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Skill/Talent FAQ by ABrea

Version: 2.7 | Updated: 01/20/01

                  STAR OCEAN: THE SECOND STORY
                     BATTLE SKILL/TALENT FAQ
                          Version 2.7
                      Written By: Aya Brea
                     i_love_aya@hotmail.com

This is very similar to my SaGa Frontier Skill FAQ. Yes there are 
awfully many FAQs written for this game but I felt that none of them 
explain all the battle skills in detail (until recently) and 
especially Talents so here it is. (This is still incomplete though.)

(Note: Again, no walkthroughs nor lists.)

CONTENTS (More sections might be included later)
  - Revision
  - Credits
  - About me
  - Introduction
  - Star Ocean: The Second Story
  - Starting the game
  - Status
  - Combat
  - Battle strategy
  - Formations
  - Elemental effects
  - Affection
  - Killer Moves
         - Link Combo
  - Magic/Heraldry arts
         - Spell absorb
         - Spell cancel
         - Spell reflect    *NEW*
  - Characters
         - Claude Kenni     *MOSTLY COMPLETE*
         - Rena Lanford     *COMPLETE*
         - Celine Jules     *PARTIALLY COMPLETE*
         - Ashton Anchors   *PARTIALLY COMPLETE*
         - Precis Neumann   *PARTIALLY COMPLETE*
         - Opera Vectra     *COMPLETE*
         - Ernest Raviede   *MOSTLY COMPLETE*
         - Bowman Jean      *COMPLETE*
         - Leon Geeste      *COMPLETE*
         - Dias Flac        *UNDER CONSTRUCTION*
         - Noel Chandler    *COMPLETE*
         - Chisato Madison  *COMPLETE*
  - Tips
  - Talents
         - Acquiring new talents
         - Preparation
         - Putting it in action
         - Those impossible talents
         - Talent traits
  - The ugly side of the game!
         - #1 The bugs
         - #2 Item Creation
         - #3 The AI

REVISION
========
V1.0 – 02/Aug/99
  - Started writing this FAQ.

V1.2 – 25/Aug/99
  - Quit the damn Galaxy mode since it's no fun. Done all of the 
    basic parts and written part of Claude, Rena, Ashton, Celine and 
    Precis' section. 

V2.0 – 06/Sep/99
  - Done all character's overviews except for Noel's. Some spell and 
    KM descriptions are in. 
  - Added the "Talent" section
  - Added "The Ugly Side of the Game" section
  - Added the "Cancel Ability" and "Link Combo Ideas" for most 
    characters

V2.5 – 18/Feb/00
  - Do an update just to show you that I'm not dead and neither have 
    I abandoned this project. It's just coming along slowly. There 
    should be one more update before my copy of Vandal Hearts 2 and 
    SaGa Frontier 2 arrives.
  - Filled in more KMs for Claude, Ashton, Opera and Precis, some 
    spells from Rena and Celine too.
  - Fixed a LOT of typos
  - Derived the equation for the healing spells
  - Listed many MANY more bugs!
  - New tips section
  - Noel's overview
  - Some character's initial stats

V2.6 – 12/Jan/01
  - Hey guys, didja miss me? Been almost a year since my last update 
    so here's another one. Filled in more KMs for Precis, Opera and 
    Bowman, more spells for Leon and Rena as well. They're not 
    completed yet as I have yet to raise their Proficiency, but 
    they'll be in shortly.
  - Fixed a LOT of typos and changed some format to make it more 
    readable
  - Updated Sixth Sense talent acquisition
  - 2 bug fixers are in
  - Bits here and there, and there, and oh, and ah missed a spot. 
    Basically a bit of everything.
  - An extra tip. More comin' up, when I remember them.

V2.7 – 20/Jan/01
  - Completed Rena, Bowman, Leon, Opera, Chisato, Noel's sections. 
    Almost completed Ernest and Claude's sections. Don't expect the 
    next update in quite a while though, because I need a rest away 
    from the game.
  - More bugs
  - More on Spell Absorption and Reflection
  - Bits here and there etc.
  - Added a set of AI priorities for Rena's actions


CREDITS
=======
* Enix and Tri-Ace for making this extraordinary game!
* Links for the wonderful FMVs.
* SCEA for porting it over.
* Ian Kelley for his fantastic FAQ on the Japanese version of the 
  game. BTW, his translations are, more often than not, better than 
  the official translation. I'll take his script over the official 
  one any day!
* Ex-Death for helping me to get Precis' Mechinery Killer Moves, as 
  well as his fabulous guides.
* Shewin Tam for his most excellent guides, especially the "In-Depth 
  Tips & Tricks" FAQ.
* GameFaqs for being the best gaming site on the web. It's the only 
  other site I check everyday.
* Happy Matt for telling me about this game aeons before most people 
  even knows about this game. Also thanks for helping me in various 
  places in the game, giving me helpful tips and being a great 
  friend! :-) (Have fun with your new games, hehe..)
* FeralNoa <FeralNoa@aol.com> who has shared MANY strategies, tips, 
  bugs and other weird stuff with me, not just for this game but for 
  many other games as well. Thanks!
* <Akfeka@aol.com> for info on learning Sixth Sense
* <HuperZoe@aol.com> for info on Sixth Sense


ABOUT ME
========
Like I said in my SF FAQ, I am a guy so don't call me "girlfriend" or 
something like that OK? Aya is awesome!

Anyway, I live in New Zealand. I'm 17 now and am currently doing a 
Commerce degree in university, and yes I am 2 years ahead of my time 
but don't take me for a geek though. I'm only doin' this so I can 
graduate sooner and get it over with. (I HATE school/university!)

I love RPGs but I have a very high standard in them, and Star Ocean 2 
was one of the few RPGs that really impressed me and got me hooked on 
for god knows how long! (Geez, even Lunar failed my expectations.) 

My ICQ # is 15185682 and you're welcome to have a chat with me 
sometime, I'm usually free when I'm online.


INTRODUCTION
============
Welcome to my in-depth Star Ocean: The Second Story Battle Skills 
FAQ. In this guide I will evaluate every single Killer Move and spell 
in the game in detail, how they change and where it's best used for. 
Also in the guide are the Skills you can learn in this game and hear 
my advice on them. Of course, no guides will be complete without 
discussing the abilities of the playable characters. And finally my 
tips, tricks, tactics and notes on various aspects of this game such 
as Item Creation, talents, glitches and lotsa miscellaneous stuff. 
Enjoy! (Well, that was then. I don't know if I'd include sections on 
skills and Item Creations but we'll have to wait and see.)

Yes it's rather incomplete at the moment since I'm not too fond of 
that game right now, but I really want to complete this guide just 
for the sake of it. 

Note, it is assumed that you know the basic controls of this game, 
and I won't explain the menus like I did in my SaGa Frontier FAQ 
since they're self-explainable. 


STAR OCEAN: THE SECOND STORY
============================
It seems that a lot of people didn't even know that this game is 
actually the second Star Ocean game, hence "The Second Story". (I'd 
refer to it as SO2 in my FAQ.) Released sometime late last year in 
Japan and was ported over to the US shore by the brilliant SCEA. 
Although the translation could use a little more work, it isn't 
nearly as bad as Final Fantasy Tactics, at least they got everyone's 
names right and no more of those stupid "bracelets". 

The game features a mixed setting, clichèd but somewhat interesting 
characters, a poor story and an awfully addicting battle system. 
Unlike most other RPGs, SO2 has its own fairly unique features, such 
as Private Actions, the "affection" system, the skill system, gaining 
Proficiency, Link Combos, the extremely innovative but poorly 
implemented Item Creation system and the 80+ bits of endings to keep 
you strolling back for more. Of course, nothing is perfect and this 
game is miles away, see what I mean under "The Ugly Side of the Game" 
section. ;)


STARTING THE GAME
=================
Upon starting a new game, you'll be prompt with a number of options, 
such as sound output, battle mode, vibration and then you get too 
choose from one of two possible characters to play through the game 
with: either Claude Kenni or Rena Lanford. 

If you're starting your third game and you have heard enough voice 
samples (ie, getting the empty spaces in your voice collection 
filled) then you may choose your difficulty setting. There are 3 
settings: Earth, Galaxy and Universe. Earth is standard, Galaxy is 
hard where the enemies have more HP, attack power and are slightly 
smarter, Universe is for the extreme experts where the enemies gets a 
boost on ALL their stats and are REALLY smart. I'm currently playing 
the Galaxy mode and I must admit that it's VERY hard already, since 
your ally AI is so crappy, you basically have to take control of 3 
out of 4 characters in able to win! Universe is possibly impossible!

My comments: If this is your first game, I highly recommend that you 
choose Claude over Rena, even though parts of his game are slightly 
more difficult. When I played through Rena's quest on my second game, 
I thought her story was terrible, it was basically a watered down 
version of Claude's. She had less cut scenes to view, less story 
advancement and some cut scenes were irrelevant to her story. If you 
play her quest first, chances are you'll have no clue of what's going 
on. Yes this is a double scenario game (meaning the story remains 
mostly unchanged but are viewed through the eyes of 2 different 
characters, like that of RE2), but the attempt is only average. 

My comments #2: Remember that I do NOT recommend the harder Galaxy 
and Universe modes. They're THAT hard!!! Unless you're EXTREMELY 
patient or you can reprogram the game, I don't even suggest that you 
should give it a try. Just think why you bought this game for. To 
have fun right, not frustration! If somehow you played these modes 
and lived through it, good on you!

---Sound system---
Star Ocean 2 is the first RPG I've played that implements 3 different 
sound output systems (ordered form worst to best):
  - Monoaural
  - Stereo
  - Surround

If you have 5 or more speakers, I highly suggest that you choose 
Surround sound. I'm not into this kinda stuff but you might. Stereo 
is ok for 2 speakers and Mono if you only have 1 speaker.

---Combat mode---
The back of the SO2 box says the game "features 3 battle modes", 
which might sound good at first, but there's actually only 2 since 
Semi-Active is just a mixture of the 2 with no new features, and they 
don't differ all that much. (Now if the game lets you fight turn-
based battles, then that's REALLY something, although not very 
realistic in this game.) What's even more misleading about that 
statement is that you can actually mix-and-match the different 
features of each mode to create what really suits you! The 3 
"different" modes are:

           |   Manual      |   Semi-Active     |    Active
-----------+---------------+-------------------+---------------------
Target     |   Manual      |   Semi-Auto       |    Full-Auto
Camera     |   Normal      |   Leader centered |    Leader Centered
Movement   |   [] + D-pad  |   [] + D-pad      |    D-pad only

Of course, Active battle is the most fun, although the AI gives you 
little target control, it'll usually target the closest enemy. (In 
battle, a green arrow will point at your current target.) If you want 
target control then change the Targeting mode to "Manual" or "Semi-
Auto", but beware, time won't stop when you're choosing your targets!

The camera options don't seem to be very different from one another, 
as both controls the camera terribly! However, DON'T use "Leader 
centered", because every time after someone casts a spell, the camera 
will drift away and you'll be unable to control your character 
effectively. This happens 99% of the time in "Leader centered", 
although "Normal" will sometimes do so as well.

I think we can all agree on the fact that controlling your character 
with the D-pad (or left stick) only is much more convenient.


STATUS
======
There are many statistics in SO2, but unlike most other games, 
they're quite confusing, so here's a summary of what each statistics 
does. Note, most stats will increase at level ups, and certain 
equipment can increase certain stats:

HP: Hit Points, the most well known feature of any RPG. Your HP level 
decrease as you get hit by the enemies and when it drops to zero, 
your character faints and is unable to participate in combat. Parts 
of your current HP can be recovered naturally depending on your 
Stamina level.

MP: Magic Points, but are not always used to cast magic spells, 
usable for fighter's Killer Moves as well. Every time you use a 
Killer Move or cast a spell, your current MP will decrease by the MP 
cost of that skill. Once your MP reached zero or below the required 
level to use that skill, you'll no longer be able to use that Killer 
Move or spell. Like HP, MP can also be recovered automatically after 
a battle according to your Stamina level. 

STR: Strength, affects the ATT (attack power). The higher this stat 
is, the more damage you'll do in your attack. Also affects the power 
of most fighters' Killer Moves.

CON: Constitution, affects the AC (defence). You'll take less damage 
if you have high CON.

DEX: Dexterity, affects the HIT (accuracy or hit rate). Measures how 
often you can successfully hit an enemy, very useful later in the 
game.

AGI: Agility, affects the AVD (evade). Characters with higher AGI can 
dodge attacks more often than characters with lower AGI.

INT: Intelligence, affects the MAG (magic power). A magic user will 
be able to deal more damage with their spells with high INT. 
Interestingly, all characters (even magic users) joins you with their 
INT at zero!

LUC: Luck, affects a little bit of everything, or nothing at all. 
Luck can raise your hit rates or evade rates, how often Guts appears 
and the success of Item Creations minimally. Don't worry too much 
about it.

STM: Stamina. IMO, the most useful statistic for any character. This 
determines how much HP and MP a character can recover after a fight. 
With high STM, a character can recover more HP/MP than they've used 
in battle! However, recovery is also affected by your actions in 
combat. Attacking, moving, casting spells will all waste energy, 
meaning your character will recover less as they take more actions in 
battle.

GUTS: Guts and will-power of a character, this has a few effects. 

1) The first is the DEATHBLOW EFFECT. When a character attacks an 
   enemy, "GUTS" will sometimes appear above the character and 
   they'll do MUCH more damage (usually twice as much!), and I think 
   this can work with certain Combat Skills to a greater effect! It's 
   even compatible with Killer Moves, making them much more powerful!
2) The opposite, ADVANCED GUARD EFFECT. When a character is hit, 
   "GUTS" appear over their heads and they'll take slightly less 
   damage. Enemies can achieve this effect too and it also applied to 
   magical spells.
3) When a character's health is low and receives an attack that would 
   usually knock them unconscious, "GUTS" appears and the character 
   will stay at 1HP, sorta like that of BOF3 but this effect is quite 
   rare until later.

The below stats are not the natural stats of a character but are 
related to it:

ATT: Attack Power, this is the combined value of a character's STR 
and the equipped weapon's power. Most important stat for fighters, as 
both their normal attacks and most Killer Moves are proportional to 
this value. Less useful for magic users.

AC: Armor Class/Defense Power, this is the combined value of a 
character's CON and every single piece of equipped armor's defense 
power. Useful for all characters but becomes sort of irrelevant in 
the later levels of the Trial Cave. 

HIT: Accuracy/Hit Rate, basically the character's DEX value, but most 
weapons will give a bonus to this stat. Useful for fighters mainly, 
especially later in the game where the enemies blocks your hits like 
crazy.

AVD: Evade/Avoid, the AGI value plus any AVD bonus from armors. More 
important than AC in the Trail Cave since most attacks can kill you 
in one hit regardless of your AC. You can avoid 90% of the hits if 
you have a high AVD and mastered the Parry Combat Skill.

MAG: The magic power of your character, just the INT value of any 
character plus any MAG bonus associated with your armor or weapon. 
Quite useful for any magic user but are useless for all fighters. 
However, some of my fighters have a MAG level (well, INT actually, 
but they're the same thing) that rivals a good mage like Rena!!! I 
don't think this affects magic resistance, since all spells are 
elemental, equipping elemental defence items will reduce the damage 
taken from spells.

CRT: Critical. Not a real stat (ie, cannot be found in your status 
screen) but many equipment have a CRT bonus. The chance of a critical 
blow (different to that caused by GUTS) increases with this, where 
your's attack makes a loud noise, makes the screen flash (slightly), 
does more damage (not as much as GUTS though) and instantly Peeps the 
enemy. 


COMBAT
======
Like most RPGs, combat takes place randomly when you're walking 
around in a dungeon or on the world map. When a fight occurs, the 
screen will flash and you will be zapped to a new screen.

Combat takes place in a semi-3D environment, where you're given an 
angled side-view. Your fighting party (ie, first 4 party members) 
will usually be on the right side of the battle field in their 
current formation, while the enemies will usually be on the left. The 
battle is fought in real time and you can move in every direction but 
can only attack enemies when you're facing left or right, kinda like 
the classic side-scrolling games like Final Fight. You can control 
one character at a time (default is the first character) while your 
other characters will be controlled by the AI. 

Although this seems to play like an action game like Secrets of Mana, 
it's actually very different. For example, you can press the X button 
to do a regular slash, which in action games will make your character 
swing his weapon right where he is. However, in SO2, your character 
will move close to the targeted enemy so they're in your character's 
attacking range before making their strike. So if you press the X 
button at full screen length, you'll character will actually run 
across the screen to attack them, which is quite troublesome as the 
enemy can launch their attack before you can get close to them and 
nail you just when you're about to hit them. And if the enemy moves 
or runs away, your character will actually chase after them 
*UNCONTROLLABLY*, since once you press the button to attack there's 
no way of cancelling the action but you'll regain control if you get 
hit or you hit the enemy (or if you miss). In a way, the attacking 
system is very similar to Tales of Destiny/Phantasia. 

If the target enemy is airborne, your character will use their air 
attack. Most characters' air attack is a jump and attack in the peak 
of their jump, which gives you even less control! 

The targeting system is very similar when using Killer Moves for your 
fighters. On the bottom-left corner of the screen is the "range 
indicator", which marks the distance between the character you're 
controlling and the target enemy (I use Auto, so I don't know what 
happens in Manual). Pressing the L1 or R1 button will allow you to 
execute the Killer Move assigned to that button, and depending on 
your range (Long or Short), you'll execute the Long or Short range 
version of the Killer Move. (Some Killer Moves has only one version 
though.) Most Killer Moves have an execution point, which means that 
you must be exactly that far away from the target to execute the 
Killer Move. Again, if you're too far away from the execution point 
(regardless of whether you're right next to the opponent or at full 
screen length), you'll have to spend some time running to the desired 
distance. If the target moves or run away, you'll again loose control 
of your character as he/she chases after the enemy. Few Killer Moves 
can be executed at any place on the screen, take advantage of these.

Note however, standing away from the enemy is not the only way to 
register a long range. You maybe also knock them high into the air, 
it's possible through the Float Combat skill combined with Strong 
Blow, some Killer Move can launch an enemy into the air and enemies 
will fall from the air at the beginning of the battle during a 
"surround attack".

Of course, it's not very a good idea to control just one character, 
so you might want to swap characters when the AI slacks or someone is 
standing around idled. By pressing the O button, the time will freeze 
and you'll see a cursor above the character you're currently 
controlling, press left or right on the D-pad (or the analogue stick) 
will allow you to swap characters, press the O button again on the 
desired character to resume combat. This is also a good feature to 
use when you want to pause the fight or just get a better view of the 
surroundings without wasting combat time. Once you've changed your 
character, the L2 button will be available to switch between that 
character and the default character quickly. If you change characters 
again with the O button, the L2 button will exchange control between 
the default character and the character that you've switched to last. 
After the battle is over, the controlled character will revert back 
to default.

Pressing the R2 button will put the character into Manual mode. In 
Manual mode, the AI will not control the character if you switched 
characters, so in other words, they'll just stand there waiting to 
get killed if you switched characters. I don't see what good this is 
for, unless you're resting or something (but then again, I wish you 
had more control over the camera angles.)

There's an hourglass to the upper left corner, it indicates whether 
you'll be able to enter commands for the character currently under 
your control at a particular time interval. When it's blue it means 
you can control the character freely but if it's red then it means 
that your character is in the middle of another action, is moving, 
recovering from an attack or other frames of animation that makes 
them "occupied". This is not too important.

Regular attacks and Killer Moves are not the only actions you can do 
in combat. By pressing the triangle, you'll be able to access the 
ring menu of your current character (which is similar to the spell 
menus in Secrets of Mana). There are 4 options: Magic/Heraldry (magic 
users only), Item, Tactics and Run. BTW, time is paused when you're 
selecting form the menu so don't be afraid to take your time.

---Magic/Heraldry---
Equivalent to the fighter's Killer Moves, mage can cast spells. 
Select Magic/Heraldry will give you the list of magic available for 
your magic user to cast, press the X button will allow you to cast 
the desired spell. Any spell name in grey cannot be used due to 
insufficient MP. Unlike the Killer Moves, you can cast a spell 
anywhere on the battle field, but a spell has a casting time 
associated with it. All spells will take sometime before it is 
executed Usually the more powerful a spell is, the longer it takes to 
cast. Beware, your magician is very vulnerable during this time since 
they cannot move, and if they take any damage, their concentration is 
ruined and the spell dissolves. Try to protect the magic user when 
they're casting spells or move them out of the way. 

You can also "absorb" spells by having 2 characters casting a spell 
at the exact time. The effects varies depending on the elemental of 
the spells combined, explained below.

After the spell takes effect, an orange bar appears near the magician 
and starts to deplete. During this time, the magician must recover 
their mental strength and is unable to cast another spell. However, 
they can still move, and once the orange bar disappears, they'll once 
again be able to use magic. 

Fighter will have a red cross over their Magic menu because they 
can't cast spells.


---Item---
This is simple enough, to use a usable item during battle. Selecting 
this will give you the list of items in your inventory. IMO, this is 
rather badly done, as items both usable and unusable in battle will 
appear in the list. Items that cannot be used in battle are in grey. 
Sort your items by "combat" (double swords) will help out a lot.

After using an item however, it gets more complicated. Similar to 
spell recovery, you'll be unable to use an item for a short period of 
time. (Reason?) If you look to the top of the screen to the right of 
your character's stats, you'll see a vertical green bar with the word 
"Item" down the bottom. If the bar says "OK" then items are usable 
during that time. When an item is used, the bar will turn purple and 
will begin to deplete, while the green will begin to recover. Until 
the bar turns back into green and the word "OK" appears again, your 
Item menu will be sealed (by a red cross over it). 


---Tactics---
Changes your character's strategy during battle, similar to the menu. 
Explained below.


---Run---
Try to escape from the battle. This will put all characters who are 
not currently attacking/casting spells into their running animation 
(the characters who are occupied will finished what they're doing 
before trying to run.) While in the running animation, they'll be 
uncontrollable and will stay that way until they ran away or gets 
killed. IMO, SO2 has the worst "escape system" (yes even worse than 
Parasite Eve or Wild Arms) so my advice is to never use this option 
unless you're in the beginning of the game. You'll most likely to get 
a "GAME OVER" if you try to run later in the game or (especially) in 
the Trial Caves. You'd be better off using a Skanda to warp you out 
(duplicate lots and lots of those!!) or use a Dummy Doll to distract 
the enemies as you run.


---Negative Status Ailments---
As of any RPG, bad status ailments are unavoidable. There ain't that 
many of them in this game but the ones it does have are deadly.

* POISON <The character turns green, bubbles appear over their head>
Like most RPGs, Poison is the mildest status. Your HP drops every few 
seconds. This will not disappear after battle, not even if you stay 
at an inn! You must cure it through the use of spells or items. On 
the field, you'll loose a bit of HP for every few steps you take.

Sample cures: Cure Poison, Aquaberry, Spring Water; Antidote and 
              Dispel spells.

* PARALYZE <A yellow lightning bolt symbol appear above one's head>
The character is unable to do anything, so they're frozen in one 
place. He/she cannot take damage while Paralyzed. A Paralyzed 
character will not gain any experience points after battle. Like 
Poison, this status cannot be recovered even by staying at an inn.

Sample cures: Cure Paralyze, Spring Water; Dispel spell.

* STONE <The character turns into grey motionless stone>
Also known as Petrify. Someone's too lazy to think up a new status 
effect so this is basically exactly the same as Paralyze. You cannot 
act but you won't continue to take damage so it's slightly better. A 
Stoned character will gain no experience after a battle and cannot be 
cured by staying at an inn. 

Sample cures: Cure Stone, Spring Water; Dispel spell.

* FAINT <The character falls unconscious>
Not a real status, but it's in the manual. The character is basically 
dead, unable to act or move. This happens when a character's HP drops 
to zero, as well as the effect of a few rare instant-death attacks. 
This CAN be recovered by staying at an inn.

Sample cures: Resurrection Bottle, Resurrection Mist, Smelling Salt, 
              Revival Card; Raise Dead spell.

The following status ain't real ones, they're not in the manual, but 
I thought they're worth mentioning.

* PEEP <Stars spinning around a character's head>
The game calls this status "Peeping" but it's commonly known as Dizzy 
or something like that. A Dizzied character will not be able to act 
nor move for a short period of time, making them very vulnerable. A 
character will become Dizzy when they got strut by a critical blow or 
is constantly taking hits. You can knock an enemy Dizzy as well, the 
higher your CRT the easier it is. Characters with multiple-hit Killer 
Moves can take advantage of this as well. You can also cast some 
spells to Peep an enemy, or use an item. The last way is through a 
successful hit with any weapons that produce stars when swung, such 
as Claude's Eternal Sphere or by wearing the Angel's Armband.

Sample cures: None, but this will be recovered after a certain period 
of time, however, the enemy can Peep you again (since you're 
defenceless during Peeping time) to extend the Peeping time.

Note: The accessories Peep Non and Peep Half will resist Peeping.

* BERSERK <The character turns red for a second>
When one of your party members gets knocked out in battle, there's a 
chance that another character will get angry. An berserk character 
will gain a huge status boost to all his/her stats and starts doing 
double damage to the enemies. The chance of triggering this is random 
but if the character who falls has a good friendship or passion with 
another character, chances of getting angered will be increased.

It's kinda hard to spot a character who turned angry. However, if 
they calls out the name of the fallen member or shouts something like 
"You'll pay for this!" then it's a sign that someone has achieved 
Berserk. The bersek character will turn red for a second then 
immediately returns back to normal. The angered character will remain 
Berserk for the rest of the battle, even if the fallen member is 
revived, but the effect *may* wear off if they fall unconscious 
themselves. (I don't know.) 

I've tested this with magic users like Celine and found that the 
character's magic strength won't increase very much at all. Celine's 
Energy Arrow was doing around 500 damage and it increased to ~530 
when she's in Berserk, where as her normal attack does around 50 
points gets increased to ~100 when angered! Also, other stats like 
DEX and AGL will be increased too. So it's much more useful if the 
Berserk character is a fighter.

* FROZEN <Animation stops and character turns blue>
This is the effect of the Deep Freeze spell. A Frozen character is 
basically immobile and cannot take any actions for a small period of 
time. I have encountered this once when I was fighting against Zand.

Sample cures: Not too sure. Either no way, a fire spell or Neutral. 

* SILENCE <No animation>
A Silenced character cannot cast spells. If they try to they'll 
charge up for it but a message pops up saying you cannot cast spell 
when you execute it. This is most often the effect of enemy magic, 
but your magician characters can use this to their advantage. Note 
non-magic users can get Silenced but it won't do anything since they 
can't cast spells anyway.

Sample cures: I think the Neutral spell can cures this, but chances 
are, it'll be the character with the Neutral spell who gets Silenced. 
I don't know of any other way to cure this.

* OTHER
Like Silence, there are a variety of spells that causes negative 
effects (like Delay, Deep Mist etc.) which I assume, can also be 
cured by Neutral, but the fact is that the enemy NEVER uses those 
spells so no worries. I personally have never seen the enemy cast any 
status spells but Silence (and Delay).


BATTLE STRETAGY
===============
The AI will control a character a certain way according to the tactic 
if give them. There are 3 sets of different strategies:


---Fighters---
Fighters are your main offense, they should dispatch the enemies 
quickly before the enemies gets to the mages. Always have at least 2 
fighters in your team!
  - Attack with all MP!
  - Protect friends!
  - Conserve Killer Moves!
  - Spread out and attack!
  - Stay away from enemy!
  - Do nothing!

Comments: 
  - Unless I was in the very early part of the game, I always set 
    every one of my fighter's strategies to "Attack with all MP!" 
    Why? Because their MP would regenerate with their Stamina (and 
    equip the Fairy Ring so they use less MP) also you'll gain quite 
    a bit of Proficiency by doing so. Also, Blackberries are cheap so 
    you really won't loose anything if you choose this option.
  - "Protect friends!" is a good one to set one of your fighter to 
    later in the game (especially in the Trial Caves) to protect Rena 
    or any other magic user. Basically, use this for some of your 
    characters in tougher areas.
  - "Conserve Killer Moves!" is good for earlier in the game where 
    your Stamina is too low to be any good, but beware, the fighters 
    tends to be very aggressive and forgets about defense with this 
    at times.
  - "Spread out and attack!" will make your fighter attack the 
    enemies who are not currently being attacked by another 
    character, while generally a bad idea to get separated, it's 
    quite good if you want the AI characters to target those annoying 
    mages in the back row.
  - "Stay away from the enemy!" should only be used during "Time 
    attack" battles when you're trying to last a full minute,  
    otherwise, fairly useless.
  - Choosing this strategy is the same as pressing the R2 button 
    which sets the character to "Manual".


---Rena---
Being the primary healer of the party, Rena has her own strategy!
  - Recover friends only!
  - Aid friends!
  - Aid self only!
  - Cast no spells!
  - Put self into attack!
  - Do nothing!

Comments:
  - "Recover friends only!" is great for extremely tough fights and 
    the lower levels of the Trial Caves, where you need her to cast 
    Fairy Light constantly! Use it when you cannot afford for her to 
    cast anything else but make sure that she's protected! In this 
    mode, Rena will only cast healing and curing spells. Don't know 
    about status-up spells since I seal them immediately.
  - "Aid friends!" is the all round strategy for Rena IMO. She will 
    heal all allies as a first priority, and in her spare time she 
    will try to aid allies with either stats-ups/downs or attack 
    spells. Very important that you should seal her stats spells or 
    she'll cast them constantly and waste her MP. Don't worry about 
    her attack spells though, as they're actually quite useful. A 
    weird thing about this is that if Rena runs out of MP, she'll 
    start attacking physically!
  - "Aid self only!" is an extremely selfish command, I never use it, 
    nor do I see any reason to.
  - "Cast no spells!" is another rather stupid (and dangerous) 
    option, she will never cast a spell and stands around like a 
    fool. If you want her to conserve MP, put her in "Recover friends 
    only!" and seal away all the spells you don't want her to cast!
  - "Put self into attack!" is actually fairly good earlier in the 
    game, as Rena is quite a decent attacker for a mage, and she 
    might even do more damage than Claude!! (She did in my game!) A 
    bit dangerous later in the game though. One thing of note, she 
    will never cast a spell in this mode! Again, she'll be very 
    aggressive and tends to forget about defense.
  - "Do nothing!" is useless.


---Magic users---
The advantage of magic users is that most of their better spells can 
hit multiple/all enemies. Make sure they're in the back row and 
protected!
  - Attack till all MP are gone! 
  - Conserve MP!
  - Attack fleeing enemy!
  - Use no Heraldic spells!
  - Throw own body into attack!
  - Do nothing!
  
Comments:
  - "Attack till all MP are gone!" should be the one to use, for 
    similar reasons as fighters (MP refilled after battle, 
    Proficiency). But it can get annoying with the camera constantly 
    changing, maybe the best solution is to not have a mage at all. 
    Anyway, this is the way to go if you like mages.
  - "Conserve MP!" is good for Celine earlier on, as some of her 
    better spells (Ray, Starlight etc) drains her MP like crazy. 
    Might also be good if you want a magic user in your party but 
    don't want their spells to confuse you constantly.
  - "Attack fleeing enemy!" very good for attacking those hated mages 
    in the back row, but since most of your mages spells are all-
    targeted, it doesn't make too much of a difference. Now the 
    question remains is not whether you'll pull off a spell, but it's 
    more like whether you'll be able to pull off a spell before the 
    enemies! It's not much use if Celine's casting Explode that takes 
    forever while the enemy casts Light Cross constantly! I found 
    that to control the mage manually to be more effective.
  - "Throw own body into attack!" is a very dangerous option, avoid 
    avoid! Attack magicians have lousy attacks, bad range/speed and 
    running all the way into the midst of a battle could only mean 
    suicide since their defense is terrible. Even standing around 
    doing nothing is more favourable!
  - "Do nothing" is again useless. 


FORMATIONS
==========
Like each character's strategy, your party's formation is also very 
important. There are 13 formations is this game and most of them has 
some use. (I'm not very good at Ascii art, so excuse me if they look 
terrible.)

   Linear Motion 
-------------------  
|                4|  Comments:
|                 |   Functional and standard, but your 
|                3|   characters start too far away. Maybe 
|                 |   ok if you want to stay defensive but 
|                2|   there are better formations.
|                 |  
|                1|  
-------------------  


   Square Shift 1       Square Shift 2
-------------------  -------------------  
|                 |  |              2 4|  Comments:
|             2  4|  |                 |   Good if you have 2 mages
|                 |  |                 |   and 2 fighters. The mages
|                 |  |                 |   are safe at the back, but 
|                 |  |                 |   it takes time for the 
|             1  3|  |                 |   fighters to get back to 
|                 |  |              1 3|   the mages if they are
-------------------  -------------------   attacked.

    Tri-Shift 1          Tri-Shift 2
-------------------  -------------------
|                 |  |                 |  Comments:
|             3   |  |            3    |   Good for 3 fighter and a 
|                 |  |                 |   mage party. #1 is you want 
|            1   4|  |          1    4 |   to protect your mage and
|                 |  |                 |   #2 is you want to get to 
|             2   |  |            2    |   the enemies quicker.
|                 |  |                 |
-------------------  -------------------

   Free-for-all       
-------------------  
|                 |  
|          2    4 |  Comments:
|                 |   Not very good as your party is spread apart. 
|                 |   Unless you have 4 fighters and they all have to 
|                 |   be fairly strong. Put the long range characters 
|          1    3 |   like Opera at the back.
|                 |  
-------------------  

    Upper Guard          Lower Guard    
-------------------  -------------------  
|              3 4|  |                 |  Comments:
|              2  |  |                 |   Both are basically the 
|               1 |  |                 |   same. It's defensive and 
|                 |  |                 |   good for harder dungeons 
|                 |  |               1 |   where you're constantly
|                 |  |              2  |   outnumbered and over-
|                 |  |              3 4|   powered.
-------------------  -------------------

   Astral Shift     
-------------------  
|                 |  
|              3  |  
|                 |  Comments:  
|           1  4  |   I can't really see a use for this other than 
|                 |   being pretty. The Tri-Shifts are better, unless 
|              2  |   you have 3 mages or something.
|                 |  
-------------------  

   Escape Shift         Assault Shift    
-------------------  -------------------  
|                 |  |                 |  Comments:
|                 |  |                 |   You're bunched together
|                 |  |            3    |   in both. The former if you
|                 |  |           1 4   |   have to escape a lot, the 
|                 |  |            2    |   latter if you have 4 
|               24|  |                 |   fighters and want to kill 
|               13|  |                 |   off the enemies quickly. 
-------------------  -------------------  

   Upper Caution        Lower Caution
-------------------  -------------------
|              2 4|  |                 |
|                3|  |                 |  Comments:
|               1 |  |                 |   A variation of the Upper 
|                 |  |                 |   and Lower Guard with 
|                 |  |               1 |   similar effects.
|                 |  |                3|
|                 |  |              2 4|
-------------------  -------------------

Note: The numbers represents the position of the character in your 
fighting party. Eg, if Claude is in your first slot, he'll occupy 
position 1. You cannot change which number occupies which space in 
the formation, but you can change the position of your characters via 
Replacement.


