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User Info: Zaraktheus

Zaraktheus
12 years ago#1
Here's my chart with the combo data for each ability:

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http://sf.data.project.tripod.com/Zaraktheus/Combo_Data_Export.htm

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As I note at the bottom of the chart, all that data was translated from Sakura, at these links:
http://uri.sakura.ne.jp/~saga/sf1/neta/combo_st.html
http://uri.sakura.ne.jp/~saga/sf1/wazajutu/combo_st.html

All credit for originally finding this data goes to whoever found it and put it on the Sakura site. I don't know who or how. (Sorry)

I translated it using Babelfish, which did a passable job with about 2/3 of it. The rest I determined through a complex process of cross-checking. I'm reasonably certain that I translated everything accurately, but I make no guarantees about it, and I similarly can't guarantee that Sakura's data was correct to begin with, since I don't know where or how they got it.


Mechanically, forming combos works very similarly to how it works in Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song (PS2). In SF, there are eight combo characteristics: Dead Stop, Down, Instant Stop, Move, Hot, Cold, Black Out, and Snow. Each characteristic can be Sent and/or Received, and each ability Sends and/or Receives its own combination of the characteristics. Basically, in order to form a combo, two abilities need to occur one after the other, and the first needs to Send at least one characteristic that the second Receives.

For example, StunSlash Sends Down, and DoubleSlash Receives Down, so you can make the combo StunSlash - DoubleSlash. However, since DoubleSlash doesn't Send any of the characteristics, you can't make the reverse combo DoubleSlash - StunSlash.

Longer combos are formed in the same manner--just tack something on the beginning that Sends something the first ability Receives, or tack something on the end that Receives something the last ability Sends. Here's an example of a level 5 combo:

StunSlash - Smash - HardSlash - BearCrush - Heaven/Hell

StunSlash Sends Down, which Smash Receives.
Smash Sends Instant Stop, which HardSlash Receives.
HardSlash Sends Down, which BearCrush Receives.
BearCrush Sends Instant Stop, which Heaven/Hell Receives.

As far as I can tell, the names of the characteristics are for descriptive purposes only. They don't appear to have any gameplay impact beyond forming combos. Dead Stop may sound like it might inflict Death or Palsy or whatever, but it's used by lots of abilities that don't inflict either, so it almost certainly doesn't. It could as easily be called "Characteristic 1" or "Itchy Foot" or "Litterbox Voodoo". It's just a name.

Looking at the chart, it quickly becomes obvious that not all characteristics are created equal. The vast majority of abilities Send Instant Stop, but far fewer Receive it. Fewer Send Down, but more Receive it. So it continues, with the balance going more towards Receive and away from Send, through Dead Stop, Move, and Hot and Cold. Black Out is almost useless, because there are only two abilities in the entire game that Send it (MoolightCut and FinalStrike), although there are a few more that Receive it. Snow is even more virtually useless, because there are only two abilities that Send it (Blizzard and FinalStrike), and only one ability in the entire game that Receives it (MoonlightCut).

User Info: Zaraktheus

Zaraktheus
12 years ago#2
Finally, as noted in the chart, abilities which target all enemies can only start off a combo. They won't actually follow anything, even if they have Receive data (as many of them do). However, it seems that Sakura says it's somehow possible to get these abilities to follow others, but I can't make out how they say they did it. Here are two translations of the relevant passage.

Here's Babelfish's translation:
"Entire attack is connected only the forefront of cooperation, but when acceptance status itself has and special reverse side skill is used, in and after cooperation it is possible to be able to connect."

And here's Google's:
"The whole attack was only the beginning of the collaboration will lead, but the status is with reception
Can connect to and after use in conjunction with a special trick."

Specifically, I don't know what "special reverse side skill" and "a special trick" mean.

If somebody who actually understands Japanese wouldn't mind translating that passage for us, that would be awesome. It's near the top of this page:
http://uri.sakura.ne.jp/~saga/sf1/wazajutu/combo_st.html

Now, you can use this chart to cobble together any combo that's actually possible, but that's not the easiest way to use it. It gives us a lot of information that we can use to make a wide variety of very simple, very reliable combos, without having to think too hard.

First, here's the list of all the self-comboers in the game. The simplest and most reliable combos are formed by spamming multiple instances of any one of these.

