
    You can find this FAQ at GameFAQs, About.com, and ... some other places.
    Either way, there's also a copy at http://www.pentarou.f2s.com/faq/.
    
                            Table of Contents
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    0.  Updates
    1.  Overview
    2.  Basic Magic Casting
    3.  Magic Casting Techniques (Basic Spam, Basic MST, Spam/MST, etc.)
    4.  Credits
    5.  Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    0.  Updates
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    06/04:  First version of this FAQ.  I'm sure I must be missing a lot of
            good Spam/MST info, but this FAQ was rather hastily slapped
            together.
    
    06/11:  Section 2.5 updated.  Some credits added.
    
    06/27:  Added proper credits.  Changed some text around.  Added stuff
            to section 3.
    
    (2001)
    
    03/11:  Revised it a little bit.  Dubbed it "v1.6" =P
    
    07/14:  Slight corrections/etc., but most importantly, MY EMAIL HAS
            CHANGED.  No more emailing px@pentaro.net, 'kay?  It's down.
    
            I've been considering re-writing the FAQ.  Maybe another day...
            I'm way too busy to do anything major at this point.
    
    1.  Overview
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Once upon a time, there was a FAQ.  It was spiffy.  It had lots of stuff
    in it.  It was over 300kb.  In fact, it was Magus's FAQ.  (Although I've
    forgotten whatever it is that he goes by now.)
    
    I contributed a bit of stuff, but most of what I had written turned out
    to be about a particular magic casting technique I'd been working on.
    But having tested it so very much, and written so much about it, I
    thought that I should write up a FAQ on the subject of casting magic.
    
    Please note that most, if not all, credits are listed at the bottom. I
    prefer not to list them in the body of the FAQ, but rather all at once.
    
    And go look at Magus's FAQ, because some of the stuff here is his work,
    and because it's big and spiffy.  (Although I don't like the party 
    guide, but I suppose that doesn't matter.)
    
    2.  Basic Magic Casting
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
         The SD3 magic system is quite different from that of Secret of Mana
    (SD2).  First off, although the elementals are still in existence, each
    of your characters will only gain spells through their classes.  Up to
    something like 18 spells per character may be obtained throughout the
    course of the game, and those are all sorted out in one single ring.
    
         Each spell in SD3, much like most other console RPGs, uses an
    amount of MP.  However, in SD3 one is only able to carry 9 Faerie
    Walnuts, each of which only recover 20 MP.  The only other two methods
    of gaining MP are via Angel Grails (i.e. you die) or by using Dryad
    spells (Leaf Saber, Pumpkin/Grenade Bomb, Poison Bubble).  Thus MP,
    while not exactly *scarce* in availability, still needs to be conserved.
    
         Furthermore, since SD3 battles are in real-time, all magic spells
    also have a delay time (unlike SD2) before casting.  It seems that the
    more MP a spell costs, the longer the spell takes to cast, but that may
    not be the only factor.  Also, time spent visiting the item/magic rings
    count as real time as well, and so this allows for the technique called
    Spam/MST (see the next section).  Time spent in the duration of a spell,
    such as the Ancient spell which takes aeons to finish casting, is also
    counted as real-time, which comes in very handy.
    
         It is important to note that during the "delay time" of a spell,
    no special attributes (poison, et al) will affect the party member OR
    enemy casting a spell, but it is still possible for a member to take
    damage.  If a member is "killed," the HP goes down to 1, and after the
    spell is cast, the party member/enemy dies.
    
         Level 2 and 3 techs in SD3 count as spells.  This is because like
    spells, the screen darkens, the name of the tech is placed on the
    top of the screen, and time "pauses" for the duration of the technique.
    Items are much like Level 2/3 techniques.   The difference between
    techs, items, and spells is that techs have no delay time, but may have
    lower priority than an enemy spell (i.e. you may have to wait after 
    pressing the "Tech" button - usually B), items have no delay time and
    maximum priority (as soon as you select an item, it "casts"), and spells
    have delay time and priority increases if the spell's delay time is
    "over" - that is, if the spell was supposed to cast but hasn't yet.  All
    of this leads to Spam/MST as is described in the next section.
    
          Most spells do relatively little damage for the MP usage, except
    for those which the enemy is weak against (i.e. using Evil Gate on
    Bucca Island).  Thus, it is generally a better idea to whack enemies
    with weapons, which do more damage, or else to cast spell-ups or
    saber magics.  In other words, I don't like Angela at all.  So why am I
    writing a FAQ on magic casting?  Because this is how I play when I use
    Angela.
    