ELEMENTAL EFFECTS
=================
The manual for this game seems to be quite detailed, however, they 
didn't even mention a word about elemental effects! Like most RPGs, 
SO2 also utilizes the different forces of nature, commonly known as 
elemental effects. There are 10 (!!) different elements in SO2, 
although some of them are very confusing. Understanding them would 
help you greatly in this game. The first 2 letters inside the 
parenthesis are used by the game in battles (when you check the 
enemy's stats), the second note is the symbol for that element used 
in the menus.

* Earth (Et, denoted by a brown cube) 
  – Utilizes the forces of the ground, causing earthquakes or cave-
    ins to damage the target. Useless against flying/airborne 
    enemies.

* Water (Wt, denoted by a water droplet) 
  – Utilizes various forms of water, from icicles to tidal waves, to 
    freeze or drown the target. Useful against fire enemies.

* Fire (Fr, denoted by fire) 
  – Utilizes the power of heat and fiery explosions to scorch and 
    burn enemies. IMO, the most useful out of all the elements. 

* Wind (Wd, denoted by a cloud) 
  – Utilizes the forceful power of wind, forming whirlwinds and 
    tonados around the enemies.

* Thunder (Th, denoted by a lightning bolt) 
  – Utilizes the power of thunder and lightning to shock the targets.

* Star (St, denoted by a 5-pointed star) 
  – Controls the mysterious extraterrestrial forces which falls from 
    above to crush the enemies.

* Vacuum (Vc, denoted by a star-studded vortex) 
  – Has the power to extract and consume life energy from living 
    beings, also known as "Negative energy."

* Light (Lg, denoted by a yellow sphere with a smiley face) 
  – Has the power over high intensity light that conquers evil. 

* Dark (Dk, denoted by a black sphere with red "eyes") 
  – Manipulates the power of shadows and darkness that creeps up to 
    an unsuspecting victim.

* Void (Vd, denoted by a white cube) 
  – Has the power to control the extra-dimensional-density, which can 
    summon demons from another plane or crush its target with 
    gravitational energy.

Everyone in your party can be affected by one or more of the 
attributes, your overall elemental attribute can be viewed by 
pressing the Square button on their status menu. All symbols in grey 
suggests that a particular element does not apply for your character. 
The first row is used for your weapon, your normal attacks will do 
whatever type of elemental damage shown here. If you have none, then 
you'll do neutral or non-elemental damage. 

The second row is your elemental defense, you're not protected 
against any symbols that are in grey. Unlike weapon, you can have 
negative attributes too, denoted by a "-" next to the element. A 
character that has a negative defensive attribute is said to be weak 
again that type of element and will take more damage against that 
those types of attacks. Likewise, a "+" next to an element makes you 
strong against it, which may reduce the damage you take against that 
type of attack to half, nothing or even let you absorb it!


---Elemental defense---
Everyone will have neutral overall attributes naturally. Certain 
equipment will give you an attribute when equipped. Equip carefully 
though, if any equipment has a weakness, put something on that makes 
you strong against that element to negate the effect. Interestingly, 
if you put a positive elemental defense over a negative one, your 
overall attribute against that element will stay positive! 

Usually, 1 positive elemental defense makes you take half damage 
against that element, two of them will negate any damage taken and 3 
or more of them will let your character absorb it instead. However, 
some equipment does not obey this rule, like the Angel's Armband, 
which will always absorb Star attacks no matter what. Most equipment 
has a "Element Resistance Ratio" which reduces a percentage of the 
damage taken, eg, 30%. If the culmulative bonuses adds to 100%, you 
will take no damage. Damage will be absorbed above 100%. The game 
does NOT tell you each piece of equipment's ratio though, which is 
really annoying!

Elemental defense becomes increasingly more important as you progress 
through the game. Enemies later in the game will cast insanely 
powerful elemental spells which can wreck havoc on any party without 
protection.


---Elemental attacks---
Elemental attacks are less important, as a matter of fact, most of 
them are a hindrance since enemies later in the game will have 
multiple elemental defense attributes. This can be solved by 
equipping only non-elemental weapons.

All damage-dealing spells in the game are elemental based, as well as 
some other support spells. Also, every fighter has a few elemental 
based Killer Moves as well. Try matching an elemental attack with the 
weakness the enemy. You can view the elemental attribute of any enemy 
by using a Spectacle on them. However, you can usually rely on the 
AI. The computer will always use an elemental attack that the enemy 
is weak against. Similarly, AI controlled character will seldom cast 
a spell that will do only half damage and will never cast those types 
of spells (or use Killer Moves) that won't do any damage or gets 
absorbed. 


AFFECTION
=========
Like a mini dating game, you can match two characters together 
through affection. Each character has a pre-set affection level for 
each and every character when they joins your team, which includes 
"friendship" (measures the friendliness of one person for another. 
The higher this is, the better friends they become) and "passion" 
(measures the romantic attraction level of the two persons). One's 
affection can be higher for one person than another. For example, 
Opera and Ernest has high passion level for one another as they're 
lovers, while Dias won't get along with everyone as well since he's 
Mr Anti-Social by nature. 

There are a few ways of altering affection scores:
1) Private Actions, you'll often meet up with another party member. 
   Depends on the situation, you'll usually be prompt with a choices 
   as an answer when they ask you a question or as actions that you 
   can take. If you help them or choose an option that would make 
   them happy, there will usually be an increase in affection between 
   the hero and that character. Likewise, if you piss 'em off, their 
   affection towards the hero (or vice versa) will decrease. 

   Sometimes a Private Action might not exactly be between the hero 
   and another party member, but between 2 different party members as 
   well, although those events are quite rare. That's going to be 
   your chance to pair them up!

2) Pickpocketing when travelling together with your team will have 
   all member's affection decrease toward the character who's picking 
   the pocket. The Super Specialty Reverse Side will make everyone in 
   your party's affection towards everyone else. Don't do it!

3) Books made by Publishing can alter the affection level to a fixed 
   level. Each character can write 2 books, the common one that 
   alters friendship and a rare one that alters passion. Having 
   another member read the book that one member of the party wrote 
   would alter their affection depending on which book it is. Careful 
   though, this will alter their affection to that fixed level (semi-
   high of 8) regardless of their previous affection level, which 
   means you're actually decreasing it if their affection level was 
   high!!! Good for very early on in the game to give their affection 
   levels a boost.

4) Fighting together can increase everyone's affection towards 
   everyone else who was in the fight, but this is a very slow 
   procedure! I think 100 fights equal one point increase in 
   affection. Certain boss fights will also automatically increase 
   everyone who participated in the fight's affection towards 
   everyone else who was in the fight by 1!

5) Does anyone know how/where the Twin's Tonic can be gotten from? Or 
   more importantly, how it works? I've gotten one via a Treasure Box 
   but it didn't seem to work very well when I used it, it's supposed 
   to "Deepens the bond between friends".

So why going through all that trouble just to increase the affection 
of some lousy virtual characters? Well, there are a few bonuses for 
having high affection:

1) The chance of someone getting Berserk when one member falls will 
   be increased.

2) The characters will fight in a more harmonized manner. For 
   example, some characters will back up another character when 
   they're in danger more often, or the healer will heal a wounded 
   character quicker.

3) The endings are based on each character's affection towards 
   another to determine which 2 characters will pair up. That's why 
   there are 80+ endings in this game!!! Basically, a character with 
   the highest affection level towards another character (and the 
   other character's affection is of similar level), they'll be 
   paired up. However, characters who are of the same sex will be 
   paired depending on their friendship which characters of opposite 
   sex will be paired depending on their passion. (No LesBN action 
   here, sorry. Hehe...)

Read an another FAQ or Ian Kelley's FAQ for more information.

How do you know how high the affection level of each character is? 
You don't, as there's no way of finding out. However, certain 
"traits" can be noted by the way some character fights that will give 
you some clue whether they have high or low affection. 

1) Those characters that have high affection will tend to stick 
   together and cover each other's back or help each other out when 
   in danger. 

2) Magic users tend to cast support or healing spells on the ones 
   they have higher affection for first, but this can be quite 
   annoying, as they'll basically ignore the ones they don't like (or 
   don't like as much). For example (this happened to me many times.)
   In the Trial Caves, Opera and Ernest both falls from battle. Rena 
   would cast Raise Dead on Opera first, then she'll cast Fairy 
   Heal/Light to bring Opera to full health then (guess what?) she 
   casts a Star Flare!!! I was furious and started taking over for 
   the dumb AI!

3) In disc 2, you'll be able to meet the fortune-teller in Fun City. 
   If you do a Private Action there, you'll be able ask the fortune-
   teller the passion between your main character and all your teams 
   members of the opposite sex. She'll give you some kinda indication 
   on how well your relationship is going.

4) Some Private Actions will only take place when your affection 
   towards another character (or vice versa) is above a certain 
   point. If you see a Private Action where a character shows a lot 
   of interest in you or if they started to get kinky, you'll know 
   that your affection is doing well.


KILLER MOVES
============
There are 2 types of characters in SO2, every playable character in 
the game is either a fighter or a magic user, and each has their own 
distinctive skills. Killer Moves are the fighters' specialty, which 
are deathblows or various gadgets used for dispatching the enemies. 
Each fighter characters has 8-11 unique Killer Moves of their own, 
and up to 2 Killer Moves can be brought into battle at the same time, 
assigned to either the L1 or R1 shift button. Each fighter has only a 
small number of his or her total possible Killer Moves when they join 
you, but by gaining levels you'll be able to obtain all of them. 
(However, Ashton, Precis and Opera have a few Killer Moves that are 
gained through some other means.) 

Each Killer Moves has an execution cost, which uses up your MP during 
battles. What's great about Killer Moves is that each KM also has a 
Proficiency record. The Proficiency is increased by 1 each time you 
use a particular KM, to a maximum of 999. As the Proficiency levels 
go up, various things can happen to the Killer Move (usually getting 
better), such as increased power, faster execution time, amount of 
hits increased, different animation etc. Choose your KMs carefully as 
different KMs works better than others in certain situations.

Every Killer Move has a range-dependence, which are mentioned under 
"Combat". The execution point each Killer Move is very important as 
miscalculating the range can mean an instant death in the Cave of 
Trials, so learn to familiarize yourself with the different versions 
of the Killer Move and their execution points. 

Note that many Killer Move has a very short long-ranged version, 
which I sometimes call "mid range". And a rule of thumb, the point 
blank spot at which the character's attacks becomes long range is 
about 5 character widths away from the target. In other words, walk 
about 5 character widths away from the enemy and the "range 
indicator" to the bottom left of the screen becomes "Long range". 

How do you execute mid range attacks? Now this is more complicated 
than you think, as if you stand at the execution point of the mid 
ranged Killer Move, you'll do the short ranged version instead! Why? 
Well, the game take that you're in short range at under 5 character 
widths away from the enemy (look at your current range to the lower 
left of the screen.) So to execute a mid ranged Killer Move when it 
already has a short ranged version, you must move away from the enemy 
until your range changes to "Long", which mean you'll have to run up 
to the enemy before executing the mid ranged Killer Move because 
you've moved away from the execution point. 

I know it sounds VERY confusing, so here's an example. Claude's 
Shooting Stars has a Short and Long ranger version. Claude punched 
the enemy during the short version and throws an energy ball at the 
enemy during his long range version. However, the Execution Point of 
the Long Ranged version of Shooting Stars is about 2 character-widths 
away from the enemy. Since anything under 5 would be considered 
"Short Range" by the game's means, to be able to execute the Long 
range version of Shooting Stars, you'll have to distance Claude until 
he's at least 5 character-widths away from his target. Assuming that 
the enemy does not move, Claude will run 3 character-widths towards 
the enemy, pause then execute his energy ball. So to repeatedly 
execute his Long range Shooting Stars, Claude must distance himself 
from the enemy after EVERY move. I hope this is clear enough.

A few Killer Moves are "uni-ranged" type, which can be executed 
anywhere on the screen.

Keep in mind though, the damage of most Killer Moves are directly 
proportional to a character's Attack power, which are affected by 
their STR and weapon, so these 2 stats are a must for powering up 
Killer Moves. Some Killer Moves are not terribly powerful, as a 
matter of fact, most of them do about the same damage as a normal 
attack, so don't expect them to be *really* great until later. 

So why use them? It's because that all Killer Moves can "evolve" with 
their Proficiency levels, and becoming more and more powerful. Also, 
all fighter characters have KMs that hit multiple times for lots of 
damage, so it would be your interest to take advantage of them.

A few note on weapons, their power will affect all damage dealing 
Killer Moves, although it might make no sense whatsoever (like 
Claude's Burst Knuckle since he don't use his sword for it and 
Chisato's Tear Gas.) Gaining better weapons will significantly 
increase a KM's power. Likewise, weapons with an elemental alignment 
or special effects WILL be carried to the Killer Move. 

For example, Claude's Twin Slash is a non-elemental attack, but when 
Claude is equipped with the Flame Blade, it (and all his KMs) becomes 
Fire elemental! If Chisato is equipped with the Weird Slayer, all her 
KMs can kill "Weird" in one hit and gain HP, like if she's using 
normal attacks.

I have no idea of what will happen when you execute an elemental KM 
while equipped with a weapon of a different element, the Killer Move 
will probably be "dual elemental" but I dunno.

Likewise, most Killer Moves can successfully trigger certain Combat 
Skills too, although it might make no sense whatsoever how some cheap 
projectiles hitting Below the Belt or whatever. Characters with 
MASSIVE multi-hit Killer Moves benefit most from this feature though, 
as each hit in the KM is checked to see if it has triggered a Combat 
Skill separately, rather than an "all or nothing" situation as with a 
regular attack. So you'd find characters like Chisato, Opera and 
Claude achieving more Combat Skills than say Dias, Bowman or Precis.

Since Killer Moves are specific to the character, it makes sense to 
put them under the Character's section.


---Link Combo---
Upon acquiring the Link Combo accessory and equipping it on a fighter 
character, pressing the triangle button in his/her Killer Moves 
Setting will take you to the Link Combo menu. A pop up window will 
ask you if you want to steal (the ability to use Killer Moves) from 
another character, and another window will pop up asking who you want 
to steal from. (You can only steal from characters that are in your 
fighting party or the Link Stock.) If the character's name has "LC" 
next to them, it means that they already have the access to Link 
Combos, and if it's "Stolen" next to their name, it means they have 
already been stolen from. You cannot steal from either character that 
way. If you stole from a fighter, they will no longer have the 
ability to use their own Killer Moves, but if you steal from a mage, 
it will function as usual and the mage character won't loose anything 
since they can't use Killer Moves anyway.

Upon activating the Link Combo, you'll immediately gain 2 more slots 
to equip with Killer Moves, however, 2 Killer Moves will be assigned 
to the same button. (And thus, pressing that button in battle will 
let your character execute both killer moves one after the other, in 
the order you place them in.) The recovery frames for the first KM 
will be significantly shortend, thus use this to your advantage!

Try out different Link Combos as some Killer Moves links wonderfully 
while others don't work quite as well. Beware though, as it can drain 
your MP fairly quickly, so equip MP cost reduction items if you can. 
Also, you must have enough MP for BOTH Killer Moves assigned to that 
button to use it, although the MP is deducted separately as you 
execute the Killer Moves. 

For example, I assign Claude's Air Slash (4MP) and Shooting Stars 
(7MP) to the L1 button. The L1 button will only respond if Claude has 
at least 11MP remaining (if you don't have enough you'll hear a 
"buzz".) MP will be deducted separately though, meaning if Claude 
failed to execute Shooting Stars for some reason (like if he gets hit 
out of it), the 7MP will not be deducted. 

When linking Link Combos, take into account each Killer Move's speed, 
range, recovery as well as their execution ranges, because the last 
thing you want is to leave your character wide open to attacks in-
between Killer Moves. IMO, a combo with minimal character movement is 
quite effective. Another idea is to execute a projectile attack 
followed by a short ranged one, and during the time you run to catch 
up with the enemy, you're pretty much safe because if the enemy tried 
to hit you, they'll get knocked by the projectile. (Although if the 
enemy moves, you're back to the "chase the enemy" routine again. 
Also, it can be a disaster if the initial missile was blocked.) 
Another idea is to knock the enemy away with a short ranged then 
follow up with a longer ranged attack. The combinations are endless, 
use your imagination!

More about Link Combos and sample LCs can be found with the Killer 
Moves under the Characters section.


MAGIC/HERALDRY ARTS
===================
Matching the fighter's Killer Moves, magic users has the ability to 
cast spells, which are mysterious energies and elemental forces 
channelled through and released from the spell caster's bodies. Each 
mage in the game has a total of 23 spells, most of which are gained 
through gaining levels. (Celine and Leon has a spell that has to be 
found.) Like Killer Moves, most spells can also increase in 
Proficiency with similar effects when powered up, such as faster 
casting time, increase in power or altered animations. The spells 
that cannot be powered up (ie, most support spells) will have no 
Proficiency. 

However, spells are a bit more complicated to use than Killer Moves, 
because other than having to be bothered with the MP cost, there's 
also a casting time and recovery time (not to mention the insanely 
lengthy animation time of some of the better spells!) The better and 
more powerful spells will take longer to cast (although they can be 
improved with Proficiency), but I think all spells have the same 
recovery time. One other thing of note is that spells usually take up 
a LOT more MP than KMs, usually more than it's worth, but that's 
another story.

In the Speciality menu, you can press the square button on a spell 
name to "seal" it, the spell name will then turn grey. (Press it 
again to "unseal" it.) A sealed spell can still be used in combat, 
however, if the computer controls your magician, they will never cast 
that spell. Use this to your advantage when you don't want the 
computer to waste your MP on the useless spells like Deep Mist. 

You can sorta put the spells into 2 categories, static and non-
static. Non-static spells are the weaker ones that takes effect in 
real time (ie, time won't stop as the spell's animation and effect 
take place.) Non-static spells are not very effective as they 
sometimes don't target properly and may take some time before the 
effect takes place. For example, Claude is fracefully wounded and you 
use Rena to cast Heal, a non-static spell. It takes a couple of 
seconds for those healing to take place and in that couple of 
seconds, Claude can be killed if you're not careful.

Most spells in this game are static, that is, time will be paused 
while the spell effect and animation takes place, and the effect is 
more "instant", and is always a "sure hit".

Note Rena uses Magic while the other magicians use Heraldry (Magic of 
Expel.) They both work exactly the same way, Rena uses Magic only 
because it fits the story.

Spells are evaluated in details under the Character's section.


---Spell absorb---
Like Link Combos for Killer Moves, mages can combine their spells to 
a greater effect, but it's usually a difficult process. When 2 
characters (friend or foe) executes their spells at the exact same 
moment, their spell effects will be combined. Only some static-type 
and damage-dealing (offensive) spells can be combined. A combined 
spell will have both spell animations taking place at the same time, 
which is quite cool at times. The damage of a combined spell is maxed 
out at 9999, except for the case of Gremlin's Lair. Also, a little 
note appears to the lower right corner of the screen, which goes 
something like:

        [Party] [Element] -> Absorb -> [Party] [Element]

Everything's all bunched up together in the game so it's quite hard 
to see exactly what is says. The [Party] can be either "Friend" or 
"Enemy", and the arrows can point towards either way. The [Element] 
indicates which spell absorbs which other spell. What this indicates 
is (I think) which side will takes the priority of the combined 
spell. For example:

              Enemy Lg -> Absorb -> Friend Dk

Say the enemy is the one who casts Light Cross (Light elemental) and 
the ally is Leon casting Shadow Flare (Dk). Shadow Flare is stronger 
so it will absorb the enemy's Light Cross, making it stronger.

Combined spell lies mainly in the elemental alignment of both spells 
and whether the spell casters are a friend or foe, as well as the 
target system of the spells. Only static spells (those that stops the 
flow of time while they animate) can be combined and some of the best 
spells may not be combined. I think only certain elements will 
combine though, it's explained in Sherwin Tam's most excellent "In-
Depth Tips and Tricks" FAQ, look there for more details.

If 2 of the same spells (same element) are mixed:
  - It affects the opposite team at double strength if both spells 
    were cast by the same team
  - It affects both teams at double strength if each team casts one 
    spell 
  - If the spells ain't of the "all-targeted" type, only the 
    appropriate targets are affected

If 2 distinct spells are mixed (regardless of element):
  - The stronger spell (usually the one with higher MP cost) takes 
    the priority, affecting the opposite team at combined strength
  - If the stronger spell is not of "all-targeted" type, then the 
    combined spell affects the appropriate targets (ie, the original 
    targets of the stronger spell)
  - If both spells were cast by the same team, the combined spell 
    affects the opposite party at combined strength. The target rule 
    above still applies though.

Also, with all Spell Absorption, there's a 5% chance that the 
absorption will "fail". A failed combo spell effect is that the 
stronger spell works normally while the weaker spell effect is 
omitted. 


---Spell Cancel---
Occasionally, when 2 spells are combined something will go terribly 
wrong in that one spell cancels the other, causing zero damage to no 
targets. This will only happen with spells that are of opposite 
elements though, I know for sure that Light will definitely cancel 
Dark but I think Water and Fire works in similar ways. Spell Cancel 
happens rarely, probably a "spell backfire" (see above) effect when 2 
of the combined spells are of opposed element. Otherwise, most of the 
time mixing 2 spells of the oposite element works fine.

The one that I can swear that I have seen is Star Flare and Shadow 
Flare. (I have seen this at LEAST 5 times during the short period 
where I put Leon in the same party as Rena.) I think I've seen other 
"cancel" as well but I cannot remember which spells. It is highly 
possible that Eruption and Noah will cancel accordingly. 


---Spell Reflection---
I have just seen this really weird phenomenon because of the dodgy 
spell absorption system in this game. While I was wondering around in 
the early parts of the Cave of Trials, Leon accidentally cast Star 
Light at the same time as the enemy mage's Light Cross. I saw the 
indicator on the screen and it went something like:

              Enemy Lg <- Reflect -> Friend St

The result was that, each party's spell reflected off of each other 
and hurts their own side. I have been able to duplicate this a few 
more times with Star Light and Light Cross. However, I really don't 
have any idea of how or what caused it to happen. The 2 spells 
weren't of the same element and at other times when one team absorbs 
another team's spell, one almost always gets absorbed by the other. 
Anyone knows more about Spell Reflection?


CHARACTERS
==========
Star Ocean: The Second Story has 12 possible playable characters, 
however, you can only get a maximum of 8 characters in your party. It 
is not possible to try all of them out in just one game. Each 
character has distinctive abilities, strengths and weaknesses, as 
well as their own personalities and backgrounds. Also new in this 
update are their initial stats, skills and equipment, pointless as it 
may seem.

Favourite Food: Every character has a favourite food, that when 
consumed by the right character, will recover his/her HP/MP to full 
health. There's a space for each character's favourite food in their 
status screen, but until you let them try their favourite food, it 
will be blank. 

Favourite Instrument: Every character has an instrument that they 
suppose to play very well, and the song will have greater effected 
when played by a character's favourite instrument. However, you don't 
have to believe this crap since Dias is just as good at playing the 
Violin as Celine with identical levels, the same goes with Opera 
playing the Trumpet etc.. I have never had ANY trouble playing a non-
favourite instrument, as long as I have both of the required talents.

Favourite Quotes: The voice samples of that character that I found 
amusing, or just funny.

Favourite PA Moment: Minimal spoiler here, I'll try not to put any 
major details here. Any cool Private Action events are listed here.


I'll use the below terms when describing Killer Moves and spells. 

MP Cost: The MP needed to execute that command.

LV Gained: The level where the character gains that skill.
(If "NA", it means that the character will start with that skill.)

Range (KMs only): I'll put a number from 0-5, where the number 
represents the number of character widths between the character and 
the enemy when the KM is executed, 0 being right new to them and 5 
being point blank long range. A "U" in here denotes a uni-ranged 
attack, meaning the KM can be executed anywhere.

Target (spells only):
  * Single enemy: One enemy
  * All enemies: All enemies
  * Single ally: One ally
  * All allies: All allies
  * Line of Sight: Hit enemies on a straight line
  * Radius: Select the target, any enemies near the area will also be 
            affected

Elemental: The elemental alignment of that Killer Move/spell.

Quote: The phrase/s that character shouts as they execute the move.

Also, the texts inside the brackets are the descriptions of the 
skill. However, Killer Moves uses:
  - < > for short range 
  - << >> for long range 
  - [ ] for uni-range (KMs that can be executed everywhere)

I'll use P(x) to denote the Proficiency, where "x" is the Proficiency 
level needed. A "~" means approximate.


The following special sections applies for fighters only:

===Cancel Ability===
Just an overview of how good the character is at using the Cancel 
Combat Skill, as well as which KMs are compatible. Remember that when 
a character successfully triggers Cancel, their recovery frames will 
be omitted and the KM will follow the attack immediately, like 
buffering effects in most fighting games. Try to get used to the 
rhythm.

===Link Combo Ideas===
I'll put any decent Link Combos a character has in this section. 
Also, a rating is attached, 1 being so-so and 5 being a perfect link 
or a killer LC.


=> One note on healing spells!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
| I think I've finally figured how out the healing spells work!     | 
| The equation goes something like this:                            |
|   => Healing = Base + (MAG * K) + (Prof. * X)                     |
|                                                                   |
| K and X are both constants and are different for each spell. K    |
| indicates how much of the caster's MAG stats is going to affect   |
| the healing (better spell = larger K) and X is the upgrade per    |
| Proficiency. It's usually a fraction that's why you don't get a   |
| linear/constant upgrade as Proficiency goes up. Base is damage    |
| healed at zero Proficiency and zero MAG. (Note that this is only  | 
| an approximate. I'm not a great mathematician so don't sack me if | 
| it's incorrect.)                                                  |
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


CLAUDE KENNI
------------
Note: His name really should be Crawd Kenny, as that's his OFFICIAL 
Japanese name. (I've been to Enix' site and saw the name clearly 
printed as "Crawd".) Although Crawd isn't the best name around here, 
I prefer that over "Claude" (I've actually changed his name back to 
"Crawd" in my first game) but I'll use "Claude" simply for the sake 
of it's in the english version of the game.

Claude's father is Ronixis Kenni, the captain of the space ship 
Calnus who is well respected throughout the Earth Space Federation. 
Claude admires his father very much, but also hates him due to the 
envy and sarcasm of his fellow cadets has towards him because he's 
the son of the great captain. While out to explore an unknown planet, 
Claude got sucked into some kinda portal which transported him to 
Expel. While on Expel, he was mistaken by the locals as the legendary 
"Hero of Light". Knowing that sitting around and doing nothing won't 
fulfil his desire of returning home, Claude accepts the mission of 
investigating the Sorcery Globe, a mysterious meteor. Claude is a 
nice guy who always comforts others, but some of his actions and/or 
speech ain't really believable.

Initial stats: 
HP:      130          STR:     10          LUC:     132
MP:       20          CON:      5          STM:      15
LV:        1          DEX:     10          GUTS:     20
EXP:       0          AGL:     10
NEXT:     10          INT:      0

Initial equipment: None

Initial skills: Scientific Ability   LV1
                Functionality        LV1

Favourite Food: 
Steak (Cook with Meat, or bought from Giveaway for 600Fol)

Favourite Instrument: Silver Trumpet

Favourite Quotes: 
  - "Crawd has advanced forward, heh.." (Sounds playful.. :) )

Favourite PA Moment:
  - Going for tea with Ashton. Choose the third one and they'll drink 
    out of a shake with 2 straws!

Claude is definitely the most powerful character in the game, having 
the best stats, most powerful weapons/armor and some of the most 
effective Killer Moves. One good thing about Claude is that more of 
his KMs has both a long and short ranged version than any other 
fighter in the game, making his attacks quite versatile. 

He fights with a sword, and uses both sword skills as well as some 
martial arts skills in his Killer Moves. His normal attack has good 
range, fairly good speed/recovery time and is very strong. His air 
attack is a jumping slash, but it's no better or worse than most 
character's air attacks, however, note that Claude's attack takes 
place on his way DOWN! Making his attack rather unreliable and easily 
gets hit out of. If you must use the air attack, use it at long 
range.

Claude has the highest STR, AGI and (especially) CON in the game, his 
CON is unmatched and is usually twice as high as that of the 
character with the second best CON! What's even more is that his best 
weapons are also many times more powerful than other characters, and 
with the ability to equip the best armor, you have got an awesome 
powerhouse on your team!

Most of his really great Killer Moves are at short range and you 
should definitely use him as a "short-ranged character". However, 
Claude has a few fairly decent longer range Killer Moves, although it 
can be a pain getting it to hit. One slight disadvantage is that 
Claude's Killer Moves takes more Proficiency to build up. His best 
Killer Moves are Ripper Blast (all round attack, especially against 
lotsa enemies. Unmatched when powered up!) and Mirror Slice (no doubt 
the most damaging attack in the game.)


######Killer Moves######

---Phase Gun---

<<Claude's palm lights up and if the enemy is of reasonable distance 
away from Claude, they'll get hit and gets shocked by many beams of 
light>>

MP Cost: 0MP                      LV Gained: NA
Range: 3                          Elemental: Light (?)

Quote: "Burn!"

(You'll get to use this move if you're playing as Claude, but you'll 
only get to see this move if you're Rena.) 

This Killer Move is awesome simply because it's free and it does a 
huge amount of damage (around 700) at the beginning of the game! 
However, you'll only get to use it for the first fight and maybe just 
a few random encounters before you reach Salva. Claude will use his 
Phase Gun to blast through Alen's front door, then the gun runs out 
of power and you're unable to use it throughout the rest of the game. 
(Yes, that's how he lost it! For those of you who played Rena's quest 
first.) Well, it was fun while it lasted.


---Air Slash---

<Claude slowly swings his sword in front of him, which produces a 
ripple-like shockwave that sweeps in an arc and hits any enemy in 
front of him>

<<Claude swings his sword which produces a ripple-like shockwave that 
travels along the ground towards its target>>

MP Cost: 4MP                      LV Gained: 3
Range: 1, U                       Elemental: None (Not Wind)

Quote: "Air Slash"

An ok Killer Move since it's the first one you'll get. The long range 
version will do the same damage as your normal attack but the short 
range version does only half of it. At long range, this move is 
actually "uni-ranged" meaning Claude don't have to move around to 
target the enemy, he just aim it at whatever direction the target is, 
at where he's currently standing. However, it's not a guaranteed hit 
since the shockwave is quite slow and won't home in, so if you use it 
when the target is far away, they can easily avoid it by moving away. 
After careful examination, I discovered that the long range version 
of Air Slash DON'T travel across the full battlefield. The shockwave 
will dissolve after travelling about 90% of the way. 

The short ranged version can hit multiple enemies if you time it 
right and will sometimes hit the same target twice if you're lucky. 
There's quite a bit of delay before the shockwave comes out and the 
recovery is horrible, plus the damage don't shine, making this move 
very dangerous to use at close range. You're better off using your 
normal attack. The shockwave in both versions of Air Slash don't rise 
high enough above the ground to hit airborne enemies.

Because you'll do more damage at long range and Claude don't have to 
move around at all, Air Slash is MUCH more useful at long range. The 
best time to use this is about half a screen distance away from the 
enemy (at long range) so it won't miss that easily, especially if 
they're advancing on you, for decent damage. Also, this move is 
excellent if you wanna play "keep away" with the enemy, just stand on 
the same spot doing this over and over again and the enemies won't be 
able to get to you. This works even better if you have Celine or any 
magic users casting spells behind you. Using this strategy can, 
however, drain your MP very quickly at the beginning of the game. 

At P(200), both versions of Air Slash will turn gold, raises higher 
above ground (long range is barely enough to hit most flying enemies, 
but the short one doesn't) and is executed slightly quicker (still 
slower than Dias' Air Slash though.) Also, the damage is doubled, 
making this move a good one (and cheap) to use, until later in the 
game when he gets his best Killer Moves.


---Shooting Stars---

<Claude holds his sword in one hand and uses the other to execute a 
series of thrashing punches>

<<Claude sends out a ball of energy from his fist>>

MP Cost: 7MP                      LV Gained: 7
Range: 0, 2                       Element: None

Quote: "Shooting Stars"

This Killer Move is pretty good at short range. If you can somehow 
trap the enemy against a wall/another character, or the enemy is 
immobile, you'll be able to do up to 6 hits, each hit is about half 
the strength of a normal attack. Works best on heavier/bigger 
enemies. If you're using this on light enemies, it'll push them away 
after about 1-3 hits. The range of this attack is only about half a 
character width, meaning it's sometimes hard to even hit the enemy 
with Shooting Stars at close range. If you're sneaking up to an 
unoccupied enemy from the rear, you'll barely be able to hit them at 
all because they can and will move out of the way. You'll miss again 
fast enemies and do a max of 2 hits against the others. Also, once 
Claude executes this move, he'll stay in his "punching" animation for 
many seconds, whether he hits or not, meaning it's very easy for 
enemies to attack him from the rear during that time. Avoid using 
this when you're in between multiple enemies, because when you use 
this to hit one of them, the other ones will get a free hit and they 
might even trap Claude between them! Otherwise, a fairly decent 
attack for trapping enemies.

At long range, the energy ball will do double the damage of one hit 
from the short range version (ie, normall attack damage). Has little 
range and does only one hit, meaning the short ranged version is more 
useful in comparison as it can set up traps. Also, it'll dissipate 
soon if a target is not hit. Good for "hit and run" tactics.

