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Combo FAQ by Franklin WI
Version: 1.1 | Updated: 10/04/04
Tales of Symphonia (GC) Combo Building FAQ 1.1 October 4, 2004 ****************************** TABLE OF CONTENTS ****************************** #1#) Introduction - why and how this FAQ was written. #2#) Version history #3#) Combos: a beginner's guide #3a#) What is a combo? #3b#) What is a combo not? #3c#) What are the general rules of combos? #4#) Character-specific combos #4a#) Formatting notes #4ai#) Abbreviations #4aii#) General Overview #4aiii#) S/T Decisions #4aiv#) Best Combos #4b#) Lloyd #4bi#) Abbreviations #4bii#) General Overview #4biii#) S/T Decisions #4biv#) Best Combos #4c#) Colette #4ci#) Abbreviations #4cii#) General Overview #4ciii#) S/T Decisions #4civ#) Best Combos #4d#) Kratos/Zelos #4di#) Abbreviations #4dii#) General Overview #4diii#) S/T Decisions #4div#) Best Combos #4e#) Sheena #4ei#) Abbreviations #4eii#) General Overview #4eiii#) S/T Decisions #4eiv#) Best Combos #4f#) Presea #4fi#) Abbreviations #4fii#) General Overview #4fiii#) S/T Decisions #4fiv#) Best Combos #4g#) Regal #4gi#) Abbreviations #4gii#) General Overview #4giii#) S/T Decisions #4giv#) Best Combos #4h#) Genis & Raine #5#) Appendices #5a#) Appendix 1: "The Glitch" #5b#) Appendix 2: "Semi-Infinite Combos" #5c#) Appendix 3: All Possible Combos #5ci#) Lloyd #5cii#) Colette #5ciii#) Kratos/Zelos #5civ#) Sheena #5cv#) Presea #5cvi#) Regal #5d#) Appendix 4: Damage Multipliers For All Techs #5di#) Lloyd #5dii#) Colette #5diii#) Kratos/Zelos #5div#) Sheena #5dv#) Presea #5dvi#) Regal #6#) Acknowledgements, Thanks ***************************** ***************************** #1#) Introduction: What is this guide, and why did I write it? This guide was primarily written to identify the best possible combos for various characters. I am more interested in single-character combos -- how to make Lloyd or Presea do 30 hits by themselves, or how to deal the most damage -- than in huge, 200 hit group combos, although I will also cover the latter. I've experimented thoroughly with every one of every character's techs, and checked them against the damage outputs listed in Chuc's Skills FAQ. I hadn't wanted to take Chuc's results at face value and possibly copy a mistake Chuc made, but Chuc's numbers seem to check out with mine, with about a dozen exceptions, where Chuc's results and mine were further off than plausible. All of my results -- which I use as reference in this guide -- are listed in an appendix. I was originally testing the power of various techs against the Dragon in the Earth Temple, but I noticed that elemental attacks seem to do extra damage to it even though it doesn't have any listed weaknesses. For example, just equipping the Topaz or Opal seemed to increase the damage done with every tech, except those that were already elemental, like Lightning Blade or Destruction. I originally had skewed results, but caught myself. I checked all the techs against the Gold Dragon in Torent Forest, and the numbers I got there match Chuc's guide (with a dozen or so exceptions). As a curious aside: a few techs, notably the Demon Fang techs, did not do extra damage against the Dragon when Lloyd had an elemental attack. In fact, they seem incapable of carrying elemental attributes. This does not apply to the sword strikes of the Demon Fang techs, only the energy waves. ***************************** ***************************** #2#) Version history 1.1 Personal information removed. Game information unchanged. 1.0 I write this guide. ***************************** ***************************** #3#) Combos: a beginner's guide #3a#) What is a combo? Just like in a pure fighting game, a combo is a series of attacks that cannot be blocked once the initial hit connects. There are a few different sorts of combos to differentiate between, however: combos done by a single character, which can reach up to 33 hits (or more in a few special scenarios), and combos done by multiple characters which, thanks to Unison Attacks and careful coordination, can surpass 200 hits. It's all just timing, persistence, and luck. Generally, when this guide refers to "combos" it is referring to single character combos, and group combos will be referred to exactly like that: "group combos". #3b#) What is a combo not? In some cases, an attack will not register as continuing a combo even if the enemy does not have the chance to block or counterattack. That is not a combo according to this guide, because that is not a combo according to the game. If the game does not keep counting the hits, it is not a combo. #3c#) What are the general rules of combos? How do combos work? GENERAL COMBO STRUCTURE: Combos are made by performing one or more "regular attacks" (pressing A while holding or not holding various directions on the analog stick), followed by one or more "techs" (special moves that cost TP, can be assigned to B button or C stick shortcuts, and have no casting time*). You can also omit either regular attacks or techs entirely, but the combo will be less powerful. *Spells (special moves with casting times) are still techs, technically, but aren't used in combos. TECH LEVEL RULE: Techs are all classified as Lv.1, Lv.2, or Lv.3. A Lv.1 tech can be chained into a Lv.2 or a Lv.3. A Lv.2 can be chained into a Lv.3. Lv.3 techs cannot be chained into other techs. VARIETY RULE: No tech can be chained to its immediate successor in the tech charts. For example, you learn Tiger Rage or Heavy Tiger Blade by performing Tiger Blade 50 times. Hence, you cannot chain Tiger Blade into Tiger Rage or Heavy Tiger Blade. Similarly, you learn Twin Tiger Blade by performing Heavy Tiger Blade 50 times. Hence, you cannot chain Heavy Tiger Blade into Twin Tiger Blade VARIETY-SHMARIETY EXCEPTION: Thanks to a well-documented glitch (see the appendices), Lloyd can have Tiger Rage and Twin Tiger Blade in his tech menu, without Heavy Tiger Blade. The programmers didn't account for this, and the game does not prevent you from chaining Tiger Rage into Twin Tiger Blade. This applies to every tech tree that has a Lv.1 tech, two Lv.2 techs, and one or more Lv.3 techs. GROUNDED RULE: Techs can only be performed when the character is on the ground. If they do a jump attack or if their previous tech lifts them into the air, they can't start the next tech until they land. DIMINISHING RULE: A tech loses approximately 15% of its strength for every tech preceding it in a combo. The first tech in a combo does full damage, no matter how many regular hits you use, or even whether you use regular hits at all. The second tech only does about 85% of its normal damage. The third tech only does about 70% of its normal damage. There is one special case where you are ably to use four techs, and in this case the fourth tech will only do about 55% of its normal damage. These percentages are all approximate; I don't know the formulas used by the game. Keep in mind that in a few rare cases, the