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Squall Leonhart by bakakabaXX

Version: 5 | Updated: 09/21/09

|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Final Fantasy Dissidia                                                      |
|                                                                             |
| Squall Leonhart Guide                                                       |
|                                                                             |
| Version 5.00                                                                |
|                                                                             |
| By Baka~                                                                    |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

===================
 Table of Contents
===================
 Use Ctrl+F to make searching easier

 [I] Legal Issues and other concerns
 [II] Who is Squall?
 [III] Why use Squall?
 [IV] Abilities
   [IV.1] Brave Attacks
   [IV.2] HP Attacks
   [IV.3] Combos
     [IV.3.1] Basic
      [UB] Upper Blues Combo Set
      [HC] Heel Crush Combo Set
      [BB] Blizzard Bullet Combo Set
      [TB] Thunder Bullet Combo Set
     [IV.3.2] Advanced
 [V] Tactics
 [VI] Builds
   [VI.1] JAP version - TRANS-AM Mode
   [VI.2] NA version - TRANS-AM Mode: Leon
   [VI.3] NA version - Quickdraw
 [VII] CPU Matchups
 [VIII] Version History
 [IX] Credits

|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| I. Legal Issues and other concerns                                          | 
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

 First off, i merely played the game Dissidia: Final Fantasy 
 (JAP and NA version) and have no relation, whatsoever, to 
 square-enix or any related groups or individuals responsible 
 for the creation of the game, its characters or merchandise.

 this is a free guide about Squall leonheart under the game 
 Dissidia: Final Fantasy. if for some weird reason you bought this 
 guide, you have been seriously scammed (or not thinking properly).

 you can post wordings or segments from this guide anywhere provided 
 it was used in relation to the game AND (MORE IMPORTANTLY) 
 there are citations pertaining as to where this guide 
 was grabbed from and who the real owner is
 
 oh and please forgive the grammar and proper syntax of this guide. 
 i would correct it if i'm not lazy enough (almost impossible)
 
 that aside, this is a guide made to record my thoughts and 
 observations regarding Squall leonheart's abilities in the game, 
 Dissidia: Final Fantasy. as stated, i have played both Japanese 
 and North American version and was able to record some of my builds
 
 this may be a biased guide regarding some of his skills and i am 
 aware that i haven't exploited much of his skill especially 
 in the North American version so please do correct me on 
 those parts
 


|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| II. Who is Squall?                                                          |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
 
 "Someday they will understand... 
  It is not love but the will to love that counts"
 
    
     - Unshelled Bullet inscription,
      Squall's component item for 
      Lionheart (NA version)

         
 Squall Leonhart is a mercenary hailing from Balamb Garden 
 and is the iconic figurehead of FF8. in FF8 and Dissidia, Squall 
 has a cold and uncaring personality who prefers to carry the 
 burden alone, aware of how friends and friendship can drag 
 him down. he eventually opens up in both settings making him 
 trust his friends more.
 
 i strongly believe that his signature item, "the unshelled bullet" 
 as well as his conversation after fighting Warrior of Light 
 portrays his resolve of solitude; being able to put faith 
 in his comrades no matter where they are. almost similarly, 
 Squall and his friends did the same thing in FF8 before and 
 after fighting Ultimecia in the future.
 
 
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| III. Why use Squall?                                                        |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

because he's a cool emo!

nah just kidding! personality aside, Squall's game focuses on beating the 
crap of his enemies. compared with other characters that get to unlock 
extra chains in their skills, Squall's attacks are never linked to 
any other brave or HP chain but are able to hit multiple times with it 
(some of his skills). this enables players to fully economize Squall's CP, 
turning the player's attention as to what passive skills he should gain. 
other than that, having the title of <Combo Master> in the JAP version 
and <RELENTLESS REVOLVER> in the NA version, Squall's moves can be chained 
with each other despite their independence making Squall a character 
capable of adapting to situations and circumstances and ultimately, 
a force to be reckoned with

pros & cons;

+ CP management
+ sudden movements
+ chainable moveset
+ Brave Point (BP) Farmer

- HP attacks are hard to hit
- most HP attacks can't be chained with BRAVE attacks easily
- limited reach compared with most enemies
- advanced combos require practice

JAP and NA version comparisons

JAP version:
+ Weapons and Accessories compliment Squall well
- some skills suck and cannot pierce through enemies

NA version:
+ Skills have been upgraded
- they butchered the equipment (endangered the original "build")

|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| IV. Abilities                                                               |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Guide:
*  describes how an attack animation works
-  personal opinion about the skill
() skill rating


=====================
 IV.1. Brave Attacks
=====================

 ********************
 Ground Brave Attacks
 ********************

   (there is no way in HELL that i'm using the NA version of brave 
   attacks which would be BRAVERY. sounds gay as it is)

   
  -----------------------------------------------
  Upper Blues (4/5 JAP version)(4.5/5 NA version)
  ----------------------------------------------- 
  
  * launches the enemy to the air followed by a 2-hit 
    aerial combo, finishing off with a strike that 
    sends the enemy down for crash damage 
    (4 hit + 1 wall rush damage)

  - Squall's first available melee w/c i consider to be his 
    best attack compared against solid barrel since this 
    opens a number of possibilities for follow throughs. 

  - the advantage of this skill is that it's so quick it's 
    difficult to be blocked especially after being
    staggered by thunder bullet. also, Squall tends to 
    quick-step forward during the launching strike
    making him close the distance with a surprise 
    which can catch human players off-guard

  - in the japanese version, the wall rush effect isn't 
    even  noticeable but in the NA version, you can really 
    see wall rush hurting enemies a lot
     
  ---------------------
  Blizzard Bullet (2/5)
  ---------------------

  * fires a fast small chunk of ice that homes in 
    on the target in front of it. long range 
    (1 shot)

  - can be blocked but effective for disabling some spell 
    casters that takes time to charge their skills
    such as Tina's meltdown but i'd rather counter those 
    guys with a better skill such as rough divide
    
  - don't underestimate this skill. despite being a single 
    hitter, it can stagger enemies which gives
    Squall enough time to air dash towards them then 
    execute a Beat Fang or can be chained with 
    Thunder Bullet

  ------------------   
  Solid Barrel (5/5)
  ------------------ 
 
  * unleashes a barrage of slice-stabs that ends in chase 
    (7 hits)

  - this has more hits compared with upper blues and 
    having to use this with Lionheart usually leads to 
    brave break the downside of this is that you 
    can't actually combo this with anything else 
    aside from air dash + beat fang and would usually 
    have to play chase
    
  - though it's quite hard to follow through with 
    this skill, you can actually end your combos 
     with this one
     
  - some enemies can block this skill due to slow start 
    despite being pulled with thunder bullet


  ver 5 update:


  - upon learning and finding out that this skill can pierce
    through any guard when EX mode is activated, this skill
    got a perfect 5 on my mark

  - take note, it doesn't guard crush. 

    on cases against warrior of light and exdeath, 
    the gunblade just passes through the
    shield of light/delta attack/any of exdeath's guards like
    hot knife passing through butter. damn scary!