The best time to use Shooting Stars is to sneak behind an opponent 
when someone's attacking them from the front to trap them. It's a bit 
hard to trap them in corners unless you have some help. If you have 
Chisato or someone with long range multiple hit Killer Moves (Opera, 
Ashton) it's quite easy. Let them use their Killer Move to push the 
enemy against the wall from long range, then sneak up right next to 
them and use this. Otherwise, Claude'll have to push the enemy all by 
himself. Try using normal attacks or one-hit Killer Moves, then 
Cancel his normal attack into a Shooting Star when near the corner. 
If another ally may attack the enemy from behind, it will either set 
up your trap or ruin it for you by pushing the enemy away.

At P(100), the short ranged version will have a slightly extended 
range (but still not too great), also hits a maximum of 8 hits. The 
energy ball generated in the long ranged version will be slightly 
bigger, not that it's of much good since there are no added bonus to 
the damage, but it will travel a bit more before dissolving. 

At P(200), the punches will turn gold and the range will be improved 
to about 1 character width, which makes it easier to hit the enemies. 
Also, Claude will punch a lot more times than usual, to a maximum of 
about 12 hits. At long range, the energy turns into an ugly oval that 
looks kinda like pizza, still only does one hit though, but will 
travel for a longer distance if not hit. No damage improvements 
though. :(


---Head Splitter---

[Claude jumps up into the air and lands up-side-down with his sword 
pointing downwards at the target's head]

MP Cost: 9MP                      LV Gained: 12
Range: U                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Hya!"

Head Splitter is a good attack to use all through the game. This is 
one of the CPU's favourite attacks. Put this on Claude and he'll use 
it non-stop! (Drains your MP FAST!) Since Claude leaps so high into 
the air, he'll be invulnerable to most physical damage. Depending on 
the distance between Claude and the enemy, it might take some time 
before Claude lands and the enemy might be able to move away. If 
you're too close to the enemy when executing this move however, it's 
likely that Claude'll get hit on his way up, so avoid this in close 
quarters. Head Splitter only does one hit but the damage is about 1.5 
time that of a normal attack. Since he's mostly invulnerable while in 
the air, this Killer Move is very good to use when you're trying to 
keep the distance from an enemy. Also, if you don't mind using up 
your MP, this is a great way of covering distance quickly.

At P(130), Claude will be followed by a blue trail as he falls, 
causing twice as much damage as his normal attack.

At P(260), instead of falling up-side-down on the enemy, Claude will 
spin around many times with his sword in his hand as he descends, 
which is similar to one of Garuda's/Hayate move from Street Fighter 
EX/2. This also only hits once but the damage is now doubled! (At 
~P(500) with the Eternal Sphere, this will do 9999 damage.) However, 
I found this is harder to hit, since sometimes Claude'll land without 
doing any damage at all! If Claude has his blade towards the enemy 
when he gets near the ground then he'll hit, but if it's away from 
the enemy then he won't. 

The best time to use this is when Claude is about 3-5 character width 
away from the enemy, which is almost guaranteed to hit and still 
stays a fair distance away from the enemy. However, Head Splitter 
might have a harder time connecting in the Trail Caves where the 
enemies runs around at insane speed. Another way to use this move 
safely is not to occupy the same "plane" as the enemy's attacks. 
Meaning avoid standing in a straight horizontal line with the enemy.

The height of his jump is quite unpredictable at times. I think the 
longer the distance between Claude and his target, the higher he 
leaps, which makes it terrible at full screen distance as it'll take 
forever for him to land. If you're too close to the enemy, Claude 
will do a tiny mini-leap.


---Energy Sword---

[Claude holds his sword in front of him, with one hand on the blade 
and one hand on the hilt. The yellow ring spears around him and he 
gets healed]

MP Cost: 11MP                     LV Gained: 20
Range: U                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Energy"

I finally understand how this skill works now. This is basically a 
healing Killer Move, although its uses are limited. There's a bit of 
lag time before this move is executed, and since Claude mainly fights 
close to the enemy, the lag time will make him a defenseless standing 
target. An ok skill with some use, especially in the Cave of Trials 
where Rena's healing is sometimes not enough, but make sure you get 
away from the enemies before using it. Also, you only get 2 slots to 
equip Killer Moves with, equipping this means you have to sacrifice a 
perfectly good offensive skill. An idea is to equip this as a Link 
Combo with another fair Killer Move and assign your important Killer 
Moves to the other button. Keep using the other button throughout the 
fight and use the Energy Sword Link Combo when needed. 

The amount of HP this Killer Move (Healer Move would be a better 
name) is exactly one fifth (ie, 20%) of Claude's MAXIMUM HP, meaning 
it could take up to 5 uses to bring him back to full health. However, 
this will improve. At P(100), the yellow ring that appears will look 
thicker (it's quite obvious when it happens) and the amount healed 
goes up to 40% of his maximum HP. At P(200), the yellow ring evolves 
and flickers like fire, at this time Energy Sword will heal for 60% 
of Claude's maximum HP. So this KM can heal for a lot of HP later in 
the game.

To build up the Proficiency of this quickly, look in the tips 
section.


---Burst Knuckles---

<Claude's fist catches on fire and he punches the enemy with it>

<<Claude sends out a ball of fire from this fist>>

MP Cost: 12MP                     LV Gained: 28
Range: 0, 5                       Elemental: Fire

Quote: "Burst knuckles"

Another fairly decent move, although it can be hard to connect with 
it. The short ranged version has less range than even Shooting Stars, 
has a _slight_ execution time where Claude draws his fist but it's 
VERY quick to recover from. It only does one hit, at about 1.5 times 
the damage of his normal attack. Because of the delay, you'll miss if 
you sneak up from behind the enemy and will probably get hit out of 
if you're right next to the enemy. The *safest* (and extremely 
effective) way of using this is to Cancel it off a normal attack, the 
link is perfect and since it has zero recovery time, almost any KMs 
can link fantastically after it. 

At long (mid) range, this move works like Shooting Stars. I often 
miss when I try this. This does one hit at the normal attack damage. 
IMO, Burst Knuckles is only effective at short range.

At P(100), both versions will now do 2 times the normal attack 
damage. 


---Ripper Blast---

<Claude smashes the ground with his sword, as 2 sharp rocks pops out 
of the ground in front of him to hit the enemies>

<<Claude smashes the ground with his sword, as sharp rocks pops out 
of the ground in 7 directions to hit the enemies>>

MP Cost: 17MP                     LV Gained: 38
Range: 2, 3                       Elemental: None

Quote: "Teeeearrrr into pieces"

I SERIOUSLY under-estimated this Killer Move in my first game, as 
it's very powerful and remains to be one of Claude's best attacks. 
The rocks formed in the short version are about 2 character widths 
wide. I think each spike can hit once, but only if the enemy is very 
close to Claude, you'll usually get only one hit though. It can hit 
multiple enemies if they're bunched up tight. The rocks are high 
enough to hit most flying enemies though, making this a good move to 
use against them. The start up time is average but since this move 
pushes the enemies back, you're pretty safe afterwards, and you can 
actually keep using Ripper Blast to push them back, stunning/damaging 
them in the process. The damage of each hit is about that of a normal 
physical attack. Although I must admit it's very annoying to hear 
"Teeeearrrr into pieces" time after time. :P

The long range move looks awesome but is kinda hard to hit. It will 
send rocks 7 ways in front of Claude in a hemisphere formation, 
therefore, hitting multiple enemies surrounding him. What makes it 
harder to hit? Well, first of all, you must execute this at long 
range but the execution point of this move is about 2 character 
widths away from the target but the rocks only reach 2 character 
widths, so the rocks will miss if they move away even just a little. 
Still will be able to hit most flying enemies, and a good move to use 
when you're surrounded by LOTS of enemies to ensure the maximum 
number of hits. Again this only hits once per spike (per each enemy 
hit) and does normal attack damage.

At each P(90) interval, Ripper Blast gets upgraded and another rock 
spike appears, to a maximum of 5 at P(270). This applies to both the 
short and long version, making the long ranged version more and more 
superior since it spreads in a fan shaped formation 180 degrees 
outward. Each spike hits once, but the number of hits is reduced if 
the enemy is standing too far away from Claude (ie, if they stand 3 
character-width away, the first 2 spike will miss, doing at max 3 
hits with the remaining spikes.) This makes the longer ranged version 
harder to hit deep unless the enemy advances on Claude, but it has 
the 7 way fan-shaped formation advantage than the short version.

The WHOLE purpose of this Killer Move is to level it up, if you don't 
level it up then it's rather useless and costs too much for the lousy 
damage it does. If you do however, it'll probably become THE best 
multiple-target Killer Move in the game. ALWAYS try using this at 
long range, because you'll hit the same amount of times and do the 
same amount of damage and you can (most likely) hit ALL the enemies 
on the screen at once. It's almost impossible to escape this Killer 
Move if used at long range. Excellent if you want to play keep away 
games or to finish all the enemies quickly without getting hit. This 
move is even excellenter if you have mages casting spells at full 
blast behind you or characters with uni-range KMs! Beware though, as 
the rocks don't reach far enough to hit those enemy spell casters at 
the back.


---Twin Slash---

<Claude leaps into the air and swings his sword in an arc twice>

MP Cost: 15MP                     LV Gained: 45
Range: 0                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Twin slash"

One of the more useful moves, but its uses are rather limited since 
it something tends to go wrong at times. Yes Claude does jump into 
the air to do his slashes but, it's not a very effective move to use 
against flying enemies. Why? Because Claude tends to execute this 
move at the wrong place and instead of meeting the enemy in mid air 
with his sword, he often clashes into the enemy from under them and 
the sword slices will miss. Sometimes it works fine though. I found 
this to be more useful on ground enemies though, and it's a good all 
round move until the point where he gets Mirror Slice. This hits 
twice and each hit is about the same as a normal attack. 

Twin Slash is basically a scrub version of Mirror Slash, except that 
Claude will travel forward quite a bit so even if you push the enemy 
back, you can still nail them with the next hit. Time it right and 
you can use it on air enemies, but beware of what I mentioned above. 
I usually use this to pressure ground and larger enemies. However, 
there's a teeny weeny bit of delay between the hits so later bosses 
can recover and block easily, making Mirror Slice a much better 
choice later on.

At P(160), Claude will do 2 more slashes before he land, bringing it 
to a total of 4 hits, no damage bonus though. 


---Dragon Howl---

<A ghostly image of a dragon's head appears above Claude and breaths 
ghostly mists at the enemy>

MP Cost: 28                       LV Gained: 53
Range: 3                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Dragon howl"

Dragon Howl is an ok Killer Move, although its MP use seems a little 
too high for its worth. There's a little bit of start up delay but 
the mist travels at a fair speed, so it should be able to hit most of 
the time. Each puff of mist only does half of Claude's normal attack 
damage though. Since the dragon only breathes 3 puffs at start, the 
damage is quite low. I personally found this move rather inefficient 
in a serious right. I don't think the mist can hit multiple enemies 
either.

Dragon Howl takes a hefty amounts of Proficiency to level up. An 
extra puff will be gained at P(250) and then finally another one at 
P(500).  



---Sword Bomber---

<Claude jumps straight up into the air and shoots 2 meteors at the 
enemy from his sword>

MP Cost: 32                      LV Gained: 62
Range: 5                         Elemental: Fire?

Quote: "Sword bomber"

Sword Bomber is a cool looking move and it can be quite fun as well. 
Sword Bomber must be used at long range though and as an aerial 
projectile, it has certain unique benefits but it's also hard to 
control.

As Claude leaps into the air, he is invulnerable to many physical and 
missile attacks, which makes this move an excellent one if you wanna 
stay away from the hostiles for a while and to evade missile storms. 
The meteors are fired quickly in a rapid succession. Even though each 
meteor explodes upon impact when it reaches the ground, it really 
does not seem to have an area effect at all. The blast effects and 
shockwaves are mostly there for a fancy light show, nothing more. 
However, to compensate this, each comet actually hits twice! Each hit 
is of normal attack damage and each hit stuns the target just long 
enough to get the next meteor to connect. So Sword Bomber is a great 
way to get offensive when you need to stay defensive.

At each P(140), Claude will be confident enough to throw another 
meteor, to a total of 5 at P(420) and a long invincible air time! 
Sword Bomber sure is a great KM in the lower levels of the Cave of 
Trials where staying up close and personal will spell one's doom 
rather quickly. Of course, the aerial projectiles are not very 
effective again flying enemies.


---Mirror Slice---

<Claude does a series of quick slices ending with a sword uppercut>

MP Cost: 38                       LV Gained: 70
Range 0                           Elemental: None

Quote: "Mirror slice"

<Under construction>


===Cancel Ability===
The Cancel skill was made for Claude! Claude has a very good normal 
attack to Cancel from, since it's pretty fast, nice range, good 
recovery and can Peep the enemies easily with his Eternal Sphere, 
setting the trap for his KMs that follows up very nicely. What's more 
is that Claude's short ranged KMs are excellent attacks to Cancel 
into, since they're fast and powerful. Basically, if you manage to 
land a normal attack, you're basically gaining the upper hand.

These Killer Moves works well:
* Shooting Stars (cheap and many hits)
* Twin Slash (harder since Claude has to first jump into the air)
* Mirror Slash (fast and powerful)
* Burst Knuckle (my personal favourite!)


===Link Combo Ideas===
Claude has a few good Link Combos since he has a variety of Killer 
Moves. However, since most of his KMs have 2 ranges, some of his Link 
Combos will occasionally turn out differently than expected. One 
slight disadvantage of giving Claude Link Combos is that his KMs are 
the most expensive, his MP can be drained very quickly. 

* Ripper Blast – Air Slash             Rating: 4      MP Cost: 21MP
Geez, talk about playing "hard to get". Use this and the enemies 
can't even touch you. Works even better if you have a pair of Bunny 
Shoes.

* Air Slash - Head Splitter            Rating: 3      MP Cost: 13MP
  Ripper Blast – Head Splitter         Rating: 3.5    MP Cost: 26MP
Hehe, you can deal lotsa damage to the enemy before they even get to 
you with these. However, timing is crucial. Execute this only if 
you're about half a screen away from the enemy so the first attack 
hits, while they're stunned by the Air Slash, they'll get hit by the 
Head Splitter, hopefully. (Air Slash may take a bit long to recover.) 
The latter is a great anti-air move too!

* Burst Knuckles – Shooting Stars      Rating: 4      MP Cost: 19MP
  Burst Knuckles – Mirror Slice        Rating: 5      MP Cost: 
I've tried these once and it was brilliant. Throw in a normal attack 
then Cancel it into Burst Knuckle and they'll be stuck and will take 
a lot of damage. Mirror Slice is better since you don't have to be in 
a corner.

* Energy Sword – Air Slash             Rating: 1.5    MP Cost: 15MP
  Energy Sword – Head Splitter         Rating: 2      MP Cost: 20MP
The only decent Link Combos involving Energy Sword. Since you have 
minimum control over where Claude would end up after his first Killer 
Move, it's usually not a good idea to link Energy Sword after 
anything, 'cuz Claude might end up right next to the opponent after 
executing the first Killer Move. Both Air Slash and Head Splitter can 
hit from anywhere on the screen. 

* Sword Bomber – Ripper Blast          Rating: 4      MP Cost:
Again, a great Link Combo for staying away from the enemy, hits many 
times for lots of damage. Works best on those worms that can swallow 
you since they're slow. Against faster enemies, the Sword Bomber 
maybe harder to connect. It works the other way too, but you may have 
to run a bit out of range for Sword Bomber.

* Twin Slash – Mirror Slice            Rating: 4      MP Cost:
I used this before I tried Burst Knuckles. It's not bad really, but 
there is a bit of lag time when Claude lands. Not sure if it's a good 
move against flying enemies, because Twin Slash will hit but some 
hits in Mirror Slice won't.

There are many more good combinations, especially ones starting with 
Mirror Slice, but I like to use Mirror Slice only as a finisher.


RENA LANFORD
------------
Rena lives in the southern end of Expel, in a village called Arlia 
with her mother. One day when she was strolling around the Shingo 
Forest like she always does, she was attacked by a monster. A 
mysterious stranger appeared to save her. In the muddled state that 
she was in, Rena instantly recognized the stranger to be the 
legendary "Hero of Light" and made a big commotion back in Arlia only 
to find that the stranger, Claude Kenni was far from being the hero 
that was prophesied to save their world. Quickly made up her mind, 
Rena decided to go with Claude in his mission to investigate the 
Sorcery Globe in hopes of finding her birth mother as well as the 
origins of her healing powers. Rena is very bitchy and reminds me a 
lot of Cecilia of Wild Arms, in that she has "morals" and tells 
everyone off for nothing, even when it's none of her business. 

Initial stats: 
HP:      100          STR:      5          LUC:     130
MP:       40          CON:      2          STM:      10
LV:        1          DEX:     10          GUTS:     30
EXP:       0          AGL:      8
NEXT:     10          INT:      0

Initial equipment: Knuckles, Robe

Initial skills: Kitchen Knife   LV1
                Recipe          LV4
                Good Eye        LV1

Favourite Food: Short Cake (Cook with Egg/Dairy Products)

Favourite Instrument: Lyre

Favourite Quotes:
  - "My strength is starting to overflow" (Sounds like Lisa Simpson)
  - "I won't loose" (The first quote I've ever heard from her)

Favourite PA Moment:
  - After Celine caused a big commotion in Fun City with her potion, 
find her and the potion starts to affect Rena too, as she turned red 
and a heart pops up.

Rena is the most useful character in this game. She basically 
provides heavy healing and support for the entire team, you'll want 
her in most fights just in case you accidentally get your butt 
kicked. Although a large portion of Rena's spells are used for 
healing or support, she has a handful of offensive spells as well, 
even though they're not as strong as Celine or Leon's. Her offensive 
consist of Light, Void and Star type attacks, which are more used for 
disrupting the enemy mage rather than heavy damage. Unlike the other 
magic users, she can actually fight pretty well too! Her normal is a 
punch, which is very fast (even faster than Claude's) and has decent 
range and excellent recovery, so it can be done in a quick succession 
to temporarily disable the enemy. Her air attack is very confusing, 
it's either an awkward downward punch or a back flip in mid air, not 
too good at all.

Like I said, she can fight pretty well, so her STR is (although lower 
than any fighter) pretty decent for a magic user, around about 600 at 
later stages, that's just a bit lower than Opera's! Rena, being a 
magic user, has low STM (perhaps lower than that of Celine's) which 
makes MP recovery quite difficult earlier in the game so keep some 
spare Blackberries in stock just in case. 

She is quite weak defensively though, so keep her in the back. 
Remember that her primary job is to heal/support friends, not 
offensive spells or physical fighting. However, if everyone's 
healthy, feel free to cast an offensive spell with her. You should 
ONLY use her in physical combat if you have full control over her, 
but only in certain circumstances, such as self-defence (like if an 
enemy moves too close) or if you see a definite opening and it's not 
too far away, but everyone must be healthy first!

After playing the game a lot, I think I'm beginning to understand how 
the AI likes to controls Rena. These are the desirable actions the AI 
likes to use, ranked in order of priority.
         1) Healing spells (eg, Fairy Heal)
         2) Raise Dead
         3) Stats-up spells, if applicable (eg, Angel Feather)
         4) Stats-down spells, if applicable (eg, Deep Mist)
         5) Attack spells, if applicable (eg, Star Flare)
         6) Physical attacks

The priority however, is influenced by Affection values. For example, 
if Rena has high Affection towards Claude but low Affection towards 
Ashton, when Claude and Ashton both falls in battle, Rena's actions 
would go something like this:
      1) Cast healing spell if Rena or 4th party member is injured
      2) Cast Raise Dead on Claude
      3) Fairy Heal or Fairy Light on Claude
      4) Star Flare
      5) Healing spell if anyone is injured
      6) Cast Raise Dead on Ashton
      7) Fairy Heal or Fairy Light on Ashton

However, her AI is also dependant on Rena's strategy setting. So if 
you are in a tight situation, control Rena manually so she doesn't 
slack off.

Being a magic user disallow Rena to wear very good armor, so 
concentrate on a good MAG boost with Robes, but do give her the best 
equipment available as she's the most valuable character of the team, 
if she falls, you'll have quite a hard time at healing yourselves. 


#####Magic#####

---Heal---

[Green sparks swirls around a character from head to toe]

MP Cost: 3MP                      LV Gained: NA
Target: Single ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Heal"

A very simple healing spell. It's very quick to cast, about 1 second 
but since it's a non-static spell, it'll take another second to take 
effect. The amount recovered is hopelessly low though, but it's 
enough to keep you going until around the Mars event. 

Healing = 100 + (MAG * 1/4) + (Prof. * 0.7)

The first casting restores 100HP, and another HP is added per every 1 
or 2 castings, so y' see, even at P(999) this spell still restores 
less than 1000HP. Good earlier on, on gets outdated quickly.


---Antidote---

[A small green ring encircles one ally]

MP Cost: 5MP                      LV Gained: 3
Target: Single ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Antidote"

An early spell but it's likely that you'll need to use it until the 
end of the game. This will cure the Poison status. It's a non-static 
spell, is very quick to cast but takes a while (2-3 seconds) to take 
effect. This becomes extremely useful in the Trial Caves since the 
enemies there tend to be very cheap and Poisons you all the time. 
Never seal this, you'll never know when it'll be useful.


---Press---

[A 10-ton weight drops from above its target]

MP Cost: 7MP                      LV Gained: 5
Target: One enemy                 Elemental: Void

Quote: "Press"
       "Be crushed!"

Rena's first offensive spell is a really weak one, I bet she can 
attack the enemy for more damage. This does about 50 points of damage 
when you first get it and at the end of the game, this can only do 
about 150 points of damage. The casting time is about 2.5 seconds, 
not too great but it's a static spell so it takes effect immediately 
after that. It can be ok when used to disrupt an enemy mage's 
concentration, but if you manage to get the Proficiency of her better 
spells (like Star Flare) up to around 400, they'll be faster and does 
more damage. Press is an ok spell to combine with Leon's Gremlin 
Lair, if the timing of Rena's other spells are a little long. 


---Deep Mist---

[Clouds appear near the target to obscure their ision]

MP Cost: 11MP                     LV Gained: 8
Target: All enemies (?)           Elemental: Dark

Quote: "Deep mist"
       "Oh fog"

Ummm, I'm still deciding how useful this spell is. I ignored it 
pretty much in my first 2 games, then tried it a bit near the end of 
the game, but it wasn't really effective at all since it won't ever 
work, I guess I was just lacking Proficiency. Now in my third game, I 
actually find this quite useful during random encounters (it's a lot 
harder on Galaxy mode y' know) as it reduces the enemy's hit rates by 
quite a bit. I think this may also reduce their evade rates too. If 
an enemy gets blinded, some blue words will appear above them (can't 
read what it says 'cuz it's too small) and those who weren't affected 
will have "MISS" above their heads. It won't really work on the 
bosses though (especially most of them are strong against Dark) so 
stick to harder random encounter fights. Forget it if you don't want 
to waste your MP, as you can complete a game without ever touching 
this. I'd seal it immediately, and use it manually. 

The casting time is around 3 seconds. This may look like an area 
affecting spell, but I once cast this on a target in the middle of 
the screen and enemies that were miles away were affected too, so I 
guess this affects all enemies.


---Cure Light---

[A sphere of light appears above the target's head and heals them]

MP Cost: 11MP                     LV Gained: 10
Target: Single ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Cure light"

This spell will replace Heal and works fairly well until you get to 
the Lacour continent. It's still fast (about 2 seconds) but it's a 
non-static spell so it'll take about another 2 seconds to take 
effect, you could be killed by then! 

Healing = 800 + (MAG * 1/2) + (Prof. * 1.3)

The first casting will restore 800HP, and each casting afterwards 
will restore another 1HP, but it sometimes varies. It isn't good for 
a very long time but you're sometimes forced to use it, as the next 
single targeted healing spell (Fairy Heal) is quite a few levels 
away.


---Silence---

[Rena summons a 4 armed spirit, and the spirit extends 2 of her arms 
out]

MP Cost: 14MP                     LV Gained: 12
Target: All enemies               Elemental: None

Quote: "Silence"

This spell attempts to silence all enemies, but are only good against 
spell casters. When an enemy gets silences, an orange cross appears 
above the enemy for a second, those didn't get silenced will have 
"MISS". The success rate of this spell is quite bad, as it never 
works when you are desperate. I found to cast quick spells like Ray 
to disturb the enemy mages is more effective, however, if you do 
manage to silence an enemy spell caster, they'll be rendered 
powerless for the rest of the fight, which can be very helpful in the 
Trial Caves. I believe that higher Proficiency means higher success 
rates. I think Celine's Forget is more effective though. It's up to 
you if you wanna seal it. I usually leave it on.


---Ray---

[Countless rays of white light gathers in the air, as many slender 
beams of yellow lights are emitted and hits the enemies]

MP Cost: 10MP                     LV Gained: 14
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Light

Quote: "Ray"
       "Oh light!"

Ah, finally a dependable attack spell, but by the time Rena gets this 
Celine would have had it for quite a while and will soon get the much 
superior Star Light. Oh well. Still pretty good but won't do very 
much damage by the time she gets this. You can combine this with 
Celine's Ray or you can use this to disturb the enemies to buy some 
time for Celine to cast a much powerful spell, which is a good 
strategy later on. It's quite cheap but it takes about 4 seconds to 
cast. The damage done is around 80-100+, not too great. 


---Energy Net---

[A large shockwave drops from the sky and explodes into a dome as it 
hits the ground, stunning all enemies caught in the explosion]

MP Cost: 12                       LV Gained: 18
Target: All enemies               Elemental: ?

Quote: "Energy net"
       "Don't move!"

A fairly decent status spell. This will attempt to Peep all enemies 
and works more often than not. It takes about 4 seconds to cast. It 
can be good if you want your fighters to advance on an enemy or to 
escape. I believe the higher the Proficiency the more accurate this 
spell is. It probably won't work very much at the end of the game 
(where it's more useful) if you don't cast this spell throughout your 
game. Turn it off or Rena will use it a lot, cast it manually.


---Cure All---

[Rena conjures up a large cross and a light blue dome, all allies are 
covered in blue sparks]

MP Cost: 18MP                     LV Gained: 20
Target: All allies                Elemental: None

Quote: "Cure all"
       "Oh healing light!"

This is what I call "faith healing". :) This is the first all-
affecting healing spell you'll have access to, and becomes quite 
useful from the Sanctuary of Linga and onwards, but will be replaced 
by Fairy Light later. 

Healing = 1200 + (MAG * 1) + (Prof. * 1.7)

The first casting of Cure All will restore 1200HP and each casting 
following will gain either 1 or 2 HP. The casting time is around 4 
seconds but it's a static spell so once you pull it off, you're 
pretty much safe. Since this restores more HP than Cure Light, it's a 
good spell to use even only if one character is hurt (badly), since 
you won't have access to Fairy Heal for a long while.


---Delay---

[Rena calls forth a large pocket watch, it hang over the target and 
resets itself]

MP Cost: 18MP                     LV Gained: 22
Target: Single enemy              Elemental: None

Quote: "Delay"
       "Oh time"

This is basically SO2's version of the infamous Slow spell from FF. 
It will take 4 seconds to cast, but once cast it'll have a decent 
chance of success and it even works on some of the bosses. Delay will 
slow the target's movement rate giving you the upper hand, but I'm 
not sure if it does anything else (like evade, accuracy etc.) It's a 
good spell but since it misses often, it might be a better option to 
Haste (see below) all your allies. Turn this off or Rena will use it 
constantly (if you set her to "Aid Friends") and cast it manually 
whenever you feel like it. 


---Dispel---

[A large runic green circle appears below the character and gets 
showered by blue sparks]

MP Cost: 24MP                     LV Gained: 25
Target: Single ally               Elemental: None (?)

Quote: "Dispel"
       "Disappear you impure people!"

Another one of Rena's most useful spells, Dispel will negate Poison, 
Paralyze and Stone status. Becomes increasingly important as you 
progress though the game, as many enemies has really cheap attacks 
that inflicts status ailments, often multiple ones at one time! Of 
course, use this when someone's affected by all 3 statuses, but if 
it's just one status, you might consider using an item and let Rena 
do the healing in tougher fights. If the target is affected by Poison 
only, use Antidote instead. NEVER seal this spell!

NOTE! I am not 100% sure about this but Dispel may have the effects 
of Celine/Noel's Neutral as well. What proof do I have of this? Well, 
one time Rena was affected by an enemy Delay spell, and the AI had 
Rena cast Dispel on herself. Now I dunno whether it was a feasible 
reaction or if the AI is just plains stupid, but the AI is usually 
smart enough to cast only the spells that they need. For example, 
Rena would never cast Silence if none of the enemies are magic users, 
so it may just have that extra bit of Neutral effects. :)

Note my "?" next to the "Elemental". This is probably a non-elemental 
spell but the animation is very similar to Anti (a Void spell) and it 
kinda makes sense for a status-dispelling spell to be Void elemental 
(remember Vortex from SaGa Frontier?) Well, I have no idea why I'm 
making such a fuss about something that ain't even gonna affect the 
gameplay... *sign*


---Gravity Press---

[Dark clouds forms in the sky and countless 100-ton weights drops 
from it and crushes anything beneath them]

MP Cost: 24MP                     LV Gained: 28
Target: Radius                    Elemental: Void

Quote: "Gravity Press"
       "Hit it!"

Wow, great! Even Celine don't have a spell as powerful as this at 
LV28! It deals a solid ~600 points of damage to most enemies on 
screen. Although the enemies gets knocked Dizzy during the animation 
of this spell, Dizziness does not last after the spell finishes. A 
fairly good spell for the time being but gets replaced by Celine's 
spells quickly, especially that it uses so much MP! The casting time 
is about 4 seconds.

A great way of using this is to combine with Leon's Gremlin Lair, for 
an added 1400 damage to each HIT!!! Although this may sound a little 
crazy, but I found it a little hard to time that spell combination 
because Gravity Press actually takes longer to cast!!!


---Light Cross---

[Multiple beams of light hits battlefield causing mild explosions]

MP Cost: 18MP                   LV Gained: 30
Target: All enemies             Elemental: Light

Quote: "Light cross"
       "Oh holy cross!"

A very disappointing spell after Gravity Press, as the damage is only 
slightly better than Ray, and you gets it so late. When I first got 
this I did around 290 points of damage, not very helpful at all. 
Ignore this, as Celine'll soon get a very powerful Thunder Storm (if 
she hasn't already.) Casting time is 4 seconds. 


---Protection---

[A shield falls from heaven to protect an ally]

MP Cost: 18MP                     LV Gained: 33
Target: Single ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Protection"
       "Oh shield of light!"

This spell will raise the target's defense by I don't know how much. 
It's good against bosses especially flying ones since most of your 
fighters will be very vulnerable when jump attacking. Costs a bit 
much earlier on and doesn't gain Proficiency so seal it.


---Tractor Beam---

[A rainbow colored, cylindrical force field envelopes the target and 
any surrounding enemies, lifts them up into the air and drops them 
head down back to the ground]

MP Cost: 22MP                     LV Gained: 36
Target: Radius                    Elemental: Star

Quote: "Tuactor bea" (weird!!!)

A unique but average attack spell in Rena's possession. The casting 
time of 4 seconds makes this spell a bad choice for disturbing enemy 
spell casters. The area of impact of this spell is not bad, but not 
as good as other spells of this type. It's useful for a while when 
you first obtain this, which is around Sanctuary of Linga. Note, 
airborne enemies or enemies gets propelled into the air will not be 
affected by this, which makes casting this spell on those "Bunnies" 
less effective. Although the AI is quite bad sometimes and casts this 
on flying enemies. The damage is around 700+ when you first gets it 
and at the end of the game it can do 1000+ damage, pretty weak huh. 
You can also combine this with Leon's Gremlin Lair, but the damage is 
about the same as if you use Gravity Press instead.


---Haste---

[A pocket watch appears above the ally and fast-forwards itself]

MP Cost: 20MP                     LV Gained: 42
Target: Single ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Haste"
       "Oh time!"

This spell will raise one ally's running speed and will never miss, 
although it's not as good as it is in theory, as your character will 
only be a teeny-weeny bit faster that you won't even notice it!! Use 
it if you want but I'd rather save my MP. Seal this though or else 
Rena will cast this during random encounters and uses up her MP 
faster than expected. 


---Growth---

[An orange sphere of energy clouds one ally and enlarges them 
temporarily]

MP Cost: 22MP                     LV Gained: 47
Target: Single Ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Growth"
       "Power up!"

A very good spell for most boss fights as it increases the damage 
done by one ally by a LOT, possibly by an extra portion of their 
regular attack power. I was doing about 800 damage and after this 
spell was cast, my guys started hacking away for 1100!! I think the 
effect will wear off when that ally dies in battle, and this has no 
Proficiency, so seal it and use it manually during boss fights. 
Fighters are probably the only ones who benefits from this spell 
unless you want your mages to attack in front line. This combined 
with Berserk can cause MAJOR damage and use it against tough bosses 
for a big power boost.


---Fairy Heal---

[A beam of light shines upon a character from the heavens and angels 
descends.]

MP Cost: 30MP                     LV Gained: 52
Target: Single Ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Fairy Heal"
       "Please!"

GREAT spell. If you've been leveling Rena up a LOT then you can get 
this as early as when you get to the Eluria Tower. It's really useful 
as at ~P(300) you'll be curing over 8000 HP! Here's the equation for 
the spell:

HP Restored = 2800 + (MAG * 2) + (Prof. * 4)

So every time you use it, an extra 4HP is restored so it really gets 
powerful quite quickly.


---Anti---
[A large magical rune is summoned by the caster and all allies are 
protected by orange sparks]

MP Cost: 40MP                     LV Gained: 54
Target: All Allies                Elemental: Void

Quote: "Anti"

This is another great spell. Anti will protect every one of your 
allies from enemy magic attacks, so it's absolutely essential for 
later bosses and the ones in the Cave of Trials. Seal this one as 
well and use it manually. It does not have a proficiency counter 
either. Some of the lesser spells are even negated by this spell!!!


---Raise Dead---

[A cone of light is cast upon the fallen ally as angels descend to 
heal him or her]

MP Cost: 45MP                     LV Gained: 60
Target: Single ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Restore mercy!"

One of the best spells in the game, Raise Dead will save your life 
many times. The risen ally will be at 50% of their max HP when 
they're revived, so it might take another Fairy Heal or Fairy Light 
to get them healthy. The casting time is a little long, at about 5 
seconds without Motormouth and cannot be improved, since this spell 
gains no Proficiency. If you need to revive somebody urgently, use an 
item instead.