    
    
    3.  Magic Casting Techniques (Spam/MST et al.)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Having said all of that stuff in section 2 about spell delay time,
    one would think that spells can turn out to be pretty ineffective.  And
    they are.  Most attack spells take too long to cast, and don't do quite
    as much damage as using a saber-spell / power-up spell and simply
    whacking an enemy in the meanwhile.
    
         However, there are a bunch of techniques which will come up to be
    very handy, and often will make spells particularly effective.
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Minor Table of Contents
    
         1.  Basic MST - Magic Succession Trick
         2.  Basic Spam Magic - Magic Delay Reduction
         2.5.Spam Magic with Techs/Items
         3.  Spam/MST - the Kill Everything in your Path combination
         4.  Spamming Aura Wave (yeouch)
         5.  Death-Defying recovery Trick (DDT ^_^)
         6.  Additional Comments
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
         1)  Basic MST - Magic Succession Trick
    
         Originally 'discovered,' or rather reported, by Articuno3476346 
    (I don't know what the exact numbers are and I'm too lazy to repeat
    them.  Pretty much, the credit is simply for coining the term MST),
    the MST allows you to cast several spells at once.  Here, I elaborate
    on the nature of said trick.
    
         In Basic MST, you select a main party member which has the worst
    spells in the party (usually the fighter).  Then, you cast a spell with
    one party member, then during that delay time you cast a spell with the
    second party member.  If necessary you can cast a spell with your main
    party member.   Since you've taken all that time accessing your menu,
    real time has been passing by and the first two spells will be cast.  At
    this time, if you have selected a third spell, that will also be cast.
    
         However, in using Basic MST it is advantageous only to cast two
    spells, because this way your hero character can sit there and lay down
    the shmack in the form of lots of physical attacks on, say, a boss.
    
         Furthermore, when used in conjunction with spam-magic, you either
    want a main character so that you can quickly tap the X (menu) button
    or so that you can quickly tap B (tech) and cast a level-2 technique.
    
         2)  Basic Spam-Magic - Magic Delay Reduction
    
         For those of you who have played on MUDs, you know what spamming
    magic is - simply keep entering "cast attack spell" again and again and
    again.  Those of you who have played SD2 (Secret of Mana) should
    remember spamming Thunderbolt again and again as well.  Originally, this
    was the idea behind Spam-Magic for SD3, however since having played and
    experimented a lot, it seems that the main idea behind Spam Magic is to
    reduce delay time on spells to zero.  This comes in extraordinarily
    handy with support spells like Heal Light and Power Up.
    
         Basic Spam-Magic involves hammering with only one spell.  Advanced
    Spam-Magic is covered under Spam/MST.
    
         In Basic Spam-Magic, you select one spell and cast it with your
    support party member.  After selection of a spell, quickly tap the X
    button to go back to your own menu.  Since spell delay time passes in
    real-time, simply allow time to pass while watching your item ring or
    whatever.  In fact, hold right if you wish to watch your item ring spin
    'round and 'round and 'round.  When you feel that enough time has passed
    (allow extra time, say 20-30 seconds, for spells like Ancient and such)
    you may cancel the menu ring.  The spell which you have selected will
    instantaneously cast. 
    
        [Note:  If you are using an emulator, save state before cancelling
    your menu ring.  If the spell doesn't cast because a boss's spell is
    taking higher priority, simply load state, and sit for another ten to
    twenty seconds (the fastforward key helps here).  Then save state again
    and NOW cancel the menu ring.  It may take several save states if you
    are having trouble with a particular high-priority spell, like a magic
    counter-spell which a boss is using against you.]
    
         If you are quick enough in tapping your X button, you can repeat
    the basic Spam trick.  This allows you to cast lots and lots of spells
    without taking *ANY* damage whatsoever.  Most bosses become a joke if
    you have the patience (I don't) to repeat this continuously with a very
    powerful spell.  This is even more true with the Spam/MST trick.
    
         Most of the time when using Basic Spam Magic, you'll probably find
    that you're casting Heal Light and such spells - in which case you only
    cast a single spell with spam-magic.  If you're casting attack spells,
    Spam/MST is likely to be far more effective.  But single-spam with Heal
    Light is a really good idea, because this eliminates delay time, which
    means that a single dose of Heal Light is essentially like using an item
    (remember that normally, it takes time to cast Heal Light and so your
    weakened party member has a chance of getting killed before you cast the
    heal spell).  On the other hand, though, this is why Carlie is so good:
    at high levels, she has VIRTUALLY NO LAG TIME when casting Heal Light.
    You won't even need Spam/MST.
    