Self-Comboers: 74 Total

Sword:
HardSlash
StillStream
SwallowSwing
ThunderThrust

Katana:
ShadowCounter

Gun:
BoundShot
CrossShot

Martial Arts:
Fist
GiantSwing
GoldHand
RollingCradle
Sliding
Suplex
TriangleKick

Alkaiser:
Al-Blaster
Al-Phoenix
BrightFist
DeflectLance
FlashTurn
KaiserWing
Re-Al-Phoenix
ShiningKick
SparklingRoll

Item-Inherent:
IronclogShot
Kusanagi
*SandVessel* (QuickSand)
*SeaStone* (WaterCannon)

Heavy Weapons:
*BoltThrower*
*HyperionBazooka*
*LightningCannon*
PlasmaBullet
*SonicCannon*
*Thunderbolt*
WaterCannon

Mec Parts:
AT Missile
CosmicRave
Graviton
Hammer

Mec Programs:
HammerCrush
KAMIKAZE Crush
PluralSlash
TigerRampage

Monster:
Beak
BoomerangHook
CentipedeCrush
Chop
Ectoplasnet
Feeler
GliderSpike
Headbutt
Kusanagi
MightyCyclone
QuickSand
Scissors
SpiderNet
StoneGas
Tackle
TitasWave
Tornado
WaterCannon

Mystic:
BladeNet
Crystalizer
GrapeShot
QuickSand
Spiders
SpreadBlaster
TigerRampage
TitasWave
WaterCannon

Shadow Magic:
DarkSphere
Hidebehind

Realm Magic:
EnergyChain

Mind Magic:
LifeWave

Evil Magic:
RavaShot

As with the chart, a name in asterisks simply indicates that the ability is used by selecting the name of the item, which hides the name of the ability it actually uses.

It's a bit ironic that so many of Alkaiser's abilities are self-comboers, considering that there's only one of him.

User Info: Zaraktheus

Zaraktheus
12 years ago#3
Only slightly more complicated and equally reliable are combos formed using any of my Fully Interchangeable Comboers Lists. I made these lists by grouping all the self-comboers that self-combo using the same characteristic. All such abilities should be able to function like self-comboers with all other such abilities using the same characteristic, so for each list, you should be able to put any combination of the abilities on the list (including multiple instances of the same ability) in any order and get them all to combo, provided they aren't interrupted.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Fully Interchangeable Comboers, List 1 (Instant Stop): 35 Total

Sword:
HardSlash
StillStream
ThunderThrust

Gun:
BoundShot
CrossShot

Martial Arts:
Fist
GoldHand
RollingCradle
Sliding

Alkaiser:
Al-Blaster
Al-Phoenix
FlashTurn
KaiserWing
Re-Al-Phoenix

Item-Inherent:
IronclogShot
Kusanagi

Heavy Weapon:
*HyperionBazooka*
*SonicCannon*

Mec Parts:
AT Missile
Graviton

Mec Programs:
HammerCrush
TigerRampage

Monster:
Beak
BoomerangHook
CentipedeCrush
Chop
Headbutt
Kusanagi
MightyCyclone
Tackle

Mystic:
GrapeShot
Spiders
TigerRampage

Shadow Magic:
DarkSphere

Evil Magic:
RavaShot

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Fully Interchangeable Comboers, List 2 (Move): 19 Total

Sword:
ThunderThrust

Martial Arts:
GiantSwing
Suplex

Alkaiser:
Al-Blaster
Al-Phoenix
BrightFist
DeflectLance
FlashTurn
Re-Al-Phoenix
ShiningKick
SparklingRoll

Item-Inherent:
*SeaStone* (WaterCannon)

Heavy Weapons:
WaterCannon

Mec Programs:
HammerCrush
KAMIKAZE Crush

Monster:
Tornado
WaterCannon

Mystic:
WaterCannon

Shadow Magic:
DarkSphere

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Fully Interchangeable Comboers, List 3 (Down): 16 Total

Katana:
ShadowCounter

Item-Inherent:
*SandVessel* (QuickSand)

Mec Parts:
CosmicRave
Hammer

Mec Programs:
KAMIKAZE Crush
PluralSlash

Monster:
GliderSpike
QuickSand
StoneGas
TitasWave
Tornado

Mystic:
Crystalizer
QuickSand
SpreadBlaster
TitasWave

Realm Magic:
EnergyChain

User Info: Zaraktheus

Zaraktheus
12 years ago#4
Fully Interchangeable Comboers, List 4 (Dead Stop): 12 Total