---Star Flare---

[A large star hangs over the battle field as shards of it breaks off 
to crush the enemies]

MP Cost: 26MP                     LV Gained: 63
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Light

Quote: "Star Flare"

The opposite of Leon's Shadow Flare. Star Flare is a great spell for 
Rena even though it does not do heavy amounts of damage. It's a spell 
unique to Rena though, but it's not th best Light spell in the game 
(Celine's Lunar Light is). Star Flare is quick to cast, with 
Motormouth, it only takes one and half second! When you have high 
Proficiency, it'll be just as quick without Motormouth, so this is a 
dependable spell if you wanna disrupt the enemy mage's concentration. 
Damage is not that great, later in the game, it'll do 2000-3000 
damage. Not bad for Rena. As a bonus, Star Flare is also extremely 
quick to animate!


---Fairy Light---

[Many beams of light shines upon the allies from the heavens and 
multiple angels descends.]

MP Cost: 40                       LV Gained: 65
Target: All allies                Elemental: None

Quote: "Fairy Heal"
       "Heal everyone!"

HP Restored = 2200 + (MAG * 2) + (Prof. * 4)

Fairy Light is another one of the most useful spells in the game, it 
heals everyone on your team for an ungodly amount. It has a lower 
Base HP than Fairy Heal, but since it doubles your MAG and each 
Proficiency point is worth another 4 HP, it really gets stronger 
quickly. Later on in the Cave of Trials, Rena will have to cast this 
spell repeatedly.


---Angel Feather---

[An angel descends from the heavens to give a character her blessing]

MP Cost: 30MP                     LV Gained: 72
Target: Single ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Angel Feather"

Angel Feather will give a character an all-round stats boost, 
effectively a Haste + Growth + Protection + Bless combination, except 
each of the singular effects don't seem to be as effective as the 
seperate spells. It also gives a boost to evasion though, and a few 
others like magic defense and such. Use this during hard boss 
battles, but if you have access to the other stats-boost spells, feel 
free to use them also.


CELINE JULES
------------
Celine is a free willed young woman from the Mars village famed for 
her abilities in Heraldry Arts and her beauty. Sick of the pre-
arranged marriages from her parents, Celine leaves home to find 
excitements in treasure hunting, and maybe, just maybe, finding 
someone in the world that really takes her for who she really is. 
Celine is a very typical "sweetie darling" type of girl, who like 
expensive and classy objects. She's very open minded though, and can 
be quite romantic at the right times. Celine is also very generous, 
always giving her friends gifts.

Initial stats: 
HP:      400          STR:     15          LUC:     154
MP:      100          CON:      8          STM:      14
LV:        8          DEX:     12          GUTS:     45
EXP:     735          AGL:      5
NEXT:    325          INT:      0

Initial equipment: Rod, Robe, Pin Heels, Ruby Earring, Prism Ring

Initial skills: Mineralogy           LV1
                Craft                LV1
                Esthetic Sense       LV5
                Scientific Ability   LV2
                Fairyology           LV2

Favourite Food: Baby Rabbit Risotto

Favourite Instrument: Violin

Favourite Quotes:
  - "Oh, is it already finished?"
  - "Behind me??"
  - "I deserve this!"
  - "I have no choice" (ALL of her quotes sounds really cool!)

Favourite PA Moment:
  - Not a PA, but when you go to the clothes shop in Clik with Ketil, 
choose to dress up Celine and you'll get to see her in a bikini!!!
  - She got angry with me when I tried to steal from her and failed!
  - Who can forget the romantic side of her when she got engaged to a 
certain blond guy

Not only is Celine one of the classiest chicks ever to be in an RPG, 
she's also quite a powerful character. I think Celine is the best 
attack magician in this game. Celine joins your party pretty early in 
the game, where her spells are unmatched, but like all magic users, 
their spells gets out classed by fighters as they can do much more 
damage in less time and don't have to bothered by the lengthy spell 
animations. What makes her more useful than Leon is that her spells 
controls more useful elements than Leon, that the enemies are often 
weak against. Celine is the master of Fire, Thunder, Star and Light, 
with a few spells of Wind, Void and Vacuum elemental, although a few 
of her better spells takes forever to animate. :(

Physically, Celine is THE weakest character in the game, she has the 
lowest STR and her normal attacks are pathetic. Her ground attack is 
a swing with her rod. She obviously hasn't had any training as it has 
basically no range! Don't try to attack the enemies or it'll leave 
her VERY open to attacks. Her air attack is even worse, a swing that 
has no range. I can NEVER get her air attack to connect. Don't try, 
as she'll get hit instead.

Celine can only wear the crappiest armor, so concentrate on a good 
MAG instead, and keep her at the back at all times. Celine also runs 
extremely slow in battles (the slowest) so it's almost impossible to 
escape (without Bunny Shoes) if an enemy gets on her tail. The AI 
controls magicians very badly in this game (although Celine is better 
than both Leon and Noel) as they'll just stand at the same place. The 
enemy casts a Firebolt and they'll just stand there. The Firebolt 
approaches and they just stand there... and gets hit by the worst 
spell in the game, time after time!!! Also, if enemies get to them, 
they'll only move at the LAST SECOND possible, therefore usually gets 
killed very quickly (there isn't even a strategy to make them move!) 
And lastly, magic users tend to stand there and be idled during the 
fights, even on the most aggressive AI setting, casting a spell 
occasionally whenever they feel like it. So if you're planning to use 
magic users in a serious fight, make sure YOU'RE controlling them.

Celine has low STM earlier in the game, and since her spells are all 
quite expensive, her MP gets drained very quickly. Also, equip the 
weapon that gives her the best MAG, as you won't need her for 
attacking. Another thing of interest is that Celine is very gutsy for 
a magic user, with a GUTS level that rivals Claude's but I suppose 
it's not as useful for her as for a figher. 


######Heraldry#####

---Firebolt---

[Celine launches a ball of fire at the enemy]

MP Cost: 2MP                      LV Gained: NA
Target: Single enemy              Elemental: Fire

Quote: "Firebolt"

The weakest attacking spell in the game has many flaws, obviously. 
The first is that the Firebolt will pause in front of Celine for 
about 2 seconds before it launches itself. It also travels quite 
slowly. This spell is non-static so a hit is not guaranteed, but at 
that speed, it would be a miracle if it did hit an enemy at full 
screen. The casting time is 2 seconds. I only managed to do 15 points 
of damage when Celine first joined, so give this spell a break. 

Note around the 4th floor of the Cave of Trials, those Goat-head-like 
enemies can cast Firebolt but their Firebolts do around 2000+ damage 
to a character with neutral resistance!!!!! 


---Wind Blade---

[Celine fires a slim tornado at the enemy]

MP Cost: 2MP                      LV Gained: NA
Target: Single enemy              Elemental: Wind

Quote: "Wind blade"

The Wind elemental version of Firebolt, has identical drawbacks and 
same casting time. Wind Blade is better though, as the tornado is 
launched immediately upon casting, making this easier to hit with. 
The damage is also greater, I managed to deal 25 points! Put this on 
your ignore list, even if the enemy is weak against Wind, because 
Celine has much better spells.


---Thunderbolt---

[A small bolt to lightning blasts the enemy]

MP Cost: 4MP                      LV Gained: NA
Target: Single enemy              Elemental: Thunder

Quote: "Thunderbolt"

The weakest Thunder spell. Unlike Firebolt and Wind Blade, this can 
actually hit the enemy most of the time, as the lightning appears 
right above where the enemy is standing. A bit more stronger, at 35 
points damage. Only worth casting for the cute voice sample or when 
you're very early in the game. I sometimes cast this for fun (not 
that it's that much fun watching a lousy spell.)


---Ray---

[Countless rays of white light gathers in the air, as many slender 
beams of yellow lights are emitted and hits the enemies]

MP Cost: 10MP                     LV Gained: 9
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Light

Quote: "Ray"
       "Go!"

Unlike Rena, when Celine first receives Ray (the Cross Cave event) 
it's godly powerful, although takes a lot of MP to cast. It will deal 
about 80 points of damage at first, but won't rise very high. This is 
exceptionally useful when fighting the Gargoyles in the Cave of 
Cross.


---Energy Arrow---

[Numerous purple energy darts accumulates and explodes about the 
enemy]

MP Cost: 17MP                     LV Gained: 12
Target: Single enemy              Elemental: Vacuum

Quote: "Energy arrow"
       "Gather together darkness!"

This will be Celine's most powerful spell for a while, but still 
isn't too damaging, about 500 points of damage is what you normally 
get. The casting time is around 4 seconds. Although it might be a 
little expensive, this spell will get rid of most of the normal 
encounter enemies during the early part of the game with one hit. 
Tired of those archers in the Mountain Palace hitting you before you 
can even get close? Use this and they'll be no more. It works on the 
mages with very powerful spells too. However, I think this spell is 
not too useful during boss fights. :(


---Forget---

[Black thunder bolts strikes the target mentally, causing amnesia]

MP Cost: 10MP                     LV Gained: 15
Target: Single enemy              Elemental: Thunder

Quote: "Forget"
       "Oh thunder run!"

This is Celine's way of disposing of enemy spell casters by (a rather 
innovative way) hitting their heads with lightning. IMO, this is more 
effective than Rena's Silence, but targets only one enemy. It's up to 
you if you want to use this spell. Again higher the Proficiency, the 
more accurate this is. Try it on an enemy weak vs thunder, but there 
ain't that many of them around. The casting time is about 3 seconds 
but this spell become very fast after about 30 castings.


---Starlight---

[Celine sends a chain of stars into the air, which in terms shines 
beams of light down at the enemies, causing an explosion]

MP Cost: 10                       LV Gained: 18
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Star

Quote: "Starlight"
       "Oh light!"

A fairly decent spell, but still, Energy Arrow is more effective 
during boss fights. Starlight will do around 140 points of damage to 
all enemies, so it's better used on encounters with hoards of 
enemies. Note this has the same MP cost as Ray, but the damage is 
much higher. I like this spell for disrupting the enemy magicians. 
The casting time is about 4 seconds.


---Reflection---

[Thunderbolts form a barrier around an ally]

MP Cost: 8MP                      LV Gained: 19
Target: Single ally               Elemental: Thunder

Quote: "Reef-Lection"

Hmm, more innovative ways of using lightning bolts. This will reduce 
the damage taken from PHYSICAL attacks only, but it works differently 
to Rena's Protection, as this reduces damage directly which Rena's 
will only increase DEF. I'm not sure exactly how this spell works but 
it seems to reduce damage by a certain set amount rather than in a 
percentage. This is only a guess but maybe Reflection reduces damage 
by Celine's MAG value PLUS the Proficiency of this spell. Nice spell 
to cast during boss fights, but Celine's AI will sometimes cast this 
on herself first, or cast this spell for no apparent reason during 
normal encounters. 


---Mind Absorber---

[A red/orange bubble of energy is sucked out of the enemy and gets 
absorbed by the caster]

MP Cost: 1MP                      LV Gained: 22
Target: Single enemy              Elemental: Vacuum

Quote: "Mind absorber"
       "Excuse me!" :)

This might have been a good spell in the FF series, where almost 
every enemy had MP. This is not the case in SO2 however, as usually 
only the spell casters have MP, so casting this on other enemies 
simply wastes the spell. This can be used on enemy spell casters to 
drain off all their MP, and therefore, disabling them. Just prepare 
yourself so that you won't be too surprised when it missed. I simply 
let Celine cast this on enemy mages when her MP gets too low, since 
this spell costs so little, it's a nice substitute for Blackberries, 
and you'll gain Proficiency. The MP absorbed is quite low though. I 
managed to drain 20MP when I first cast this. I think the amount of 
MP drained is affected by your MAG power while the success rate is 
affected by the Proficiency. It also depends on target's current MP. 
It's fun, but not totally reliable so don't use it in a life-or-death 
situation.


---Neutral---

[The character gets dazzled by brilliant blue showers]

MP Cost: 17MP                     LV Gained: 27
Target: Single ally               Elemental: ??

Quote: "Neutral"

One of the least useful spells in the game, Neutral gets rid of those 
nasty pseudo-statuses (like Silence, Delay etc.) that the enemies 
hardly ever cast. I've never actually had to use this spells, but if 
you happen to be affected by Deep Mist or something then give this 
spell a try.


---Bless---

[A light embrases the character as rings of rainbow resonates about 
them]

MP Cost: 18MP                     LV Gained: 28
Target: Single ally               Elemental: ??

Quote: "Bless"
       "By the goddess of luck!"

Bless increases an ally's hit rate. It's more useful than it sounds 
(as characters rarely miss in other RPGs) since the later enemies 
have an annoying tendency to block most of your physical attacks 
thrown at them. Doesn't gain proficiency so seal it or Celine would 
use it during normal battles and wastes her MP.


---Thunder Storm---

[Many thunder bolts blasts the battlefield from all directions]

MP Cost: 28MP                     LV Gained: 31
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Thunder

Quote: "Thunder storm"
       "Bolt down!"

Goodness me, finally a decent spell after all that time! You'll 
probably get this around the Sanctuary of Linga part of the game and 
it'll become really useful during that time, since the boss in that 
dungeon is weak against Thunder. This spell will do an enormous 800+ 
points of damage to all enemies when you get this, but keep an eye on 
Celine's MP as a few of these will leave her MP-less. Probably useful 
until the point you get Thunder Cloud. Note the casting times of this 
and all the up-and-coming spells are becoming quite long, so you 
can't disturb the enemy mages as easily with these. Thunder Storm's 
casting time is about 5 seconds.


---Eruption---

[A large pile of lava erupts out of the ground and burns surrounding 
enemies, while more burning lava falls from the sky]

MP Cost: 30MP                     LV Gained: 34
Target: Radius                    Elemental: Fire

Quote: "E-Ruption"
       "Oh flame!"

Hate those annoying mages in the Mountain Palace hurting your guys 
badly with this spell? Well, now Celine has it and she's not afraid 
to use it! *Gasp* Anyway, Celine will probably get this after 
clearing the Sanctuary of Linga or the beginning of Hoffman Ruins. 
Around that point, Eruption will do 1000+ points to most enemies. Its 
area of blast is about the same as Rena's Tractor Beam. Since this 
spell is kinda expensive, you might choose to cast this only on 
tightly packed enemies and use Thunder Storm if the enemies are more 
spread out. The usefulness of this will wear out sooner though, as 
it's a long time 'til you get Explosion.


---Curse---

[The target is engulfed in a beam of blue light as skulls pounds the 
target]

MP Cost: 20MP                     LV Gained: 39
Target: Single enemy              Elemental: None

Quote: "Curse"

I don't know what to think of this spell. It's suppose to cancel any 
positive spells an enemy casts on themselves (ie, Haste, Angel 
Feather etc..) Very useless since enemies almost never use these 
spells, except maybe later bosses and the ones in the Cave of Trials. 
I've NEVER had to use this spell. So use this when you're fighting a 
boss with Celine in our team and the boss cast a stats-upper on 
himself, but it will almost never happen. What's kinda weird about 
this spell is that it can gain Proficiency! Hmm, maybe it has a 
stats-down effect too?


---Lunar Light---

[A large moon appears in the sky as yellow beams of light descends 
and explodes into a large dome]

MP Cost: 25MP                     LV Gained: 43
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Light

Quote: "Lunar light"

This is Celine's first REALLY good spell and can be used all the way 
to the end of the game as this is the most powerful Light spell. 
Celine gains this really early (some point in the Eluria Tower) and 
it only costs 25MP, which is really cheap towards the end of the 
game. For the best Light spell, it can reap up quite a nice sum of 
damage, about 2300+ at the point where you get this. Later in the 
game, you can do a lot more damage by boosting Celine's MAG, the 
damage can go upwards of 6000!! Also, another good point about this 
spell is that the animation time is pretty quick for an ultimate 
spell, and Light elemental is rather useful since not many enemies 
are strong against it. The casting time is really sluggish though (a 
sign of what you should be expecting in Celine's later spells), about 
5-6 seconds.


<More spells are under construction>




 
ASHTON ANCHORS
--------------
Somehow cursed to have the worst luck in the world, Ashton travels 
the world performing heroic deeds to help common folks. Although he 
has good intentions, his lucky always ruins it for him in lots of 
unexpected ways. When trying to slay the evil twin-headed dragons in 
the mines of Salva, he was distracted by the party and received a 
possession from the dragons. Now he walks with 2 dragon heads, Gyoro 
and Ururun, attached to his back. In hope of finding a way to 
exorcise them, he joins the party. Although he rarely shows it, he 
cares for the dragons a lot and he's very thankful to have friends 
(the party members) who cares about him. He's also a VERY comical 
character.

Favourite Food: Hamburger (Cook with Meat, or bought from Giveaway 
for 200Fol)

Favourite Instrument: Piano

Favourite Quotes: 
  - "Oh god..."
  - "I diid iit!" (Don't know why but these 2 quotes seem like what 
Dan from Street Fighters would say.)

Favourite PA Moment: 
  - In Fun City with his biggest obsession for barrels yet!! ("BARREL 
BARREL BARREL BARREL BARREL..." :) )
  - Also in Fun City, the kids mistook Gyoro and Ururun for stuffed 
animals!

Ashton is, IMO, the second most powerful character in SO2. To be 
honest, I found it hard to adjust to his style when I first got him, 
and the CPU can control him much better than I can. 

Ashton is very nimble with his hands, because he fights with a pair 
of short swords, one in each hand. He uses Heraldic Swords techniques 
in his Killer Move, but not all of them are really great, and his 
later Killer Moves will utilizes the power of Gyoro and Ururun. Even 
though Ashton is equipped with 2 swords, he will only attack with one 
with his normal attack, which is a quick slash. It is of slightly 
less range than Claude's but is quick. His air attack is, again a 
jumping slash, still not that effective but it's better than Claude's 
since he attacks on his way up. 

He has a lot in common with Claude for the fact that they both have 
very high STR and CON, and can equip some of the best armor, although 
the two-handed nature of Ashton's weapons forbids him to wear the 
best shields so he has to stick to smaller bucklers. Ashton also has 
some really powerful weapons, and can equip the best weapon in the 
game, the Levantine Sword. Ashton is probably the unluckiest person 
on Expel, since his LUC starts off at 18 and will never raise any 
higher, poor Ashton. I won't worry too much about his LUC though. 

Ashton's Killer Moves are really a mixed bag. The ones he get near 
the start of the game are some of the WORST in the game, slow as hell 
and takes forever to recover. However, his later Killer Moves are 
some of the best. Like Claude, Ashton should really be used as a 
short-ranged character. His missile attacks are TERRIBLE!!! Ashton's 
best Killer Moves are probably Sword Dance (second only to Mirror 
Slice!) and maybe Hurricane Slash (not THAT strong. But great in 
juggles.) Dragon Breath is fairly good too.


#####Killer Moves#####

---Twin Stab---

<Ashton out-stretches his arm to pierce the enemy with one sword, 
takes it back and stabs the enemy with the other sword>

<<Like above, except the swords extends out more>>

MP Cost: 4MP                      LV Gained: NA
Range: 0, 1                       Elemental: None

Quote: "Twin stab"

Twin Stab is below average for a Killer Move. There's a huge lag time 
before he extends his sword out to hit the enemies and Ashton will 
pause for about 2 seconds before he sends out the other sword. The 
enemy would be brain dead if they didn't counter during those times! 
The range is so-so. There's also a bit of recovery time (Ashton will 
pause again after the second stab) so this move is quite dangerous. 
Plus, the damage don't really shine either, each stab does the same 
damage as a normal attack so you'll be better off with normal 
attacks.

After careful examination, I discovered that Twin Stab has a long 
ranged version! If you press the button at long range, Ashton will 
run up to the enemy to stab them, just like the short ranged version, 
however, the range has been seriously increased, to around 2 
character widths. But still, the time takes for Ashton to run across 
to the enemy could leave him in danger so this version is not too 
useful either. The long lag time is still here and it does the same 
damage.

At P(100), the damage of both short and long range version are 
increased to 1.5 times the normal damage each, so it's still pretty 
weak. I haven't found any good ways of using this Killer Move.


---Cross Slash---

<Ashton executes an upward slash then charges forward with his other 
sword, invoking a blinding purple light as it hits>

<<Ashton charges forward with a downward slash then charges again 
with the other sword>>

MP Cost: 8MP                      LV Gained: NA
Range: 0, 2                       Elemental: None

Quote: "Cross slash"

Another fairly average Killer Move that's slightly more useful than 
Twin Stab and has similar drawbacks. The effects of both the short 
and long version of this move are identical, each hit is as strong as 
a normal attack. Pretty good range again, the first strike has the 
range of 1 character-width, the second hit seems to have virtually 
infinite horizontal range, but Ashton cannot act as he slides forward 
uncontrollably. The first hit in the long ranged version has more 
range but is slightly slower, the second hit is exactly the same. The 
problem with this move lies within the second hit, as sometimes the 
first hit of the short-ranged version will propel the enemy into the 
air and causing the second hit to miss. Even if the second hit hits, 
Ashton will still continue to charge forward. If the enemy is in 
front of him, he'll stay in his "charging" frame for many seconds, 
and a counter from the enemy is almost unavoidable. If Ashton misses 
completely however, he'll run for miles to the end of the screen!!! 
Make SURE that you hit with this move if you're going to use it. 

The first strike from the short-ranged version WILL hit a flying 
enemy (and it's actually quite effective) but the second hit won't. 
Don't use it too often for that purpose though, as the second hit 
will leave you in the "defenceless" frame for a while and takes you 
miles away from the enemy.

The best place to use this is, IMO, for juggling the opponents. An 
effective Link Combo finisher, especially after Hurricane Slash. 
Another fairly good use is to Cancel an attack into this after 
achieving "Float", but it's quite tricky as the combat skills are 
unpredictable. Again, you might only get the first hit to connect 
during juggles. Also, it can work against those annoying "Bunny" 
enemies that keep prancing around, do it as they are about to land 
and they'll land on the blade hehe.. 

At P(100), the damage will increase to 1.5 time the normal attack for 
each hit.


---Leaf Slash---

[Ashton aims with his sword in front of his face as rings of leaves 
begins to appear around his target, then he runs a short distance and 
disappears. Ashton's image appears before the enemy and slashes them 
twice, and then Ashton reappears behind his target]

MP Cost: 19MP                     LV Gained: NA
Range: U (Special)                Elemental: None

Quote: "Leaf slash"

A very useful attack especially since you get it so early, but it's a 
VERY expensive Killer Move then. There's quite a bit of delay but 
since you can execute this from almost anywhere, it doesn't matter 
too much. This is a "uni-ranged" KM except that Ashton cannot execute 
this while standing within 3 character widths away from the target 
horizontally. Note that if the enemy moves, the rings of leaves will 
move with them, so there's no way that they can escape this. However, 
Ashton will miss flying opponents or ground opponents that gets 
launched into the air as Ashton attacks them. Ashton has limited 
invulnerability during the lengthy time where he disappears. I think 
most physical attacks won't harm him but is vulnerable to breath 
weapons or maybe projectiles too, but is definitely vulnerable 
against magic. Ashton will execute 2 slices, each doing normal attack 
damage.

Use Leaf Slash sparingly though, as this is Ashton's move expensive 
Killer Move quite a long time, but it's his best attack during that 
time. If you're feeling that this move is draining too much MP, swap 
it for another. Or save your MP for the bosses, or use items to 
replenish your MP prior to it.

This is a great move for bosses and other powerful enemies alike, 
since this will warp Ashton to where the boss is standing quickly and 
still protects Ashton from attacks (since he is invincible.) Use this 
first thing in a boss fight, then trade it for a faster short-ranged 
attack if you can. If the boss warps away, use this move again to 
nail them.

At P(200), Ashton will do an extra slash, bringing it to a maximum of 
3 hits, each at normal attack damage. So you see, even though Ashton 
can teleport to where the enemy is and is invulnerable, this KM will 
do too little damage to be really useful very later on. It's still 
one of his better KMs though.


---Northern Cross---

<Ashton swings his swords twice and cross them in front of him as a 
chunk of ice forms form them, then he sends the icicle at the 
direction he's facing>

<<Exactly like the above>>

MP Cost: 9MP                      LV Gained: 18
Range: 2,5                        Elemental: Water (Special)

Quote: "Northern cross"

This is probably the second worst Killer Move in the whole game (can 
you guess which is the worst?) The ice takes forever to form and even 
longer to fire. You can actually hit the enemies with his sword 
slashes that Ashton executes before he starts to form the ice. But 
the problem is that the execution point requires some space between 
Ashton and the enemy, which means if you execute this move in front 
of the enemy (to try to get the sword slash to connect), Ashton will 
jump back and so unless the enemy advances on him, the sword slashes 
will miss. If somehow you got the sword slashes to connect, they will 
do normal attack damage each, but there's no guarantee that the ice 
will hit. You'll always get hit out of it even if you do get the 
sword slashes to connect. What's worse is that the ice does not act 
as a protective barrier, so the enemies can walk right up to him and 
hit him. If you DO get the icicle to hit, it'll do normal attack 
damage. Note ONLY the icicle is of Water elemental, the sword slashes 
are non-elemental. 

As pointless as it may seem, this KM has a long ranged version that's 
even more useless since it's almost impossible for the sword slashes 
to connect since the enemy is so damn far away.

No, I don't have any use for this move, it's terrible. Don't bother 
with it. I've just seen the CPU use this move in a sorta worthwhile 
way, you guessed it, those damn "Bunnies" again. Execute this when 
they're about to land and they'll land on the swords, therefore gets 
hit twice. Still guarantee that the ice will hit though (probably 
won't.)

At P(100), the icicle in both versions will be enlarged and the 
damage is increased to 1.5 times normal attack. No damage bonus for 
the sword slices though. At P(200), the icicle is enlarged even more 
and gains the damage potential of twice that of a normal attack, but 
still no damage increment for the sword attacks. Note, when Northern 
Cross evolves, the icicle generated by the short version will no 
longer be a projectile, instead, it just materializes in front of 
Ashton and damages any enemy who comes close. Even with the damage 
increases, this attack is still one of Ashton's worst, rarely hits 
and puts him in danger since it's so slow. I'd say not to even bother 
with this.


---Piercing Swords---

<Ashton leans back and pulls out a pair of swords in each hand and 
throws them at the enemy, but 2 of them hit the ground>

MP Cost: 8MP                      LV Gained: 22
Range: 3                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Piercing swords"

Another pretty bad missile attack, although it's certainly better 
than Northern Cross. It cannot be executed far away from the enemy to 
keep Ashton safe from their missile attacks, since this move is quite 
slow (there are too many frames at the start up). Although Ashton 
throws 4 sets of swords at the enemy, 2 of them will miss and hits 
the ground and the other 2 swords each do about 75% of his normal 
attack damage each. Since it's quite slow, enemies can move out of 
the plane and Ashton may get hit. The swords thrown will travel all 
the way to the end of the battlefield if a target is not hit though.

At P(65), Ashton's aiming improves and all 4 swords will be thrown 
and none of them will hit the ground, making it a quick 4 hit missile 
attack. At P(130), Ashton will now throw 6 swords instead but one 
will miss and hit the ground, bringing the number of hits to 5. At 
P(185), all 6 swords will fly towards the enemy doing 6 hits worth of 
good damage, making this move one of Ashton's better ones. I 
personally quite like this move when it evolves as it can really do a 
lot of damage, and the time it takes for Ashton to throw his swords 
seem to be shortened. I usually let the computer control Ashton and 
it uses this attack well. The speed at which the swords flies is 
quite fast and can usually take the enemy by surprise.


===Cancel Ability===
Even though Ashton's normal attack is very good to Cancel from, since 
it's fast, certain Killer Moves don't link very well since they take 
so long to be executed. 

These Killer Moves works well:
* Hurricane Slash
* Sword Dance
* Cross Slash (but you should only Cancel if the enemy is hit, even 
better if Float is achieved)


===Link Combo Ideas===

* Hurricane Slash – Cross Slash        Rating: 4      MP Cost:
  Hurricane Slash – Sword Dance        Rating: 5      MP Cost:
Hurricane Slash is a famous Killer Move for juggles, while Sword 
Dance and Cross Slash are great for this purpose. 

* Piercing Swords – Leaf Slash         Rating: 3      MP Cost:
  Dragon Breath – Leaf Slash           Rating: 4      MP Cost:
I just don't like Leaf Slash being the starter since you have no 
control over where Ashton will reappear, so this is a better option. 
The long range attacks are slow though, so you have to figure how to 
get them to connect. 

Gotta play with his Link Combos a bit more.


PRECIS NEUMANN
--------------
Precis is the daughter of an inventor in the town of Linga, although 
most people in town think of them as "freaky" and avoids them 
whenever they can. Upon hearing that the party is investigating the 
Sorcery Globe, she immediately requested to join, thinking it'll be 
fun and hoping to find new inspirations for her inventions. Being the 
lively one that she is, she always cheers up anyone when they're 
feeling down, as she enjoys being the "mood-maker". 

Favourite Food: Chocolate Crepe (I wonder how she keeps her figure. 
Can be made from Eggs/Dairy Products or bough in Click.)

Favourite Instrument: Harmonica

Favourite Quotes:
  - "There's Mr. Enemy"
  - "I won't looose!"
  - "I win!"            (Like Celine, ALL of her quotes are cool, 
  - "Don't bother me!"   probably 'cuz it's done by the same person)

Favourite PA Moment: 
  - The one where she said her dad is the only one who wants to be 
"groovy"
  - The Peppermint Jam event!
  - The Green Tea Jam and Liver and Onion Jam event!

I know that nobody likes Precis but I do, I think she's brilliant 
since she's got some unique Killer Moves, looks neat and has a 
wonderful personality, not to mention that she has the most Private 
Action events. I've heard a few complaints regarding her voice, well, 
if you're a very hyper person or you know someone who is, you'd 
understand. :) 

While no where near as strong as Claude or Ashton, Precis has little 
problem handling most enemies. She has a wide variety of Killer Moves 
and I must say that NONE of the other fighters can do what she can, 
since her KMs are VERY unique. Precis is the master of machinery and 
build various devices and gadgets and uses them in battle. In fact, 
all of her Killer Moves involves these machines. She has a robot pet 
named Bobot (it's Mujinkun in the Japanese version) that she carries 
around with her, and even uses it in battles. Precis always wears her 
backpack which holds her secret weapons, one of such is a pair of 
large robotic arms which is controlled by Precis via a controller 
that looks suspiciously like my Dual Shock pad!! 

Precis' normal attack is a smack with one of the robot arms, though 
it's far from being the best since it's quite slow but with good 
range. I almost NEVER use her normal attack since it's so slow. She 
has 2 air attacks, the first is a jump'n slam with her robotic arm, 
but like most air attacks of this type, it's very unreliable as it's 
hard to hit the flying enemy and leaves you vulnerable. Her other air 
attack is one of the best, where she launches a robotic arm from her 
backpack like a missile and she does NOT leave the ground! I believe 
you have to be in long range to execute this version though.

Unlike the other female members, Precis' best weapon is VERY strong, 
it's the second most powerful weapon if you don't venture into the 
Cave of Trials. You cannot buy her weapons from most stores though, 
as they're strange and must be custom-made by her via either 
Customize or Machinery, or found once in a while. Armor-wise, Precis 
is pretty weak just like the other females in the game, she can equip 
only the weaker fighter-type armor. Her MP is usually drained very 
quickly since she can execute her Killer Moves in succession very 
fast (or maybe it's just because I don't use her normal attack), so 
keep lotsa Blackberries and Sour Syrups in stock!

Most of Precis' Killer Moves are some kinda missile/bombs that Precis 
throws at the enemies, which are usually very fast but has to be a 
bit of distance away from the enemy to execute, and are kinda weak. 
She was a few that transforms Bobot into some type of vehicle, climbs 
in and execute its special attack. These are the most unique since 
she's usually invulnerable when inside Bobot, making her an excellent 
choice against big bad bosses. Also, there's a few where she'll 
reveal her secret weapons in her backpack! Her best KMs are Barrier 
(powerful and hits a LARGE radius), Bloody Mary (hits many times for 
strong damage, not to mention invincibility) and Bang-bang Attack. 


#####Killer Moves#####

---Rocket Punch---

<<A large pair of robotic arms pops out of Precis' backpack and one 
of them is launched at the enemy>>

MP Cost: 4MP                      LV Gained: NA
Range: 5                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Rocket punch"

Basically a beefed up version of her normal attack that has more 
range, executed at point blank long range. It has a very little lag 
time and once it's executed then it's sweet since you can keep 
launching more rockets in a quick succession. It does one hit and the 
damage is the same as a normal attack. It's cheap and it's fast and 
it works well against most enemies, although Precis will run out of 
control to get out of range when used against some of the faster 
enemies, and she can get smacked when executing this as well. Works 
on flying enemies too, which is certainly a bonus.

At P(120), the robot arm will be upgraded and some orange thingy is 
attached to its knuckles to do more damage. Damage is increased to 
150% of a normal attack, good for earlier on but becomes really weak 
later on, since it does only one hit.

It's useful when an enemy is advancing on you from afar, also a 
pretty good opening attack of the round if the enemy is standing 
about 6 character widths away from Precis at the start, she'll 
execute this immediately and the enemy'll get whacked. Once the first 
punch hits, you'll have an option of whether or not you want to 
continue, as they'll be in range and are open and since you can 
execute this in succession fast. Don't use this if multiple enemies 
are advancing on you though, as you'll only hit on of them and the 
rest can get into range to hit you.


---Hop Step---

<<Precis jumps into the air and towards the enemy, smacking them with 
a 100-ton hammer as she gets bounced back>>

MP Cost: 5MP                      LV Gained: NA
Range: <=5                        Elemental: None

Quote: "Step!"
       "Hop!"

Well, it's definitely the CPU Precis' favourite attack, equip this 
and they'll use it non-stop. It works kinda like Claude's Head 
Splitter except that she'll be bounced back afterwards, so she'll 
subject to less danger when she lands. The damage is 1.5 times that 
of a normal attack. The execution point is quite strange though, as 
the longest distance you can execute this is at point blank long 
range, but anywhere closer than that will do as well! If the enemy 
decides to use its breath weapon after you hit them then you're in 
trouble, as you'll land without enough time to escape!! Otherwise, 
it's a good attack if you wanna get closer to do damage quickly. 

At P(140), Precis will be followed by a trail of shadows when she's 
in the air, much like the Super Combos in Street Fighter Alpha 3. At 
this time, the hammer will do double damage -> 3 times that of a 
normal attack! Also, she can sometimes do wider and longer jumps too, 
as well as higher, which is great at evading ground projectiles.