    *VERY IMPORTANT NOTE*
    
         It should be noted that many bosses have a counter for each magic
    spell/level 2+ tech/attack-magic item that you cast.  Examples are the
    infamous Bill and Ben [Shadow Dive], the Dark-Shine Knight [Random dark
    sword techs], Jagan [DeathSpell], and others.  So be careful when using
    Spam and/or MST.  Save state often.  If you get caught off-guard, you
    could potentially be hit with tons upon tons of party-destroying spells.
    
         Some enemies randomly counter, but others (Bill and Ben) are almost
    guaranteed to counter each and every spell/tech you use.  And Shadow
    Dive %@$#ing HURTS.  Turn off your allies' level two techs before you
    fight them the second time.
    
         2.5)  Delay Reduction with Items/Techs
    
         Remeber, since techs and items have no delay time, you may wish to
    have your main character save up for a tech or something, use MST to
    cast two spells, and then use your tech/item very quickly after having
    selected your two spells.  Since techs and items have a duration of
    their own which passes in real-time, they will help the magic delay time
    to go down, after which your two party members's spells will be cast.
    
         A fairly simple example of this is to cast attack spells during
    battle as soon as you have saved up a Level 2/3 technique for your main
    fighter character.  This comes in handy for those who prefer to deal
    damager rather than 
    
         A much more useful example of this, is to save up a level 1 tech
    with the character you're controlling.  Press B to use the tech, and
    then immediately afterwards press X and pick out a spell for general
    consumption.  The time spent performing the tech counts as part of the
    
    
         3)  Spam/MST - the Kill Everything In Your Path combination
    
         Ah, now something really useful.  Since Spam-Magic is essentially
    the removal of delay time, this allows for some pretty amazing spamming
    of magic when you use the MST in conjunction.  In other words, Spam/MST
    is the savior of those who don't level up enough. :)
    
         Simply cast one spell, then another, then access your main party's
    menu ring.  Use your little Blaster Master trick *grin* and wait for a
    few seconds.  Let go and you get to cast two spells.
    
         Now if you have time, after the first spell casts, quickly access
    the menu ring and use that first party member to cast a spell...again.
    Do this with the second and third and fourth... et al. spells.  This is
    simply a much-more-efficient version of Spam Magic.  But since it 
    incorporates ideas from MST, I'm calling it Spam/MST.
    
         If you really want your main char to be casting spells, you can
    actually do so.  Instead of cancelling the menu when you feel that your
    spells are ready to cast, go and select a spell instead.  Thus your
    third spell should cast sometime soon after the first two.  The
    disadvantage, and it's quite a big one at that, of this technique is
    that you no longer have the ability to access your menu button from the
    main character.  IMHO this is most definitely not worth it, as you have
    to *wait* before you can start another round of spells.
    
         However, more often than not, you will only be using Spam/MST for
    a single round of spells.  For example, if you're beginning a boss
    battle, you want to cast things like Lunatic, Power/Mind/Speed/Def-Up,
    AND any sabers - all as quickly as possible.  Do so with Spam/MST. ...
    wait, actually that requires several shots of spells.  But during the
    middle of a battle, you probably want to only use single shots of your
    Spam/MST spells so that you can continue whacking away with your weapons
    -- since we impatient people hate waiting for spells to cast, and
    besides, weapons tend to do more damage in less time.
    
         An important note to keep in mind when using Spam/MST is that you
    want to cast LONGER-DURATION spells, i.e. Ancient, first.  Longer
    duration means that you can waste more time waiting for your other
    spells to cast - which gives them higher priority with regards to the
    enemy and/or boss's own spells.  This isn't always possible, however,
    because if you cast Ancient, and then Heal Light using Carlie, using
    Spam/MST will probably result in Carlie casting Heal Light first.
    
         Another important note is that with those bosses which counter
    spells/level 2+ techs -- if you stop for even one second while doing your
    little Spam/MST trick, chances are pretty good that you'll be TOAST and
    then some.  I forgot to mention this, but I think the Dragon Emperor 
    counters with Ancient.  Although that isn't half as bad as Bill and Ben,
    or Jagan.
    
         Sigh...for something so awesome I don't seem to be doing it justice
    by only having a few paragraphs on the subject.  Hehe.
    