Sword:
SwallowSwing

Martial Arts:
TriangleKick

Heavy Weapons:
*BoltThrower*
*LightningCannon*
*Thunderbolt*

Monster:
Feeler
Ectoplasnet
Scissors
SpiderNet

Mystic:
BladeNet

Shadow Magic:
Hidebehind

Mind Magic:
LifeWave

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Fully Interchangeable Comboers, List 5 (Cold): 2 Total

Heavy Weapons:
PlasmaBullet

Mec Parts:
CosmicRave

----------------------------------------------------------------------

If you really wanted to, you could jump from one list to another using one of the abilities that appears on more than one list, but that would make the combo more complex and less reliable. For those who are so inclined, here are the abilities that are on multiple lists:

----------------------------------------------------------------------

On both Lists 1 & 2:
ThunderThrust
Al-Blaster
Al-Phoenix
FlashTurn
Re-Al-Phoenix
HammerCrush
DarkSphere

On both Lists 2 & 3:
KAMIKAZE Crush
Tornado

On both Lists 3 & 5:
CosmicRave

User Info: Zaraktheus

Zaraktheus
12 years ago#5
Alright, now that we know what combos, let's ask the question: "Why should we combo?" I'm aware of three major reasons:

1: All damage from a combo attacks the lowest DEF of the target from among all the elements used by any ability in the combo. This means you can use a combo to allow an ability to do (much) more damage to a target against which it normally wouldn't be effective. For example, DarkSphere does only F element damage, so it normally does virtually no damage to a Gelatin, which has 99 F DEF. However, if you combo DarkSphere with AT Missile, which does P,B,H element damage, then the entire combo will attack Gelatin's weakest DEF among the elements P,B,H,F, which is its H DEF of 17. This allows DarkSphere to effectively attack DEF 17 instead of DEF 99, which makes a huge difference.

2: Combos do bonus damage on top of that. My limited testing so far has shown 31-53% bonus damage (compared to the total damage of all component abilities if they were used separately against a target whose lowest DEF value was the same for all), depending on the abilities involved in the combo. I don't know whether it gets much lower than 31%, but I wouldn't be surprised if it goes higher than 53%.

3: To get past the "fight" with Virgil.

However, there is also a good reason to not combo, or at least to be careful about it: overkill. If given the opportunity to combo, your PCs will happily waste as many attacks as are in the combo even against a target that could have been killed by any one of them separately.

As a side note on reason 2, I discovered during this round of testing that Byte 0D of the ability data not only affects comboing, but also affects damage, even when not comboing. Since I performed some earlier tests on BoundShot's damage potential in which I removed BoundShot's ability to combo by modifying its Byte 0D and 0F values -> 00, the results of those tests should be discarded now. The tests in question are WA9-13 from the thread "Truly Horrid Characters, Equipment, Abilities, etc", here:
http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/genmessage.php?board=198537&topic=50597626&page=1

I don't know whether anyone even cares about those old tests anymore anyway, but just in case you do, now that I know Byte 0D also affects damage, they're invalid, so ignore them.

Alright, on to reason 3: if anyone is still having any trouble getting past Virgil, here's an easy way to do it. First, if you're going with Riki's default party (one Monster, one Mec, three Humans), or something similar, I recommend using Fully Interchangeable Comboers List 1. Personally, I'd recommend Gen, Fei-on, and Emelia as your three Humans, since all three can be acquired pretty early and all three can easily spark several of the Sword or Martial Arts abilities on the list. You could use Lute if you prefer him and because you get him immediately, but he's rotten at learning all the Sword and Martial Arts abilities on the list except StillStream and GoldHand which are the hardest ones to learn in the first place (and therefore not the ones you most want to have to fuss around trying to learn for this fight). He might do fine with learning Guns (we still don't know much about how that works), but his starting WIL is absolutely abysmal (with no system data, it's 2!!!), so don't count on him to hurt anything with them on the way to Virgil.

User Info: Zaraktheus

Zaraktheus
12 years ago#6
You really only need two abilities on the list for one PC, and only one each for the other four. More won't hurt, but you can beat Virgil with just that. Your Humans can train in Swords, Martial Arts, or Guns--just be sure to target at least one ability from the list for each of them (and preferably two for one of them). Buy your Mec a SonicCannon from PzkwV's shop in the Koorong backstreets ($1110 each). You can do the same for any Mystics or for Humans who refuse to learn. Riki has a number of options from this list, but in my opinion, Chop is the easiest. He can acquire it very easily by repeatedly fighting the two Pink Lummoxes in his intro, and it's form-neutral so long as you don't also keep both Claw and ElfShot. Just hang on to Chop and you'll be set for Riki in the Virgil fight.