I found this attack fairly useful because it will temporarily put 
Precis out of danger. Use this if long range projectiles won't work 
very well (like against the last boss) or to dodge projectiles thrown 
by the enemies. Use it if you want of get closer and attack them with 
one of Precis' close range Killer Moves. Also can be used as some 
sorta escape technique, if you're surrounded by lots of enemies, try 
this and hopefully it'll launch Precis away from the villains. 


---Mole---

[Precis puts Bobot onto the ground before her as it turns into a tank 
with drills. Precis puts on a helmet, climbs in and dives underground 
in the tank, then travel to the enemy, submerge and hurt them with 
the drills]

MP Cost: 7MP                      LV Gained: 17
Range: U                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Mole"

This is a cool Killer Move. Of course, the execution time isn't too 
healthy but once Precis gets underground, she's basically invincible. 
I think breath weapons can hit her out of it, but I'm not too sure 
about magic. Avoid using this close up, as she'll probably get hit. 
The speed that she travels is about the same as her running speed 
(without Bunny Shoes) so this is pretty slow. The drills will only 
hit once at normal attack strength. The drills cannot hit airborne 
enemies though, as it barely reaches above ground and misses ground 
enemies occasionally, too. 

At P(100), the tank will travel a LOT faster than usual, making our 
lives a little easier. Other than this bonus, the drills can also hit 
multiple times, to a maximum of 3 hits, each at normal attack damage. 

This attack is very useful on enemies that are really far away, use 
it like Ashton's Leaf Slash. Again try not to use this when standing 
too close to the enemy or on a tightly pack group, since she'll end 
up really close to them and can get hit afterwards. 


---Ally-oop!---

<<Precis throws Bobot 1.0 at the enemy like a frisbee>>

MP Cost: 8MP                      LV Gained: 25
Range: 5                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Ei!"
       "Yaa!"

This was called "Ei! Yaa!" in the Japanese version, why did they 
change it to such a stupid name? Anyway, this is another pretty 
decent missile attack with identical range to Rocket Punch. The 
execution time is slightly faster though, and you can throw 'em in 
succession fast. This attack will knock lighter enemies back though, 
so bombarding them with Bobots isn't too great of an idea, since 
Precis will have to move to regain her distance every time (unless 
they're in a corner). The damage is identical to a normal attack. 
Note this can hit flying enemies, Precis will throw Bobot upward at 
an angle to hit them.

At P(200), Precis will kick Bobot 2.0 at the enemies, doing an extra 
hit. The second hit is executed even faster then the first, and there 
are nil lag time in between!!! Some guides says it gets upgraded at 
P(220), but it's actually P(200)!! 

Ally-oop! is great if you want to stay on the run all the time. You 
can run, stop to throw a Bobot and run again since the speed of this 
attack is pretty good. Also like Rocket Punch, if you start the round 
standing about half a screen away from the enemies, use this to knock 
them for "First attack", except this isn't a fighting game. :(


---Parabola Beam---

<<Precis puts her backpack on the ground to reveal a satellite dish, 
which emits a beam of loops>>

MP Cost: 12MP                     LV Gained: 38
Range: 5                          Elemental: ??

Quote: "Parabola beam" (I think "Parabola" is pronounced wrongly)

I've always liked this Killer Move. There's a bit of delay when 
Precis slams her bag on the ground, so use carefully. The execution 
point is again, at point blank long range. The beam only hits twice 
though, each at half the strength of a normal attack. Also note that 
the loop dissipates when a target is hit, so this move cannot hit 
multiple enemies like Chisato's Tear Gas or Opera's Hyper Launcher. 
If a target was not hit, the beam will travel to the end of the 
screen, meaning it has infinite range. 

At ~P(100), more chains of loops are emitted from Precis' satellite 
dish, doing an extra hit.


---Bang-bang Attack---

<A pair of large hammers extends out of Precis' backpack and impales 
the enemy>

MP Cost: 15MP                     LV Gained: 49
Range: 0                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Bang bang attack"

Bang-Bang attack is a great move for Precis. A large hammer springs 
out from Precis' backpack and impales an enemy in front of her. It is 
fast to both come out and recover, but the range isn't that great. 
You also have to be right next to the enemy to execute this move, 
which may put Precis in danger. The damage is equivalent to a normal 
attack.

Don't be discouraged by this move (like I did) because it is upclose 
and does only 1 hit, it will get a LOT better. Each P(170) interval, 
another swing of the hammer is added, to a total of 4 hits at P(510). 
It does take a lot of time to evolve though, but each follow-up hits 
are done very quickly, leaving the enemy with no time to recover. No 
damage bonus when it evolves though.

The best way to use Bang-Bang Attack is to use Cancel. I dunno why 
but Cancel rarely works with Precis. But if you managed to Cancel 
into this move, you'll be able to do a lot of damage. The start-up is 
non-existant if you managed to successfully trigger cancel. It's also 
quite effective as a corner trap, like Shooting Stars.

Bang-Bang Attack is pretty good with Link Combos too. Great as a 
starter, especially since it works with Cancel. Bloody Mary and Holo-
Holograph are both fairly good starters to continue Precis' multi-hit 
rampage. Hop Step is also pretty good as it has no start up and can 
be used at short range. As for an ender, anything that brings Precis 
up close (Mole) will do the job nicely.


---Bloody Mary---

<>

MP Cost: 32MP                     LV Gained: 57
Range: 1                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Bloody Mary"

<Under construction>


---Barrier---

<<Precis throws Bobot like a grenade and it explodes into a white 
hemisphere, damaging all enemies who got caught in the blast>>

MP Cost: 28                       LV Gained: Machinery Item Creation
Range: 5                          Elemental: Light?

Quote: "Barrier"

<Under construction>


---Mujin Super Beam---

<<>>

MP Cost: 24                       LV Gained: Machinery Item Creation
Range: 5                          Elemental: ??

Quote: "Mujin Su-per beam"

<Under construction>


---Holo-holograph---

<<>>

MP Cost: ??MP                     LV Gained: Private Action
Elemental: None

Quote: "Holo-holograph"

<Under construction>


===Cancel Ability===
Precis' normal attack is certainly a bit slow to Cancel effectively, 
but she does have a couple Killer Moves that links well after it. 
Bang-bang attack and Bloody Mary are the only good one, since her 
other ones requires her to be at long range to execute.


===Link Combo Ideas===
Precis has some unique Link Combos as well as some rather generic 
combos. She has a large collection of missile attacks and can be 
combined in almost anyway and is fairly quick. However, her non-
missile attacks are very strong though, and most of them makes her 
invincible. Definitely a worthy member to receive the Link Combo.

* Rocket Punch – Ally-oop!             Rating: 3      MP Cost: 
A quick blast of missiles, but hasn't got damage on its side. Works 
the other way too. Hits air enemies too.

* Rocket Punch – Hop Step              Rating: 3      MP Cost: 9MP
  Ally-oop! – Hop Step                 Rating: 3      MP Cost: 
If you wanna go by air. It's safer if Hop Step has evolved though. 
Can also be used to hit airborne enemies.

* Rocket Punch – Parabola Beam         Rating: 4      MP Cost:
  Ally-oop! – Parabola Beam            Rating: 4      MP Cost:
I like this a lot. The initial missile pushes the target back 
followed by the beam. Still kinda weak though.

* Bloody Mary – Bang-bang Attack       Rating: 5      MP Cost:
  Hop Step – Bang-bang Attack          Rating: 4.5    MP Cost:
  Mole – Bang-bang Attack              Rating: 4.5    MP Cost:
The first attack brings Precis safely up next to the enemy which sets 
up for Bang-bang Attack. Lots of damage if you levelled up these 
moves, especially Bloody Mary.

* Rocket Punch – Barrier               Rating: 4      MP Cost:
  Ally-oop! – Barrier                  Rating: 4.5    MP Cost:
  Parabola Beam – Barrier              Rating: 4.5    MP Cost:
  Mujin Super Beam – Barrier           Rating: 5      MP Cost:
Simple missile attacks. You can basically mix these 5 Killer Moves in 
any way you like to get a similar effect, but I like Barrier since it 
has a large blasting area. 


OPERA VECTRA
------------
Opera is the heir of the noble Vectra family, who belongs to the race 
of Tetragenes living on a far away planet. Trying to pursue her love 
of life, Ernest, she leaves her home planet and crashed onto Expel. 
(Tut tut, just wait 'til her parents hears this.) Unable to leave, 
she travels the world of Expel trying to track down Ernest. Opera is 
the more mature type of girl who'd rather sit down in a cafè rather 
than venture out in the sun. She sometimes acts like if she's dumb 
blonde/bimbo though.

Initial stats: 
HP:     1200          STR:     60          LUC:     142
MP:      140          CON:     31          STM:      21
LV:       21          DEX:     52          GUTS:     60
EXP:   16945          AGL:     30
NEXT:   3094          INT:      0

Initial equipment: Booster Box, Ringed Mail, Banded Helm, High Heels, 
                   Reverse Doll

Initial skills: Craft           LV1
                Metal Casting   LV1
                Functionality   LV1

Favourite Food: Apple Cider (Cook with Fruit)

Favourite Instrument: Piano

Favourite Quotes: 
  - "Easy targets!"
  - "You'll die, wanna bet?" (This one's okay, her other ones make 
her sound like a slut)

Favourite PA Moment: 
  - The "Guess the next-person-who-comes-out-of-that-door's gender" 
game in Salva.

Opera is my favourite character in the game. She is THE weakest 
fighter in terms of pure strength (not Chisato!) but what makes her 
such a great team member is that she has some of the most effective 
long range projectile Killer Moves in the game. Although you do have 
to trade Ashton for her but I think she's just as good as Ashton, but 
in a different way.

Opera carries around a giant bazooka attached to an energy pack that 
she calls "Kaleidoscope", which shoots out dangerous wave particles 
such as positron or X-ray, as well as mimicking material or elemental 
forces such as fire or lightning. In order to power up the 
Kaleidoscope, Opera use special "Boxes" which resembles floppy discs 
with special programs on them to command her Kaleidoscope. Likewise, 
all of Opera's Killer Moves involves shooting special beams or lasers 
from her Kaleidoscope. 

Opera's normal attacks has to be the best in the game. Versus ground 
enemies, Opera will smack them with her bazooka, which is probably 
the fastest both to come out and recover from, and has decent range. 
Her air attack is even better. Unlike most characters Opera need not 
jump into the air, as she'll just shoot a pocket of energy up into 
the air at the enemy. She can shoot them UNBELIEVABLY fast BTW, and 
since the enemy will be stunned from her prior attack, she can keep 
shooting until they're killed. Opera can easily finish a flying enemy 
(even bosses) all by herself with only normal attacks!!! 

Opera starts with a VERY weak weapon but she'll soon get an extremely 
powerful weapon, making all her Killer Moves do tremendous amounts of 
damage. However, towards the end of the game, her weapon power wains 
and at the end, even magicians gets more powerful weapons than she 
does! Like Precis, Opera's weapons are strange and must be found, or 
made through Customize or Machinery. She has the lowest STR among all 
fighters, it barely rises to around 1000 at level 255! Opera cannot 
wear the best armor either, but since all of her Killer Moves are 
long range missile attacks, she can fight safely at back without much 
trouble. Opera has fairly low STM too, for a fighter.

My only other complaint about her is that her running speed is 
pathetic, barely faster than a magic user. 

Opera has the most elemental Killer Moves of all fighters, and she 
has a wide variety of them as well. However, if you choose the wrong 
one at the wrong time, you can be in trouble! Always try to keep a 
non-elemental Killer Move equipped. Most of Opera's KM attacks has a 
very long range, making her the official long range fighter but most 
of them require her to be some distance away from the enemy to 
execute. Some of them also hit many times and can hit multiple 
targets. Opera's best Killer Moves are Alpha on One (definitely one 
of the most useful KMs in the game as it HOMES IN), Lightning Blade 
(very nice and dependable at short range), Hyper Launcher (strong and 
hits many times) and the most unique Healing Star (good substitute 
when you want to ditch the bitch, Rena.)


#####Killer Moves#####

---Photon Prison---

<Opera fires a pocket of energy at the enemy>

<<Exactly the same>>

MP Cost: 10MP                     LV Gained: NA
Range: 2, 3                       Elemental: ??

Quote: "Photon prison"

This Killer Move is not of a damage-based nature, but instead, it'll 
freeze the enemy for a short period of time. However, its accuracy is 
questionable as it only seems to work half of the time. If it hits, 
the enemy will be enveloped by a white barrier, unable to move for a 
few seconds, otherwise, a "Miss" message will come up. It is pretty 
fast both to shoot and to recover. 

Upon further examination, this KM does have a long and a short range, 
but there's very little difference between the two. Opera will stand 
slightly further away for the long ranged version.

At first, this KM won't last long enough to be very useful, two 
seconds is what you get. At each P(90) interval, a bit under one 
second is added to the enemy's state of stasis and P(270) is the 
maximum, I think. Also, it seems that the chance of scoring a 
successful hit is raised as Proficiency raises. 

An enemy bound by Photon Prison cannot move or act in any way, and 
cannot retaliate in anyway during the full duration. You can hit the 
enemy as many times you like and it will still stay frozen, very 
cool. Also, an enemy cannot block during the period it is frozen, 
which may provide assistance in defeating later enemies. Photon 
Prison does not work on bosses though, but it might be worthwhile to 
build up and use against certain enemies in the Cave of Trials. Since 
it can be shot in quick succession, building Proficiency is a piece 
of cake, especially later in the game where Opera has tons of MP. So 
just ignore this move until later in the game and build it up then. 


---Flame Launcher---

<Opera fires a short blast of flame from her bazooka to burn any 
enemies standing in front of her>

<<Opera launches ball of flame in an arc into the air, which scorches 
the enemy at long range>>

MP Cost: 7MP                      LV Gained: NA
Range: 1, 5                       Elemental: Fire

Quote: "Flame launcher" (Sounds a bit like Dharma.)

Flame Launcher is Opera's first damage dealing KM, it's not all that 
great at the beginning but it's actually a lot more useful than it 
seems, you'll find out soon. 

The short version of Flame Launcher requires Opera to stand very 
close to an enemy, about 1 width away. (It's also THE shortest ranged 
KM Opera has, not counting uni-range ones.) She fires a very slim 
puff of flame from her bazooka, enough to hit one or maybe 2 enemies 
if they're bunched together. Opera stays in that position for about 2 
seconds and the flame will be active and can damage any enemies comes 
close enough during that time. It has only passable speed and 
recovery though. Faster than a speeding bullet, Flame Launcher can 
actually hit up to 8 times (!!!!!) that goes way too fast for our 
eyes to detect, pretty cool for a thin beam huh? Each hit is of 
normal attack damage, but it tends to push most enemies away after 
about 3 or 4 hits, except maybe slimes. Make sure you don't overlook 
this, because it's rather powerful, especially when evolved. It does 
Fire elemental damage.

The long version of this attack can truly be called "long"! Because 
Opera can almost shoot from one side of the screen to the other! A 
fireball is fired in an arc into the air which rains onto a distant 
enemy. I'm not too sure if this has an area affect though. The speed 
the flair travels isn't all that great so it can miss quite. Often 
the enemy will move towards Opera, causing the ball to fall behind 
them and miss, quite frustrating. It only does about 2 hits at normal 
attack damage, so the short ranged is better. (Although its range 
kinda makes up for it.) 

At P(100), the a much bigger puff of flame will be fired from short 
range, which reaches almost an extra character width over the 
original. This means even MORE hits can be scored (although I don't 
know how many, best guess is about an extra 2-4 hits) and can hit 
more enemies. The long ranged version is mostly the same, except it 
seems to hit 3 or 4 times! 

At P(200), Opera fires an even bigger puff of fire from her rifle, 
somewhat resembles Chisato's Flamethrower. At this stage, Opera's 
flame can reach enemies standing 2 character-widths away. It will 
also hit a couple more times, especially if they're up close. At long 
range, it remains mostly the same. The bullet will cover the enemy in 
a light inferno when it hits but maybe a little stronger than before.


---Alpha on One---

<<Three pockets of energy are released from the Kaleidoscope and 
homes in on the enemy>>

MP Cost: 23MP                     LV Gained: 24
Range: 5                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Fol"

Since Opera and Ashton cannot be in the same game, Alpha on One is 
probably Opera's equivalent of Ashton's Leaf Slash. She gets this at 
a relatively low level, it costs a lot (at first) and is possibly one 
of her best (if not THE best) KM.

Alpha on One is a great, although sorta weak, Killer Move. Three 
pockets of energy released will attempt to home in one the enemy with 
good speed and each does equivalent damage to Opera's normal attack. 
The speed of this move isn't all that much relevant since Opera can 
keep a good distance away from the enemy. The best feature about it 
is that Alpha on One automatically homes in on the enemy, very 
useful. The speed is also pretty fast, so it's hard for the enemy to 
escape this move. Against those mages that phase out, the bolts will 
follow them around and whack them the instant they rematerialize. I 
am not sure if the energy bolts can be blocked though, but it's most 
likely so. (Make sure she has good HIT!) Alpha on One is the most 
useful later in the game against great bosses that moves around the 
battle field with insane speed, and since Opera can stay in the back 
with this move, she can hit with little fear of being hit/countered.

At P(220) and P(440), another bolt of energy will be released, doing 
a maximum of 5 hits for a good MP consumption. Do not over look Alpha 
on One, as it'll become Opera's best friend in the long run.


---Spread Ray---

<<Opera springs into the air and shoots 2 rays of dangerous energy 
down at the enemy, which explodes upon making contact with the 
ground>>

MP Cost: 16MP                     LV Gained: 34
Range: 5                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Spread ray"

Another fairly useful KM I use near the end of the game. At first, 
Spread Ray doesn't appeal too well in neither damage, appearance nor 
usefulness, but it can all change with Proficiency.

As with all KMs of this types (ie, "aerial missiles"), it's kinda 
hard to hit properly. The "area blast" of Spread Ray don't seem to be 
overwhelming, and seems to miss often. Each ray deals about as much 
damage as a regular attack from Opera. However, since Opera leaps so 
high into the air (hey, she should be in an all-girl basketball team 
with Chun Li and Morrigan!) and stays so far away from the enemy, 
this move is a great away of staying out of trouble! It's almost a 
necessity when you get below the 9th level of the CoT, as the enemies 
can run around the screen at insane speed, shooting hard-to-dodge 
missiles and does tons of damage with each.

At P(180), P(360) and finally P(540!), another ray will be fired, for 
a maximum of 5 hits and a VERY long air time. An excellent way of 
trying to avoid hits inside the Cave of Trials. The only real 
disadvantage is the HUGE number of Proficiency required to power 
Spread Ray up to the max level and that the missiles are hard to aim. 
But if you look at it from a pure defensive point of view, you've got 
nothin' to lose!


---Cold Wind---

<Opera shoots a large cone-shaped blast of cold wind with sharp 
shards of ice from her Kaleidoscope>

MP Cost: 25MP                     LV Gained: 41
Range: 3                          Elemental: Water

Quote: "Cold wind"

Another good KM from Opera, will it never end? The length of the cone 
produced by Cold Wind is about 5 character-widths long. Translation? 
GREAT range! The end of the cone is also fairly wide, so you can hit 
multiple enemies when they're bunched together. Cold Wind does about 
3-6 hits per enemy that gets caught in the blast, the closer they are 
the more number of hits. It will also hit aerial enemies with no 
problems. Each hit is about half as strong as Opera's normal attack. 
Cold Wind is Water elemental.

At higher Proficiency, more hits will be generated by Opera's beam of 
ice. The exact amount is hard to meansure, like all beam-type KMs. At 
P(300), Opera can hit the enemies for around 5-8 hits and the beam 
will appear to be thicker, therefore, maybe able to engulf more 
enemies in its path.


---Gravity Shell---

<Opera launches a black bolt at the enemy, which opens a large dark 
sphere of compressed gravitational energy to crush the enemy>

MP Cost: 20MP                     LV Gained: 54
Range: 4                          Elemental: Void

Quote: "Gravity shell"

Gravity Shell is not bad IMO. Opera's bullet stays in mid air but the 
sphere of darkness does no appear for a second or 2. Opera also stays 
in her "launching" animation for that time, so it's kinda slow. The 
orb in mind-air is of significanr size though, but that's not what 
really hits the enemy. The sphere releases golden lightning bolts and 
strike the ground, so anything that gets caught within the lightning 
will be damaged. The damage is great, about twice as strong as 
Opera's normal attack. It does only one hit but it seems to 
momentarily stun the opponent. Of course, since it's quite slow, 
Gravity Shell is not as useful as Opera's other KMs. Gravity Shell is 
of Void elemental, I think.

I am not too sure if this is how Gravity Shell evolves but at P(200), 
the vortex that opens up increases in size. It does not seem to any 
anything to damange nor hits, but it does seem that the flare bolts 
hit a slightly wider radius.


---Lightning Blade---

<Opera aims her bazooka up to the sky to charge it with electrical 
energy, then she releases the energy in the form of electrical 
pillars that spreads out by moving in a circular pattern around her>

<<Opera aims her bazooka up to the sky to charge it with electrical 
energy, then she points her bazooka at the enemy and releases a beam 
of light green colored lightning>>

MP Cost: 20MP                     LV Gained: 69
Range: 2, 4                       Elemental: Thunder

Quote: "Lightning blade"

Lightning Blade is a great KM for Opera and is quite versatile. At 
short range, Opera will stand in her "charging" animation for about 2 
seconds before releasing the electric pillars. The pillars does move 
in high velocity though, generating an energyfield or some type that 
pushes all enemies away from Opera. Since there are 3 pillars, each 
enemy will likely to get hit 3 times before getting pushed completely 
out of the pullar's range. This is a great defense move that clears 
crowds like no other. I will also give Opera some room for breathing 
space, or time to escape a pursuit. One thing to keep in mind is that 
there's a little lag at start up, try not to get caught close to the 
enemy.

At long range, this move is a bit of a mixed bag. Its execution is 
faster than any other "beam-type" attack (eg, Cold Wind, Hyper 
Launcher etc), which is great. It hits about 3 times per enemy that 
stands within the blasting line of sight. The beam itself is not very 
thick though, and it seemed a little shorter than the other "beam" 
KMs. You've also gotta run a distance away from the enemy after every 
usage just to get back into the "Long range" field, which is kind of 
a bother. 

At P(100), Opera will now release 4 pillars of lightning in the short 
version, doing an extra hit per enemy as well as an added security 
feature. While the long range bolt will flicker for a second longer, 
doing an extra hit as well. At P(200), the short version is about as 
good as it gets, with 5 pillars and the long range get another hit 
added. Good one. :)


---Healing Star---

[Opera aims her Kaleidoscope up to the sky and fires a rocket, which 
explodes to form streams of stars that travels back down to the 
ground to heal all party members]

MP Cost: 9MP                      LV Gained: Machinery Item Creation
Range: U                          Elemental: Star??

Quote: "Healing star"

Perhaps the most unique KM Opera has. Opera must use Machinery to 
make a White System, which upgrades her Kaleidoscope to include this 
move. White System is easy as hell to make, it shouldn't have any 
problem of popping up at level 30 or so. (Make sure she has a good 
Machinery level.)

The speed of Healing Stars is average if you count it as a KM, but if 
you take it as a spell, it's about as fast as Rena's Fairy Light with 
Motormouth PLUS a high Proficiency!! Thus, it makes a fine healing 
KM. The amount healed works like this: 

Healing = 200 + (Prof. * 5)

It heals by 200 the first time you use it and 5 points will be added 
per each point of Proficiency. However it's strange 'cuz the amount 
healing it does will not upgrade DURING battle. So if you started 
battle with this doing 1000 points of healing, it'll still heal for 
1000 every time you use it during that fight! You will only notice 
the upgrade if you enter another battle.

At max Proficiency, Healing Stars will heal for 5150, thus 2 pops 
will get everyone up to maximum for a VERY cheap MP cost! Great huh? 
To build up the Proficiency quickly, look under the tips section.

I think Healing Stars is especially useful later (like the Cave of 
Trials) where Rena's magic isn't enough (ie, too slow.) It's also 
really cool if you want to have a 4 fighter party, Healing Stars will 
provide a semi-reliable source of healing for a very cheap price. 
(Claude, Opera, Ernest AND Chisato, OOH YEAH!) 

However the disadvantage of this is, like any healing KMs, you do 
have to give up one slot out of two for it. In Opera's case it 
_might_ be worth it since all her other KMs are pretty similar. But 
you can also equip the Link Combo accessory to gain 2 more slots. 
Link something like Alpha on One after this would be ideal. 


---Laser Bit---

<Opera throws a glass sphere prism and shoots a pulse of energy into 
it as it explodes into 3 balls and impales its surroundings>

MP Cost: 8MP                      LV Gained: Machinery Item Creation
Range: 4                          Elemental: ??

Quote: "Laser bit"

I dunno what to think about Laser Bit, but for all the trouble you 
have to go through into making this, it almost seems like it's not 
really worth the trouble. You need to make a Black System from 
Machinery. I was able to get one when Opera was about level 60, with 
Orchestra playing in the background of course.

First word I've gotta put it through to ya is "slow"! There are way 
too many frames at the start, such as Opera throwing the prism, 
aiming and firing her rifle and THEN it explodes. Quite risky later 
on in the game y' know.

Anyway, the advantages. The 3 energy spheres released by Laser Bit 
ascend into the air in an arc before crashing down. They're split 
into a 120 degrees angle and each is disbursed a fair distance from 
the center, so this move can have a very large blasting radius. Oh 
yeah, what's quite strange about Laser Bit is, even though Opera 
stays 4 character-widths away, the glass prism is only thrown 2 
character-widths away from the enemy. Each energy sphere hit for 
normal attack damage and each sphere may hit multiple opponents. So 
if there are a LOT of enemies on screen, this attack may actually be 
useful. You CAN actually get all the orbs to impale a single target, 
but it's more luck than anything. If and only if the enemy steps into 
the space where the glass prism is held at the time Opera's bullet 
hits the prism, as it explodes, all of the orbs (including the 
original glass prism, which usually drops to the ground after 
exploding) hits the enemy for a 4 hits combo.

At each P(100) until P(300), another energy sphere will be released 
from the explosion. Each of the spheres are divided so they are 
released at equal angles from one another. So it is pretty cool to 
look at a final change Laser Bit with 6 orbs each released at 60 
degrees from another. At that stage, the orbs will cover a lot of 
ground! So even though Laser Bit is slow, it works extremely well on 
multiple enemies.


---Hyper Launcher---

<Opera slams her Kaleidoscope onto the ground, sits on it and fires a 
huge purple beam of laser>

MP Cost: 34MP                     LV Gained: Machinery Item Creation
Range: 5                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Hyper Launcher"

Hyper Launcher is EXTREMELY difficult to obtain. You need to make a 
Green System through Machiney with a HIGH level Opera. The chance of 
obtaining it is very rare though, as I've heard of people who still 
couldn't get hold of this even with a level 160+ Opera. Playing the 
Violin or Orchestra helps a lot. I was able to obtain this with my 
Opera at level 113, which is fairly early. Keep attempting Machinery 
without reloading, it seems to raise the chance of this appearing by 
a little. 

Hyper Launcher is fairly good though. The start up is fairly long, 
but it's slightly better than Tear Gas. The length and thinkness of 
the laser fired is also identical to Tear Gas. However, instead of a 
generating MANY rapid but weak hits, Hyper Launcher only hits for an 
average amount of times but each hit is significantly stronger than 
Tear Gas. It can hit about 6 times per enemy and each hit is around 
50% damage of a normal attack from Opera.

The higher the Proficiency, the longer the period of time Opera can 
generate the laser blast, which in return, yields more hits. Hyper 
Launcher's improvement can be seen all the way 'til P(500), as each 
P(100) generates another hit. This is one of the most damaging KM 
from Opera and is especially effective against enemies bunched up 
together, specially in a straight line. It does not push the enemies 
as far away from Tear Gas though. You may also want to trap an enemy 
in a corner with this, making sure that they can't escape easily.


===Cancel Ability===
Yes Opera has a good normal attack, but since all her best Killer 
Moves are projectile based that requires her to be at long range, 
Cancelling would be both pointless and useless. The only Cancel I 
sometimes use is the upgraded Flame Launcher, although Opera does 
need to take one step back, but since Flame Launcher is quite 
reliable, this is not half bad. The only other short range Killer 
Moves Opera has are Lightning Blade and perhaps Photon Prison, they 
can work but not all that well. 


===Link Combo Ideas===
Opera is too, a long range attacker like Precis, but instead of 
missile attacks, Opera has mainly projectile and beam type of attacks 
that are quite hard to link. Also, unlike Precis, Opera has no 
specific close ranged attacks. It's not that great giving Opera Link 
Combos since she's gonna stay at the back firing her gun and all of 
her Killer Moves works in similar ways.

* Flame Launcher – Alpha on One        Rating: 4      MP Cost:
  Gravity Shell – Alpha on One         Rating: 3.5    MP Cost:
  Spread Ray – Alpha on One            Rating: 4      MP Cost:
  Hyper Launcher – Alpha on One        Rating: 4.5    MP Cost:
Why have I only chosen these 4 starters? It's because all the other 
ones put Opera too close to the enemy and hence, she has to run away 
afterward to execute Alpha on One. #1 is excellent since Flame 
Launcher has a very long range, #2 is a bit slow, #3 is great since 
it puts Opera out of danger and #4 is her best and strongest attacks 
chained together. 

* Flame Launcher – Lightning Blade     Rating: 3.5    MP Cost: 
This is Opera's only short ranged combo. Works ok.

* Photon Prison – [anything]           Rating and MP varies
This is one pointless combo, I don't know who possessed me to put 
this in. Anyway, Photon Prison paralyzes them so you can follow up 
with anything. This combo is great for Flame Launcher as you can get 
the maximum number of hits out of it. It even gives you time to run 
away to execute long range KMs, but if Photon Prison does not work... 
(you'll probably be safe if you're following up with a long ranged 
attack, like Hyper Launcher.)

* Gravity Shell – [anything]           Rating and MP varies
This is pretty good as Gravity Shell stuns the enemies temporarily, 
allowing you some time to follow up with another attack. I like Alpha 
on One, Spread Ray and Hyper Launcher. It's slow though.

* Alpha on One – Healing Star          Rating: 4      MP Cost:
I use this when I need healing. Put it the other way around if you 
prefer to heal first, which is a better idea.

* Lightning Blade – Healing Star       Rating: 4      MP Cost:
What? Another one? This is good mainly for healing yourself. Use 
Lightning Blade at close range will generate the force field and 
pushes away all the enemies, which gives you time for Healing Star.


ERNEST RAVIEDE
--------------
Ernest is a Tetragenes archaeologist who travels to different planets 
searching for ancient and interesting stuff. He travels to Expel to 
explore some ruins. He is also the man in Opera's heart, but he seems 
to be more interested in exploring ancient ruins though. Ernest is 
very individual.

Initial stats: 
HP:     1600          STR:    100          LUC:     121
MP:      160          CON:     37          STM:      23
LV:       25          DEX:     60          GUTS:     45
EXP:   31183          AGL:     50
NEXT:   4782          INT:      0

Initial equipment: Leather Whip, Brigandine, Boots

Initial skills: Herbal Medicine   LV5
                Patience          LV5
                Whistling         LV4

Favourite Food: Hassaku Tea (Cook Grains with someone over 20)

Favourite Instrument: Cembalo

Favourite Quotes:
  - "I don't feel like losing to somebody like this." (Again, not 
many good quotes.)

Favourite PA Moment: 
  - The ones where you can steal Battle Suits from him! *Evil grin*

Again, I don't see why not many people like Ernest. Sure he's quite a 
boring person in the story, but he's completely different in battles. 
Also note you can steal the second best armor, Battle Suits, from him 
in 2 different locations (Linga and I _think_ the other one is in 
Mars) which could be a reason to get him in itself. 

Being an explorer, a whip would be Ernest's natural choice. Ernest's 
Killer Moves all involves the use of the whip and he has the power 
over ultra-dimension matters too. When you first get Ernest you might 
be really turned off because of his existing KMs (I know I was) but 
wait a while and you'll see a few good ones.

Ernest uses the natural length of his whip to his advantage, making 
his normal attacks reaching the furthest in the game, about 1.5 
character widths! Although he swings his whip a little slow. Ernest's 
air attack is pathetic. He jumps to whip the enemy but it takes ages 
to come out, so don't use his jump attack. See below for a better 
substitute.

Like Opera, Ernest also gets very powerful weapons earlier on, but 
unlike Opera, his weapons stay strong throughout the game. Also, 
whips are common so you can just buy them in stores, very convenient. 
Ernest can equip some of the best armor too, like Claude and Ashton, 
which is a huge advantage over the sissy fighters like Bowman and the 
girls. Ernest's STR is only average though. However, his STM is soooo 
low that even Celine's might be higher!!

Ernest is basically a mid ranged attacker, with few good mid ranged 
attacks. His first few Killer Moves are not very useful at all, but 
some of his latter ones are okay. He tends to have lengthy lag times 
in many of his Killer Moves like Ashton. A good advantage that Ernest 
has his that his KMs takes the least amount of MP to use, even his 
most expensive KM costs only 25MP. His best KMs are Thousand Whips (a 
good mid ranged attack hitting many times) and Broken Heart (fast and 
powerful, and lets him stay away from the enemy). I really like 
Dimension Whip as well.


#####Killer Moves#####

---Dimension Whip---

<Ernest sends his whip into a vortex, another vortex opens behind the 
enemy and the whip extends to hit them>

MP Cost: 5MP                      LV Gained: NA
Range: 2                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Dimension whip"

This may not look like it, but Dimension Whip is really really 
useful! One of my favourite KMs for Ernest. So ok, Ernest is 
vulnerable when he extends his whip into the vortex and the whip 
takes a second to appear, but the whip tends to surprise the enemy 
quite a lot. Not your convensional KM that's for sure. Dimention Whip 
is also excellent VS aerial creatures that are a pain to hit for many 
characters. Plus the fact that it's cheap, makes it a fair KM at the 
start.

Don't be disappointed yet! Because at each P(80) interval, another 
vortex will open and another whip will thrust out of it to attack the 
enemy, for a total of 4 hits at P(280). Sometimes not all of them 
will hit though. 