  --------------------
  Thunder Bullet (3/5)
  --------------------
  
  * casts a row of 4 thunder pillars that pulls 
    enemies to Squall.
    the number of hits depends on enemy's distance 
    (3hits max)

  - this is what i consider to be Squall's ground 
    bread and butter skill that's best for beginners
    as it pulls the enemy then 
    leaves them staggered long enough to be butchered 
    by Squall's moves
    
  - the cast animation makes it predictable but is 
    enough to read the enemy's movements
    
  - this triggers "sneak attack" if you have the 
   NA version of Lionheart weapon equipped or 
    the extra skill "sneak attack" equipped

  -----------------
  Fusillade (3.5/5)
  -----------------
  
  * fires a barrage of spells at the target that ends 
    with a reverse thunder bullet animation that 
    throws the enemy away resulting into chase 
    (4 shots + 1 thunder)

  - this is solid barrel's ranged counterpart. 
    i prefer this over solid barrel since i like to 
    keep my enemies on the run even at long range then 
    if they get too close, either pull them with 
    thunder bullet or surprise them with upper blues

  - enemy AIs tend to get caught by the thunder since it 
    takes time to cast it. By the time they blocked the 
    4th volley, they often let they guard down just enough 
    to be hit with the thunder. on a similar note, 
    if enemies dodge this attack they often find themselves 
    caught by the thunder because of the cast time
    just as they are to land on the ground or before they 
    could even dodge again
    
  - can be "chained" with an air dash + beat fang but the 
    chances of being blocked is high


 ********************
 Aerial Brave Attacks
 ********************

  ----------------------------
  Heel Crush (2/5 JAP)(5/5 NA)
  ----------------------------
  
  * Squall spins in the air and delivers a spiral kick at 
  the enemy sending them to the ground (1 hit + 1 wall rush)

  - the good thing with this skill on both versions 
    is that it closes the distance the downside is that it
    takes quite a time for the animation to start

  - i can't stress well enough how useful this skill 
    came to be! this was trash on the JAP version since 
    this skill can be blocked without penalty. 
    they gladly fixed this in the NA giving it the invaluable 
    guard break aside from the magic deflection

  - enemies who normally block this skill (NA version) 
    will be staggered making them prone to Squall's aerial
    execution of combos and triggering riposte if th skill was 
    equipped

  - the NA version which guard breaks enemies can break some 
    guard skills like shield of light, delta 
    attack, and jecht block. though this leaves both Squall 
    and the enemy staggered, you are still quick with 
    a beat fang counter. though be careful since this attack 
    can't guard break ex death's skill guards
    
  - enemies can counter this skill by attacking Squall with 
    melee

  ---------------
  Beat Fang (5/5)
  ---------------

  * starts with an aerial swing followed by two hits then a 
    barrage of stabs before sending the enemy downward
    (3 initial strikes followed by ?? hit combo + 1 wall rush)

  - this is definitely Squall's most brutal aerial that 
    combines the suddeness of upper blues and tenacity of 
    solid barrel

  - best used after dashing or heel crush and even more, 
    with lion heart activated
    
  - this triggers "sneak attack" if you have the NA version of 
    Lionheart weapon equipped or the extra skill 
    "sneak attack" equipped

  -------------------  
  Mystic Flurry (2/5)
  -------------------
  
  * fires a barrage of spells that changes their direction, 
    turning into thunder mines, slowly closing on an enemy 
    before expiring 
     (5 shots + 5 hits of thunder mine electrocution)
     
  - this was added in the NA version and what i would 
    consider as a joker skill used by Squall

  - this skill tend to miss most of the time but seriously 
    hurts when it deals critical damage. 
    otherwise, you'd be cursing this skill

  - though this can be hardly used to counter Ultima 
    or Starfall, the deployed mines can foil an enemy who 
    lets their guard down since these creep to attack 
    from behind
      
  - this is best used if the enemy is ganked or 
    just below Squall which can pretty much surround him, 
    slowly creeping until they hit
      
  - you can actually use the disadvantageous property 
    of this skill to build a perimeter. the premise is 
    that, since the mines are slow moving and expire a lot, 
    you can keep the enemy at bay long enough to study the 
    surrounding or time him with an aerial rough divide
      
  - nonetheless, these are still magical attacks. 
    a well timed air dash can break through the  mines 
    and close in the gap between Squall
   
  - this can trigger "sneak attack" if the mines 
    creeped up from behind
    
  check the combos section for the better use of this skill
   
  
=====================
 IV.2. HP Attacks
=====================

 *****************
 Ground HP Attacks
 *****************

  -----------------------------
  Fated Circle(4/5 JAP)(3/5 NA)
  -----------------------------
  
  * Squall spins around, creating a ring of red orbs a
    round him that deflect magic before having 
    them explode

  - one of his best HP attacks in terms of functionality.

  - the skill can guard crush and can deflect 
    most ranged attacks 
    (as long as they don't come from above)
      
  - Squall also starts this skill with a quick-step

  - anyone caught inside the radius is doomed to 
    blow up except for the NA version(i think) where 
    they gave it a blind spot. on many occasions that 
    i was able to corner an enemy, 
    spamming this skill was useless 
    when they simply dodged even if they end up on the 
    same corner which sucks ass since the invincibility 
    of dodging nerfed the functionality of this skill
    
  - this skill is quick on the draw that should 
    a Squall and an ExDeath or WoL use a Delta Attack 
    or Shield of Light at the same time, Fated Circle will
    hit them first.

  -------------------------------
  Rough Divide(3/5 JAP)(3.5/5 NA)
  -------------------------------
  
  * Squall jumps on the air with his gunblade charged behind 
    him then charges towards an enemy

  - the 3.5 score that I gave was because in the NA version,
    this was unlocked immediately

  - another functional skill that enables Squall 
    to travel great distances towards the enemy 
    (at fast speed) and can break through any defense or
    spell such as Warrior of Light's shield of light, 
    Ex Death's delta attack, the emepror's flares, 
    ultimecia's apocalypse, but can't 
    penetrate through Ex Death's guards and 
    a timed Jecht block. 
 