penalties you incur by using an extra tech my decrease the total damage done. It seems to be character-based, rather than target-based. That is, if you use Omega Tempest to fly up without hitting anything, and then use Rising Falcon from the air to attack, Rising Falcon will still incur the 15% penalty. DIFF'RENT STROKES RULE: Although these rules are generally true, there are exceptions. Some characters behave differently, and some Ex-Skills and Compound Ex-Skills also make characters behave differently. In particular, "Tech Level Rule" and "Grounded Rule" are not universal. ***************************** ***************************** #4#) Character-specific combos #4a#) Formatting notes Each of the following character-specific sections will include the following subsections: #4ai#) ABBREVIATIONS: I really don't want to be typing "Infinite Destruction" and "Sword Rain: Alpha" over and over. Every character's section will begin with a list of the abbreviations I have chosen for that character's techs. I will write the abbreviation, then write the full name in parentheses. I'll generally be grouping them by their tech trees to make them easier to find, but that's not an ironclad rule. #4aii#) GENERAL OVERVIEW: Any important or trivial notes about a character will be discussed in this section. #4aiii#) S/T DECISIONS: A thorough analysis of the pros and cons of every tech tree, especially with respect to combos. A character's S/T DECISIONS section may begin with general notes, and then every tech tree will be discussed, listed under the name of the tech tree's first tech. #4aiv#) BEST COMBOS: A listing of various excellent combos for each character, under various headings. The two categories of combo which will be used for every character are: -Most Damaging Combo -Highest Hit-Count Combo Different characters will have various other categories, as well, such as: -Strongest Non-Elemental Combo (for characters who rely heavily on elemental attacks) -Most Damage/Fewest Hits (for Lloyd, and useful when you don't want bosses to go into Overlimit) -Most Damage Without Super Chain (for Kratos/Zelos, whose best combos all use Super Chain) Finally, since Lloyd has a variety of Level 3 techs that inflict knockdown (that is, they knock the enemy down), all of his combo categories (Most Damaging, Highest Hit-Count, and Most Damage/Fewest Hits) will be further divided into Knockdown and No Knockdown lists. Combo notation will look like this: x.xx A > B > C [!!] (y hits) Here's what all this means: x.xx: This first number is the combo's total damage multiplier. The total damage done by all of the techs in the combo is this number multiplied by the damage a character does with a single normal attack. For example, if Presea does 300 damage in a single axe swipe, then a combo with a 6.48 multiplier would do roughly (6.48 * 300) 1994 damage. This does not include the damage from her initial regular attacks. Don't expect these multipliers to be exact, but they should be able to roughly predict the amount of damage a combo will do for you. A > B > C: Here, A, B, and C are different techs, and they chain together, in the order listed. I am using the ">" symbol to indicate that the tech on either side of the symbol chain properly. [!!]: Any special limitations of this combo (for example, if it only works in corners, or if it requires an elemental attack attribute) will be listed in square brackets. Multiple limitations will mean multiple sets of brackets. (y hits): The number of hits done by all the techs in a combo. It will read "(21 hits)" or "13 hits)" or whatever. Pretty simple. If you are looking for a comprehensive list of the power of techs relative to each other, check the appendices, or check Chuc's Skills FAQ. Out results don't match entirely, though, so you may want to confirm with your own tests. #4b)# Lloyd #4bi#)ABBREVIATIONS DF (Demon Fang); FDF (Fierce Demon Fang); DDF (Double Demon Fang) DCI(Demonic Circle); DCH (Demonic Chaos); TB (Tiger Blade) HTB (Heavy Tiger Blade); TR (Tiger Rage); TTB (Twin Tiger Blade) ST (Sonic Thrust); SST (Super Sonic Thrust); HT (Hurricane Thrust) SR (Sword Rain); SSR (Sonic Sword Rain); SRA (Sword Rain: Alpha) SRB (Sword Rain: Beta); TE (Tempest); PT (Psi Tempest); OT (Omega Tempest) BE (Beast); HB (Hunting Beast); RB (Raging Beast); RF (Rising Falcon) DT (Demonic Thrust); DTB (Demonic Tiger Blade); RTB (Raining Tiger Blade) BSR (Beast Sword Rain); TEB (Tempest Beast); TT (Tempest Thrust) LTI (Lightning Tiger); LTH (Lightning Thrust); GB (Grave Blade) RP (Rising Phoenix) Please note that TB is used for Tiger Blade, and TEB for Tempest Beast. #4bii#)GENERAL OVERVIEW Lloyd has a large moveset, and can use the combo system to achieve high damage with both high and low hit counts. He has the longest single-character combo (he can get 33 hits by himself). He has a few relative weaknesses, however, namely that he burns through his TP very quickly, and that he can't effectively combo multiple enemies at once (Presea can), although he has a few select techs that do good damage to crowds, particularly Demonic Circle. Lloyd can do 3 normal attacks, but there's an easy trick to make him do 4 hits instead. When inputting the first attack, hold forward on the analog stick, but don't press in any direction while inputting the following hits. Lloyd has an Ex-Skill called "Add Combo" which increases his regular combo from 3 hits to 4. With "Add Combo", Lloyd can use an easy trick to do 5 hits instead. For the first hit, hold forward, then hold down for the second hit, then don't press any direction for the remaining hits. Lloyd also has an Ex-Skill called "Ability Plus" which allows him to perform 2 consecutive Lv.1 techs. This allows him to perform a Lv.1 > Lv.1 > Lv.2 > Lv.3 combo, which is almost always stronger*. Finally, Lloyd has a Compound Ex-Skill called "Sky Attack" which allows him to perform some techs even when in midair. This applies to his Tempest, Psi Tempest, Omega Tempest, Rising Falcon, and Rising Phoenix techs. It is particularly useful for Rising Falcon and Rising Phoenix because those techs are otherwise not chainable from any Lv.2 tech. *In a few limited cases, an additional Lv.1 tech will result in less damage, because of the "Diminishing Tech" rule mentioned in the FAQ intro. Basically, if the weakest tech in a combo does only 15% or less of the damage of the rest of the combo combined, it won't increase the damage you do, because it will be cancelled out by "Diminishing Tech" penalties. For Lloyd, this is only a problem when one of your Lv.1 techs is Demon Fang, and even then, only in a select few hard to find situations. #4biii#) S/T SELECTIONS Lloyd's large number of skills make it difficult to select just S or T. He is definitely better when mixed, but if you are lazy or determined to make him a pure S or T, please choose T. There is no adequate S-type substitute for Sword Rain: Alpha, and no amount of leveling up will make your S-type techs chain better or