I use Dimension Whip most of the time as a Link Combo ender. Well, 
having something like Thousand Whip as a starter will keep Ernest 
from being defenseless. While the former attack pushes the enemy back 
enough for Dimension Whip to connect successfully. An excellent LC 
indeed.


---Spiral Whip---

<Ernest winds his whip into a loop, then whips it out and brings 
forth a whirlwind>

<<Just like above>>

MP Cost: 7MP                      LV Gained: NA
Range: 1, 3                       Elemental: Wind (Special)

Quote: "Engulf... everything.."

An ok semi-up-close KM. At close range, Ernest can hit while he winds 
his whips in a loop the cowboy way. This phase of the KM is a little 
slow, but if it hits, the enemy will usually not be able to retaliate 
until Ernest completes the whole Killer Move. The whip will hit an 
extra time when Ernest whips it out, while the whirlwind itself 
counts as an extra seperate hit, for a total of 3 hits, each at 
normal attack damage. Only the whirlwind is of Wind elemental damage 
mind you.

At long range, the Killer Move is similar, except since Ernest stays 
a little further away, the first 2 whip hits probably won't connect. 
You'll usually end up with only the whirlwind hitting, but if the 
enemies closes in on Ernest, the second whip lash may connect as 
well. The damage distribution is the same as the short ranged 
version. Note, the whirlwind won't juggle the enemy as well has 
Ashton's Hurricane Slash or Bowman's Whirlwind Fist, and it 
dissapates once it hits an enemy. It will also dissolve after 
traveling a distance without hitting anything.

Spiral Whip is an ok attack early on in the same and its dual-range 
nature is quite versatile. Later in the game however, when enemies 
starts moving around the field at headspinning speeds, you're better 
off using Ernest's other KMs so he can stay away and hit multiple 
times as well. Also, this KM does not seem to get better with 
Proficiency, so it's a little disappointing.


---Arc Attack---

<Ernest lashes his whip into the air then swings on it and kicks the 
enemy. Tarzan or Indiana Jones or Spiderman?>

MP Cost: 7MP                      LV Gained: 32
Range: 5                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Arc attack"

I am trying really hard not to vomit at this attack, really! Arc 
Attack is the most worthless piece of banana peel in this game! Where 
can I start? Ok, its range is 5. Most of the time, Ernest will have 
to run away from the enemy to execute this KM, which is a pain. Since 
this is a body projectile, not a projectile projectile, if anyone is 
in front of Ernest, he'll slam into that person instead, unable to 
progress any further to attack the enemy. Ernest will not start 
kicking until the later part of the swing, which is plain dangerous 
since the rate he moves is so slow, the enemy will just smake him 
before he can attack! 

The range is also pathetic! Let's say the the enemy is standing at 
"point zero". You wanna execute this move, Ernest will run back 5 
character-widths and start the animation. When Ernest reaches "point 
zero" in the air, he will start kicking. If he misses (which is 99% 
likely), he'll land a TINY distance past "point zero" after the 
kicking animation. So if the enemy moves away, he'll miss. Gee, saw 
THAT one comin' a mile away.

At P(100) and P(200), Ernest will start kick twice and thrice, 
respectively, each are at normal attack strength, if you ever get 
them to connect that is. But my advice is, don't bother! This is even 
worse than Ashton's Norther Cross!


---Thousand Whip---

<<Ernest's whip multiplies into many strands and thrashes the enemy 
with them>>

MP Cost: 10MP                     LV Gained: 41
Range: 3                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Thousand whip"

Thousand Whip is Ernest's first decent Killer Move. When you first 
get this, Ernest's whip will multiply into 3 strands, each dealing a 
seperate hit, but sometimes not all hits will connect. The start up 
is fairly good and if the enemy closes-in on Ernest, they'll get some 
whippin' as well. Not much else to say except that it doesn't work 
that well on airborne opponents either, so use Dimension Whip 
instead. As a matter of fact, Thousand Whips acts more like a beefed 
up version of his Cat O'9Tails weapon.

As Thousand Whip grows in Proficiency, its effect and damage will 
improve. I _think_ at every P(40) interval, Ernest's whip multiplies 
into an extra lash to a maximum of 6 lashes at P(120). It sure does 
built up quickly for a maximu of 6 hits. Since Thousand Whip is fast 
and reasonably cheap, Thousand Whip is a great KM that will last 
Ernesta long way, if you use him.


---Cloud Dust---

[Ernest swings his whip around his body and coats himself in a light 
fog]

MP Cost: 18MP                     LV Gained: 49
Range: U                          Elemental: ??

Quote: "Cloud dust"

Well, it certainly ISN'T useless, but it's POINTLESS. Cloud Dust 
works like an evasion enhancing spell and its lag is on par with most 
spells of that type. If you're planning to use this, stay away from 
the foes. The best time to use this is at the beginning of the match 
before advancing on the enemies. The effect actually seems pretty 
good, as Ernest's evasion rates will be dramatically enhanced. 
However, like all non-damage-dealing type Killer Moves, it all comes 
down to one question. Is it worth taking up one of the slots? 
Probably not, I'd say. Even though its effects are desirable, it will 
only work once in a fight, and Ernest cannot use it to affect another 
ally. So you'll be stuck with a single damage-dealing KM for the 
entire match. This move is promising and disappointing at the same 
time.


---Broken Heart---

<Ernest extends his whip into the ground, the end of it reaches out 
beneath the enemy and thorns sprout>

MP Cost: 17MP                     LV Gained: 58
Range: 3                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Broken heart"

Broken Heart is GOOD, no arguements there. The thing that makes 
Broken Heart so effective is that it's fast, somewhat of a rarity for 
Ernest. It only takes a second from there point Ernest thrusts his 
whip underground to the point where the thorns starts sprouting. It 
hits about 2 or 3 times at the start, which is not bad. Each hit is 
of normal attack damage.

Like Thousand Whip, Broken Heart also grows rather quickly. At P(50), 
Broken Heart becomes a lot cooler looking. A rose will blossom at the 
tips of the thorns. Unfortunately, I can't see much, or any, damage 
bonus at this point. The thorns does seem to hit an extra time or so. 
Improvements are hard to tell beyond this point as the numbers tend 
to bunch up tightly together, but it does seem to hit about 5 times 
at least.

Broken Heart is effective on most enemies, unless they move around 
the screen at insane speed. It is fast and damaging, making it 
Ernest's best KM in the game. Note that is DOES hit airborne enemies, 
but instead of the thorns reaching high enough into the air to hit 
them, the thorns will appears beneath them in thin air! It's somewhat 
of a scary sight.


---Thunder Whip---

<Ernest holds his whip upright into the air and charges with thunder 
then he whips the enemy with it>

MP Cost: 22MP                     LV Gained: 65
Range: 4                          Elemental: Thunder

Quote: "Thunder Whip"

<Under construction>


---Sonic Whip---

<Ernest's whip rips into the very fabric of space, conjouring up a 
vortex of hyper condensed matter that travels along the ground>

MP Cost: 25                       LV Gained: 73
Range: 5                          Elemental: NOT Vacuum, maybe Void?

Quote: "Sonic Whip"

Sonic Whip is Ernest's "macho" skill. The start up lag is very 
significant, but since Ernest can stay far away from his targets, it 
doesn't matter much. The vortex conjoured up travels at snail pace, 
but it's huge! It acts has a limited area-effect skill because once a 
target is hit, the vortex disappears. If multiple targets are caught 
at the same time, they'll all be hit, but it's somewhat difficult to 
get it to hit anything more than 1 enemy. The damage is great! Double 
normal attack damage, but it only does 1 hit. 

At P(100), the damage grows to 2.5 of normal attack damage while at 
P(200), the damage does equals 3 times the normal attack damage! An 
instant 9999 later in the game, but since it does only 1 hit, a 
multiple hit KM is preferrable later on. The vortex covers a decent 
radius, which maybe useful if you want Ernest to stay away from the 
opponents. It also reaches a reasonable height in the air, enough to 
hit most flying enemies, which is always a plus. A good move and a 
good Link Combo ender.


===Cancel Ability===
Ernest's normal attack reaches the furthest but he does move in quite 
close to attack and it tends to push the enemies away so they're a 
little close for attacks like Thousand Whip and too far for Spiral 
Whip. It does work though, but make sure Ernest has a pair of Bunny 
Shoe for that big leap. In that case, any of Ernest's Killer Moves 
can link fairly well off a normal attack, except maybe the ultra 
short ranged Spiral Whip. Broken Heart, Thousand Whip and Dimension 
Whip seems to be the most effective though. Thunder Whip and Sonic 
Whip actually work ok despite the little lag at the start.


===Link Combos===
Since Ernest's Killer Moves takes up the least MP to use, giving him 
Link Combos would be a good choice, although his MP don't recover 
very quickly due to his low STM. 

* Thousand Whip – Dimension Whip       Rating: 4.5    MP Cost:
  Thousand Whip – Broken Heart         Rating: 4      MP Cost: 
  Thousand Whip – Thunder Whip         Rating: 3      MP Cost:
  Thousand Whip – Sonic Whip           Rating: 3      MP Cost:
I REALLY like the first, as Dimension Whip has perfect timing, does 4 
hits and is cheap. Also works exceptionally well on flying enemies. 
Broken Heart is not bad either but the last 2 are just a bit too slow 
for my liking, works on slower enemies.

* Broken Heart – Dimension Whip        Rating: 4      MP Cost:
  Broken Heart – Thousand Whip         Rating: 3.5    MP Cost: 
  Broken Heart – Thunder Whip          Rating: 3      MP Cost:
  Broken Heart – Sonic Whip            Rating: 3      MP Cost:
Similar to the above but not as good. Although Broken Heart is fast, 
it offers no protection against advancing enemies (and can miss.) It 
may also push the enemy too far back to get many hits off Thunder and 
Thousand Whip. Sonic Whip is ok though, as it has infinite range but 
is slow, Dimension Whip is still good. 

You can basically combine the above 5 Killer Moves in any order you 
like, but I think the slower ones are quite dangerous. 

* Spiral Whip – any of the above       Rating and MP varies
Only works well if you're not pushing against an enemy in a corner, 
and works better if you're in long range.


BOWMAN JEAN
-----------
Bowman owns a pharmacy in the town of Linga. He knows a lot about 
medicine and is respected in his town. He was offered to become a 
professor at the university but he declined, saying he'd rather be 
with his wife. Bowman knows many important people so he's definitely 
the person you want to talk to if you want someone to pull some 
strings for you. He's kinda sarcastic and tries to be funny but I 
don't find him funny.

Initial stats:
HP:     1500          STR:     90         LUC:      118
MP:      170          CON:     50         STM:       35
LV:       25          DEX:     62         GUTS:      36
EXP:   31183          AGL:      5
NEXT:   4382          INT:      0

Initial equipment: Cestus, Brigandine, Suede Boots

Initial skills: Herbal Medicine   LV5
                Mental Science    LV2
                Biology           LV4

Favourite Food: Daikon Miso Soup (Cook from Grains)

Favourite Instrument: Harmonica

Favourite Quotes: 
  - "Looks like I'll be popular with the ladies again" (It's GOTTA be 
the funniest quote in the game. I wonder what Nineh's gonna think.)
  - "Hey.. HEY!"

Favourite PA Moment:
  - Bowman's excuse when Rena caught him and Claude rating the girls.

Bowman's certainly not my favourite character when it comes to 
combat. None of his Killer Moves really stands out and most of them 
are about the same, so you'll get bored with him quickly. He fights 
with his fists since he passed martial arts in the university, and 
he'll throw some ready mixed bombs at the enemy in some of his KMs.

Bowman's normal attack has the least range among the fighters (and he 
makes these weird noise when he attacks) and has average speed, but 
Rena's normal attack is more effective. His air attack suffers from 
the same problem, and can easily get hit out of. 

Bowman's weapons are gloves but they're quite average, nothing too 
spectacular. What's quite disappointing about him is that his best 
weapon is Fire elemental, making him completely useless in fights 
where the enemy is resistant to Fire. Bowman can't wear the best 
armor like the other guys, which is quite dangerous since his normal 
attack must be executed right next to the enemy. Try not to use his 
normal attack if you use him. He always seems to be the one who dies 
the most in battles.

Any advantages that Bowman has? Well yes, his Killer Moves do take up 
very little MP to use, and he can throw most of his KMs in succession 
very fast like Precis, but like I said, they're quite weak. Bowman 
has probably the boringest set of KMs, most of them are just some 
kinda projectile: either a herbal bomb or some ki attack. His non-
projectile KMs are EXTREMELY hard to connect with, making Bowman a 
not a very effective character overall. For this reason, it is better 
to use him as a mid ranged character, since his missile attacks are 
quite okay. His best Killer Moves are Sakura Attack (half decent, but 
hard to hit) and Explosion Pills (a good missile attack with a fair 
radius.)


#####Killer Moves#####

---Spirit Attack---

<Bowman releases an energy bolt from his fist>

MP Cost: 4MP                      LV Gained: Start
Range: 2                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Spirit Attack"

Spirit Attack is not very original and it's fairly average in terms 
of usefulness. This missile attack has to be done quite close to the 
enemy though (compared to similar ones like Rocket Punch) and it's 
quite dangerous. It is kida quick to come out and it has fair 
recovery, but you'll get hit out of this a lot since you have to be 
so close to the enemy. The damage is normal attack, which is not that 
great, considering that you have to be so close to the enemy to use 
this KM. However, you can through this out in quick succession like 
Precis, which is quite good.

At P(100), Bowman will throw a bigger, yellow colored ball after his 
initial energy bolt for an extra hit. The damage for the second ball 
is, again, normal attack damage. The follow-up projectile's speed is 
pretty good too, so if your first one hits, the second one will too. 
At P(200), Bowman will fire a third and last, pink colored fire ball 
at his enemy, for a quick 3 hit combo. It's quite good considering 
the cheap MP cost but remember if the energy balls do not hit a 
target, it will dissapate really soon. So don't expect this to hit if 
the enemy runs away from Bowman at top speed! I find that Bowman's 
pill attacks make better projectiles. 


---Poison Pill---

<Bowman throw a handful of poisonous chemical capsuals beneath the 
enemy's feet>

MP Cost: 5MP                      LV Gained: Start
Range: 3                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Poison Pills"

Poison Pill is quite good, even for Bowman. :P It's a lot quicker 
than Spirit Attack and has no recovery time. The pills will hit about 
2 times and a small puddle of poisonous gas will be present on the 
ground near the target, so it has a small area effect as well. Each 
hit is of normal attack damage, so the damage is pretty good also. 
You can repeatedly throw pills at the enemy if they're slow. The 
pills also has a small chance of inducing the Poison status on the 
enemy, but it's quite rare.

At P(125), Poison Pills gets better as Bowman hurls more pills. The 
area effect will be bigger and after the capsual lands, a cloud of 
poisonous gas will actually rise and swirl about the area, damaging 
any enemies that it comes into contact with. The cloud needs a second 
to form though, so the enemies can run away from it. Bowman can now 
do about 3-4 hits with the pills alone. The cloud acts as a big area 
effect though, so it will not hit the same enemy twice, but the 
radius is pretty good so if you use this on a tightly packed enemy 
group, it'll get every single on of them. 

At P(250), Bowman throws even more pills, 6 to be exact! They hit the 
enemy for a quick multi-hit projectile with a chance of status 
change. However, the cloud will not always appear at this point. I am 
not sure why, but the damage at this point is very good so you won't 
really have to worry about the cloud.

The primary use of this projectile is hit-and-run, since it's so 
quick. Note that Poison Pill does not work in the same way as his 
other projectiles, such as Spirit Attack. Instead of a horizontal 
projectile, that can hit any enemy that comes into contact with at 
anytime, Poison Pill is released and travels in a small arc in the 
air. Its effects are released once it hits the ground or an enemy, 
but if an enemy makes contact with the pills while it's still 
travelling in the air, it'll have no effect. In a way, Poison Pill 
functions like a mini-version of lobbing projectile attacks like 
Opera's (long range) Flame Launcher.


---Pillery---

<Bowman leaps into the air and lands up-side-down on top of the enemy 
and break their neck>

<<Bowman sink into a black shadow on the ground, reappears up-side-
down above the enemy and break their neck>>

MP Cost: 6MP                      LV Gained: Start
Range: 3, U                       Elemental: None

Quote: "Pillery"

More pills? Nah, Pillery is something completely different. The short 
ranged version is similar to both Head Splitter and Hop Step, except 
that Bowman is as slow as hell. Also, the Execution Point for the 
short ranged Pillery is fixed, so it's not as flexible as neither of 
the other KMs. The damage is good, doing twice as much as a normal 
attack. Because it is so slow, it's a pain trying to get it to hit so 
use it on slower enemies.

The long ranged version is worse. The sinking animation takes forever 
to complete and so, it'll almost never hit unless the enemy is 
immobile or occupied. The damage is still the same. The long ranged 
version maybe ok to cover grounds without having to run. Both 
versions has limited invincibility properties that makes it sorta 
worthwhile.

At P(200), Bowman gains 2 shadow images not unlike Precis' Hop Step 
and the damage of Pillery goes up to the 300% of normal stage. The 
damage is very worthwhile, but it's still a pain trying to it to hit. 
If you really want to stay defensive, then perhaps you may want to 
try this move.


---Firebird Attack---

<Bowman concentrates and releases a swirling ball of fire at the 
enemy>

MP Cost: 10MP                     LV Gained: Start
Range: 4                          Elemental: Fire

Quote: "Firebird attack"

One word, Firebolt! Firebird Attack is basically Bowman's sorry rip 
off of the Firebolt spell. Bowman's fire even has that pause effect 
where it pauses for a second before launching at the enemy. The 
traveling speed of the fire is also quite slow. If you look closely, 
Bowman actually hurls 2 fireballs, closely tucked together, but this 
move will only hit once for normal attack damage. One good thing is 
has is that Bowman can actually stay a decent distance away from the 
enemy. Firebird Attack does Fire elemental damage.

At P(200), the fireball will explode upon impact. While it does not 
cause any extra bonus (boo!), it does create an explosion area affect 
that covers a fair radius so it can hit multiple enemies. At P(400), 
the damage is upgraded to twice the normal attack damage, which is 
very strong. Since it's so slow, Bowman's other projectiles are more 
effective. Note however, Firebird Attack will travel a lot further 
than Spirit Attack if an enemy is not hit.


---Secret Medicine---

[Bowman throws a capsule into the air and supposedly, catches it in 
his mouth]

MP Cost: 8MP                      LV Gained: 28
Range: U                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Secret Medicine"

Secret Medicine is a healing KM, like Energy Sword and Healing Star, 
but it's not very effective. The amounts it heals is quite low to be 
effective. 

HP Restores = 100 + (Prof. * 2)

So at maximum Proficiency, it restores 2098HP, much MUCH lower than 
the 60% (or 5999) of Claude's Energy Sword or the 5150 to EVERYONE of 
Opera's Healing Star.

Secret Medicine is a uni-ranged KM, so you can use it anywhere. Try 
keeping away from the enemy if you want to use this though. Secret 
Medicine is the fastest executing healing KM out of the 3, but the 
pill needs about 2 seconds to travel back from the air, so you need 
to keep Bowman safe during that time. He could be killed before his 
pill even takes effect. Note that you do not have to stay at the same 
place to get the pill to take its effect. If you let Bowman run away, 
the pill will actually FOLLOW him! 


---Death Siege---

<Bowman leaps back, disappears and splits into 2 mirror images that 
runs through an opponent from opposite ends of a diagonal>

MP Cost: 13MP                     LV Gained: 35
Range: 1                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Die!"

Death Siege sure is a weird, very weird KM. First of all, the range 
is 1. Bowman has to run all the way up to the enemy before leaping 
back about 2 character-width, THEN disappears to form his shadows. 
Well, it can be dangerous but it can also be pretty cool as the leap-
back effect can cause the enemy to miss their attack. Bowman splits 
into 2 and each image is capable of inflicting a hit at nomal attack 
damage, but since it travels so slowly, it'll rarely make 2 hits. The 
speed Bowman's images travels ain't great, so it can miss the enemy 
quite often. The hit detection for Bowman's images are also quite 
bad, because a hit will not register unless the enemy is right 
between the 2 images. Anyhow, Bowman is invincible towards regular 
attacks while in his split-body animation and it lasts quite a while, 
so it will be quite useful later in the game to avoid attacks. Note 
that the place where Bowman will rematerialize after the execution of 
this move at exactly the point where he disappeared to form the 
images. 

At P(100), Death Seige gets better as Bowman learns to split his body 
into 4 forms, running into the enemy in an "X" shaped formation. It's 
pretty good as it can deal up to 4 hits now. Since there are more 
images, it makes the enemy easier to hit. It's still insanely easy to 
avoid though. Bowman stays in his split body form even longer now, 
which means even longer duration of invincibility frames, whoohoo! I 
think he's also immune to magic damage.

After toying around with this a little, I discovered that the speed 
which Bowman's shadow travels are the same as his battle running 
speed. It all points to one thing – the Bunny Shoes! With Bunny Shoes 
equipped, Bowman's shadows travels a LOT faster and makes it almost 
impossible for the enemy to escape! On the other hand, it greatly 
reduces Bowman's invincibility time. Otherwise, Bunny Shoes makes an 
excellent footware for Bowman.


---Whirlwind Fist---

<Bowman starts shaking his bootie for no reason and eventually, a 
tornado appears in front of him, launching the enemies high up into 
the air. I just hope the whirlwind didn't come from where I thought 
it came from... scary thought>

<<Exactly the same>>

MP Cost: 15MP                     LV Gained: 43
Range: 2, 3                       Elemental: Wind

Quote: "Whirlwind fist"

Ugh... Bowman, what ARE we gonna do with you?!?! Didn't yo momma ever 
taught you to learn USER FRIENDLY KMs? Whirlwind Fist has some nifty 
effects... if ONLY you can get it to hit. Ok, Bowman will shake his 
bootie (DANCING QUEEN!) for FOUR seconds before the whirlwind comes 
out. At a range of 2, Bowman almost ever be able to pull this off in 
time before the enemy thwacks him back! So IMO, this move is more 
useful at long range, where you can stay back a little.

When you do get the whirlwind to hit though, it'll launch any enemy 
within its path right up into the air for an instant 4 hits, each at 
half normal attack strength of Wind elemental damage. This sets up 
tons of juggle oppotunities. For example, Explosion Pill will hit the 
enemy on their way down, making it an effective Link combo. The 
whirlwind will travel a short distance before disappating though. 
Also, avoid using this attack on floating/flying enemies, as when 
they get launched up high, they'll stay there! You will not be able 
to hit them unless you cast a spell or use a homing KM. Very 
annoying.

Also, if you didn't know, Whirlwind fist is UNBLOCKABLE!!! Yeah 
that's right! It'll launch the enemy right off their feet into the 
air, no questions asked, except against big enemies. Try this on this 
enemies with the full-bodied shields.

Whirlwind fist doesn't REALLY improve with Proficiency though. From 
what I can tell, the radius of the whirlwind gets wider, that's it. 
With a bigger radius, the whirlwind will be able to launch more 
enemies within its path and clearing out bigger groups. At P(100), 
another mini-tornado will form within the eye of the bigger whirlwind 
which causes it to expand its radius. It seems to get even bigger at 
P(200) but I can't really tell.


---Burst Fist---

<Bowman surrounds his body in a forcefield while he tackles the 
opponent>

<<Bowman fires a forcefield as a missile at an enemy>>

MP Cost: 28MP                     LV Gained: 51
Range: 2, 5                       Elemental: None

Quote: "Burst Fist"

Burst Fist is pretty good. At short range, Bowman's tackle attack is 
fast, but if the enemy retreats, he will likely miss his attack. The 
damage done is twice that of a normal attack, making it a strong hit 
if it connects. I'm not sure if the forcefield can act as a partial-
defensive barrier though.

At long range, it's even better. The missile attack is fairly quick 
with a little lag at the start. There are no damage penalties, so it 
becomes a very strong missile attack. Good if you've gotta stay away 
but you need the damage. Also fairly good as the follow-up attack of 
another missle attack (Firebird Attack, for example.)

At P(100), both version's forcefield will grow bigger. The damage for 
both version will also be boosted to 250% of a normal attack! Also, 
the missile version of this KM starts gaining a small area effect, 
making it even better! At P(200), the damage is boosted to 300% of 
normal attack and the forcefield is even bigger, almost as big as the 
globe conjured by by Opera's Gravity Shell! The area effect of the 
long range version is great, not to mention powerful! This is one of 
Bowman's strongest KMs. Later in the game however, when your powers 
increase, multiple-hit KMs will do more damage. So until then, stick 
this on Bowman and watch him go!


---Explosion Pill---

<Bowman throws a handful of firebomb capsules at the enemy's feet, 
which explodes upon impact>

MP Cost: 20MP                     LV Gained: 66
Range: 3                          Elemental: Fire

Quote: "Explosion Pill"

Explosion Pill is one of the most effective mid-ranged missile 
attacks in the game. It's almost identical to Poison Pill except it's 
Fire elemental and has a much bigger area of blast. Bowman throws 2 
pills at the ground and when they explode, each capsual will send 
explosive sharpels in a wide radius and causes flame to burst into 
the air, not unlike a grenade. The explosion is more than enough to 
hit most airborne enemies, which is a great advantage. Explosion Pill 
will score about 2 hits per enemy caught within its blasting zone, 
each inflicting a good normal attack damage. It has great start up 
and non-existant recovery! Remember though, the missile is sent into 
the air in an arc, like Poison Pill, so it cannot cause any harm 
until it hits the ground and detonates.


---Sakura Attack---

<Bowman leaps into the air, punches twice and performs what looks 
like a hurricane spinning kick>

MP Cost: 36                       LV Gained: 74
Range: 0                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Sakura Attack"

I don't like Sakura Attack very much. It does hit multiple times but 
the way it works is next to worthless. Basically Bowman's cheap show 
off after seeing his teammates' Mirror Slice, Sword Dance and 
Illusion.

First of all, the first hit will not come out until Bowman leaps into 
the air. Meaning you not only have to run up close to the enemy, but 
also survive long enough without getting hit to leap into the air! 
90% of the time I used this, Bowman gets snuffed out before the first 
hit. A better way to use this is through Canceling, but considering 
Bowman's normal attack range, you're better off sticking to his 
missile attacks!

Second of all, lighter enemies will be launched into the air along 
with Bowman, while larger ones won't. Some hits of Sakura Attack will 
miss a launched small opponent, unless they're in a corner, greatly 
reduces the damage potential. While against larger opponents, the hit 
stun from each single hit seems almost non existant! Translation for 
non fighting gamers? The enemy can act while you're hitting them!

Third of all, each hit of Sakura Attack has no range, just like his 
normal attack! (Even his kicks!) Sakura Attack is also TERRIBLE 
against flying enemies. What's the point in leaping into the air if 
you can't even hit air enemies?! Even though Claude's Twin Slash has 
flaws, it still works against them.

If you do get Sakura Attack to work, it can hit a maximum of 6 times, 
each at normal attack strength. The damage is worthwhile but it's 
hard to get Sakura Attack to work in a satisfactory manner. Its MP 
cost is also a little on the high side, but you'd be surprised how 
fast it drains when you stick Sakura Attack on Bowman!

At P(240), Bowman will throw 3 energy bolts (Spirit Attack) after he 
lands for 3 extra hits and good damage bonus. These projectiles works 
exactly like Spirit Attack. Sadly, Sakura Attack is still one of 
Bowman's better attacks. THAT just shows you how useless Bowman 
really is.
 

===Cancel Ability===
No thanks. Bowman has terrible range in his normal attack, moving so 
close to the enemy is dangerous. Cancelling to Sakura Attack is 
probably the only decent option has all his other close range attacks 
are really slow.


===Link Combo Ideas===
Bowman is a lot like Precis in that he has lots of missile attacks 
that can be combined in various ways. He also has some weird close 
ranged attacks that I really cannot get used to and therefore can 
generate some weird combos.

* Poison Pill – Explosion Pill         Rating: 4      MP Cost:
Pills, pills and more pills. This is actually my favourite attack as 
both pills are quite fast and hits an area. The other way works too 
but it's not as good because Explosion Pills sends the enemies high 
into the air and only the cloud from Poison Pills will connect.

<Under construction>


LEON GEESTE
-----------
At just 12 years of age, Leon became the head Heraldry researcher and 
scientist of Lacour. Bless with his super-human intelligence, Leon 
was praised by everyone around him, except for his parents. His IQ 
bought him maturity quickly, but the lack of experience leaves his 
emotional state fragile, like that of a child. Arrogant as he is, his 
ego often leads him to more trouble than he can handle. Treating 
everyone like if they're less superior creatures, Leon believes he 
can handle everything, but he soon realizes that he needs friends and 
cannot hope to survive on his own. Note Leon is the ONLY Fellpool in 
this game, weird huh? (He probably came from another planet and got 
adopted like Rena.)

Initial stats:
HP:     1600          STR:     40         LUC:      120
MP:      300          CON:     30         STM:       23
LV:       30          DEX:     35         GUTS:      10
EXP:   56883          AGL:      5
NEXT:   6307          INT:      0

Initial equipment: Thick Book, Amber Robe, Suede Boots

Initial skills: Mineralogy           LV3
                Scientific Ability   LV4
                Fairyology           LV1

Favourite Food: Carrot Juice (Yuck!!! Cook with Vegetables)

Favourite Instrument: Violin

Favourite Quotes:
  - "Thanks to me"

Favourite PA Moment:
  - The one in Fun City where he has a crush on every girl in the 
team.

Even though Leon is a little spoiled brat, he is a good contender for 
the best magic user in the game but I think he's just slightly behind 
Celine, just _slightly_!! When Leon first joins you, his collection 
of spells ain't really great, since he doesn't have any all-targeted 
spells. However, Leon gets exceptionally powerful spells later on in 
the game that are in general, more useful than all of Celine's 
spells, but it takes a while to get there. Leon has a very narrow 
choice of spells, which don't make him as versatile as Celine and the 
enemy are rarely weak against the elements he possesses. The majority 
of Leon's offensive spells are of Water, Dark and Void elemental, 
with a few Star and Vacuum spells. Leon is fantastic at spell 
absorption though, with 2 very unique spells and some unique effects.

Leon has a surprisingly effective normal attack for a magic user, 
where a ghostly purple armored knight pops out of his book and slices 
the enemy. It takes place in under a second and Leon can stand one 
character width away from the enemy, making his normal attack tied 
with Opera's as being the best in the game. The only drawback is that 
his attack power is very weak, and if you haven't got him a good 
weapon, he'll sometimes do no damage with his attack! Also, his 
recovery isn't all that good, so the enemy can counter. As for his 
air attack, a ghostly Valkyrie materializes from his book and extends 
her spear into the air, piecing any enemy that makes contact with it. 
It's equally as fast and Leon is subject to less danger afterwards 
compared to his ground attack, fairly cool as well. 

Despite his age, Leon has the highest MP maximum than anyone else and 
his spells tends to cost a lot less than the other characters. The 
BIGGEST advantage Leon has over Celine, IMO, is that some of his best 
spells takes FAR less animation time than equivalent ones from 
Celine, Noah in particular. 

In terms of equipment, Leon is like that of Celine, being able to 
equip only the worst armor so concentrating on a good MAG boost with 
Robes is essential. His books ain't bad but don't seem to give him as 
much of a MAG boost as Celine's Rods. Try make better weapons for him 
through either Authoring or Customize. The same drawback stated under 
Celine's section also apply here (slow, never move etc..)

Although Leon is pretty good at stand alone magic, it's quite a waste 
if you do not try to combine his spells with another magician team 
member given the special effects of his spells. I HATE putting him in 
the same team with Rena though, as they don't like each other very 
much for some reason and keep cancelling each other with Star Flare 
and Shadow Flare. Leon + Celine is not too bad of a choice, but it 
leaves your team without a healer, and 3 mages is more than I can 
handle. So Leon's natural partner would be Noel, since he can heal 
and has a _few_ good spells. Leon + Rena is no problem though, as 
long as Leon has gotten his best spells so he doesn't have to use 
Shadow Flare all the time.


#####Heraldry#####

---Ice Needle---

[Leon forms a shard of ice and launches it at the enemy]

MP Cost: 2MP                      LV Gained: Start
Target: Single enemy              Elemental: Water

Quote: "Ice needle"

Basically the Water version of Firebolt. It does not seem to have the 
pause effect though, but it's traveling speed is equally as slow. 
Damage done is also low (22 at first). Cast this but don't expect to 
hit anything.


---Wounds---

[A TINY-reaper materializes from the shadows and slashes the enemy 
with its scythe]

MP Cost: 4MP                      LV Gained: Start
Target: Single enemy              Elemental: Darkness

Quote: "Wounds"

Wounds is a non-static spell. The damage is does is pathetic (about 
60 at first, but it's still better than the other weak spells) so 
just cast it once to get the voice sample.


---Word of Death---

[A skull appears above an enemy]

MP Cost: 18MP                     LV Gained: Start
Target: Single enemy              Elemental: Darkness

Quote: "Word of death"

Word of Death attempts to instantly kill an enemy but I have NEVER 
gotten it to work at all. This spell is non-static and needs about 2 
seconds of casting time. Perhaps your chance of success rises with 
Profeciency? I dunno. If anyone can make the success rate of this 
spell rather significant, I'll be dying to know, 'cuz it'll be useful 
in the Cave of Trials.

Appearantly, the Iseria Queen has this spell and casts it a LOT! She 
also has about 50% chance of success, which is just plain unfair!


---Shadow Bolt---

[A ring of mist encases the enemy and shadows bubbles around the 
enemy]

MP Cost: 7MP                      LV Gained: Start
Target: One enemy                 Elemental: Darkness

Quote: "Shadow Bolt"

Quite weak (120-200) but it's worth casting. Why? Because time is 
paused and the camera rotates while this spell animates, so you can 
have a good look at some of the character's KM effects in 3D!!! Yes, 
most of them has 3D enhancement that looks REALLY cool. (Try Opera's 
Cold Wind for example, you'll see the entire cone in 3D and its 
hollow center. How cool is that?!)


---Deep Freeze---

[Snow flakes fall from the sky and 3 large icicles comes down 
crushing the enemy]

MP Cost: 15MP                     LV Gained: Start
Target: Radius                    Elemental: Water

Quote: "Deep freeze"

Deep Freeze is not too bad, it does about 330 damage at the start, 
which is useful for a little while and it's good against those 
Salamanders in the Hoffman Ruins. 