  - the starting animation where he leaps on the air 
    can be a bonus evasion. a well timed use of this 
    skill can result to a dodge and counter against an enemy

  - it's downside would be the slow start and that it always 
    travel downwards even if the enemy is on
    the air which pales in comparison with 
    its aerial version
      
  - a good punishment skill for enemies that uses a skill 
    that takes time to cast like garland when he uses 
    cyclone and cloud when he uses meteor rain
      
  - use this skill while hiding behind pillars in world of 
    darkness to catch enemies by surprise
    
  - in the JAP version, this can't pierce through Ultimecia's 
    Apocalypse

  ------------------
  Blasting Zone(4/5)
  ------------------
  
  * creates a pillar of energy with a gunblade that reaches
    the heavens then swings down on the enemy

  - Squall's ultimate fly swatter for enemies who like to 
    stay up high. this deals brave damage before it
    hits the ground for HP damage

  - you can actually use this skill to your advantage in 
    stages like pandemonium and world of darkness
    
  - can guard break enemies and even some HP attacks that 
    have guard properties
    
  - can destroy a lined up radiant sword or blaze

  ---------------------
  Revolver Drive(2.5/5)
  ---------------------
  

  * Squall cocks his gunblade before surfing the 
    battlefield, gunblade poised until the square 
    button is released or an obstacle is hit or after a 
    set period of time

   - being hit by this move is tad painful since this 
    continues to deal brave damage until 
    Squall stops by ramming on the wall or released 
    otherwise
      
  - This was quite useless in the JAP version since 
    charge time and movement was quite slow but 
    in the NA version, you can actually use this against 
    a recently staggered enemy or those hit 
    with mystic flurry and have them dragged 
    along the field

  - charge up this skill behind a pillar then ram 
    your enemies or use this after a block-staggered enemy
    
  - like the rough divide, this skill can destroy 
    most HP attacks and is capable of guard break


 *****************
 Aerial HP Attacks
 *****************

  ------------------
  Aerial Circle(3/5)
  ------------------
  

  * same with fated circle but Squall does this vertically

  - very efficient when used after heel crush or beat fang

  - adds a quick-step upon activation. this can also be its 
    weak point. if you get too close at the lying enemy, 
    they might cancel this by hitting you with a 
    brave attack

  - in the JAP version, this was Squall's ONLY aerial 
    HP attack

  -------------------
  Rough Divide(4.5/5)
  -------------------
  

  * same with rough divide but can be done in the air

  - if there was one thing  i appreciated with the NA 
    version the most, it would be granting Squall 
    another useful aerial HP attack.

  - the advantage of this skill compared with its ground 
    version is its capability to target the enemy 
    anywhere in front of Squall. you can shoot 
    upwards of downwards with this 
    skill giving Squall a major aerial advantage
      
  - it's not difficult anymore to punish kuja 
    or emperor for using ultima and starfall, respectively, 
    especially if the battle is in the air
  

=====================
 IV.3. Combos
=====================


 - there are 2 kinds of combos presented in this guide: the basic 
 and advanced

 basic combos are the combos that most Squall players, who have 
 been playing dissidia since JAP version, are familiar with.
 these combos require little to no practice before being familiar 
 with how Squall rolls and can be easily figured out
 once you get to unlock most of Squall's moveset

 the advanced combos in this section are contributed by those who 
 diligently perfect the use of their Squall 
 to extreme levels. all credits goes to them and to their links. 
 these combos require quite a number of practice to perfect
   
 - most combos require cancellation which would be by pressing R+X

 - even though Squall's attacks are limited making him a static 
   character, the chainability of his moves make him very deadly
   (view the links containing advanced videos tutorials to see 
   how deadly he can be)


  =====================
   IV.3.1. Basic
  =====================
    
  Squall's foundation of his combos lie in the mastery of even
  a single 2-hit set string.
  
  take time to familiarize yourself with a single set and figure out
  how they can be chained to others
   
   
  --------------------
  Upper Blues Set [UB]
  --------------------
   
  [UB1] Upper Blues + Heel Crush
  
  ** the very basic of them all and with heel crush 
     capable of guard break in NA version, 
     it's almost impossible to stop this string   

  ** can be repeated over and over provided 
     Squall hits the enemy with
     upper blues just as they are recovering. if they 
     recover fast enough, they can block or attack with a 
     quicker skill 

  ** connects with other UB set moves or HC set
  
  [UB2] Upper Blues + Beat Fang 
  
  ** a little bit tricky since you have to wait for them to 
     get up.

  ** as you fall down after upper blues, try to land 
     behind the enemy to avoid being blocked

  ** connects with HC set
  
  [UB3] Upper Blues + Aerial Circle   ** Finisher
      

  --------------------
  Heel Crush Set [HC]
  --------------------
  
  [HC1] Heel Crush + cancel + Heel Crush
  
  ** the cancel is to remove Squall from the enemy's 
     melee attack range since heel crush takes time to roll. 

     this doesn't apply against enemies with longer reach

  ** connects with HC set or UB1
  
  [HC2]  Heel Crush + cancel + Aerial Circle  ** Finisher
  
  [HC3] Heel Crush + cancel + Beat Fang 
  
  ** connects with HC set
  
  [HC4] Heel Crush + cancel + Beat Fang + cancel 
    + Aerial Circle      ** Finisher
  

  ***** Air Dash + Beat Fang 
  
     ** connects with HC set
       
  --------------------
  Blizzard Bullet [BB]
  --------------------
  
  ** all BB set moves must be within gunblade attack range
  
  [BB1] Blizzard Bullet + Jump + Beat Fang 
  
  ** connects with HC set
  
  [BB2] Blizzard Bullet + Upper Blues  
  
  ** conects with UB set
  
  [BB3] Blizzard Bullet + Thunder Bullet 
  
  ** connects with TB set
  
  for full combos that starts with Blizzard Bullet, 
  check out this vid  by kouryu15 

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkIduTsqeTs
  
  --------------------
  Thunder Bullet [TB]
  --------------------
  
  [TB1] Thunder Bullet + Upper Blues 
  
  ** connects with UB set or HC set
  
  [TB2] Thunder Bullet + Solid Barrel 
  
  [TB3] Thunder Bullet + Fusillade
  
  [TB4] Thunder Bullet + Fated Circle ** Finisher


  =====================
   IV.3.2. Advanced
  =====================

  The core of advanced moves are familiarization 
  of when to stop during an attack animation 
  and when to cancel.
  
  though most advanced combos hit hard, they are 
  quite difficult to pull off and a wrong move can result 
  to enemy retaliation the combos posted here aren't 
  my own but i do have my opinions about them

  -----------------------
  Upper Blues - Beat Fang
  -----------------------
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W48BhR1CfO0
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myNFAppYBuc
  
  * after executing the 2nd or 3rd hit from Upper Blues, 
  execute a cancel, then a Beat Fang
  
  - it really is difficult to do against AI and the 
    damage isn't that high compared with wall 
    rushing the enemy but it's anyone's preference... 
    besides it looks friggin cool
  
  - try to dodge boomerang Squall if you want Beat Fang to 
    hit at the blind spot
  
  
  -------------------
  Mystic Flurry Combo
  -------------------
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvzOG8lkIx
  
  - quite difficult to catch. i can't tell how to 
    time this one but i kept counting the explosions 
    instead and usually strike 
    during the 5th explosion

  - i guess one reason that makes practicing this 
    skill difficult is because of the low 
    probability of hitting the enemy.
    you can't practice a skill as much as 
    you like if you rarely
    hit someone with it
 
  --------
  M-Cancel
  --------
  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rmxJjcryC8
  
  - to be able to do two things at the same time 
  (thunder bullet and blasting zone). 
  this is quite deadly but difficult to pull off
  
  - i think this was exploited in the JAP version with Squall 
  as the foundation since his HP attacks can be snapped in 
  easily, adding the WTF surprise in battle
   
   
     
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| V. Tactics                                                                  |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

these are only suggestions. everyone can adhere to their own principle of 
warfare.