do more hits. This guide was honestly written with people willing to use the glitch in mind. If you are prepared to mix and match: DEMON FANG If you are above using the glitch, go S-type, definitely. DCI is Lloyd's single strongest tech, by a large margin, and is also one of only three techs Lloyd can use which defend his sides from attack (HB and RB are the others). FDF is just average but its secret form, GB, is Lloyd's strongest Lv.2 tech. One of these techs or the other (DCI or GB) is in every one of Lloyd's strongest combos. If you are willing to use the glitch, things get more complicated. DDF is, on its own, pretty bad -- sure, it's ranged, but the damage is really low -- but it's surprisingly good in combos. This is because it can be chained from the strongest Lv.1 tech, LTI, and to the strongest Lv.3 tech, DCI. Although DDF is only about half as strong as GB, GB is much more limited in what you can combo with it, so DDF and GB combos are about equal in strength. The downside to the DDF combo is that it's a bit awkward, and the downside to the GB combo is that you either need to use T. Seal: Earth or Yellow Quartzes, which is annoying, or use the Ruby, which is better utilized by Zelos. It's a pretty tough call, but there are a number of tough bosses strong against lightning, so it's worth your while to make sure you have a few good non-lightning combos, and an earth elemental combo with GB is the best solution to this problem. If you use the glitch, snag DCH for its ability to chain after HTB. Otherwise just go straight S-type. TIGER BLADE TR is much more versatile than HTB in combos, and only a smidge less powerful. TR and HTB can chain into different techs of equivalent power (TR > TTB, HTB > DCH), and can both be chained after SR. HTB's best combo is a little more powerful, but it's a small margin, and TR's best combo is a few more hits, but it's a small margin. TR is probably more useful generally, but HTB > DCH has the curious ability to knock an enemy down and then stand them back up. If you find that as fascinating as I do, you may want to choose HTB. Otherwise I'd give a narrow recommendation to TR. If you are unwilling to glitch, definitely choose HTB and TTB over TR. TTB is a versatile, powerful Lv.3 that can connect even from some distance, and it is probably the best tech that TR can chain into. If you are willing to glitch and get TR and TTB, that would probably be best. SONIC THRUST SST is more powerful than HT but ends combos, guaranteed. HT is one of the weakest Lv.2 techs, and the only Lv.1 techs that combo into it are weak (DF) or awkward (TE). The saving grace of HT is that it is one of the few techs that can chain into DCI, but SRA and DDF are superior for this (because they can be chained from LTI). HT is also wind-elemental, but no particularly threatening enemy is weak against wind. The advantage of SST (thanks, StudyPunkRockism) is that you can push the enemy all the way into a corner, at which point not only is it less of a threat to the rest of your party, but your combos will chain much more easily. SWORD RAIN SSR is the strongest Lv.2 tech, besides the secret GB, and if an enemy is stationary or backed into the corner, it is part of Lloyd's absolute strongest combos. However, taking SSR means passing on SRA, which does the most hits of any Lv.2 tech. SRA is quite weak compared to the other Lv.2 techs, but is part of Lloyd's high hit count combos. SSR's strongest combos are stronger than SRA's strongest combos by far, but the enemy does have to be backed into a corner. If you don't care about getting the highest possible hit counts, SSR is a great addition to your arsenal. If you don't care about inflicting the most damage possible, SSR is more expendable than SRA. If you care about both, get ready to make a tough choice. TEMPEST This is a matter open to some debate. Both Lv.2 Tempest techs are stylish, and the only reason to use them in combos rather than the other Lv.2 techs is to satisfy your sense of style. OT is better than PT in combos, but it's still not good enough to warrant use based on its damage or its number of hits, especially since the only Lv.3 it (and PT) can chain to is RF/RP, which is much weaker than most Lv.3 techs. PT has some extra utility, in that it is the best tech Lloyd has for escaping from a dangerous situation (like if you realize you're about to be hit by Indignation or Absolute). OT is probably a little more stylish, though. Defensive maneuver, or a visually interesting attack? I prefer PT, but neither is useful for high-quality combos. BEAST HB is stronger, but slower to hit, and HB is still not as strong as BSR or TEB, which both do more hits and more damage than either HB or RB. HB and RB both attack enemies at Lloyd's side, but in different ways. RB hits Lloyd's sides, then uses the "Beast" attack. HB uses the "Beast" attack, then uses a radial shockwave. So RB is easier to chain into, but HB -- if you don't get knocked out of the air -- ends with you in a safe position, yet deeper behind enemy lines. Neither is particularly good, although HB ends with a strange juggle/knockdown hybrid, which allows you to either let the enemy fall (and be knocked down), or continue to juggle them, continuing the combo and canceling the knockdown. I prefer HB for this reason, but RB is probably his best defensive tech, and worth keeping if your curiosity doesn't get the best of you. #4biv#) BEST COMBOS Lloyd's techs are all over the map. The advantage to knocking down enemies is in disrupting their spells. The disadvantage is in giving them a few second of invincibility, and in ending your combos. The advantage to high damage with low hit counts is that bosses go into Overlimit based on the number of times you hit them, not based on the damage you inflict. High damage, knockdown: 8.17: LTH > LTI > SSR > BSR [lightning] [corners only] (21 hits) 7.83: ST > TE > GB > BSR [earth] (20 hits) 7.61: LTH > LTI > DDF > BSR [lightning] (16 hits) 7.55: LTI > SR > FDF > BSR [lightning] (21 hits) 7.55: LTI > SR > TR > BSR [lightning] (21 hits) 6.76: TB > SR > TR > BSR (19 hits) 6.76: TB > SR > FDF > BSR (20 hits) 6.50: ST > TE > HT > BSR (16 hits) 6.43: ST > TE > DDF > BSR (16 hits) High damage, no knockdown: 8.44: LTH > LTI > SSR > DCI [lightning] [corners only] (15 hits) 7.88: LTH > LTI > DDF > DCI [lightning] (10 hits) 7.83: ST > TE > GB > SRB [earth] (22 hits) 6.83: TB > SR > HTB > DCH (14 hits) 6.76: TB > SR > TR > SRB (22 hits) Most hits, knockdown: 6.18: SR > TE > SRA > BSR [big targets only] (26 hits) 7.09: SR > TE > SSR > BSR [big targets only] [corners only] (25 hits) 6.86: SR > LTI > SRA > BSR [lightning] (25 hits) 7.77: SR > LTI > SSR > BSR [lightning] [corners only] (24 hits) 6.18: SR > TB > SRA > BSR (24 hits) 7.93: SR > TE > GB > BSR [earth] [big targets only] (24 hits) 7.09: SR > TB > SSR > BSR [corners only] (23 hits) 6.74: SR > TE > FDF/TR > BSR [big targets only] (22 hits) 7.55: LTI> SR > FDF/TR > BSR [lightning] (21 hits) 6.75: TB > SR > FDF/TR > BSR (20 hits) Most hits, no knockdown: 5.96: SR > TE > SRA > RTB [big targets only] (28 hits) 6.87: SR > TE > SSR > RTB [big targets only] [corners only] (27 hits) 6.64: SR > LTI > SRA > RTB [lightning] (27 hits) 7.55: SR > LTI > SSR > RTB [lightning] [corners only] (26 hits) 5.96: SR > TB > SRA > RTB (26 hits) 7.71: SR > TE > GB > RTB [earth] [big targets only] (26 hits) 6.87: SR > TB > SSR > RTB [corners only] (25 hits) 6.52: SR > TE > FDF/TR > RTB [big targest only] (24 hits) 7.34: LTI > SR > FDF/TR > RTB [lightning] (23 hits) 6.54: TB > SR > FDF/TR > RTB (22 hits) Highest damage per hit, knockdown: 5.87: DF > HT > TTB (7 hits) (.839 per hit) 6.98: LTI > DDF > TTB [lightning] (10 hits) (.698 per hit) Highest damage per hit, no knockdown: 6.22: DF > HT > DCI (6 hits) (1.04 per hit) 7.33: LTI > DDF > DCI [lightning] (8 hits) (.917 per hit) 6.48: DF > HTB > DCH (8 hits) (.809 per hit) 7.88: LTH > LTI > DDF > DCI [lightning] (10 hits) (.788 per hit) #4c#) COLETTE #4ci#) ABBREVIATIONS RT (Ray Thrust); RS (Ray Satellite); TRS (Triple Ray Satellite) DRT (Dual Ray Thrust); TRT (Triple Ray Thrust); PH (Pow Hammer) PB (Para Ball); TPB (Torrential Para Ball); PPH (Pow Pow Hammer) HR (Hammer Rain); RW (Ring Whirlwind); WR (Whirlwind Rush); RC (Ring Cyclone) IT (Item Thief); IR (Item Rover); GC (Grand Chariot); SC (Stardust Cross) IH (Ice Hammer) #4cii#) GENERAL OVERVIEW Colette is extremely awkward to control -- she is slow to move and slow to attack. Most of her techs are quite bad, and if you leave her AI to control her, she will be ruthlessly ineffective. The AI, like many Colette players, has no idea how to use her. In the right hands, she is quite powerful, but she depends entirely on a select few techs. She needs to spend a lot of TP to be effective, but she naturally has lots of TP, so it's not a problem. Early on, Colette can be used to steal items, to make enemies drop items, and to do light-elemental damage to enemies. She has a few uses, but comboing is not among them. Once she gets TRS at level 36, she can wreak havoc on large enemies, and do respectable damage to smaller enemies too. She eventually specializes at fighting large enemies at medium or short range. Her neutral A attacks (pressing A without pressing any direction on the analog stick) are much faster than her other A attacks, so make sure to use neutral A attacks for combos. Often her combos are better without any Lv.1 tech at all, both because of the "Diminishing Tech" rule, and because both of her Lv.1 techs are awkward and slow. This is especially true since you will always be using PB for her Lv.2 tech. She only has two Lv.1 techs, and one is the direct predecessor of PB, so if you want to chain a tech into PB, it has to be RT, which is laughably weak. #4ciii#) S/T SELECTIONS Her best techs are on the S side, but her Stardust Rain Compound Unison attack complicates matters. RAY THRUST Her T-type RS techs are slow and awkward. Her S-type RS techs have less range, but do more hits and more damage, and TRS demolishes large opponents. POW HAMMER Her S-type PB is disproportionately strong, far better than her other Lv.2 techs. TPB is, curiously, less powerful than PB. On the T-type side, PPH is awkward and much weaker than PB. HR is better than TPB, and more powerful but much less reliable than PB. However, HR is half of Stardust Rain, a Compound Unison with Lloyd that can do over 60 hits. Since experience bonuses are determined by your highest combo in a battle, Stardust Rain will allow you to get much more experience from a given battle than you would otherwise be able to. It's hard to recommend either S or T type for this tech tree, and I recommend using the glitch listed in the appendix to snag both PB and HR. Otherwise, it's your call. Do you want high-damage combos or high-hit count combos? RING WHIRLWIND Her S-type WR combos nicely with RS or PB, whereas her T-type RC is slow and awkward (but has a large attack radius). #4civ#) BEST COMBOS Colette has the most uneven set of techs of any character in the game. She has 18 different techs, and only about five of them are worth anything at all. Para Ball is lethal, but lightning elemental. Most damaging combo 13.1 PB > HR [big targets only] [totally unreliable] (14 hits) 10.98 PB > TRS [very wide targets only] (19 hits) 9.45 PB > SC [big targets only] [totally unreliable] (18 hits) 7.66 PB > WR (10 hits) Most hits: 10.46 RT > PB > TRS [very wide targets only] (20 hits) 7.33 RT > PPH > SC [totally unreliable] (19 hits) 5.36 PH > RS > WR (12 hits) 5.36 RS > WR (11 hits) Strongest non-elemental combo: 6.07 RT > PPH > SC [really awkward] (19 hits) 5.36 RS > WR (11 hits) #4d#) KRATOS/ZELOS (henceforth "ZELOS") #4di#) ABBREVIATIONS DF (Demon Fang); FDF (Fierce Demon Fang); DDF (Double Demon Fang) ST (Sonic Thrust); SST (Super Sonic Thrust); HT (Hurricane Thrust) LS (Light Spear); LSC (Light Spear Cannon); VLS (Victory Light Spear) HP (Hell Pyre); LB (Lightning Blade); SLB (Super Lightning Blade) DS (Demon Spear); GB (Grave Blade) #4dii#) COMBO BASICS Zelos can be very powerful, and very simple. With the right Ex-Skill setup, only Presea can rival him for damage. He has the highest defense in the game, making him hard to kill even before his healing spells are accounted for. He has a few weaknesses. First, all his strongest techs have very focused areas of effect, so his strength is necessarily lessened in crowds. Second, his strongest attacks are all elemental, so he is considerably less powerful when enemies are resistant to those elements. Third, he needs an earth-elemental attack attribute to attain maximum power (usually this costs you an accessory slot). Finally, he has no combos with very high hit counts. Zelos doesn't really shine until he gets a few specific techs. Because many of his best techs have bothersome prerequisites, forcing you to use his (useless) novice attack magic over and over, they require conscious effort to attain. His excellent SLB is learned at the relatively late level 52, and requires 50 uses of both Wind Blade and Lightning. Once he has SLB and the Ruby accessory, though, he's a total killing machine. Just accept that he won't really shine until he gets the Ruby and SLB. Zelos can use, by default, 3 regular attacks in a row. With his "Slasher" Ex-Skill, he can do 6 in a row, but can't chain to techs once he's used the 4th hit. With his "Super Chain" Ex-Skill, he can still only use one Lv.1 tech, one Lv.2 tech, and one Lv.3 tech, but he can do them in any order. This can actually increase his damage substantially, because of the "Diminishing Tech" rule. Also, Zelos has a Compound Ex-Skill called "Super Blast" which allows his to do six hits (like Slasher) and then, after the sixth hit, still use all three techs, in any order (like Super Chain). Regardless of Ex-Skills, Zelos is pretty easy to use, since he has so few techs to choose from. The one big difference between Zelos and Kratos where combos are concerned is that Zelos