On a side note, my characters got Frozen when the enemy cast this 
spell but I've never froze any enemies with Leon before.


---Black Saber---

[Leon sends a black disc which cuts the enemy]

MP Cost: 14MP                     LV Gained: Start
Target: Line of Sight             Elemental: Darkness

Quote: "Black Saber"

This is Leon's only dependable spell when you first get him. It's ok 
does decent damage (550) and may hit multiple enemies. The AI is 
quite dumb at targeting though. If you cast this spell manually, aim 
it at the furtherest enemy so anything in between Leon and the target 
will get hit. The casting time is about 3 seconds.


---Acid Rain---

[Red colored rain falls from a stormy heaven]

MP Cost: 7MP                      LV Gained: Start
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Water

Quote: "Acid rain"
       "Oh burning rain!"

Acid Rain is one of the most useful spells in the game. Leon gets 
this already when he joins and it has a cheap MP cost. Acid Rain will 
attempt to lower all enemy's Defense and the rate of success is 
actually quite fair. It doesn't work well on bosses though. You don't 
really have to seal it because the AI hardly ever casts this spell 
anyway.

Of course, Acid Rain has other uses. It is fantastic at Spell 
Asorption, even though it does no damage by itself. Acid Rain will 
always get absorbed by another spell though, but its Water elemental 
will only work with Fire, Earth and Lightning spells. The result is 
an instant 9999 damage to all the enemies that are hit using the 
dominant spell target. Careful though, because if the enemies are 
strong against that element, they can actually gain 9999 HP! Also, be 
very weary of enemy mages, because if you accidentally cast this at 
the same time as them, it can actually wipe your whole team out by 
doing 9999 to everyone of you! Also, the defense lowering effect of 
Acid Rain will also accompany the damage delt.

The best spell to combine Acid Rain with is Noel's Earth Grave. 
They're both cheap, fast, easy to time and gives you the most bang 
for your bucks! The second best spell (if you don't have Noel) would 
be Celine's Thunder Storm, giving you good value as well. 
Unfortunately, none of Rena's spells goes well with it.


---Deep Mist---

[Clouds appear near the target to obscure their vision]

MP Cost: 11MP                     LV Gained: Start
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Darkness

Quote: "Deep Mist"

Exactly the same as Rena's version and I prefer to cast it with Rena, 
if I ever need it that is. Usually by the point I get Leon, I'd 
already have 100 Proficiency built up for Rena. The choice is yours 
though, but seal this if you want.


---Protection---

[A shield falls from heaven to protect an ally]

MP Cost: 28MP                     LV Gained: 32
Target: Single ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Protection"

Exactly the same as Rena's spell. Have them both cast this spell 
during a boss to cover everyone quickly.


---Starlight---

[Leon sends a chain of stars into the air, which in terms shines 
beams of light down at the enemies, causing an explosion]

MP Cost: 10MP                     LV Gained: 34
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Star

Quote: "Starlight"

Exactly the same as Celine's version, but by the time you get this, 
Celine would've gotten some really powerful spells like Thunder 
Storm. It's sad as this is Leon's first all-target spell! Use 
Starlight to disrupt enemy mages' concentration because it's fast.


---Delay---

[Leon calls forth a large pocket watch, it hang over the target and 
resets itself]

MP Cost: 18MP                     LV Gained: 36
Target: Single enemy              Elemental: None

Quote: "Delay"

Just like Rena's Delay, use it if you want.


---Shadow Flare---

[Pockets of burning dark shadow rains onto the enemies]

MP Cost: 32MP                     LV Gained: 39
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Darkness

Quote: "Shadow Flare"

Leon's first really good spell and remains so even near the end of 
the game, since the animation is so fast. Shadow Flare will do  
around 1900 when you first get it and later its damage can go beyond 
4000. Combine this with Rena's Gravity Press for around 2800 when you 
first get this spell to take down enemies. Leon learn this at about 
the time where you explore the Eluria Tower, and around the time 
where Celine gets her Thunder Cloud. He casting time is about 5 
seconds, but it's worth it.


---Haste---

[A pocket watch appears above the ally and fast-forwards itself]

MP Cost: 20MP                     LV Gained: 42
Target: Single ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Haste"

Exacty the same as Rena's, you might want to seal it.


---Growth---

[An orange sphere of energy clouds one ally and enlarges them 
temporarily]

MP Cost: 22MP                     LV Gained: 50
Target: Single ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Growth" 
       "Power up!"

Exactly the same as Rena's version, seal it.


---Noah---

[A tidalwave sweeps across the screen, threatening to drown all foes]

MP Cost: 35MP                     LV Gained: 54
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Water

Quote: "Noah"
       "Be washed away!"

Now you are really starting to get Leon's good spells. Noah is the 
most powerful Water elemental spell. It will do about 2200 to all 
enemies on screen, on par with Shadow Flare. However, unlike Shadow 
Flare, Noah's power can be boosted by wearing a Water Ring (not Aqua 
Ring) which enhances Water elemental spells. Noah also animates 
EXTREMELY quickly so if you're sick of Celine's Explode, Noah is an 
excellent replacement! 


---Gremlin Lair---

[A dimensional vortex opens before Leon as a Gremlin appears. He 
summons forth a swarm of mystic projectiles and attacks the enemies 
with its paws]

MP Cost: 26MP                     LV Gained: 60
Target: All enemies (special)     Elemental: Void

Quote: "Gremlin Lair"

Gremlin Lair is definately the strongest spell in the game. While 
each single hit is rather weak, Gremlin Lair in the only multiple-hit 
spell in the game. If you can wreck up enough hits on an enemy, the 
combined damaged will be pushed over the 9999 mark, which is the 
maximum damage for all single hit spells. The closer Leon is to the 
enemy, the more times the enemy will be hit by the Gremlin's sickles. 
Similarly, if the enemy if at full screen length from Leon, they'll 
only get smacked by the sickles a couple of times. After the sickle 
hits, the Gremlin will also smack each enemy upto 4 times, unless 
they're killed by the sickles. If an enemy is almost overlapping with 
the Gremlin, they'll usually get hit 15-20 times by the projectiles! 
So even if each hit does 700 damage, (20+4)*700 will be enough to 
boost the total damage well over the 9999 mark! Because of this, it 
is actually worthwhile to have Leon run up close to the boss before 
casting this spell.

Note however, the sickles will miss some enemies completely! The 
mages that are out-of-phase during the casting of Gremlin Lair will 
be immune to the sickles. It also misses sometimes against other 
types of enemies, such as the Succubuses.

As if it weren't enough, Gremlin Lair can also be combined with 
another spell for even more fun. Y' see, if you combine Gremlin Lair 
with another spell, the damage of the spell absorbed for EACH hit of 
Gremlin Lair for an unspeakable total damage! Even if you absorb say, 
Rena's Press, it will still add 200 to each and every hit, making the 
difference in total damage by the thousands! However, due to the Void 
elemental nature, you can only combine it with other Void and Star 
types of spells. Rena is especially effective due to her decent Void 
and Star spells (Gravity Press and Tractor Beam), Celine's best Star 
spells (Southern Cross for example) cannot be combined, making her 
less useful. 


---Daemon's Gate---

[A gaint hell's gate appears on the battle field as its door opens to 
reveal a daemonic sorceror. He waves his want and attacks the enemy 
with mystic energy before departing]

MP Cost: 37MP                     LV Gained: 66
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Void

Quote: "Daemon's Gate"
       "Oh monsters of the mysterious world, answer me!"

Another pretty good spell. The daemon will inflict about 5000-6000 
damage to all enemies. The animation time is also fairly good, better 
than Explode IMO. Leon's most powerful spell through regular means, 
unless you're into spell Absorption. Void elemental isn't very useful 
though, I'd admit.


---Dark Circle---

[Pink energy flares gather together to open up a hyper-velocity black 
hole, which attempts to sucks in all weakened enemies]


MP Cost: 65MP                     LV Gained: 68
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Void?

Quote: "Dark Circle"

Dark Circle is not bad. It is an instant death spell and it will ONLY 
work on enemies who are low on HP, 25% or less of their maximum to be 
exact. If it fulfills this requirement, the enemy will get sucked 
into the vortex. It does not seem to fail if the requirements are 
met, but it does not work against bosses, obviously. It can be useful 
in the Cave of Trials, where the enemies have a lot of HP. But 
sometimes it's more of a bother than it's worth, because you have no 
way of knowing how much HP the enemy has remaining. It's sometimes 
easier to just hit them to finish weak enemies off.


---Extinction---

[Numerous pockets of material spheres crashes in on the battlefield, 
causing a dynamic explosion, or something like that]

MP Cost: 90MP                     LV Gained: Found in Cave of Trials
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Void

Quote: "Extinction"

Well, it IS the most popular single hit spell in the game. Extinction 
will almost always yield an instant 9999 damage on all but it takes 
about 8 and half seconds to cast without Motormouth, so it can be a 
little annoying. The animation time is a little on the long side as 
well, on par with Explode but better than Meteor Swarm. Actually, I 
only leave this on to get the alternate spell quote, then I'd turn it 
off because the animation time is a little long. Noah, Daemon's Gate 
and Gremlin Lair are almost as good.


DIAS FLAC
---------
Two years ago, Dias was like a common towns folk, living happily with 
his family in the village of Arlia. Then one unfortunate day, his 
parents and his little sister were slaughtered by a group of bandits. 
Dias was seriously wounded but still alive. He then left Arlia to 
wonder around the world, training his sword skills and became as cold 
as steel. Dias was Rena's big "brother", he cared about her a lot. 
Like Ling from Ally McBeal, nothing nice ever comes out of Dias' 
mouth. (No offence to Ling fans, as I think she's cool.)

Favourite Food: Chicken Skewers (VERY economical! Cook with Meat)

Favourite Instrument: Cembalo

Favourite Quotes:
  - "Hmm, they're good."

Favourite PA Moment:
  - None, since all he ever does is sleep...

Although the game makes you think that Dias is really powerful, he's 
actually not too useful. I mean, yes he has very good stats and 
equipment, but most of his Killer Moves will only hit once and are 
quite boring IMO. He's very powerful at the start of the game though, 
especially if you give him a good STR boost, even if he only hit 
once, he can dispatch enemies quickly. However, since the maximum 
damage of a single hit is 9999, his use wains later in the game where 
a character can do 9999 damage with each hit in their multi-hit 
Killer Moves like Claude. 

His fighting style is very similar to Japanese ninjas and samurais, 
favouring speed, stealth and pure strength. His weapon is a typical 
katana, used to strike and resheathed very quickly. Yes, the swinging 
action of the blade in his normal attack is very fast, but it takes a 
very long time for him to dram his sword, actually making his attack 
the slowest in the game! (Surprised?) Any advantages? Yes, there are 
2. Dias' attack has a very good range. Although it's sometimes hard 
to notice, but he can also hit multiple enemies and even ones who are 
standing behind him! (That's if you manage to pull off his attack.) 

Dias' weapons remains strong all through the game, especially when 
you reach the bottom of the Cave of Trials where the game gives you 
the ultimate weapon – the Levantine Sword! His Crimson Diablos also 
doubles his STR as well. Another good point, since Dias is one of the 
"heavy duty" characters, he can equip the best armor as well. Dias' 
has very high STR, like Claude and very high STM. 

One final note though, if Dias gets Peeped, he'll stay Dizzied longer 
than any other character for some reason, making the Peep Non a good 
contender for one of his accessory slots. 

Dias has the weirdest set of Killer Moves, as most of them hits the 
enemy in awkward angles or with unusual timing. Speed is his priority 
but some of his Killer Moves are quite slow and so are hard to use. 
He seems to have 2 styles in his Killer Moves, one is to utilize the 
power of the Japanese legendary bird, the Suzaku (or Phoenix) and the 
other one is the moon. I think Dias is more of a short ranged 
character, since his missile attacks can only hit once, but like I've 
said before, many of his KMs hits in awkward directions so you might 
have to adjust to his style if you want to use him. His best KMs are 
Illusion (VERY fast and powerful), Hawk Scream Blast (powerful and 
can be used as a missile attack) and Firebird Shock Wave if used 
correctly. I found his earlier KMs to be extremely effective though, 
especially Crescent Wave and Chaos Sword.


#####Killer Moves#####


NOEL CHANDLER
-------------
Noel is a zoologist of some type in Energy Nede, who's job is to 
monitor and protect the endangered species. He's calm and quiet, 
who'd rather take the easy way out like running away rather than 
fighting. In other words, Noel is a big sissy. He loves animals 
though, who won't forgive anyone who threatens them. Noel also hides 
a dark and mysterious past, as he's of a different breed compared to 
all other Nedians. Sounds like Noel is a bit of an "endangered 
specie" himself. :)

Initial Stats:
HP:     2700          STR:     61         LUC:       87
MP:      340          CON:     55         STM:       30
LV:       40          DEX:     50         GUTS:      28
EXP:  151862          AGL:      5
NEXT:  12808          INT:      0

Initial Equipment: Metal Fangs, Mithril Coat, Suede Boots, Poison 
                   Check

Initial Skills: None

Favourite Food: Big Tuna (I'd expected him to be a vegetarian.)

Favourite Instrument: Illusive Shamisen 

Favourite Quote: "What shall we do?" (He has a nice voice.)
                 "Whooooo..." :)

Favourite PA Moment: Can't think of one

Noel is a sissy, everybody knows that, but he's also a sad sad 
character. Ok, so he is a "bit of everything". Noel, being Nedian, 
can cast healing spells that are not found on Expel. Does that really 
make him more useful? A little, marginally. His AI is completely 
screwed up though. Y' see, even though Noel possesses most of Rena's 
healing spells, his battle strategies are exactly the same as attack 
mages like Celina and Leon. Of course, it does not mean that Noel's 
AI won't cast any healing spells at all, but it's just that he puts 
more priority on attack spells. So often, you'll see a comrade 
getting injured and the next thing Noel does is cast Foehn. Also, 
unlike Rena who liked to keep everyone in the team healthy, Noel 
slacks off often and will ignore a character who's HP is say, above 
60%. To make Noel useful, you'll have to control him manually, but we 
have all learned that controlling a mage isn't much fun. So why 
bother when Rena gets the job done just like that? *Click fingers*

Oh, please don't misunderstand, I have REALLY tried to make Noel 
useful. But the bottom line? He is useless. Attack spell-wise, Noel 
falls short compared to all the other mages, Rena included! Do we 
REALLY need 5 wind spells, when none of them can do more than 2500 
damage? In any case, Noel controls the elements Wind, Earth and 
Vacuum, with come healing and support spells to compensate. Due to 
spell distribution, Noel isn't very good at Spell Absorption either, 
except his Earth Grave with Leon's Acid Rain. Out of Rena's spell 
collection, Antidote and Raise Dead are both missing. Out of all his 
spells, only Earthquake and maybe Foehn is decent enough to deal 
constant damage.

Noel's normal attacks are pathetic, perhaps even more so than 
Bowman's! He is supposed to punch the enemy, but it looks more like 
Noel slaps the enemy with his sloppy hand. With those quotes and that 
attitude, I really wouldn't be surprised if he did. Heck! Tri-Ace 
should've given him a handbag instead, as at least he'll have more 
range! Even standing right next to the opponent, Noel's attack will 
miss more often than not, unless the enemy walks towards him. There! 
Non-existant range! Air attack? Don't make me laugh.

Noel can however, equip weaker fight-type armor, but faces a trade-
off of not being able to equip most of the robes. IMO, this is a very 
bad sign. So yes, he does have a better defense than the other mages, 
but does this really matter later in the game where enemies can kill 
you outright regardless of defense? Not being able to equip robes 
seriously hinders the powers of his spells, which shows. 

Noel's stats are equally as pathetic. Being a mage, his INT was a lot 
lower than Ernest, even though Noel is about 10 levels higher! What's 
this about?!?! So, Noel really is as bad as they (and I) say he is. 
His healing spells gives him some value and if you want a second 
support mage, Noel is your man, although I'd say Opera can take on 
the part of healer better than Noel.


#####Heraldry#####

---Wind Blade---

[Noel fires a slim tornado at the enemy]

MP Cost: 2MP                      LV Gained: Start
Target: Single enemy              Elemental: Wind

Quote: "Wind Blade"

Exactly the same as Celine's version, except it's weaker as Noel is 
weaker. Not much use. Non-static.


---Grave---

[Stone spikes raises from the ground to hurt the enemy]

MP Cost: 4MP                      LV Gained: Start
Target: Single enemy              Elemental: Earth

Quote: "Grave"

Non-static but since the spikes appear beneath the enemy, it'll hit 
most of the time. Not like you really need this or anything, as it 
only does about 80 damage. An intereting fact about this is that, if 
the enemy is airborne, the spikes will actually appear beneath the 
enemy in the AIR!!! A scary sight, you've gotta see it!


---Tetnus Wind---

[Numerous wind sonic-booms gather and slams at the enemy]

MP Cost: 10MP                     LV Gained: Start
Target: Single enemy              Elemental: Wind

Quote: "Tetnus Wind"
       "Oh wicked air!"

Noel's unique spell. The damage is pretty pitiful at this point, 
around 370 or something. Not much use other than casting it a lot to 
get the alternate spell quote.


---Sonic Saber---

[A wind disc is launched at the enemy at high speed]

MP Cost: 11MP                     LV Gained: Start
Target: Line of Sight             Elemental: Wind

Quote: "Sonic Saber"
       "Oh blade of atmosphere!"

Another wind spell, slightly stronger than the last. It works exactly 
like Leon's Black Saber except it's Wind elemental. Still, weak.


---Magnum Tornado---

[A tornado forms a dome of wind around the enemy]

MP Cost: 18MP                     LV Gained: Start
Target: Radius                    Elemental: Wind

Quote: "Magnum Tornado"
       "Oh vortex of atmosphere!"

Another Wind spell, do we REALLY need it? Wind spells are useless as 
they cannot be combined and they just happen to be in Noel's 
possession, who's weak as hell at magic. The damage is around 500, 
which is still not good.


---Earth Grave---

[Sharp blades of stone raises from the ground to hurt the enemies]

MP Cost: 16MP                     LV Gained: Start
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Earth

Quote: "Earth Grave"
       "Oh tusk of earth!"

Well, it's still a weak spell, around 400 damage, but at least it 
hits all enemies. The best use for this spell is to combine with 
Leon's Acid Rain for an instant 9999 damage to all. They're both 
cheap and relatively easy to time. The blades raises really high out 
of the ground though, so it'll hit all air enemies without any 
problems.


---Energy Arrow---

[Numerous purple energy darts accumulates and explodes about the 
enemy]

MP Cost: 16                       LV Gained: Start
Target: One enemy                 Elemental: Vacuum

Quote: "Energy Arrow"

Exactly the same as Celine's, except for the fact that she has gained 
it half a centuary ago while this is Noel's best spell when he joins! 
Scary though, and now you finally come to realise how weak Noel is! 
Not much good now, as it still can only do about 600 damage.


---Mind Absorber---

[A red/orange bubble of energy is sucked out of the enemy and gets 
absorbed by the caster]

MP Cost: 1MP                      LV Gained: Start
Target: One enemy                 Elemental: Vacuum

Quote: "Mind Absorber"

Exactly the same as Celine's. With a good MAG, this can actually 
absorb about 70-80MP! It's pretty good for Noel, except by that time, 
you're probably much better off in using a Black Berry instead. 


---Heal---

[Green sparks swirls around a character from head to toe]

MP Cost: 3MP                      LV Gained: Start
Target: Single ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Heal"

Exactly the same as Rena's first spell. Do I really have to write an 
evaluation for it? The only good it'll do now is a piece of the Voice 
Collection.

Healing = 100 + (MAG * 1/4) + (Prof. * 0.7)


---Cure Light---

[A sphere of light appears above the target's head and heals them]

MP Cost: 11MP                     LV Gained: Start
Target: Single ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Cure Light"

Stronger than Heal. Useful for a little while but it's not enough.

Healing = 800 + (MAG * 1/2) + (Prof. * 1.3)


---Cure All---

[Noel conjures up a large cross and a light blue dome, all allies are 
covered in blue sparks]

MP Cost: 18MP                     LV Gained: 41
Target: All allies                Elemental: None

Quote: "Cure all"
       "Oh healing light!"

Noel's strongest healing spell for a while, until he gets Fairy Heal, 
which Rena should have already.

Healing = 1200 + (MAG * 1) + (Prof. * 1.7)


---Silence---

[Noel summons a 4 armed spirit, and the spirit extends 2 of her arms 
out]

MP Cost: 14MP                     LV Gained: 41
Target: All enemies               Elemental: None

Quote: "Silence"

Exactly the same as Rena's spell. If you don't have Rena, then use 
this, but it will not be very effective at all. You're better off 
casting Noel's weak weak spells to disrupt the enemy mage's 
concentration.


---Neutral---

[The character gets dazzled by brilliant blue showers]

MP Cost: 17MP                     LV Gained: 45
Target: Single ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Neutral"

Exactly the same as Celine's spell and it's probably more useful on 
Noel. Gets all those nasty spell effects like Delay off. Use it if 
you get the chance.


---Blood Sucker---

[A green bubble of energy is sucked out of the enemy and gets 
absorbed by the Noel]

MP Cost: 12MP                     LV Gained: 49
Target: One enemy                 Elemental: Vacuum

Quote: "Blood sucker"
       "Mind if I borrow that?"

Ugh... Blood Sucker is not as useful for Noel as for those annoying 
mages. You'll only ever get around 400 HP sucked out of the enemy, 
which is never enough. It's kinda fun though. However, if you combine 
this spell with another spell, say Tractor Beam or Eruption, Noel 
will get a lot of HP back.


---Foehn---

[A rapid air current sweeps across the battle field]

MP Cost: 25MP                     LV Gained: 52
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Wind

Quote: "Foehn"
       "Oh burning air!"

Finally, a somewhat decent spell for Noel! Sick of those demons who 
keeps casting it? Now you'll have fun with this. Foehn is, sadly, the 
most powerful Wind elemental spell in the game except it's not very 
powerful, even for Noel's standards. Foehn will only do about 1200 to 
all enemies, which is quite low for an ultimate spell, even for 
Noel's standards. An ok spell for ok damage. Heck, even Rena can do 
better!


---Fairy Heal---

[A beam of light shines upon a character from the heavens and angels 
descends.]

MP Cost: 30MP                     LV Gained: 55
Target: Single Ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Fairy Heal"

Great spell as it's the strongest healing spell in the game. Don't 
expect Noel to heal as much damage as Rena though, as Noel has 
laughable MAG stats. Build it up and it can be equally as good.

HP Restored = 2800 + (MAG * 2) + (Prof. * 4)


---Dispel---

[A large runic green circle appears below the character and gets 
showered by blue sparks]

MP Cost: 24MP                     LV Gained: 60
Target: Single ally               Elemental: None (?)

Quote: "Dispel"

Another great spell. However, Noel gets this at a rediculously high 
level when you're supposed to go explore the 4 Fields. If you can 
level Noel up to this point, then good on you, because Noel will 
start to become more useful in battles.


---Curse---

[The target is engulfed in a beam of blue light as skulls pounds the 
target]

MP Cost: 20MP                     LV Gained: 66
Target: Single enemy              Elemental: None

Quote: "Curse"

Exactly the same as Celine's spell. Not very useful since the 
situation for this spell to be useful hardly ever arises.


---Bless---

[A light embrases the character as rings of rainbow resonates about 
them]

MP Cost: 18MP                     LV Gained: 72
Target: Single ally               Elemental: None

Quote: "Bless"

Exactly the same as Celine's. It's probably more useful on Noel 
though. Still, cast this during tougher fights when the enemy blocks 
your attacks a lot. Especially useful later in the game though.


---Fairy Light---

[Many beams of light shines upon the allies from the heavens and 
multiple angels descends.]

MP Cost: 40MP                     LV Gained: 77
Target: All allies                Elemental: None

Quote: "Fairy Light"

HP Restored = 2200 + (MAG * 2) + (Prof. * 4)

The same as Rena's. Noel is not as strong at magic as Rena so this 
spell is not as effective for him, but it's still insanely useful. If 
you ever want to replace Rena with Noel for some reason, then this 
spell is a must.


---Earthquake---

[A stone golem rises from the ground, beats the earth 3 times with a 
large hammer, sending shockwaves across the battle field]

MP Cost: 65MP                     LV Gained: 82
Target: All enemies               Elemental: Earth

Quote: "Earthquake"

Noel's last and best spell. Earthquake is extremely powerful, even 
for Noel's standards. It will do about 4000 too all targets. 
Considering Noel has low MAG, the potential of this spell may 
actually be on par with Extinction and Meteor Swarm! It has a heavy 
casting price tag too, but it's worth it. The casting time is 
terrible, around 8 seconds without Motormouth. Definately Extinction 
standards!

However, Earthquake is not without its flaws. Unlike Grave and Earth 
Grave, the ripples of Earthquake will NOT hit flying and airborne 
enemies, which severely hampers its usefulness. Enemies who are 
momentarily launched into the air by fighters will not get hit 
either. The AI is also quite stupid as he'll cast this spell on a 
bunch of birds or something. I had to eventually turn this spell off 
because Noel's AI is so bloody dumb.


CHISATO MADISON
---------------
Chisato is a carefree newspaper reporter from Central City in Energy 
Nede. She is very smart, charismatic and talkative. Chisato is always 
on the run for the biggest scoop she can get her hands on, and she'll 
do anything to get it. Although she's somewhat clumsy, she can defend 
herself in a tough situation. Better be careful, because her next 
scoop could be you. *Gasp*

Favourite Food: I have no idea what her favourite food is. It's 
supposed to be a Fruit Sandwich but I heard that the programmers were 
on drugs and forgot to program it in. Hmm, a badly polished game just 
got worse.

Initial Stats:
HP:     3000          STR:    104         LUC:      119
MP:      310          CON:     60         STM:       32
LV:       40          DEX:    150         GUTS:      42
EXP:  151862          AGL:     50
NEXT:  12808          INT:      0

Initial Equipment: Stun Gun, Mithril Coat, Jeanne's Helm, Gale 
                   Earring

Initial Skills: Copying  LV4

Favourite Instrument: Organ

Favourite Quotes:
  - "We'll manage" 

Favourite PA Moment:
  - The one with Leon, ends with Claude saying "(Once a reporter, 
always a reporter.)"
  - In the church of Cross where she's praying... for another big 
scoop!!!

Tied with Opera being my favourite character in the game. Chisato is 
one of the weaker fighters in terms of strength, but like Opera, 
she's has excellent Killer Moves that makes up for it. It is kinda 
sad since Chisato joins last, so you have to power her up a bit to 
make her truly useful. She also has fewer KMs than other fighters.

Chisato carries around with her her trusty stun gun, although she 
never really uses it (doesn't it sound a bit like Sharon from SFEX2? 
Chisato looks a LOT like Sharon!!) except for 2 special occasions. 
Don't let her feminine image fool you, she's actually a Blackbelt in 
Shingu style Jujutsu! She has a variety of different Killer Moves, 
from utilizing her own body as a weapon to a "special delivery" from 
the Defence Force. 

Chisato's normal attack is a back kick but it's very slow to come out 
and recover. (If you look closely, electric sparks can be seen coming 
from her feet! Hmm, does she wear her gun on her feet or something?) 
I don't use it, as her martial arts Killer Moves are MUCH faster and 
more effective. Her air attack is also fairly average. She pulls out 
her stun gun (looks like some kinda baton charged with electricity on 
both ends) and jumps into the air, shocking her enemy in the process. 
She doesn't have very good ways of dealing with flying enemies 
though, so you'll have to use this to hit airborne enemies most of 
the time.

Since Chisato joins very late in the game, her weapons are already 
outdated. Even the new weapons you can buy for her are extremely weak 
compared to the other characters'. Unfortunately, her weapons will 
never go pass 1000 points of attack power. Her normal weapons will 
either have an elemental effect attached to it or drains her MP like 
hell. It's not until the Cave of Trials where she can pick up the 
Weird Slayer, a fairly good weapon. Defense-wise, she's just like the 
other girls, can wear the weaker fighter type armors. She does have 
one advantage though and that is she's the only other person who can 
wear the useful Algol shield. 

Chisato has below average strength, but it's higher than Opera's. She 
does however, have the highest DEX out of all characters, which 
definately helps out during her multi-hit KMs. One other thing to 
note, I think Chisato has the highest HP out of all characters and 
highest MP out of all fighters at equal levels! It's true. When she 
was like 2 levels below Claude, she had about 100 more HP!!! (Not 
like that it matters very much.)

Chisato has a truly awesome set of Killer Moves to say the least. She 
has some unbelievably effective long range KMs as well as solid short 
range attacks. No matter what range she's in, her Killer Moves will 
hold the award for hitting the most number of times, as well as 
Peeping the enemies easily. She also uses some very sophisticated 
tools in her Killer Moves like business cards and the cell phone. 
However, the problem with her is that she's quite a weak character to 
put in the front line and she's not a very good stand-alone long 
range fighter, since her projectile KMs are extremely slow. She's an 
excellent member for aiding/when aided though. Chisato's best Killer 
Moves are Rising Dragon (strong, very fast and hits very many times) 
and Tear Gas (long range and hits *MANY* times.)


#####Killer Moves#####

---Twister---

<Chisato jumps back and rolls into a ball, then she rolls along the 
ground, tackling the enemies in the process>

MP Cost: 5MP                      LV Gained: Start
Range: 3                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Twister"

Twister is an ok KM for starters, but it gets better in the long run. 
At first, it's a little hard to hit. It kinda resembles Ernest's Arc 
Attack though, but it's nowhere is as bad.

It seems weird because Chisato runs towards the enemy, then jumps 
back (like Bowman in Death Siege) which can either be dangerous or 
can evade enemy attacks. Twister also has the trait of a "body 
projectile", so if an ally is between Chisato and the enemy, Chisato 
will slam into the ally instead, just like Arc Attack. Chisato also 
does not roll too far, like Arc Attack, so if the enemy moves away, 
she'll miss.

If she does connect with this move however, it'll hit up to 3 times, 
each doing normal attack damage. It also pushes the enemy back 
significantly, so you can trap an enemy in a corner with this. 

As you gain Proficiency, Chisato will start spinning faster and gains 
more momentum. At P(100), Chisato can hit about 7 times if the enemy 
is in a corner and travels a little further. At P(200), Chisato will 
spin so fast that it can hit like 10 or so times, no kidding!


---Burning Cards---

<Chisato reaches for her pockets and brings out 3 business cards, 
then throws them in 3 directions towards the way she is facing>

MP Cost: 10MP                     LV Gained: Start
Range: 4                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Burning Cards"

Burning Cards can be a deadly KM if built up and when she does, 
NOTHING is safe from it! It doesn't seem to be that great at the 
start, but like almost all of Chisato's KMs, it gets a LOT better 
each time they evolve. 

The start up is rather slow, around 3 seconds or so. The cards travel 
fairly rapidly after she throws them though. One card will fly 
straight ahead of Chisato, while the other two will travel about 30 
degrees away from each side of the center card. So if there are many 
enemies ahead of Chisato, they'll be in for a big surprise. Each hard 
causes normal attack damage. It's also a good KM to use to clear out 
large groups. Since Chisato can stay a fair distance away from the 
enemies, she will usually be safe from counter attacks. The recovery 
of this move is good.

At P(100), Chisato will pull out and throw 5 cards. Even better 
still, at P(200), Chisato will first throw 3 cards, then 5 cards in a 
quick succession, perfect for crowds. So you can see, it's next to 
impossible NOT to get hit by a card at this time, unless you're 
behind Chisato! Bigger enemies can actually get hit by multiple card, 
especially if they try to advance on Chisato. Once a card hits, it 
disappears so it cannot travel through multiple opponents. Use this 
KM to clear out large groups of enemies for a very low MP cost. It 
does not, however, work well against aerial enemies.


---Whirlwind---

<Chisato nails the enemy with a spinning kick combo'd into a low trip 
kick>

MP Cost: 14MP                     LV Gained: Start
Range: 0                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Special Attack: Whirlwind"

Whirlwind is extremely fast to come out, almost no lag at all. I 
usually use this instead of Chisato's normal attack. The first hit 
will launch lighter enemies into the air and the rest of the attacks 
misses. Against larger, heavier enemies, Whirlwind will inflict 3 
hits, each at normal attack strength. Since Chisato barely moves 
during this attack, a successful Strong Blow will push the enemy out 
of her thrashing combos, so turning Strong Blow off is mandatory.

At P(100), Chisato's onslaught continues with an added-on axe kick 
for an extra hit at normal damage. At P(200), Chisato will throw in a 
flash kick at the end of the combo, adding another hit or two. Again, 
this move is better used on bigger targets as some hits will push 
smaller enemies away, preventing further damage. 


---Ten Thousand Volts---

<Chisato pulls out her stun gun and releases 3 electric pillars that 
travels along the ground>

MP Cost: 22                       LV Gained: 44
Range: 3                          Elemental: Thunder?

Quote: "Ten Thousand Volts"

Good to see Chisato finally uses her weapon. Ten Thousand Volts works 
really similar to Burning Cards. It seems a little faster but the 
pillars travel at a much slower rate. It will also disappate after 
traveling a short distance. The pillars are a little more bunched up 
together than Burning Cards though. Each hit does normal damage and 
is electric/lightning elemental, I think.

At P(100) and then P(200), Chisato will release 5 then 7 pillars, 
forming a WIDE arc that clears out the path before her. Since its 
traveling speed is quite slow and that it disappates after a while, I 
find Burning Cards to be more effective most of the time. However, 
each pillar reaches high enough to hit flying enemies, which is an 
advantage that Burning Cards does not have. Better still, chain both 
of them together in a Link Combo for big crowds, to REALLY make sure 
that no one gets away from Chisato! 


---Flame Thrower---

[Chisato pulls out a heavy Flamethrower and fires a short burst of 
flame]

MP Cost: 20MP                     LV Gained: 53
Range: 3                          Elemental: Fire

Quote: "Flame Thrower"

Flame Thrower is a cool tech. At first, Chisato's flame has a very 
short range for a beam attack, only reaching as far as about 4 
character-widths. The number of hits generated are kinda hard to 
count, but if the enemies are close, you can probably wreak about 6 
or so hits, each are worth a quarter of Chisato's normal attack 
damage. The timing at the start is a little long (and the animation 
is pretty cute) but since you can stay a distance away from the 
enemy, it won't really matter. Usually, the lag time actually lets 
the enemy get in close to you so you can connect more hits!