* Read the situation

  unlike other characters that have homing HP attacks or brave attacks that 
  lead to HP attacks, Squall's use of HP attacks are difficult and complex. 
  first off, it's hard to hit someone with his HP attacks since they are 
  quite predictable. if the enemy avoids a rough divide or blasting zone, 
  expect counter attacks that can deplete your brave especially if they 
  have crit enhancers equipped. so be sure to observe carefully! look at 
  the player and the character he's using. read his movements. 
  can you counterattack his strategy? if not, then read the surroundings. 
  if i use a rough divide will he dodge to that wall where he can be 
  cornered with a fated circle?
 
  rememeber, what makes dissidia unique is not the vast array of abilities 
  that characters can use in battle but the knowledge of when and 
  where to use them 
  
* Keep up the pressure

  the mere fact that the enemy knows how fast Squall can eat their brave 
  with melee is a threat enough. make sure to have the enemy constantly 
  running with your ranged attacks and closing the distance with rough 
  divide or revolver drive. a well timed beat fang or thunder bullet 
  might end up their brave easily

* Squall is a bank

  knowing when to use HP attacks is important for Squall. as stated 
  earlier, his attacks are predictable so you should know when to 
  use them. as a rule of thumb, the priority of using HP attacks should be
  as follows
 
  1) i have stored enough Brave Points to end it
  2) the BP isn't enough but chaining an HP attack with ex mode might 
 end it (before and HP attack hits, go EX)
  3) i was infected by annoying summons that swap my BP with theirs or 
  breaks my BP, etc
  4) an opportunity presented itself. 
 
  you usually do this if you have fear of being broken 
  instead by the enemy especially if they are 
  wearing better high evel equips. 
  
  think of it as HP damage investment instead of BP
   
  an example of this scenario would be
  "my rough divide IS faster than the enemy's *** 
  HP attack"
 
  5) i'm in break status 
     hitting an enemy with an HP attack while under break 
     would end the break effect

* Don't be too flashy

  Squall's combos are very much annoying when stringed consecutively 
  but do know restraint! an enemy equipped with Counterattack skill 
  that dodges/counters your combo spam might break up your combo chain
  and steal all the brave you earned.
 
  as a suggestion, since most of Squall's combos end up in wall rush, 
  the best way to continue a chain is to notice the color of hits. 
  if the enemy receives a critical hit with wall rush(yellow), they tend 
  to react slower (getting up or posing a strike). 
  knowing when to end the combo by using a finishing set or to go after
  a freshly popped EX core must be observed well.

* EX Mode Tips

  learn when to use your ex mode. sure it might be awesome since it 
  really boosts your stats and the gunblade's specs
  with extra hits and longer range but one invaluable perk of EX Mode 
  is that it cancels enemy combos.
  it is a life saver that avoids you from break.
  
  suggestions for using EX mode:
 
  1) you got yourself hammered with a combo and/or is in danger of break
  2) you got an enemy caught with a fated/aerial circle, revolver drive, 
  blasting zone, or rough divide and thinks
  that the opportunity to end the fight is right there.
  
  don't pressure yourself with EX Mode limit. the common mistake is 
  that people tend to make most of ex mode, aiming to hit the enemy 
  with an HP attack that would lead to EX burst. with this mentality,
  you make yourself open to retaliation. obviously most enemies would 
  run away in order to wait for your ex mode to expire. if you keep 
  spamming your HP attacks, you might find yourself open for a back 
  stab that might even retake the brave you earned. with the limited 
  time available to Squall under EX mode, read the situation calmly 
  and decide the best course of action
  
  an HP attack hit during EX mode... should i?
  
  one unique characteristic of Squall is that his weapons and even his 
  drops hint that he is capable of absorbing more EX force than the 
  others. i would discuss this further under the builds section but
  as for now, what should you do when an HP attack hit:
 
  burst yes:
  1) if it will end the battle
  2) if you think you won't have a chance to burst any more
 
  burst no:
  1) if you saw an EX core and can still replenish your EX gauge
  2) to release from break
 

|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| VI. Builds                                                                  |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
 
 i have builds for Squall that differ in the JAP and NA version since 
 the utterly changed the effects of Squall's gear 
 (this may be a ranting for the NA)
 
 readers may or may not agree with this: 
 
 Build are determined by equipment and accessories that's why both 
 my builds retain most abilities but can be changed depending on the 
 build


 ======================
    Battle Abilities
 ====================== 

   this is the common setup based on my builds
   
   Brave Attacks:
    
    Ground: Upper Blues, Thunder Bullet, 
    Fusillade/Beat Fang
    Air:    Beat Fang, Mystic Flurry(NA version), 
    Heel Crush
   
   HP Attacks:
   
    Ground: Fated Circle, Blasting Zone, Revolver Drive

    Air: Aerial Circle, Rough Divide (NA version)
    
 =====================
    Abilities
 =====================  
  
  as for the ACTIONS, go get:
  
   ground and midair evasion
   ground and midair block
   free air dash ( i prefer to go straight at my 
     opponents )
   speed boost ++
   jump times boost ++
  
  as for SUPPORT, go get:
  
   EX Core lock on
   Auto Recovery
   Evasion Boost
  
  as for EXTRA, go get:
  
   Counterattack
   EX Critical Boost
   Riposte
   EX Critical Boost
   Disable Counterattack
   EXP to HP/Force/Brave
  

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 VI.1. JAP Version: TRANS-AM Mode

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 =====================
    Overview
 =====================

 this was actually inspired after watching the anime Gundam 00 
 where the main character resembled Squall in terms of 
 personality while the Gundam itself resembled his fighting
 style and armaments (it can heel drop, weild a gunblade, 
 can blasting zone, and can turn EX mode)
 
 that aside, the goal of this build is to exploit Squall's 
 unique ability that is based on his signature weapon,
 Lionheart, which enables him to absorb more EX force in the 
 JAP version. as you know, EX force comes from 
 characters being dealt damage, being blocked or simply clashing 
 with each other. 
 the more hits a characters receives, the more EX force being 
 released and with Squall, there is no such thing as 
 "limited hits". as long as Squall is able to sink his fangs 
 on any enemy, there'll be more GN Particles... err...
 EX force produced for Squall to eat making him last longer 
 in EX mode
 
 this build was actually a default build for Squall that 
 most players use. i just decided to call this TRANS-AM 
 on a whim :p
 
 
 pros and cons of this build
 
 + fast accumulation of EX force
 + longer EX mode duration which grants...
  + extended attack range
  + increased number of hits
  + HP regen
  + increased stats
 + EX Critical Boost equipped ensures almost all hits are 
 critical
 
 - EX force dependent
 - useless if Squall's attacks can't hit an enemy or if Squall
  gets broken instead
 - equipment dependent
  
 =====================
    Abilities
 =====================  

 if you want to play this build aggressively, i suggest to get 
 Solid Barrel, Drop Counterattack/Riposte and add EX Critical 
 Boost and go for EXP to brave/EX force
 
 * EX critical boost enables Squall to land critical hits while 
 in EX mode. this combines all other abilities like
 riposte, counterattack, catnip, etc into one. and since Squall 
 lasts longer in EX mode and this mode grants him
 double hits with gunblade, imagine how much this will hurt
 
 if you want to play this build defensively, i suggest to get 
 Fusillade and go for EXP to HP
  

 =====================
   Equipment
 =====================
  
 ** weapons, equips, accessories posted here came from 
 Yandy Kusanagi's guide 
 
 ** as mentioned in the tactics above, Squall is a bank so 
 it's important to have a high brave start so that he don't
    suffer break easily
    
 Weapon: 
  Lionheart :
  Stats: ATK +68
  Level: 100
  Effect(s): BRV +40% at the start of Battle.
       EX Force absorption amount +20%.
  Note(s): Can only be equipped by Squall.
  >Shop: Trade with Crime & Penalty x1, Scarred Bullet x5
      Blessed Pearl x5 & 31,920 Gil.