When you actually get to Virgil, here's how the "fight" works: he scores you each round based on the longest combo you pulled off in that round. Here's the scale:

L2: 0
L3: 2
L4: 3
L5: 5

You need a total of 10 points to "win". That means you can finish the fight in just two rounds, if you manage two L5 combos. Now that we have the Fully Interchangeable Comboers Lists, that would be a piece of cake, except that Virgil is phenomenally impatient and only gives you one round before he starts interfering. His QUI is 40, so you'll have an easier time in the 2nd+ rounds if your PCs are all way above or way below that, so that he can't break up your combos.

One other thing to keep in mind: Virgil does not accept duplicate combos, but any change will satisfy him. You can even feed him two L5 combos with exactly the same abilities in each, so long as the order of the abilities in the combo is different in any way. For example, I was able to finish in two rounds with just these two combos:

SonicCannon - Chop - BoundShot - Fist - HardSlash
SonicCannon - Chop - BoundShot - HardSlash - Fist

That's all it takes. Ideally, though, you should change one PC's ability each round until the fight ends, to ensure that each combo will be accepted. For example, if you start with:

Human 1: HardSlash
Human 2: Fist
Human 3: BoundShot
Mec: SonicCannon
Monster: Chop

On the second round you could change Human 1 -> ThunderThrust. On the third round (if necessary), you could change Human 2 -> RollingCradle, and so on. You should have little to no trouble beating Virgil in this fashion.

Also worth noting: Virgil does count the DSC as a combo. He scores it as if it was a normal combo of one less hit than the number performed in that instance of the DSC. For example, if you pull off a 4-hit DSC, Virgil counts it as a L3 combo, worth 2 points. Again, he only counts the most valuable combo performed in any given round, so if you do a L4 combo and a 5-hit DSC in the same round, you only get 3 points, not 6. Very interestingly, though, Virgil never recognizes the DSC as a combo he's seen before. Even if the same PC uses it and does the same number of hits, Virgil counts it as a new combo worth full score. I actually got through the fight with him in one test by just having everyone else Defend while one PC spammed DSC over and over. I wouldn't recommend it, but it is an option.

User Info: Zaraktheus

Zaraktheus
12 years ago#7
Oh yeah, one more thing. Just to finally put this old myth to rest: USING COMBOS DOES NOT PREVENT SPARKING. I can't tell you how many times I've heard that over the years. It's not true.

I tested it by having all 5 (Human) PCs use ThunderThrust (a self-comboer) against Krakens. Here's what (eventually) happened.

Fuse went first, sparking RosarioImpale.
The other 4 PCs went next, forming a L4 combo.
Kraken brought up the rear, using Maelstrom.

Since all five PCs went before Kraken, they would have formed a L5 combo if Fuse hadn't sparked something. If it wasn't possible to spark something instead of comboing, then Fuse couldn't have done it, but he did, so it is possible.

Sparking will break up your combo, but using a combo wil not prevent sparking.

User Info: KazumiAmano

KazumiAmano
12 years ago#8
<3

What else do you have coming?
Jan, come back when you're pregnant!

User Info: KazumiAmano

KazumiAmano
12 years ago#9
It seems to me the best things to throw out from any generic character race would be StillStream (sword), GoldHand (martial arts), BoundShot (guns), TigerRampage (mystics, mechs), and MightyCyclone (monsters).

Luckily, these target a semi-healthy amount of weaknesses, and seem to be the strongest in combination of generic skills in all the lists. This excludes possible self-combos from multiple LightRifle BoundShots, or extremely strong mech TigerRampages.

StillStream - Slashing
GoldHand - Blunt, Force
BoundShot - Piercing
TigerRampage - Blunt, Force
MightyCyclone - Blunt, Throw

So your final combo, with SS, BS, and at least one GH or TR, would be Slashing, Piercing, Blunt, Force, and maybe Throw? Is "Throw" a check against if it hits, or is it actually an element?
Jan, come back when you're pregnant!

User Info: KazumiAmano

KazumiAmano
12 years ago#10
Triple Post Power.

Could you add an index or a "home" button to your pages, Zara? Like a way back to the index without clicking back? I don't say this out of laziness, I say this out of stupidity.
Jan, come back when you're pregnant!
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