         4)  Spamming Aura Wave (yeouch)
    
         Since you don't get Aura Wave until your third class change, let's
    just forget about anything below that class.  Besides, Aura Wave means
    little beneath that point.  I believe Grell Oils cast Aura Wave, as well
    as ... Gold Wolf Souls? ... but it doesn't matter all that much.  If you
    like, go ahead and collect those items, using them all at once - this is
    actually a pretty good idea because it allows for some instant dealing
    of large amounts of damage - with potential to do more than DeathSpell,
    even at lower levels.
    
         Frankly, Aura Wave is the most kick-ass spell in existence when
    used in conjunction with Spam/MST.  Simply make sure your main party
    member has a good, single-target (Lise Star Lancer for example) level 3
    tech, and that an alternate party member has Aura Wave.  Two characters
    have this spell - Kevin as God Hand and Hawk as Wanderer.  Kevin might
    be a better choice because you'll end up using Hawk's MP for other
    things, like attacking and such.  No, on second thought, Hawk can sap MP
    as the Wanderer if you have Poison Bubble and if the current enemy is
    weak enough against it.  Besides...Aura Wave only costs 3 MP.
    
         Now, in the process of using Spam/MST, make sure one of your spells
    is Aura Wave, and that it is cast on your main character.  As soon as
    the spells are cast, hold the B button.  Hopefully you will instantly
    use your Level 3 tech.  With any luck you may end up casting the level 3
    tech a second time (Thanks so much to that guy in Magus's FAQ for
    telling us all about that trick) for a net of something like 1000-2000
    HP of damage.  If you are sick enough so as to have Angela sufficiently
    leveled up (say level 60 or so) with DeathSpell, you can increase the
    damage per round to the amount of 2000-3000 HP.  Which, of course, is
    utterly and madly sick and terrifying, but anyhow.
    
         As soon as your tech is done casting (once or twice) quickly begin
    the madness again by tapping the X button and making your usual Spam/MST
    rounds.  But again, I hate waiting, and so I don't often do this.
    
         5)  Death-Defying recovery Trick (DDT ^_-)
    
         This is also listed in Magus's FAQ, and it was added by somebody
    or another (I will check all these names at some point...).  It's really
    useful... I mean, USEFUL.  It isn't the same as Spam/MST, but it's still
    a magic casting technique, and it's important for survival.
    
         Since your HP remains at 1 if you are casting a spell, when a party
    member of yours "dies," quickly have him/her cast a spell, and then use
    a healing item on said member.  There isn't really a good way of using
    Heal Light in this situation, unless you think you can spam Heal Light
    faster than your party member dies.
    
         However, remember to let your party members who are low on MP die,
    as Angel Grails will restore MP.  This comes in handy, simply 'cause you
    get another 99 or so MP (ehehe) with which to spam DeathSpell/Marduk
    until things die and the sky falls down.
    
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
         6)  Additional Comments
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
       > Non-elemental spells and Aura Wave are extremely useful for most
    battles.  If you have them...use them!
    
       > Marduk, while it doesn't do great damage, silences, which is the
    most useful thing you could possibly ask for from a summon spell.  Stun
    Wind and Stone Cloud are REALLY handy.  But, for bosses, most effects
    (besides Lunatic) are pointless, in which case you want to have Marduk
    anyway, in addition to spells like DeathSpell, Double Spell, Rainbow,
    Ancient, all that jazz...level 3 elemental spells are fine, but the
    problem with final bosses is that they don't like elemental spells all
    too much...and most of them change elements from time to time (making
    people with sabers spiffy!).
    
         Okay, admittedly petrify is far superior to silence, because it
    rocks (literally and figuratively).  However, note that this has a
    tendency not to work on Dark Priests / Mages, because often they'll
    be casting spells when you petrify them, which means that they will be
    immune to the petrification.  Oh well...nothing's perfect.
    
       > One should note that level 2+ elemental spells, Angela's final
    spells, and Lise's summons, among other spells, are best used with the
    Spam/MST trick simply because they take so long to cast.
    
       > *NEW* and *IMPROVED* and *IMPORTANT*:  If your main character has
    an attack spell which you would like to use, save up for a level 1 tech.
    When you have your tech, use it to attack, but as soon as you press the
    B button, press ... uh ... X for your *own* menu ring.  Cast a spell.
    Since you're already performing a tech, you won't stop, however this
    cuts down bigtime on the "delay time" since you're invincible during a
    level 1 tech.  (hah...I said "Big time."  One day I'll be running for
    veep, just you wait Dick Cheney!)
    