      
 ** as for the armor, i chose the Chain of Adamant Set since 
 it also helps replenish brave
 
 Chain of Adamant: 
  Effect(s): BRV +20% after successful Dodge.
       BRV +20% after successful Guard.
  Note(s): Must Equip 3 Equipments to get the effect.

  
  Adamant Shield :

   Stats: DEF +73
   Level: 99
   Note(s): Chain of Adamant (1/3).
   >Shop: Trade with Crystal Shield x1, 
    Adamantite x1 & 31,920 Gil.
   >Special Friend Card: Fusoya (Item Drop).

  Adamant Helm :

   Stats: BRV +290, DEF +1
   Level: 99
   Note(s): Chain of Adamant (1/3).
   >Shop: Trade with Crystal Helm x1, 
    Adamantite x1 & 16,240 Gil.
   >Special Friend Card: Fusoya (Item Drop).

  Adamant Vest :
  
   Stats: HP +2717
   Level: 99
   Note(s): Chain of Adamant (1/3).
   >Shop: Trade with Crystal Armor x1, 
    Adamantite x1 & 23,940 Gil.
   >Special Friend Card: Fusoya (Item Drop).


 =====================
    Accessories
 =====================  
  

 Close to You :
  Rank: S
  Effect(s): EX Force absorption during Attack.
      EX Force absorption when dealing Damage.
      EX Force absorption after Summon use.
  >Shop: Trade with Super Gravity Sphere x1, Dragonfly 
  Jewel x1, Book of Might x5 & 1,500 Gil.
    

 World's Center:
  Rank: S
  Effect(s): EX Force absorption range +3m.
       EX Force absorption amount +20%.
       EX Core absorption amount +20%.
  >Shop: Trade with Pearl Necklace x1, 
   Dragonfly Jewel x1,
      Book of Heart x3 & 1,500 Gil

 Great Gospel :
  Rank: S
  Effect(s): Regeneration amount +20%.
       BRV base value recovery +50%.
       Map Action BRV +1%.
  >Shop: Trade with Brave Element x1, Battle Boots x1,
      Book of Love x3 & 1,500 Gil.  
     
 White Choker :
  Rank: A
  Effect(s): EX Force absorption amount +25%.
  >Shop: Trade with Blessed Sand x2 & 800 Gil.

 Pearl Necklace :
  Rank: S
  Effect(s): EX Force absorption amount +50%.
  >Shop: Trade with Blessed Fragment x3, 
   Blessed Crystal x2,
      Book of Life x5 & 1,300 Gil.     

 Golden Hourglass :
  Rank: S
  Effect(s): EX Mode duration +20%.
  >Shop: Trade with Time Fragment x3, Time Crystal x2,
      Book of Eloquence x5 & 1,300 Gil.  

 Great Storm :
  Rank: S
  Effect(s): Physical Damage +20%.
       Crash BRV Damage +10%.
       BRV Damage +10% in Chase Battle.
  >Shop: Trade with Champion Belt x1, High Booster x1,
      Book of Illusion x5 & 1,500 Gil.

 Lv. 4x :
  Rank: S
  Multiplier: 1.2x
  Condition(s): Player Lv. is a multiple of 4.

 Lv. 5x :
  Rank: S
  Multiplier: 1.2x
  Condition(s): Player Lv. is a multiple of 5.    

 Lv. 100 :
  Rank: S
  Multiplier: 1.2x
  Condition(s): Player Lv. is at 100.
 
 *** the 1.7 multiplier granted by the 3 multipliers along 
  with the white choker, pearl necklace, and world's center
  ensures that you gain 42.5% + 85% + 20% = +147.5% worth 
  of EX force... oh and the Lionheart's 20% wasn't included
  YET. adding that up i guess totals to  167.5% (i think the 
  modifiers are exclusive to basic accessories only)
  
  now imagine how many hits Squall could land WITH Lionheart, 
  how many orbs are released per beat up session 
  and how much force Squall gains. 
  
  yep, pretty much, this aims to suck up all orbs so that the 
  enemy can't have any while maintaining TRANS-AM.

|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|                                                                             |
|                        NOTICE!!  NA Version RANT                            |
|                                                                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

before i begin discussing the NA builds, let us first see the equip changes

 ** first, let's see what Squall's Battlerise is
 
  Bless Powder: EX FORCE Absorption +10%
  Bless Shard: EX FORCE Absorption +10%
  Bless Crystal: EX FORCE Absorption +10%
  Bless Orb: EX FORCE Absorption +10%
 
  even in the JAP version, the effects of Squall's drop are 
  the same
 
 ** next let's check what the JAP version of what Lionheart does 
    and what's it made of
 
  Weapon: 
   Lionheart :
   Stats: ATK +68
   Level: 100
   Effect(s): BRV +40% at the start of Battle.
       EX Force absorption amount +20%.
   Note(s): Can only be equipped by Squall.
   >Shop: Trade with Crime & Penalty x1, 
    Scarred Bullet x5
       Blessed Pearl x5 & 31,920 Gil.
       
  * Blessed Pearl is translated to Blessed Orb in the NA 
  version and still, both had the "EX FORCE Absorption +10%"
   effect
  
  * with that in mind, it makes sense why the JAP Lionheart 
  gives a "EX Force absorption amount +20%" effect
 
 ** now let's check the NA version of Lionheart

  Weapon:
    Lionheart :
    Stats: ATK +68
    Level: 100+
    Effect(s): EX Core Absorption +30%
     Minor Sneak Attack Effect
    Shop: Punishment x1, Unshelled Bullet x5, Bless Orb x5
    
  * so we have the Bless Orb that grants 
  "EX FORCE Absorption +10%" but wtf is with the 
  NA Lionheart's effect?!
  
   EX CORE Absorption +30%
   
   FOR REAL?! 

   well the sneak attack effect 
   is quite cool but it's useless if the 
   weapon affects the overall build
 
 ** the thing is, in a battle, it's bad to rely on EX Core. 
    sure, Squall might've been beating someone's butt long 
    enough to make him secure the core but what if he didn't 
    get the chance to and the enemy got it instead? 
    Likewise, what if the enemy always beats Squall to it?
  