At P(50), P(100) and P(150), the range of the fire will increase 
slightly and each evolution brings in about 2 extra hits. It's a 
great KM to use on pursuing enemies and works on multiple opponents. 
Since Flame Thrower generates so many hits, Guts, Mental Training, 
Below The Belt and Feint are checked for each and every hit. So if 
your stats and skill levels are high, you can wreak up a LOT of 
damage bonuses through these support skills.

At P(200), Flame Thrower faces a DRAMATIC change, it almost works 
like a completely different tech! Now, the start-up is a lot longer, 
as Chisato has to lift and aim the heavy Flamethrower in the air, 
firing a vertical burst of flame. A second later, pockets of fire 
will rain down on the enemies and covers a fairly large radius. At 
first, I was surprised, even enraged by this change! I LOVED Flame 
Thrower but this change made it absolutely worthless. However, there 
are a few advantages to this change. First of all, Chisato is ill 
equipped when dealing with flying enemies. Flame Thrower II is a good 
anti-air attack. The radius that the falling flame covers is also 
fairly good, capable of hitting multiple enemies. The damage also 
seem a little different. Instead of doing many weak hits, Flame 
Thrower II will hit about 4 times for most enemies that gets caught 
in the blast and each hit is at normal attack strength, much stronger 
than the quarter of Flame Thrower I. I still like the former though.


---Raising Dragon---

<Chisato punches the enemy twice then hits them with a lunging elbow>

MP Cost: 17MP                     LV Gained: 62
Range: 0                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Special attack: Raising Dragon"

Raising Dragon looks like a rip-off of Karin's (from Street Fighter 
Alpha 3) Gourenken series, but anyhoo. Raising Dragon is a great up-
close-and-personal kinda move and is great for beating the crap outta 
the enemy, the things that fighters like Claude and Ashton does best. 
The punches seem to have little range by themselves, and the whole 
move does not carry Chisato that far. Sneaking up behind an enemy 
with this move will most likely to score a miss. There's no start-up, 
like Whirlwind, so head-on is a little better, or so it seems. I used 
this to replace Chisato's normal attack. It also has the properties 
of Whirlwind, in that it will knock lighter enemies away unless 
they're in a corner. Each hit does normal attack damage, obviously.

While not much by itself, Raising Dragon is fairly good for punishing 
the enemies in close range. At P(100), Chisato will tag-on a backflip 
after the elbow for 2 more hits and it will also knock lighter 
enemies into the air, allowing for juggles perhaps? At (P200), 
Chisato will then jump into the air and follow up the combo with a 
classy elbow drop for another 2 hits. Lighter enemies knocked into 
the air by the backflip will be caught by the elbow smash, so no 
worries. Note that Chisato's combo will take quite a while to finish, 
so if the enemy gets caught by her combo, they will be disabled for 
quite a while, allowing your reinforcements to aid Chisato. At this 
stage, Raising Dragon makes a fine close up KM that complements the 
likes of Claude and Ashton. It is also great with Cancel and Link 
Combos.


---Tear Gas---

<Chisato calls her agent on her cellphone and up pops a machine with 
a skull resign. Chisato pulls the leaver and releases choking gas>

MP Cost: 32MP                     LV Gained: 68
Range: 4                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Tear Gas"

Tear Gas seems to be a lot of people's favourite KM. It hits the most 
number of times out of any KM in the game. So many that, in fact, 
it's impossible to count.

There's a lot of start up delay, similar to that of Ten Thousand 
Volts. The beam of gas reaches fairly far, on par with most beam 
attacks like Hyper Launcher. Any enemies getting caught into the 
chocking smoke suffers the consequences, a rapid hit effect that does 
tons of damage. If an enemy is fairly close to Chisato, it seems Tear 
Gas can hit them about 15-20 times! Combat skills and Guts are 
checked for every hit, boosting the damage up high. The damage of 
each hit seems to be a little weird, about 40% of Chisato's normal 
attack. Uh well, the bottom line is, boost Chisato's attack power to 
dramatically increase the power of this move. 

Since it hits so many times, it Peeps the enemies that're hit with 
insane ease. It also reaches high enough in the air to hit most 
airborne enemies. Trap the enemy against a corner so they can't 
escape to abuse Tear Gas. Or sandwhich them between Tear Gas and 
Opera's Hyper Launcher. Mmmmm... nifty. :)


---Preparation---

[Chisato pulls out her cellphone to ring up Nede Defense Force. She 
waits and ducks as bombs come bombarding the enemy from the air]

MP Cost: 25MP                     LV Gained: 76
Range: U                          Elemental: None

Quote: "Uh... 3A? One missile please."
       "Defense Force, can you read me?"
       "One missile please!"

Preparation is a wacky move that only the Japanese nutcase can think 
up, but it works well. Preperation can be Chisato's most powerful 
move if used well.

Ok, I've gotta put it to ya. Preparation is the SLOWEST thing in the 
whole game, spells counted! The frames where Chisato rings up the 
Defense Force takes about 6 seconds. It's so slow you can actually 
see Chisato punching in the numbers on her cellphone!!! You'll have 
to wait another 4 seconds, while Chisato does her funny animation, 
before the bombs arrive. However, I'd say that the wait is worth it. 
It's kinda hard to count the number of bombs that gets dropped on the 
battlefield, but there's a LOT of them! Preperation also has limited 
homing properties. The bombs will always drop from where the enemy is 
standing and that makes this move useful for bosses. The bombs blasts 
in a HUGE radius (I'd say even wider than Precis' Barrier, the 
biggest radius blast in the game!) so it's next to impossible for the 
enemy to escape. The bombs also seem to be unblockable.

I said "limited" homing properties because if the original target 
that Chisato selects is dead before the bombs arrive, Chisato will 
NOT choose a new target. The bombs will fall at the place where the 
original target died. 

Preperation also does GREAT damage, like it should. The targeted 
enemy usually gets hit about 3-5 times, each at TWICE the normal 
attack damage! Surrounding enemies also take a couple of hits too. 

As it grows, even more bombs will be delivered. At P(240), the center 
target will get hit about 8 times (it's kinda hard to counter). So 
the high damage, large radius, homing capacities and unblockablity 
outweighs its huge lag by a mile! In that case, put Chisato somewhere 
at the back and play her like a mage character, and stick the crowd-
killer Burning Cards on her other slot. It's also a good idea to have 
2 other fighters holding the enemies back while Chisato does her 
thang. ;)


===Cancel===
Cancel works well for Chisato too, but her normal attack can be hard 
to pull of successfully since it's quite slow. She has very fast 
close ranged Killer Moves though, so it Cancels nicely. Rising Dragon 
and Whirlwind are both good choices, Twister can work too, but the 
enemy can recover and block since she has to step back a little.


===Link Combos===
Chisato is the queen of Link Combos?? She certainly seems to be, 
since Chisato has many Killer Moves that works in similar ways, and 
can be chained into greater effects. The down side of her Link Combos 
is the fact that since many of her Link Combos has delays at the 
start, it can be quite hard to target faster enemies properly. Stick 
to her short ranged Link Combos if you're fighting fast enemies.

* Whirlwind – Rising Dragon            Rating: 5      MP Cost:
This is probably Chisato's best Link Combo. Both Killer Moves are 
insanely fast, hits many times and are quite damaging. The link in 
between is perfect. Like the normal Killer Moves used by themselves, 
both of these Killer Moves have certain hits that pushed away lighter 
enemies, preventing scoring the maximum number of hits. Turning off 
Strong Blow is mandatory! The combo works the other way around too.

* Twister – Whirlwind                  Rating: 3.5    MP Cost:
  Twister – Rising Dragon              Rating: 4      MP Cost:
I don't like Twister very much since it's hard to hit the enemy and 
has a start up delay, but once you do manage to get it to connect, 
the rest is sweet. 

* Ten Thousand Volts – Burning Cards   Rating: 4      MP Cost:
Two similar Killer Moves with similar effects. I simply love this 
combo, it's almost impossible for the enemies NOT to get hit by it! 
Use it to clear up large groups of enemies. It works the other way 
too, but either way, it has some start up delay so be careful.

* Tear Gas – Flame Thrower             Rating: 4      MP Cost:
Oh my, now here's a goodie. The Tear Gas has a big start up delay but 
once you pull it off, you can basically land at least 30 hits! Both 
version of Flame Thrower will work, although you do need to move to 
get closer after Tear Gas. The reverse also holds, but I don't like 
it as much since the break between Flame Thrower and Tear Gas is too 
long, the enemy can move out of the way unless they get Dizzied by 
Flame Thrower. For a challenge, count the number of hits you've 
scored!

* Burning Cards – Preparation          Rating: 2      MP Cost:
  Ten Thousand Volts – Preparation     Rating: 2      MP Cost: 
  Flame Thrower II – Preparation       Rating: 3      MP Cost:
  Tear Gas – Preparation               Rating: 3      MP Cost:
I must admit, this is not a very good combo, since Preparation takes 
forever to come out! But this is the only way I know how to link 
Preparation, since it cannot be used as an LC starter (be nice if it 
could though.) Not good at all during random fights but can come in 
handy during some boss fights, if you keep the boss busy by having 
another member attack them. Use the #2 or #3 (evolved) on flying 
enemies.

* Ten Thousand Volts – FlameThrower II Rating: 4      MP Cost:
Nice, it's also the only decent combo for Flame Thrower after it 
evolves. Excellent on flying enemies but is fairly good on group 
enemies too. 


TIPS
====
Just bits of useful stuff here and there. There isn't all that many 
here but just you wait.

=> Quick Proficiency for healing Killer Moves
This is easy, even better near the end of the game when your MP is 
high. Take the character you want to build up healing Proficiency 
(Bowman, Claude or Opera) and equip them with the best equipment. As 
for accessories, 1 Fairy Ring and one that regenerates MP would be 
ideal, plus a pair of Bunny Shoes. Equip the healing KM (Healing 
Stars, Secret Medicine or Energy Sword) and another reliable KM. I 
recommend Lightning Blade for Opera, Ripper Blast for Claude and 
Explosion Pills for Bowman. 

Now go to the arena and select Bully Battle! I think that's the one 
that you have to beat a hang of enemies with a single ally, so select 
the ally you wanna build up. Now kill off all enemies except for one 
and keep running away from it and use your healing KM non-stop. Your 
MP will last for an EXTREMELY long time because of the Fairy Ring and 
MP regen. When you run out of MP, use a Blackberry until it runs out. 
Then just die or try to finish the fight. I once gained 200+ points 
of Proficiency for Opera! 

=> I hear voices arrrggghhhh!!!
Thanks to FeralNoa <FeralNoa@aol.com>

You can listen to the voice sample that you didn't register in the 
voice collections with this, but only if you've registered an 
adjacent voice sample. All you gotta do is move the cursor to the 
adjacent panel and press the X button, then almost immediately 
(before it loads that voice sample) press left or right on the D-pad, 
it'll load the panel you moves the cursor to and not the adjacent 
panel. You've gotta get the timing just right though, else you'll 
hear the wrong voice sample. 

This is also the only way to listen to those voice samples that are 
impossible to get, such as Leon saying "Firebolt" or Noel's 
"Thunderbolt". Also note that Rena's "Tractor Beam" is not in the 
voice collections! I've heard that it was the original voice sample 
from Japanese version of the game! Weird!

=> Musical thieves
Having problem with Pickpocketing? Something you really want but the 
victim keeps discovering you? Well, if you have your "thief" play the 
Violin, Hail the Goddess, your chances for stealing are increased as 
well, just like Item Creations. However, remember that the music will 
immediately change if you enter a new screen, so do this only in 
rooms with many people or people with really good items that you 
want.

Wearing a Beret may also increase PickPocketing chances.


TALENTS
=======
I really want to start on this section because I feel that most 
people are getting the wrong idea about talents.

Talents are supposed to be certain thing that a character is good at, 
which will help in certain Item Creation skills. In theory, a 
character with the necessary talent(s) but with lower speciality 
level will be more successful at Item Creation than someone trying to 
do the same thing with a higher speciality level but hasn't got the 
necessary talents. However, in practice, it becomes more like: a 
character will basically never succeed without all the necessary 
talents, since the Item Creation system is cursed. 

There are 10 unique talents and each character will start with some 
as they join your party. Fortunately, the missing talents can be 
gained by doing related activities. For example, the Pitch talent can 
be learnt by practicing the Musical Talents speciality command. Upon 
acquiring a new talent, that character will be rewarded with 100SP to 
spend.

These are the 10 talents in this game and when they're used:
* Originality: To be creative and use one's imagination.
    - Used in Customize and Metalwork
* Sense of Taste: Sampling food and judge their taste.
    - Used in Cooking
* Dexterity: Nimble fingers and can be moved freely in any way.
    - Used in Metalwork, Pickpocketing, Compounding and Machinery
* Sense of Design: The urge to create new things.
    - Used in Art and Machinery
* Writing Ability: Can express your thoughts in words.
    - Used in Authoring
* Sense of Rhythm: Can handle beats and rhythms well.
    - Used in Musical Talents, I think the composing playing part 
* Pitch: To be able to grasp musical tones well.
    - Used in Musical Talents, does not seem to affect composing
* Love of Animals: Getting on well with animals.
    - Used in Familiar
* Sixth Sense: Your natural instinct
    - Used in Scout
* The Blessing of Mana: Can channel magical energies through body
    - Used in Alchemy

Anyway, reading the various FAQs about this game tells me that many 
players takes talents as restrictions, being bound from doing certain 
activities. However that is not the case. I take talents to be 
"tools" that helps me in this game, as well as giving me various 
bonuses. To an extent, you should be able to use them to your 
advantage rather than being constrained by it.


---Acquiring new talents---
This is what I mean. To me, a lack of talents is a blessing. Why? 
Because I can learn the undiscovered talents manually and gain the 
special SP bonuses, that are extremely useful and helps me to get all 
the skills I want earlier. For each hidden talent that you uncover 
for a character, he or she will immediately gain 100SP to use. 

Acquiring new talents are actually quite simple, if you know how, but 
it can be boring and time consuming. (It took me about 4 hours to 
learn most of the talents for 6 characters.) Some of the talents are 
SOOOOOOO easy to learn that I feel kinda cheated by the characters in 
that they probably had that talent but didn't tell me so!!!

To learn a new talent that your character does not already know, 
simply repeat the necessary activity until they learns it. Save 
before you do it though, but you don't necessarily have to reload 
after a few tries. I usually use up all the ingredients in my 
inventory, and if they still haven't learnt it, reset (or in certain 
situations, give up.) 


---Preparation---
You don't have to prepare too much but hey, you HAVE to know the 
right skills right? It's for this reason, you cannot usually learn 
all the talents until you get to the Lacour continent so you can 
purchase the level 3 skills. I ALWAYS start learning new talents when 
I arrive at the new continent, since the game can get a bit hard 
during that time and there are usually too many skills that I want to 
learn.

Anyway, Sense of Taste and Sense of Design can be learned earlier, as 
the necessary skills and ingredients can be bought in Herlie. Celine 
can also learn Dexterity or Originality when she first joins.

Now the ingredients. How am I going to afford the ingredients you 
ask. Well, there are certain ways to make it easier.
1) Steal the Mischief from Filia. That way, you can just walk around 
   to obtain countless numbers of raw gems or metal ores necessary 
   for Metalwork.
2) The Mischief will also give you Pet Food, which are used for 
   Familiar.
3) The Survival command can net you some free cooking ingredients, 
   but it's much easier to buy them from the shops because hey, the 
   eggs only costs 10Fol each!
4) The other ingredients can only be bought in Hilton or Lacour. 
   They're not that expensive. If you don't have enough money, invest 
   in the Playfulness skill (cheap!) and you can earn TONS of cash!!!

Now what? Learn the skills of course! Having one level of speciality 
is enough to learn all the talents. You should (as always) master 
Perseverance first, so most other skills need only 1SP!
* Learn Craft, Esthetic Sense and Mineralogy if you want Originality 
  and/or Dexterity (total 3SP)
* Learn Kitchen Knife, Recipe and Good Eye if you want Sense of Taste 
  (total 3SP)
* Learn Writing if you want Writing Ability (total 1SP)
* Learn Esthetic Sense and Sketching if you want Sense of Design 
  (total 2SP)
* Learn Musical Instrument and Musical Notation if you want Pitch 
  and/or Sense of Rhythm (total 2SP)
* Learn Whistling and Animal Training if you want the Love of Animals 
  (total 2SP)

Sixth Sense is learnable but it's very unreliable. Learn Danger Sense 
if you want to attempt it, but since it's a useful (and cheap) skill 
you may wish to give it a try. The Blessing of Mana cannot be learned 
though.


---Putting it action---
Below are the easiest ways of learning each talent:

* Originality: Easy! Simply use Metalwork and start working on the 
gems. You might want to start from the cheapest ores though (Iron or 
Silver) but since you can get unlimited number of them through the 
Mischief, it doesn't really matter. You will fail and make either a 
Gaudy Earring, Weighty Ring or Useless Decoration but don't worry 
about it. You should be able to do it in under 10 tries. 

* Sense of Taste: Not my favourite definitely. Try your hands at 
Cooking and any ingredient, but don't waste your rare ingredients 
though, as it's not worth it. Some characters do this well while 
others are terrible at it. If you feel they're taking too long (over 
30 tries) then stop! Don't waste your time!

* Dexterity: Do the same thing as for Originality and it's equally as 
easy. Alternately, you can try Machinery but it's MUCH more 
expensive!

* Sense of Design: Fairly easy but quite expensive. Buy Magical Clays 
as they're cheaper than the Canvas and use Art. Shouldn't have too 
much of a problem. Alternately, you can try your hands at Machinery 
but they're more expensive so I recommend Art.

* Writing Ability: I think I like this the least. You must have one 
skill over level 5 to attempt to write a book in Authoring. I usually 
attempt this last after I've earned enough SP through the other 
talents to learn all the important abilities like Kitchen Knife and 
Scientific Ability. If you really want to get on with this then I 
suggest you invest 5 SP on a cheap ability like Mineralogy or Recipe. 
Now keep trying and you'll eventually acquire this talent, however, 
most characters are not very good at that so if you've tried about 40 
times and still doesn't work, reset and give up.

* Sense of Rhythm: One of the top 3 easiest talents to learn, there 
are 3 stages.
1) Buy 20 Feather Pens and 20 Conductor's Batons.
2) You have to first write a song. Try using a character with both 
music talents, if not, use someone with the Sense of Rhythm as it 
seems to affect the composing part. If you still don't have such a 
character, try using Rena to write a song for the Lyre. It will take 
many tried but since you don't have to go through that annoying 
"morphing" animation, you can actually do it very fast. If you've 
used up all 20 Feather Pens then reset and try again. It shouldn't 
take too long, usually a couple of minutes at worst.
3) Now try to play the song with the character who wishes to learn 
this talent, it should sound out of tune. Keep playing it until you 
learn the talent. If you use up all 20 Conductor's Batons, reset. You 
don't have to wait until the song is over or anything, just keep 
playing "over it" and a window will eventually pop up saying that 
your "Sense of Rhythm worked." Like I said, this is extremely easy, 
it should take you a minute at worst!

* Pitch: The other REALLY easy talent to acquire, learnt by the same 
way as the Sense of Rhythm above. The best thing about these 2 
musical talents is that nobody, and I repeat, NOBODY will have any 
trouble learning them!

Note: I do not know if you can learn either of the music talents 
through the composing part, as I've never done so. If you can confirm 
this please e-mail me.

* Love of Animals: The final REALLY easy talent to learn. It can be 
either a piece of cake of impossible for 2 of the characters. Simply 
use the Familiar command over and over again, keep trying to call the 
bird and press the button like crazy. If you've used up all 20 Pet 
Foods, reset and repeat. 

* Sixth Sense: HARD!!! You have a slim chance of learning it when you 
change your Scout setting. If you select a Scout setting (don't even 
have to change it, I think), you'll have a chance of learning it. 
However, it seems that the chance for learning is the highest the 
first time you select a setting, and anything after that, the chance 
of success drops significantly. You'll have to exit the menu in order 
to get the relatively high chance back. So, it is possible to learn 
Sixth Sense if you just keep tapping the X button, although it takes 
a LOT of time. (I've heard that it takes about 15 minutes for Ashton, 
who's actually good at the talent.) If you have a turbo controller, 
fire away. But there are more effective and easier ways to acquire 
Sixth Sense.

Also few other things to note. It's been confirmed that Sixth Sense 
can be learned by any character in any slots, not just the first as I 
previously suspected. However, you may have a higher chance of 
acquiring Sixth Sense for the character in the first slot, since I've 
only ever been able to acquire this talent for my first character.

Now the last note. I have only learnt this talent while on the world 
map. I do not know if it's possible to learn this in dungeons or 
towns. 

Anyway, a good way of learning Sixth Sense is wait until disc 2 and 
use Orchestra. Go into the menu and select to play Orchestra, then go 
to a character's Specialty menu and select a Scout option. If you 
learn it, great, if not, you have few options.
a) Scroll down to the next character you want to learn and alter his 
   or her setting.
b) Keep selecting the options until you do learn it. (Low chance.) 
c) Exit Specialty and use the remaining music to create a couple of 
   items. I found this useful because the chance for the top 2 
   options to happen are both quite low. Using Orchestra and option 
   c, I've been able to learn Sixth Sense for everybody in 1-4 plays, 
   pretty good huh?

The Blessing of Mana: No this talent CANNOT be learnt no matter what. 
Only magic users start with this talent.


---Those impossible skills---
Some talent may seem to be impossible to learn, but some character 
does actually have talents that they can never learn, fighters and 
The Blessing of Mana talent is a good example. Look below for those 
talents that are impossible to learn, as well as the really really 
hard to learn ones.

For the really really hard to learn talents, I recommend you forget 
about it until the beginning of disc 2, since they're REALLY THAT 
hard (I remember spending about an hour going through all 80+ of my 
cooking ingredients multiple times to try to get Claude to learn the 
Sense of Taste) and are not worth the time you put into them. What 
you need to do is to have at least 6 different musical instruments in 
your inventory (you can buy new ones in North City in disc 2), 8 
different songs and learn the Orchestra super specialty. Now use the 
Orchestra command and try the Item Creation skill. Not only will 
Orchestra highly increase your Item Creation chances, you'll also 
have a much bigger chance of discovering a talent. Use this method 
for those hard to learn talents. Yes, the Orchestra will even raise 
the chance of learning Sixth Sense!


---Talent traits---
Now before you start, let me tell you about the talent traits of each 
character. All characters will have traits in their talent acquiring 
pattern. For example, a character may always join with a certain 
talent already learnt, or they learn certain talents much easier than 
others. There are good traits as well as bad one, such as the fact 
that some character cannot learn certain talents. These traits are 
the only thing keeping you from utilizing the talent system to the 
max.

In my experience, the boys are in general, MUCH better than the girls 
at acquiring new talents, especially Bowman, Leon, Ernest and Dias!

Claude: Claude either starts with many talents or very few. He comes 
with the Writing Ability a lot, and if he doesn't, he can learn it 
easily. He learns most talents very easily, except for Sense of 
Taste, which is next to impossible without Orchestra. Claude can 
learn Sixth Sense but he will never start with it, although the 
chance of him discovering it is quite low.

Rena: Rena almost always comes with Dexterity and she always has The 
Blessing of Mana. She learns the Sense of Taste VERY easily, often 
with just one try! Sense of Design is pretty hard though, but not 
impossible without Orchestra! She learns Writing Ability easier than 
most but learns Originality slightly harder than most.

Celine: Celine almost always start with the Dexterity talent and she 
always has The Blessing of Mana. She's good with most talents, but 
not too hot with Writing Ability and Sense of Taste. It's impossible 
to learn Love of Animals! Don't even try! I remember trying for 
thousands of times without success.

Ashton: Ashton often starts with Sixth Sense and/or Sense of Taste. 
And if he doesn't, he can learn them easily. Good to average at most 
talents but cannot learn the Sense of Design at all! 

Precis: Has very good chance of starting with Sixth Sense (and quite 
often, the ONLY talent she has when she joins!) However, if she does 
not start with it, I don't think you can acquire it through Scout. 
Learns Originality, Dexterity and Sense of Design extremely easily, 
but is not good at Sense of Taste and Writing Ability.

Opera: Always starts with the Dexterity talent. She's pretty bad 
since she cannot learn neither Sixth Sense nor Love of Animals (like 
Celine, I've tried it even more times with her!!) Not too hot with 
Writing Ability nor Sense of Taste either, making her a fairly bad 
character talent-wise!

Ernest: Ernest was the best! He mastered ALL his skills without much 
trouble (not counting The Blessing of Mana, since no fighter can 
learn it.) He has a good chance of starting with Sixth Sense and will 
learn it easily if he doesn't. I don't think he's too great with 
Sense of Taste, but most characters ain't. (He usually don't start 
off with many talents either, which is a good thing. :)

Bowman: Another character who masters every talent easily! Great at 
acquiring Sixth Sense! Actually, he suffers from Sense of Taste as 
well, and acquiring the music talents for him seems to be more 
difficult than other characters. (And Dexterity is really hard if he 
doesn't start with it. *sign*)

Leon: Always has Writing Ability and The Blessing of Mana. Actually 
Leon's the best character at acquiring new talents, nothing he can't 
do well.

Dias: Always has Originality for some reason, and start with Sixth 
Sense quite often. Good at Sense of Taste but sucks at Writing 
Ability, as usual.

Noel: Always have The Blessing of Mana but does NOT always have the 
Love of Animals!!! Yes, it's strange but it's true!!! His other 
talents would be a piece of cake to learn by now, since you'd have 
access to Orchestra already.

Chisato: Chisato does NOT always start with Writing Ability talent 
and like Noel, you can get her other talents really easily since 
you'd have access to Orchestra when you get her. She learns Sense of 
Taste easily though, as predicted since she's supposed to be a good 
cook.


THE UGLY SIDE OF THE GAME!
==========================
So you've seen the good parts but have you seen the bad? There are 3 
horribly annoying features in this game that keeps it from being a 
perfect classic. If I was to write a review, SO2 will only score 8 
points out of 10, simply because of these 3 things!


---#1 The Bugs---
There are WAYYYYY too many bugs in this game, they happen to me 
almost on a daily basis. Here's some of the bugs I've encountered:

1) Hanging up
This is the most common bug in the game, I'm sure you've all met with 
this. For some reason, the game fails to load up after a battle and 
freezes, with no sound and no visuals. Even the analogue is dead!  
The reset button is probably the only way out. This happens 
throughout the game but seems to be the most common at the Sanctuary 
of Linga, I've had 5 crashes there already! Be careful and try not to 
gain experience at that cursed cave and save every few minute if you 
can. 

Happens a lot in the Hoffmann Ruins, Fienal, and the Cave of Trials 
as well, or so I've been told. The Fields too. 

2) Variation of hanging up
Like above, only this time with music. I've encountered this twice 
and there's still no way out. (That I know of.)

3) Screwed up combats
There are also 2 variations of this I've encountered. The first is 
when it froze and an error message popped up saying "Cannot read data 
from disc" and almost immediately it went away and combat continued 
as usual. And no my PlayStation is not too old, I bought it at the 
beginning of the year.

The second variation is at the end of the combat (ie, experience 
screen), where the game pauses for about 5 seconds to load every 
frame of animation, or something like that. Then when the combat 
ended, it hung up like #1!

4) Where's my ring?!?!
Thanks to FeralNoa for this one. She told me that if you de-equip the 
Mischief that I'm sure that you've worked very hard to earn in the 
Battle Arena, it will disappear from your inventory forever!!! So 
don't do it, you don't want to loose your 3 hours of hard work!!!

5) Freezing portals...
Gosh it's cold!!! I HATE this one!!! This happens when you use a 
teleport portal like the ones in Fienal. During the sequence where 
your character vanishes in the beam of light, the game freezes and 
cannot be defrosted. The sounds/analogue, everything goes dead like 
Absolute Zero. I've encountered this once on the 7th floor of the 
Cave of Trials when I made through seven floors in one go WITHOUT 
exiting to save! You can probably tell without having me to tell you 
that I was furious! Be careful of this in places with teleport 
portals, and either use the stairs or Go Home Frog!'s in the Cave of 
Trials if you can.

6) Bugs or Sprites?
So basically, the sprites seen in the save screen are screwed up and 
turns into another character every other frame. I've seen Leon 
turning into Ernest and back again and Ernest and back again and.. 
you get the idea. FeralNoa said she's also seen Ashton turn into an 
Opera look-alike, Precis turn into a Bowman look-alike, and Bowman 
turn into a Dias look-alike, all strangely colored. There's also 
rumored that there's a Marianna look-alike too.

7) No foxy ladies
Thanks for Happy Matt for this one. I've never encountered this one 
but Matt said that the game will freeze occasionally when you use any 
of the portraits for the female characters, that's Celine, Precis, 
Rena, Chisato and Opera's portraits. So save before hand.

8) Analogue lock
I don't know if this is a problem with the game or a problem with my 
Dual Shock controller but the Analogue would just turn itself off 
during battle occasionally, really annoying! (I've had the same 
problem with FFVIII as well.)

9) Speed problems and polygon clippings
Not a big deal really, just that sometimes the loading times are a 
bit slow and unstable. Nothing comes up for like 10 seconds then when 
you're about to reset, everything comes back! Also the polygon 
morphing animations in most Item Creation procedures will slow down 
and annoy you. It's most frustrating when you're playing the Violin 
or Orchestra in the background since the music continues at normal 
pace while the IC are slowed down, meaning you've wasted half of the 
song! 

10) Sticks and stones can break my bones, but rocks can get me stuck!
Well, remember those boulders in certain battle fields? If you stand 
too close to it and another character (enemy or ally) comes to close, 
they may get pushed INSIDE the rock and get suck! This is like one of 
the stupidest type of bugs in all of video game history. (TR4 has 
that problem too.)

11) Good bug, bad translation team!
Remember the save-swap trick/glitch that was featured in Ian Kelley's 
comprehensive guides? Well, it ain't no more! Whenever you select the 
"Data" option in the menu while artificial music is playing in the 
background (by "artificial" I mean ones generated by either the 
"Music Talent" or "Orchestra" commands), the music will immediately 
stop! Pretty nasty huh? As that bug is essentially one of the most 
useful ones and can be "abused" in lotsa wonderful ways.

12) Voice bugs
Sometimes the game will load the wrong voices. I entered Opera in the 
Duel Battle while she was the 5th character on my roaster (ie, 1st 
slot of the reserve team). In battle, the game loaded Bowman's voices 
for Opera (Bowman was the 1st character in my fighting team) and the 
game loaded Bowman's L1 KM when I used Opera's LI KM. 

13) Whhhhaaaaahhhhh!!!
Thanks to Happy Matt for this.
Happy Matt said that he encountered this bug once in North City. When 
he entered that town, he couldn't exit it without the game crashing, 
every single time. However, it proved that staying a night at the inn 
solved the problem. So if you're having this problem, stay at the 
local luxurious hotel and you'll be all fine.

=> Solution?
This is Happy Matt's bug fixer and it actually has some effect. Just 
tilt your PlayStation at a 45 degree angle or just flip the whole 
thing up side down. Things will start clogging up when your 
Playstation heats up and this helps your PS by emitting more heat out 
of the system. If you have a fan, feel free to use it as well. It 
won't completely fix the problem but it does help!

=> Solution #2?
Another one I've heard is that loading the voice samples will also 
clog the system. If you tap the buttons too quickly, the game may not 
have enough time to load the samples and may lock up. Don't be so 
aggressive and give both your joypad and yourself a break.


---#2 Item Creation---
Yes yes, the Item Creation system is very innovative and so, but the 
success rates are INSANELY LOW!!! You basically have no chance of 
success with most Item Creations if you have no talents. Even with 
maximum specialty skill, the right talents, aiding items and the 
Beret (without Orchestra), your chance of success would only be about 
60% or so at best!!! At this rate, the people in the game will NEVER 
have anything decent to eat! (Bitter Juice for breakfast, Smelly 
Ricecakes for lunch and Rotten Sashimi for dinner.)

This makes music skills extremely important in the game, but hey, 
who's bothered to play those boring tunes EVERYTIME you want to make 
something? It just gets extremely tedious over time.

Fortunately, your Item Creation chances will increase as your level 
increases and some IC commands have a higher likelihood of succeeding 
than others. For example, all my characters (with talents, level 
150+) will succeed 95% of the time at Cooking, Identify, Compounding 
and Art. However, other IC specialties like Reproduction, and Super 
Specialties like Reverse Side will still fail about half the time 
without Orchestra. This is nice but it's level 150+ I'm talking 
about. That's enough to complete the game and go halfway into the 
Cave of Trials, where you don't need to create many items except 
maybe duplicating stuff. 

There are 2 commands that rarely fails though (thank god!) and they 
are Pickpocketing, which works most of the time and playing the music 
with Musical Talents which never fails as long as you have the 2 
necessary talents.

---#3 The AI---
The ally AI, while better than most other games that implements AI 
controlled allies (eg, FFT), is still quite incompetent! For example, 
the magic users will NEVER move unless they're approached too close 
by the enemy, which makes enemy missile attacks extremely dangerous. 
The fighters are better though, but often won't properly both Killer 
Moves you've assigned for them and will ALWAYS use regular attacks on 
flying foes even if they have something better. Also, certain 
characters have their "favourite" attacks, meaning they'll use 
nothing but that attack throughout the whole fight!!! (Like Claude's 
Head Splitter, Ashton's Leaf Slash and Precis' Hop Step.) 

This is bearable in Earth difficulty setting, but once you get to the 
harder ones you'll realize how useless those characters are. The 
combat is running in real time, but, if the enemies can become more 
intelligent in the harder difficulties, why can't the allies? 

The terrible AI and the awkward combats system makes a deadly 
combination. 






I've spent hours typing this up and having to deal with migraines and 
OOS all the time so please do not rip off my FAQ. The best things in 
life are free and free stuff ain't very common nowadays y' know, so 
feel "free" to use this "free" FAQ for all "free" purposes. 

Copyright 1999 by me. E-mail me at i_love_aya@hotmail.com
Star Ocean: The Second Story (c) 1998, 1999 Enix, Tri-Ace, Links


Excuse me for an insanely incomplete FAQ but I'm really busy. I'll 
try to complete it as fast as I can. Thanks again for reading and 
have fun with this, as well as up and coming games! I know I will!

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