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You can switch who you control directly in combat altho there's a bit of a glitch with that: When combat starts it creates this circle to define the battle arena, attempting to leave that circle is how you flee combat. Unlike a lot of similar games, fleeing happens really quickly (you don't have to try very long). So, if you've got say Anne chosen as your main character for combat, you're still controlling Fidel when running around on the field. When combat begins Anne's character model (because she was just following along behind Fidel) might actually start combat right at the edge of the circle. It then shifts your control to her and because she's now the controlled character and standing at the edge of battle it thinks you're trying to flee, and since that doesn't take very long to succeed you have a short window in which to charge the enemy before it just cancels the combat entirely.
Just one of the many problems they created for themselves by not simply having a true battlescape.
I judge everyone based on their sig. If you wanna judge me for that, go ahead.