 ** This reliance on the EX Core is a fatal setback that can 
    slow Squall down (most may or may not agree on this).
    enemies like kuja or sephiroth can ransom the EX core. 
    while Squall rushes off to grab it, it gives them time to
    cast Ultima or Black Materia
 
 ** of course that's not even the worst part of it. with the 
    recent modifications made with the accessory, EX Force
    absoprtion became weaker for Squall in the NA version
      
 ** but before that let's check the adamant chains equipment set
 
 ** in the JAP version Chain of Adamant had this effect

  Chain of Adamant: 
   Effect(s): BRV +20% after successful Dodge.
        BRV +20% after successful Guard.
   Note(s): Must Equip 3 Equipments to get the effect.

 ** this is what happened in the NA version 
 
  Adamant Chains: 
   Effect(s): BRV Boost on Dodge +30%
      Midair Evasion Boost
   Note(s): Must Equip 3 Equipments to get the effect.
   
   ** this set can be obtained by getting adamantine
    from golbez which unlocks the equipment 
    in the shop
 
 ** I have little complaints as to this one but it's better to 
    block and punish someone rather than to dodge them
 
 ** try fighting on a stage with little space for dodge and 
    you'll see how invaluable the JAP version is
  
 ** one alternative build as for the equipment would be to 
    use the "Snowpetal Set" which had a major overhaul
    in the NA version
  
  Snowpetal: 
   Effect(s): Magic Counter Strength +300%
      BRV Boost on Block +30%
   Note(s): Must Equip 3 Equipments to get the effect.
   
   ** this set can be obtained in 
   Duel Colosseum - Lunar Whale Course
   
   ** in the JAP version, it just had 
    Magic Counter Strength +300%
   

|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
|                                                                             |
|               Now that the gay rant is over, let's continue                 |
|                                                                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
   
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 VI.2. NA Version: TRANS-AM Mode: Leon
 
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
   
 =====================
   Overview
 =====================
 
 This was developed with a similar concept in the JAP version but is built
 to use the NA version of Lionheart. this build represents the ferocity of 
 a lion, equipped with top equipment and skill capable of dishing out damage
 even without EX activated. like a lion who fights back when attacked, using
 EX mode when the enemy retaliates punishes them severely, dishing out a chunk
 of their brave and supplying squall with a one hit finish chain to EX burst
 
 
 pros and cons of this build
 
 + well rounded
 + doesn't rely much in absorbing EX cores
 + damage dealt can create a brave break barrier worth of BP
 
 - skill and equipment dependent
 - relies in ex force
 - relies in ex mode
 - activating TRANS-AM early results in harder to hit
   HP attacks and losing EX counter
 
  
 ======================
    Battle Abilities
 ====================== 

   ver 5 update:

       Build setup suggested for Mode: Leon
   
   Brave Attacks:
    
    Ground: 

         default O:          Upper Blues
         toward opponent:    Solid Barrel
         away from opponent: Fusillade

    Air:    
 
         default O: Beat Fang
         Up + O:    Mystic Flurry
         Down + O:  Heel Crush
   
   HP Attacks:
   
    Ground: 

         default O:          Fated Circle
         toward opponent:    Blasting Zone
         away from opponent: Revolver Drive


    Air: 

         default O: Aerial Circle
         Up + O:    
         Down + O:  Rough Divide

    
 =====================
    Abilities
 =====================  
  
  ver 5 update:

   ACTION Abilities for Mode: Leon
  
     ground and midair evasion
     ground and midair block
     free air dash ( i prefer to go straight at my 
       opponents )
     speed boost ++
     jump times boost ++
  
  ver 5 update:

   SUPPORT Abilities for Mode: Leon
  
     EX Core lock on
     Auto Recovery
     Evasion Boost
  
  ver 5 update:

   EXTRA Abilities for Mode: Leon
  
     Counterattack

        - effective for dode and punish

     EX Critical Boost

        - every hit is critical once TRANS-AM is active  

     Riposte

        - Block and Punish
        - works well with snowpetal set

     Disable Counterattack 

        - prevents major hurt when they dodge and fight back

     EXP to HP/Force/Brave 

        - doesn't matter since Squall
          shouldn't be an HP spammer but choose EXP to HP
          when going to Duel Collisseum
 
 =====================
   Equipment
 =====================
  
 Lionheart and Snowpetal Set

 the minor Sneak Attack effect granted by lionheart adds another 
 critical booster in this set while the snowpetal adds synergy with Riposte. 
 not only is the enemy staggered after blocking, 
 it also increased your brave value, creating that defensive wall against
 break
   
    
 =====================
    Accessories
 ===================== 
  
 Gravitorb
  Rank: S
  Effect(s): EX intake range +3m
  >Shop: Trade with magnet Shard x3, Magnet Crystal x2, 
  Tome of Souls x3 


 Pearl Necklace:
  Rank: S
  Effect(s): EX Force Absorption +30%.
  >Shop: Trade with Bless Shard x3. Bless Crystal x2, 
  Tome of Men x5
      
      
 Gold Hourglass:
  Rank: S
  Effect(s): EX Mode Duration +20%.
  >Shop: Trade with Time Shard x3, Time Crystal x2, 
  Tome of the Orator x5
       


 Close to You :
  Rank: S
  Effect(s): EX Force absorption during Attack.
       EX Force absorption when dealing Damage.
       EX Force absorption after Summon use.
  >Shop: Trade with Gravitorb x1, Dragonfly Orb x1, 
  Tome of the Masters x5


   
 Champion Belt:
 Rank: S
 Effect(s): Physical Damage +25%.
  >Shop: Trade with Crimson Shard x3, Crimson Crystal x2, 
  Tome of the Orator x5 


 HP = 100% :
  Rank: S
  Multiplier: 1.5x
  Condition(s): Player HP is 100%

 HP = 100% :
  Rank: S
  Multiplier: 1.5x
  Condition(s): Player Opponent's HP is 100%

 Large Gap in BRV
  Rank: S
  Multiplier: 1.5x
  Condition(s): BRV difference between you and opponent 
  is at least 1000

 Summon unused :
  Rank: S
  Multiplier: 1.5x
  Condition(s): when you have not yet used a summon

 Level 100 :
  Rank: S
  Multiplier: 1.2x
  Condition(s): when your level is 100

    or

   EX Mode :
    Rank: A
    Multiplier: 1.3x
    Condition(s): while you are in EX mode

   or

   ver 5 update:
    
    HP is a Multiple of 5
    Rank: A
    Multiplier: 1.4x
    Condition(s): When your HP is a multiple of 5

 
 *** The Multipliers can reach up to x6 and even though
     they don't last in long term use,they are enough to
     fill the gauge immediately
 
 *** if the EX mode multiplier is used instead, it goes
     to x6.5

 *** if the HP is a Multiple of 5 is used instead, it goes
     to x7

 *** on a case to case basis, the x6 multipliers 
     immediately fills up 3/4 of the EX gauge just after 
     doing a beat fang then a heel crush