swings his sword from side to side, whereas Kratos swings his sword up and down. Zelos is thus a little better in crowds, and Kratos against flying or awkwardly shaped single enemies. It's not a big difference. #4diii#) S/T SELECTIONS This is a very, very easy choice: S, S, S. DEMON FANG FDF is not that much better than DDF by itself, but if it's been used 200 times and Zelos has an earth elemental weapon, it becomes GB, which inflicts more hits, has a much larger range, can combo into any Lv.1 or Lv.3 tech he has, and is almost twice as strong as most of his other Lv.2 techs (although only about 30% stronger than LB). It is, in fact, Zelos' strongest tech overall. SONIC THRUST Neither SST or HT is good enough to ever be used in a combo, when the competing techs are GB and LB. SST has some utility outside of combos, however, while HT does not. LIGHT SPEAR The LS spear techs are useful for doing damage to a crowd, and LSC is Zelos' strongest non-elemental Lv.3 tech. VLS is less powerful even if all the hits connect, and the last hit of VLS often misses. It's also fairly redundant with DS, whereas LSC is unlike any other move in his arsenal. #4div#) BEST COMBOS Most damage: 8.27 GB > SLB > ST [earth] (9 hits) 7.54 SLB > LB > ST (5 hits) 6.19 FDF > LSC > ST [non-elemental] (9 hits) Most hits: 7.89 GB > LSC > ST (13 hits) 6.19 FDF > LSC > ST [non-elemental] (11 hits) Most damage without Super Chain: 6.63 DF > LB > SLB (5 hits) #4e#) SHEENA #4ei#) ABBREVIATIONS PS (Power Seal); PSA (Power Seal Absolute); PSP (Power Seal Pinion) MS (Mirage Seal); MSA (Mirage Seal Absolute); MSP (Mirage Seal Pinion) SS (Serpent Seal); SSA (Serpent Seal Absolute); SSP (Serpent Seal Pinion) LS (Life Seal); SPS (Spirit Seal); PYS (Pyre Seal); DS (Demon Seal) CC (Cyclone Seal) #4eii#) GENERAL OVERVIEW Sheena is very fast and maneuverable. She jumps high and backsteps far and quickly. Her low HP requires that she be played hit & run against versus a crowd of enemies. Her biggest weakness is her attack range, which is very short. She can't damage multiple enemies at once, except by fluke, and if she and another character are attacking an enemy from the same side ... well, it doesn't take much for the enemy to be knocked too far away for Sheena to hit it. Luckily, Sheena can easily jump to the far side of an enemy. Sheena is very straightforward, except for her Ex-Skills. Normally she can do three regular attacks in a combo. With the Ex-Skill "Add Combo" she can do four attacks instead. With her "Hard Hit" Compound Ex-Skill, the enemy staggers longer between her attacks. There is one thing to watch out for when playing Sheena, and that is her very weak Lv.1 techs, when chained into a Lv.2 Pinion tech and then the Lv.3 Cyclone Seal, will cause the combo to do less damage then if the Lv.1 tech wasn't used at all. #4eiii#) S/T SELECTIONS Sheena only has three S/T branches, and only one of the three decisions is actually important. POWER SEAL PSA is a guaranteed drop in defense, and PSP is more damage. If you are going to be doing damage, your Lv.2 tech of choice will be SSP, not PSP, so you might as well choose PSA for reliability. MIRAGE SEAL As with the PS techs, MSA is a guaranteed drop in accuracy, and MSP does more damage, but you would never use it when you have SSP, so choose MSA. SERPENT SEAL SSP is the most damaging Lv.2 tech, and it has the quickest recovery time, allowing Sheena to start a new combo before the enemy recovers from the last hit of SSP in some situations. SSP is crucial for Sheena's famous "semi-infinite" combo (see the appendices). #4eiv#) BEST COMBOS 5.27: SSP > CS [only works against small enemies] (4 hits) 4.6: PS > SSP > DS 4.25 PS > SSP > PYS #4f#) PRESEA #4fi#) ABBREVIATIONS DES (Destruction); FDES (Fiery Destruction); DDES (Deadly Destruction) IDES (Infinite Destruction); PUN (Punishment); FPUN (Finality Punishment) DPUN (Dual Punishment); RPUN (Rising Punishment); INF (Infliction) RINF (Resolute Infliction); DINF (Dual Infliction); EINF (Endless Infliction) DEV (Devastation); MDEV (Mass Devastation); FDEV (Finite Devastation) EDEV (Eternal Devastation); FINF (Fiery Infliction); EDAM (Eternal Damnation) BE (Beast) #4fii#) GENERAL OVERVIEW Presea can only do two regular attacks in a combo and, unlike Regal, has no "Add Combo" Ex-Skill to boost it to three. One of her regular attacks -- the one she performs when you hold down while pressing A -- has a quicker recovery time than her others, and can combo into techs that her other A attacks cannot. Presea is quite strong, but her techs do not combo easily. In fact, she only has one reliable three tech combo in the game. Her DES techs inflict lots of hits and very good damage, and her later DEV techs have excellent crowd control. She is the best crowd-fighter of all the melee characters, especially with her "Glory" compound ex-skill that makes her immune to stagger. Her downsides are few, and she is in fact so easy to control and excel with that I don't use her only for the ease and monotony of controlling her. #4fiii#) S/T SELECTIONS Presea's tech chart makes this quite obvious - DES, PUN, and INF all have Lv.3 techs only on the T side, and DEV has a Lv.3 tech only on the S side. If you are only willing to choose S or T for her entire skillset, choose T. DEV is definitely better on the S side, though. Even if you are willing to use the glitch, the only change in my recommendations would be ditching DINF in favor of RINF. Regardless, the only techs of Presea's I ever use are DES, IDES, PUN, DPUN, RPUN, EINF, EDEV, EDAM, and BE. Of these, only EDEV is S-type. DESTRUCTION IDES is invaluable, but neither of the Lv.2 DES techs are particularly good. If you glitch, feel free to choose FDES, but it's not really better than DDES. PUNISHMENT DPUN is one of her most important techs, because it's the Lv.2 tech in her most powerful reliable combo. RPUN is also useful. Her S-type PUN tech isn't very good. Just choose T-type. INFLICTION EINF is very useful in combos because it links well from other techs. RINF (the S-type Lv.2) is decent, but DINF (the T-type Lv.2) is terrible. If you're using the glitch, take RINF and EINF. If not, straight T type. Regardless, EINF is the only INF tech worth using. DEVASTATION MDEV is the key tech here, and it's the S-type Lv.2. Both MDEV and FDEV can be used in good combos, but MDEV is both stronger and more versatile. Pure S-type is best for the DEV techs, even if you are willing to use the glitch. #4fiv#) BEST COMBOS Most damaging: 8.93: DES > MDEV > IDES [heavy targets only] (26 hits) 8.92: DES > MDEV > EINF [heavy targets only] (16 hits) 8.41: DES > FDEV > EINF [heavy targets only] (13 hits) 8.00: DES > DPUN > EINF (13 hits) Most hits: 8.93: DES > MDEV > IDES [heavy targets only] (26 hits) 6.48: DES > IDES (21 hits) Strongest, non-elemental: 5.95: PUN > EINF (6 hits) Most hits, non-elemental: 5.95: PUN > EINF (6 hits) #4g#) REGAL #4gi#) ABBREVIATIONS CM (Crescent Moon); CDM (Crescent Dark Moon); SK (Swallow Kick) SD (Swallow Dance); DD (Dragon Dance); SSD (Super Swallow Dance) RD (Rising Dragon); DF (Dragon Fury); DR (Dragon Rage); ED (Eagle Dive) EF (Eagle Fall); ER (Eagle Rage); TRK (Triple Rage Kick); SPK (Spin Kick) TK (Triple Kick); WOL (Wolverine) (note that SK is Swallow Kick and SPK is Spin Kick. Well, Spin Kick's crap, and I never use it.) #4gii#) GENERAL OVERVIEW Regal's techs, like Lloyd's, eat up a lot of TP. He has high HP, but his low defense means you have to play him carefully. He is a strong fighter against single targets, but is pretty much inept in a crowd. Without the bothersome "Glory" Compound Ex-Skill, he will be knocked around while performing most techs. About the only thing Regal can easily do in a crowd is escape from it. Even against single targets, Regal isn't as strong as Presea, Zelos/Kratos, or Lloyd. He is fun to play as, though. The only general combo rules that apply to Regal are "General Combo Structure" and "Diminishing Techs". Instead of having Lv.1, Lv.2, and Lv.3 techs, Regal has "Ground", "Mid-Air", and "Anti-Air" techs. He can only do one of each type in a combo, so he can still only do up to three techs in a combo, despite his radically different combo system. Ground techs can only be linked to Anti-Air techs. Anti-Air techs can only be linked to Mid-Air techs. Mid-Air techs can be linked to both Anti-Air and Ground techs ... but if you link Mid-Air to Anti-Air, then that's the end of your combo since you can't link the Anti-Air into a second Mid-Air. Regal's combos follow three basic shapes: Ground > Anti-Air > Mid-Air Anti-Air > Mid-Air > Ground Mid-Air > Ground > Anti-Air Note that for the Mid-Air > Ground > Anti-Air ones, Regal's last regular attack much be a jump kick (because he has to be in the air to initiate a Mid-Air tech). #4giii#) S/T SELECTIONS Two easy decisions, and a third that doesn't matter very much. Simple stuff. SWALLOW KICK DD is significantly stronger than SD, but it's a terrible tech for combos, and not strong enough to justify using as the end of a combo (CDM, SSD, and DR all serve as superior Anti-Air techs for damage). SD is weaker, but chains excellently into any Mid-Air tech. It is the strongest Anti-Air tech Regal can chain with in some cases (that is, versus light enemies who aren't cornered). As a further bonus, SD is the base tech for Regal's only "secret tech", SSD. SSD is stronger than any other Anti-Air tech, except for CDM. In fact, CDM kind of reduces SSD to a mere novelty. SSD is a bit weaker than CDM, but it is cheap for its power level, at least. SD is the most useful tech in the SK family, followed by SSD. RISING DRAGON DF is a little easier to chain to, but impossible to chain from. DR, by contrast, can chain easily into any of Regal's Mid-Air techs ... as long as the enemy isn't so light that DR sends the enemy flying off the screen. It does happen. Against heavier enemies, DR is a key combo ingredient. EAGLE DIVE ER does more hits and more damage, but EF hits a wider range. Although I have a feeling that it's easier to chain from EF than from ER, there are no cases in which ER has failed for me where EF has succeeded. I usually choose ER for the extra power, but this is not an important decision. EF and ER are both great, and they both work. The combos listed below use ER instead of EF, but rest assured that EF works in all cases, and just accept that EF does a smidge less damage (and two less hits). #4giv#) BEST COMBOS 7.26: DR > ER > WOL [only if enemy is fairly heavy] (11 hits) 6.92: TK > DR > TRK [only if enemy is cornered and fairly heavy] (9 hits) 6.81: ER > TK > SSD [only if enemy is cornered] (11 hits) 6.56: SD > ER > WOL (12 hits) 6.46: ER > TK > DR [only if enemy is cornered] (9 hits) Special Note: The following combos will work if Sheena's Force Seal is in effect. 8.06: CDM > ER > WOL (13 hits) 7.76: SSD > ER > WOL [only if enemy is cornered] (13 hits) 7.60: TK > CDM > TRK (11 hits) 7.02: ER > TK > CDM (11 hits) #4h#) Genis & Raine They have no combos, but ... on the off chance that any grizzled Genis veterans are reading this sentence, what the heck does his "Nimble Mage" compound ex-skill do? ***************************** ***************************** #5#) APPENDICES #5a#) APPENDIX 1: "THE GLITCH" I originally saw this great trick posted on GameFAQs by (if I get the name right) YamiExodia, who himself admitted he had gotten it from the tales.namco.com forums. I don't know who discovered the glitch originally. Here's what it is and how it works. The glitch exploits how a character learns their techs. For example, take Lloyd's Tiger Blade techs. Lloyd can learn a Lv.2 Tiger Blade tech once he reaches Level 27 and has used Tiger Blade 50 or more times. If Lloyd is on the S side of the T/S meter, he can learn Heavy Tiger Blade. If he is on the T side, he can learn Tiger Rage. If these requirements are met, then there is a random chance to learn the Lv.2 tech every time Tiger Blade is used. Furthermore, if Lloyd has reached Level 54 and has used Heavy Tiger Blade 50 or more times, he can learn the Lv.3 tech Twin Tiger Blade, as long as he is on the S side of the meter. Like before, he has a random chance to learn it every time Heavy Tiger Blade is used. What the glitch does is allow you to keep Heavy Tiger Blade mapped to a shortcut, and then "forget" Heavy Tiger Blade while you are still able to use it via the shortcut. Then, by using the shortcut, you can just learn Twin Tiger Blade in battle even though Lloyd doesn't know Heavy Tiger Blade. Once you have learned Twin Tiger Blade this way, you can move the S/T meter to the T side and learn Tiger Rage. In this way, you can have mismatched Lv.2/Lv.3 pairs like Tiger Rage/Twin Tiger Blade. Every character except Sheena, Kratos/Zelos, and Regal can take advantage of this glitch, to varying results. As an added bonus, although the game prevents any Lv.1 > Lv.2 or Lv.2 > Lv.3 chain along the same tech tree (like Tiger Blade > Tiger Rage or Heavy Tiger Blade > Twin Tiger Blade), the programmers apparently overlooked the consequences of this glitch, and you can chain Tiger Rage > Twin Tiger Blade. Similarly, Lloyd can chain Double Demon Fang > Demonic Circle, Sonic Sword Rain > Sword Rain: Beta, and Fierce Demon Fang > Demonic Chaos. Colette also makes good use of this trick. Anyhow, a step-by-step guide to "The Glitch". In this example case, we will be getting Colette Para Ball, Torrential Para Ball, and Hammer Rain. 1. Have Colette learn Pow Pow Hammer, and use it 50 times. 2. Reach Level 44, and be on the T side of the S/T meter. In other words, be eligible to learn Hammer Rain. 3. With anyone BUT Colette as your playable character, set Colette's Pow Pow Hammer tech to one of your playable character's C-stick shortcuts. In this case, let's say Lloyd is our playable character, so we're setting one of Lloyd's C-stick shortcuts to trigger Colette's Pow Pow Hammer. 