       > This is unrelated, but when you level up, there's a significant
    delay time before the music starts up again (after you've picked your
    stat).  If you have a level 1 tech saved up, just hold down the B button
    and whack away several times, because you won't see any damage and the
    meter won't go down - BUT the damage will all show up after the music
    starts again.  This is crazy with Hawk, Kevin, and Lise - but especially
    Lise (surprise!).  If you don't have any tech saved up, then go ahead
    and use regular attacks (here Kevin is better).  Whatever it is you're
    attacking is dead meat.
    
       > More notes on sapping MP:
               (1) In increasing power, the Druid attack-sap spells can be
                   ranked thusly:
    
                   (weak)   Pumpkin Bomb  [Item: Pumpkin Bomb    ]
                   (medium) Grenade Bomb  [Item: ...spell only?  ]
                   (strong) Poison Bubble [Item: Assassin Bug Eye]
    
                   It's a very good idea to stock up on Assassin Bug Eyes.
                   Don't use them at the beginning of the game, just stick
                   them in storage and save them for later bosses:  they sap
                   more MP than Grenade Bomb, and of course, it doesn't cost
                   MP to cast if you're using the bug-eyes.
               (2) Leaf Saber is much more effective in general, since it
                   can be cast on anyone, and weapons hurt, and stuff.
    
       > Silver Dart is the greatest spell in the game.  It costs 2 MP, has 
    a faster casting time than even Holy Orb or whatever that spell is
    called, (Holy Ball?!) does more damage than Holy Orb... this is the main
    reason IMO that Hawk kicks serious butt as a Rogue.  Run about leveling
    up, cast Silver Dart until you're low on MP (save about 30!) and then
    continually cast Pumpkin Bomb until you get your MP back...then repeat!
    Remember to use this if you're in the Dark Castle level...it costs a hell
    of a lot less than DeathSpell, and you don't have to be higher level than
    the enemy, unlike Turn Undead.  Don't even bother with Spam/MST when
    using Silver Dart...the casting time is so incredibly quick it doesn't
    really matter.
    
    
    4.  Credits
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Original FAQ idea by PentaroX, of course.  The great majority of the FAQ
    was written by myself.  Lots of ideas, however, come from people listed
    below.
    
    Lots of thanks to Magus, for that amazing 350+kb FAQ of his, and for
    posting all that crap I emailed to him before writing this FAQ. :)
    
    Thanks to that Articuno guy for being the first to report the MST trick.
    ^_^  And thanks for arguing in regards to the superiority of MST,
    because frankly I wouldn't have written this FAQ about Spam/MST if I
    hadn't read your comments.  Hehe, and they say conflict does nothing
    for the good of humanity.
    
    Credit for that stuff about the DDT (which is my name for the trick,
    btw) goes to whoever is listed in Magus's FAQ.  Go check that FAQ for 
    just about anything SD3 which you could possibly wish to know about.
    
    Same goes for the person who mentioned that holding the B button down
    will allow you to cast your techs twice in a row occasionally.  This is
    what makes spamming Aura Wave so crazy and invaluable.
    
    There's some other really good stuff at GameFAQs.com, which is the
    reason I had any idea about SD3 FAQs, and half of the reason for my
    writing this FAQ.  Amazing.
    
    Thanks to Pioneer for producing El Hazard, which has kept me occupied
    while bored.  Also thanks to Square for producing the Seiken Densetsu
    series of games.  Thanks to Microsoft for making this crap operating
    system which I'm still using (because I can't get Linux working), among
    other things.  Thank you, the reader, for putting up with me.  Thanks
    to the number 42.  And many thanks to the Tootsie Pop company for 
    creating the post-modern paradox of licks(tm).
    
    Finally, remember that THE CAT IS WIN:
    http://www.fansview.com/2001/animeexpo/0708b105.jpg
    
    
    
    5.  Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This document is copyright by PentaroX, 2000.  Those who wish to use the
    FAQ for non-commercial purposes may do so, but I require that you send
    me an email at pentarou@NOSHPAMnekonekowai.com (remove the NOSHPAM)
    first simply to inform me of your use of my FAQ.
    
    Portions which have been taken from contributors are copyrighted by the
    respective contributors.
    
    Commercial usage is strictly prohibited.  This also includes translating
    my FAQs into Swahili and then selling them printed on wee little sheets
    of paper.
    
    No, I don't want to join any websites or buy any candy.  I don't talk to
    strangers.  They're evil.  Yeah.  Strangers are evil.
    
    Also, if you have anything to do with eFront, go away.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

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