 *** don't worry if you temporarily lose your HP = 100%
     multiplier. once EX mode is activated and you keep
     up the offense, there will be a lot of EX force 
     lying around to refill the gauge and grant a 
     constant HP regen. then again, this method is only
     advisable when item farming. try to end human battles
     as quickly as you can so that they don't get to read
     your play style

 *** ver 5 update:

     Squall has 9760 hp at lvl 100 if the snowpetal set is equipped
     this makes it possible to activate HP is a Multiple of 5 booster
     at an early rate, giving squall a major boost in absorbing 
     GN Particles
   
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 VI.3. NA Version: Quickdraw
 
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
   
 =====================
   Overview
 =====================
 
 an alternate version designed to gather tons of brave
 then letting it all out in one go. 
 
 
 pros and cons of this build
 
 + fast accumulation of Brave
 + decent protection against break status
 
 - can't go into EX mode
 - equipment leaves Squall with weaker stats
 
  
 =====================
    Abilities
 =====================  

 Get Counterattack, Riposte, and Disable Riposte

 =====================
   Equipment
 =====================

       
  Get Lionheart and the Blessed Crystal Set
 
 
  Blessed Crystal Set: 
   Effect(s): EX Force Absorption +20%
        EX Core Absorption +20%
   Note(s): Must Equip 3 Equipments to get the effect.

  * the downside is that the crystal equips are for level 64+
    compared with the level 98+ adamant equipment, 
    this makes Squall 35 levels weaker

   
 =====================
    Accessories
 ===================== 
  

 Force Begets Courage:
  Rank: S
  Effect(s): EX Core and EX Force to Brave
  >Shop: Spirit Stanchion x1, Pearl Necklace x1, 
  Tome of the Silence x5


 Close to You :
  Rank: S
  Effect(s): EX Force absorption during Attack.
       EX Force absorption when dealing Damage.
       EX Force absorption after Summon use.
  >Shop: Trade with Gravitorb x1, Dragonfly Orb x1, 
  Tome of the Masters x5
    

 Gravitorb
  Rank: S
  Effect(s): EX intake range +3m
  >Shop: Trade with magnet Shard x3, Magnet Crystal x2, 
  Tome of Souls x3 


 Pearl Necklace:
  Rank: S
  Effect(s): EX Force Absorption +30%.
  >Shop: Trade with Bless Shard x3. Bless Crystal x2, 
  Tome of Men x5


 HP = 100% :
  Rank: S
  Multiplier: 1.5x
  Condition(s): Player HP is 100%

 HP = 100% :
  Rank: S
  Multiplier: 1.5x
  Condition(s): Player Opponent's HP is 100%

 Large Gap in BRV
  Rank: S
  Multiplier: 1.5x
  Condition(s): BRV difference between you and opponent 
  is at least 1000

 Summon unused :
  Rank: S
  Multiplier: 1.5x
  Condition(s): when you have not yet used a summon

 Empty EX Gauge :
  Rank: S
  Multiplier: 1.5x
  Condition(s): when your EX gauge is empty
   

 Level 100 :
  Rank: S
  Multiplier: 1.2x
  Condition(s): when your level is 100

 *** the multipliers can reach to x9

 *** this is actually a fun build but it pales in comparison with Mode: Leon
     in terms of damage per hit. also, be careful of summon stones like odin
     since it's a bane for builds like this


|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| VII. CPU Matchups                                                           |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

since I have only fought against them, I have yet to know the name of some 
of their skills and would be
referring to their JAP translated names

--------------------
vs. Warrior of Light
--------------------

 Watch out for Sword Thrust since it can be sudden. other than that, 
 his range is quite short so better use Squall's
 range and suddenness to catch him off-guard
 
 the CPU sometimes tend to counter Heel Crush with Shield of Light, 
 don't worry, it WILL break
 
 Radiant Sword is slow to start but homes faster if you are far. 
 pierce through it with any HP attack aside from the circles. 
 the same goes if he uses  Shining Wave.
 
-----------
vs. Garland
-----------

 Watch out for the Gallahad Dribble - dubbed by Falcord of the 
 Garland Guide
 http://www.gamefaqs.com/portable/psp/file/939394/55742
 
 * oops only players can perfect that :p
 
 for the CPU, despite garland being slow, he does tend to rush in at 
 times which makes him deadly. try to keep your distance
 and wait for him to miss an attack before counterattacking.
 
 you can counter his blaze and cyclone with a Rough Divide that can 
 pierce through it or a close-ranged Blasting Zone.
 his earthquake have a limited range and gives you enough time to 
 blast with a revolver drive and tsunami leaves him prone for
 a beatfang or back attack
 
 be careful of distancing yourself too much in the air since he can 
 attach a chain to his weapon and swoop it downwards and
 pull it back for double hits
 
 
----------
vs. Firion
----------

 I have so much respect for this guy! despite being weak in air
 combat, his ground attacks range from short to long.
 
 his lance combo can punish your heel crush after an upper blues 
 and his  rope knife can home in on where you land.
 reel axe can arget you in the air and be careful not to forget that 
 it comes back ofr an extra hit. all of his ground melee
 can in with the double trouble HP attack so be careful.
 
 it seems that his straightarrow doesn't have the charge time it 
 used to have in JAP version which is helpful for aiming but he 
 still got other HP attacks right down his sleeve such as shield 
 bash which can block normal attacks and some magic and retaliates 
 with a volley of ranged HP attacks, and his weapon master move 
 that makes up for his air weakness which hits lots of brave damage 
 before and HP hit
 
---------------
vs. The Emperor
---------------

 Well despite having a second Flare that can be deployed, you can
 pierce through it with Rough Divide, Blasting Zone 
 or even Revolver Drive. a well timed explosion of any of the Circles 
 can reflect back the Flare. Flare can also
 track and hit you during chase animation so be careful
 
 Don't let him use Starfall. even if I did forget what it does, 
 I remembered it's bad news to let him cast it
 (besides, all that long casting for a weak spell? cmon!)
 