4. On the menu screen, switch Lloyd out of the first position, and into the INACTIVE PARTY. That is, take Lloyd out of the group of characters you'd be fighting a battle with. 5. DO NOT GO INTO LLOYD'S TECH MENU AGAIN. 6. Go into Colette's tech menu and forget Pow Pow Hammer. While you're in the menu, make sure to disable Pow Hammer. 7. Switch Lloyd back into the first position. 8. DO NOT GO INTO LLOYD'S TECH MENU. 9. Get into a battle. 10. Make sure Colette doesn't use Pow Hammer, or she may relearn Pow Pow Hammer, forcing you to start over. 10. Use the C-stick to have Colette use Pow Pow Hammer, even though she's forgotten the tech. With any luck, she'll learn Hammer Rain. Keep trying until she gets it. 11. Leave the battle, whether by beating it or running away. I'm impatient, so I run. 12. Congratulations! You now have Hammer Rain but not Pow Pow Hammer. 13. Make Colette a T-type. Switch her over to the T side of the S/T meter. 14. Once she's on the T-side, it's okay for her to use Pow Hammer. 15. Learn Para Ball normally. 16. Learn Torrential Para Ball normally. 17. Now you have Hammer Rain, Para Ball, and Torrential Para Ball! 18. Repeat for all the other techs you want. As an extra tip -- this was posted on the tales.namco.com forums by pyromance -- you can speed up a character's movement along the S/T meter with the elemental gems. The Aquamarine, Opal, Sapphire, and Topaz will make your character trend towards the T side. The Amethyst, Garnet, Ruby, and Sardonyx will makes your character trend towards the S side. The effect is not as strong as the Strike Ring and Technical Ting, but the effects are cumulative, so you can equip the Technical Ring and the Opal to move to the T side even faster. #5b#) APPENDIX 2: "SEMI-INFINITE COMBOS" When a character performs all of their regular attacks -- after Colette uses two regular attacks, for instance -- there is a short time they are unable to attack again for. This is the "recovery time" and it prevents you from just mashing A constantly to kill enemies. There is one way to cut recovery time short, though, and that is by casting a spell (defined as a special move with a casting time). All characters but Lloyd and Presea have at least one spell. Once a character begins to charge up their spell, you can cancel the spell by hitting the block button, at which point your character suffers no recovery time for either their regular attacks or the aborted spell. At this point, you can just attack again as though you had already waited out your entire recovery time. In short: set a spell (a special move with a casting time) to the neutral B shortcut. Press A, A, B, X, A, A, B, X, over and over. If your timing is right, what will happen is that your character will attack twice, then cheat the system by instantly starting and aborting a spell, and immediately start attacking again. For Colette, who has two regular attacks, you would hit A twice. For Sheena, who has three regular attacks, you would hit A three times (four times if she had "Add Combo"), and so on and so forth. These "combos" can go on for a long time. I'm not sure what stops them. Well, I'm not very good at them, so it's not for me to investigate. There's another "semi-infinite" combo, this one possessed by Sheena only. Sheena has a Compound Ex-Skill called "Hard Hit", which increases the time an enemy staggers after her attacks. She also has a non-damaging Lv.3 tech called Force Seal, which also increases the time an enemy staggers. Also, Sheena's Lv.2 tech Serpent Seal Pinion has a very fast recovery time. How do all these pieces fit together. Simple. Just use Force Seal on an enemy, and then repeat this loop: Attack, attack, attack, Serpent Seal Pinion, attack, attack, attack, Serpent Seal Pinion ... for as long as the game will let you. Neither of these tricks were discovered by me. I have no idea where they came from originally. #5c#) APPENDIX 3: ALL POSSIBLE COMBOS Generally these are arranged by Lv.2 techs, which I think of as hubs for the other moves to connect to. #5ci#) LLOYD To accommodate combos with and without Lloyd's "Ability" Plus Ex-Skill, Lloyd's listed combos are regular three tech chains (Lv.1, Lv.2, Lv.3), and the pairs of chainable Lv.1 techs are listed separately. His Lv.1 > Lv.2 > Lv.3 combo chains are organized here by the Lv.2 tech, which I think of as a hub for the other techs to connect to. Any tech in parentheses will work in the combo. When the parentheses are preceded by an asterisk, the techs inside will only be valid if the enemy is cornered. Lv.1 tech pairs DF > TB DF > ST DF > SR DF > TE [awkard] DF > LTI DF > LTH TB > SR TB > TE ST > TB [in corners] ST > SR [in corners] ST > TE ST > LTI [requires equipment switch mid-combo] SR > DF [in corners] SR > TB SR > ST [in corners] SR > TE TE > DF [awkward] TE > TB [awkward] TE > ST [awkward] TE > SR [awkward] TE > LTI [awkward] TE > LTH [awkward] LTI > SR LTI > TE LTH > DF LTH > TB [requires equipment switch mid-combo] LTH > SR LTH > TE LTH > LTI Fierce Demon Fang combos (SR, TE) > FDF > (TTB, BSR, SRB, RTB) Grave Blade combos (TE) > GB > (BSR, TTB, SRB, DCH, RTB, HB, RB) *(DTB, DT) Double Demon Fang combos (LTI, TE, ST, LTH) > DDF > (DCI, TEB, TT, TTB, BSR, SRB, RTB, HT, DTB, DT, RB) Super Sonic Thrust combos (DF) > SST > - Hurricane Thrust combos (DF, TE) > HT > (DCI, TEB, TT, TTB, BSR, SRB, DCH, RTB, DTB, DT, RB) Heavy Tiger Blade combos (DF, SR, TE, LTH) > HTB > (DCH) Tiger Rage combos (DF, ST, SR, TE, LTH) > TR > (TTB, BSR, SRB, RTB, HB, RB) Sonic Sword Rain combos (DF, TE, TB, LTI, LTH, ST) > SSR > *(DCI, TEB, TT, TTB, BSR, DCH, RTB, HB, DTB, DT, RB) Sword Rain: Alpha combos (DF, TE, TB, LTI, LTH, ST) > SRA > (DCI, TEB, TT, TTB, BSR, DCH, RTB, HB, DTB, DT, RP, RF, RB) Omega Tempest combos (DF, TB, ST, SR, LTH, LTI) > OT > (RP, RF) Psi Tempest combos (DF, TB, ST, SR, LTH, LTI) > PT > (RP, RF) Beast combos (DF, SR, TE) *(ST) > BE > *(DCH) * works only in corners #5cii#) COLETTE Not much to choose from here, obviously... Ray Satellite combos - > RS > (TST, TPB, WR) Dual Ray Thrust combos - > DRT > - Para Ball combos (RT) > PB > (TRS, TRT, WR) Pow Pow Hammer combos - > PPH > *(TRT, TPB, RC, GC, IR, SC) Ring Whirlwind combos - > RW > - Item Thief combos - > IT > - * These PPH combos are really awkward, but they work as long as one of those awkward hits connects. #5ciii#) ZELOS/KRATOS Notation for Zelos is tricky since his Lv.1, Lv.2, and Lv.3 tech can be chained in any order. I realize that this isn't the most immediately helpful way ot display this data, but it is certainly the easiest wway to write it. DF > (HT, LS, LB, LSC, VLS, HP, SLB, DS) ST > (LB, SLB) *(FDF, DDF, LS, LSC, VLS, HP, DS) FDF > (ST, SLB) *(LSC, VLS, HP, DS) DDF > (HP) GB > (ST, SLB) *(LSC, VLS, HP, DS) SST > - HT > (DF, LSC, VLS, HP, SLB, DS) LS > (DF, ST, HP, SLB, DS) LB > (ST, SLB) *(LSC, VLS, HP, DS) LSC > - VLS > - HP > - SLB > (DF, ST, FDF, DDF, SST, HT, LS, LB) DS > - * Works only in corners. #5civ#) SHEENA I'm not even going to type this out like the others. Any Lv.1 tech chains to any Lv.2 or Lv.3 tech, and any Lv.2 tech chains to any Lv.3 tech. #5cv#) PRESEA Because Presea has so few three tech combos, hers are simply sorted by first tech. Because almost all of her combos use earth-elemental techs, the few combos which don't use the earth element are noted a such. DES > IDES DES > FPUN DES > DPUN > EINF DES > RPUN DES > RINF DES > DINF DES > EINF *DES > MDEV > IDES *DES > MDEV > EINF *DES > FDEV > EINF DES > FINF PUN > RINF [non-elemental] PUN > EINF [non-elemental] FDES > EINF DDES > EINF * only vs. very large enemies #5cvi#) REGAL Regal's combos are tricky, even to format concisely. I have grouped them based on the order of the types of techs in the combo. Because Regal has such freedom in his moveset, and because I don't want to spend my whole life typing, I've condensed his combos. In the combo notations that follow, the middle tech -- the one not inside parentheses -- should be read as the core of the combo, and any of the techs on the left should chain into it, and it should also chain into any of the techs on the right. Further, a set of parentheses with an asterisk in front of it means that you can only chain to/from those techs when the enemy is backed into a corner. For example, in the case of this line: (ED, ER, EF) > TK > (CM) *(SK, SD, SSD, DD, DR, DF) It should be interpreted as follows: Eagle Dive, Eagle Fall, and Eagle Rage can all chain into Triple Kick. Triple Kick can chain into Crescent Moon. If the enemy is in a corner, Triple Kick can also chain into Swallow Kick, Swallow Dance, Super Swallow Dance, Dragon Dance, Dragon Rage, and Dragon Fury. Mid-Air > Ground > Anti-Air combos (ED, ER, EF) > SPK > *(CM, SK, SD, SSD, DD) (ED, ER, EF) > TK > (CM) *(SK, SD, SSD, DD, DR, DF) (ED, ER, EF) > WOL > - (ER, EF) > HC > - Ground > Anti-Air > Mid-Air combos (TK) *(SPK) > CM > (ED, EF, ER, TRK) *(SPK, TK) > SK > (TRK) *(ED, EF, ER) *(SPK, TK) > SD > (ED, EF, ER, TRK) *(SPK, TK) > DD > - *(SPK, TK) > SSD > - *(TK) > DF > - *(TK) > DR > (ED, EF, ER, TRK) Anti-Air > Mid-Air > Ground combos (CM, SD, RD, DR) *(SK) > ED > (SPK, TK, WOL) (CM, SD, RD, DR) *(SK) > EF > (SPK, TK, WOL) (CM, SD, RD, DR) *(SK) > ER > (SPK, TK, WOL) (CM, SK, SD, RD, DR) > TRK > - Mid-Air > Anti-Air combos ED > (CM, CDM, SK, SD, DD, SSD, RD, DF, DR) EF > (CM, CDM, SK, SD, DD, SSD, RD, DF, DR) ER > (CM, CDM, SK, SD, DD, SSD, RD, DF, DR) TRK > (CM) *(SK, SD, DD, SSD) * only if the enemy is cornered #5d#) APPENDIX 4: DAMAGE MULTIPLIERS FOR ALL TECHS #5di#) LLOYD My numbers differ from Chuc's a little here and there. The only really major difference is Demonic Tiger Blade, which is according to my numbers much weaker than the numbers in Chuc's guide suggest. Lv.1 1.2 Demon Fang 1.4 Sonic Thrust 1.5 Sword Rain 1.6 Tiger Blade 1.6 Tempest 1.9 Lightning Thrust 2.4 Lightning Tiger Lv.2 1.6 Sword Rain: Alpha (if cancelled) 2.1 Double Demon Fang 2.2 Hurricane Thrust 2.2 Sword Rain: Alpha 2.4 Fierce Demon Fang 2.4 Tiger Rage 2.4 Psi Tempest 2.4 Super Sonic Thrust 2.5 Omega Tempest 2.5 Heavy Tiger Blade 2.6 Beast 2.9 Sonic Sword Rain 4.1 Grave Blade Lv.3 3.3 Raging Beast 3.3 Rising Falcon 3.3 Rising Phoenix 3.3 Demonic Thrust 3.5 Demonic Tiger Blade 3.6 Raining Tiger Blade 3.6 Hunting Beast 3.9 Demonic Chaos 3.9 Sword Rain: Beta 4.0 Twin Tiger Blade 4.0 Beast Sword Rain 4.0 Tempest Thrust 4.0 Tempest Beast 4.5 Demonic Circle #5dii#) COLETTE Triple Ray Satellite only does advertised damage against big enemies. Stardust Cross and Hammer Rain are totally unreliable. The damage listed is the damage done if every single star or hammer hits. This is really unlikely. My numbers are generally pretty close to Chuc's. Lv.1 1.3 Ray Thrust 1.6 Pow hammer 1.9 Ice Hammer Lv.2 2.0 Item Thief 2.0 Dual Ray Thrust 2.1 Ring Whirlwind 2.3 Ray Satellite 2.4 Pow Pow Hammer 4.6 Para Ball Lv.3 2.8 Ring Cyclone 3.0 Item Rover 3.2 Grand Chariot 3.4 Triple Ray Thrust 3.4 Torrential Para Ball 3.5 Whirlwind Rush 5.7 Stardust Cross 7.5 Triple Ray Satellite 10.0 Hammer Rain #5diii#) KRATOS/ZELOS All of my numbers for Kratos/Zelos matched Chuc's. Lv.1 1.2 Demon Fang 1.4 Sonic Thrust Lv.2 2.1 Double Demon Fang 2.2 Hurricane Thrust 2.2 Light Spear 2.4 Fierce Demon Fang 3.3 Lightning Blade 4.1 Grave Blade Lv.3 3.0 Demon Spear 3.2 Victory Light Spear 3.3 Light Spear Cannon 3.5 Hell Pyre 3.75 S. Lightning Blade #5div#) SHEENA All of my numbers for Sheena matched Chuc's. Lv.1 0.8 Power Seal 0.8 Mirage Seal 0.8 Serpent Seal Lv.2 1.2 Power Seal Absolute 1.2 Mirage Seal Absolute 1.2 Serpent Seal Absolute 1.4 Life Seal 1.4 Spirit Seal 2.0 Power Seal Pinion 2.0 Mirage Seal Pinion 2.0 Serpent Seal Pinion Lv.3 2.5 Pyre Seal 3.0 Demon Seal 3.85 Cyclone Seal #5dv#) PRESEA My numbers disagreed substantially with Chuc's in the cases of Endless Infliction, Rising Punishment, and Deadly Destruction. Lv.1 1.5 Infliction 1.75 Punishment 2.0 Devastation 3.0 Destruction Lv.2 2.5 Dual Punishment 2.75 Dual Infliction 2.75 Resolute Infliction 3.0 Finite Devastation 3.2 Fiery Destruction 3.5 Finality Punishment 3.6 Mass Devastation 4.3 Deadly Destruction Lv.3 4.0 Endless Infliction 4.0 Eternal Devastation 4.1 Infinite Destruction 4.2 Fiery Infliction 4.6 Rising Punishment 4.85 Eternal Damnation 5.0 Beast #5dvi#) REGAL Regal has four techs which have an extra hit which seems to almost never connect. These four techs are listed with two damage multipliers below (it's Triple Kick and the three techs with Triple Kick as a component). Those aside, my numbers disagree with Chuc's only in the case of Dragon Dance, where they differ substantially. Ground 1.3 Spin Kick 2.0 Heaven's Charge 2.4/3.2 Triple Kick 3.5/4.1 Wolverine Anti-Air 1.5 Swallow Kick 1.5 Rising Dragon 1.6 Crescent Moon 1.9 Swallow Dance 2.4 Dragon Fury 2.6 Dragon Rage 2.6 Dragon Dance 3.1 Super Swallow Dance 3.4/4.0 Crescent Dark Moon Mid-Air 1.5 Eagle Dive 2.4 Eagle Fall 2.6 Eagle Rage 3.3/3.9 Triple Rage Kick ***************************** ***************************** #6#) THANKS & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks to the GameFAQs and tales.namco.com message boards for being generally informative. Also, thanks to GameFAQs for hosting this FAQ. Thanks in particular to StudyPunkRockism, for making me question my initial, cursory check of Chuc's numbers. Also, thanks for making me see the value of Super Sonic Thrust and a few other techs. Mostly, thanks for asking obvious questions that somehow slipped my mind. You were more help than you may realize. Thanks also to jamescom1 for inadvertently teaching me that Tiger Rage can chain into Twin Tiger Blade (and that glitched up Lv.2 > Lv.3 pairs chain at all) with a video on his website. Thanks of course to Chuc for slogging through all the techs on his own to figure out how many hits and how much damage they do. Thanks to YamiExodia for posting "The Glitch" on GameFAQs, where I could find it. That's all I can think of. If I'm forgetting somebody, well, I have a very bad memory for this sort of thing, so don't feel bad about reminding me about what a great person you are.