 His light crest gained more bouncing blasts but that's just it. 
 as long as you avoid the traps, he's easy

----------------
vs. Onion Knight
----------------

 in the JAP version, he had a default 3 jumps while in the NA, 
 he had 5! damn broken midget!
 
 but this is also another character that didn't deserve a weapon change. 
 in the JAP version, his weapon
 granted him BRV boost at the start of battle and a faster BRV regen. 
 in the NA, they gave him instead
 a +15% damage and gambler spirit effect. honestly WTF! OK was never a 
 hard hitter. he's just an HP spammer!
 with his ability to regen Brave fast, you got a constant beating of 
 damage.
 
 that aside, be wary of his speed. he can easily get around your ass 
 and strike from behind. also, all his brave attacks can be chained 
 to HP. while he doesn't have much firepower, the CPU seem to equip 
 to him a lot of extra skills that raised counterattack. 
 
 be very careful indeed as his punishment can break BRV

---------------------
vs. Cloud of Darkness
---------------------

 is one hot babe!
 
 her tentacles (THE TERM!!!) can be made to launch various attacks. 
 the most you should watch out for would be
 the spherical orb of continuous lashing. it hurts like hell but can 
 be blocked
 
 be caeful of her [wrath] particle beam since it can block some 
 attacks and counter with an HP attack
 and with her [anti air] particle beam since she tend to use this 
 if you are within range
 
 on her other attacks, you can pierce through them with a rough divide 
 or revolver drive

----------------
vs. Cecil Harvey
----------------

 this is another fan favorite by Dissidia players. watch out for his 
 superman attack a.k.a Saint's Fall since
 it travels far and can guard break as well as his Paladin Force which 
 deals lots of damage and can be chained with 
 searchllight in the JAP version (is yet to check in the NA)
 
 while as a dark paladin. watch out for his Dark Flame and try not to 
 make him use Soul Eater should you come within melee range.
 
 overall, he can cover up long and short range as he can use various 
 attacks to pull you close or have
 you end up in the air where he can superman down your ass.

----------
vs. Golbez
----------

 annoying character to fight, complicated to use.
 
 his attacks are always 2 in 1 making him cover melee and mid/long 
 range. 

 other than that, most of his brave attacks
 can chain to HP and he tends to guard a lot. don't try to stay too 
 long in close range as he might pull a
 devastating Genesis Rock which could hurt. his Nightglow is also 
 quick giving Squall little time to launch a
 counter and can even block a heel crush.
 I read from Aishi_'s GOlbez guide that nightglow can create a 
 barrier that blocks attacks. I've tasted it too many times to say 
 that he ain't lying 

 (http://www.gamefaqs.com/portable/psp/file/939394/56714)
 
 though his Gravity Force is a bit predictable, it still hurts if 
 you're not careful and able to block it immediately.
 as I've said, don't stay too long within close combat as he can 
 attack from upfront and behind in one execution and try
 not to dodge an attack. if you blocked him, beat him up with a 
 beat fang then maintain distance.
 
-----------------
vs. Bartz Klauser
-----------------

 he combines all attacks from the cosmos side characters making him 
 extremely versatile.
 
 while he lacks Squall's sudden executions, he does have firion's reel 
 axe to reel you in and can follow with a combo from zidane or 
 can dash at you suddenly like tidus. he can also use cloud's 
 initial climhazard animation followed by Squall's solid barrel. 
 he's basically a combination of some of the character's moves 
 but can be more flashy and has some 
 boost in stats or brave
 
 oh and watch out for his holy since he can chain it to flare and try 
 to not block when he dashes towards you
 since he loves to use wind shear when you try blocking or even worse, 
 paladin force! while on the ground, he tend to use Soul Eater 
 or Flood which isn't much of a threat

-----------
vs. ExDeath
-----------

 I remembered the days when he was broken in JAP version. 
 in the NA, he's definitely fixed.
 
 while he's still slow when it comes to moving, his teleport became 
 faster and has been equipped with guard break. blocking the teleport 
 will leave you staggered so dodge it instead!
 
 his Black Hole has been modified in that it can't be destroyed by 
 Rough Divide or Blasting Zone anymore.
 
 if you Rough Divide on it, you'll be sucked in for damage. 
 honestly, from trash, it became a good perimeter skill
 
 despite the slow execution of most of his offense, his defense is 
 quite fast to pull. be careful as his defense
 can even stop a rough divide and counter with an amalgest!
 
 just hit him from behind with a rough divide and nab every EX 
 core you can find since he is slow on the move

 ver 5 update:

 using solid barrel in TRANS-AM passes through his defenses easily. 
 no matter what shield he brings up he gets murdered to death.
 also, he seems to have trouble blocking the circles so abuse that.

 (unless experienced exdeath players disagree, please do email me
  and impart thy wisdom)

------------------
vs. Terra Branford
------------------

 when she casts the ranged blizarra, just air dash and punish 
 her with a beat fang. if you want to stay close, don't
 let her use tornado. if she was able to use that skill and you're 
 from a distance, rough divide her or close in for
 a blasting zone. watch out for her holy which can lead to a holy 
 combo or an ultima and rough divide her when she
 prepares for meltdown as RD can definitely pierce through that 
 ball and flood can only be punished with an air dash
 + beat fang/circle
 
-----------------
vs. Kefka Palazzo
-----------------

 he can literally make you run. his skills aren't always what 
 they seem. 

 his shatter blizagga for example makes him
 fire a block of ice that explodes like shrapnel. 
 with every bit dealing damage. on melee, he can defend himself with
 havoc wing  and can pressure you from range with trine. 
 I haven't seen hyperdrive in effect since I tend to stop him before
 he does it but be careful of forsaken null where a cloud tracks you 
 down for HP bombardment. use rough divide
 when he uses that skill and try to dash to deflect his magic.
 
----------------
vs. Cloud Strife
----------------

 his braver is much like saint's fall so a timely dodge will save 
 you from it. despite his limited reach and his slow attack
 animation,he can still land devastating blows that can break you in 
 no time. he is clearly another fan of wall rush and all his 
 attacks seem to do so. also, some of his combos can end in 
 Finnishing Touch or Omnislash ver 5. 
 try to maintain distance and strike him if his attacks were short on 
 the range but be careful of his meteorain.
 
 oh and don't let him go EX mode since he can guard crush you 
 without fail.

-------------
vs. Sephiroth
-------------

 Be careful of his multihit and long melee range. not only can he 
 punish Squall for heel crushing, he also can use that
 blasted  Black Materia to get you from a wide range. if you rough
 divide him at that point, he'll simply throw a little meteor from 
 overhead that does HP damage. if you didn't get to reach him in time, 
 he'll definitely drop a huge chunk that makes escape rather 
 unavoidable. 
 his hell's gate has also been upgraded in that it seems to
 be executed faster and his octaslash can cover more range much like 
 jecht blade. Scintilla can also guard sephi from brave attacks and 
 punish accordingly with HP.
 
 if you got comboed with octaslash, burst yourself to EX mode 
 immediately then counter with a burst
 
 oh and once he charges himself to use Heartless Angel, punish it 
 with Rough Divide

-------------------
vs. Squall Leonhart
-------------------

 There can be only be one Squall indeed!
 
 the CPU tend to follow its attacks with an aerial circle so dodge 
 immediately.

 do not get caught with a beat fang. you, of all people, whom have 
 read this guide (probably) and have watched the
 videos (probably) should know how much it hurts to be beat fanged!
 
 anyways, be careful with the battle of the circles as the AI tend 
 to counterattack your fated/aerial circle
 with one of their own.
 
 when he uses mystic flurry, air dash through it and punish with a 
 beat fang or simply pierce through with a rough divide
 
-------------
vs. Ultimecia
-------------

 the villain who got hots for Squall. her apocalypse was quite 
 destructive in the JAP version since it
 can be detonated while Squall was travelling in Rough Divide. 
 now, RD can pierce through it with no effort.
 all of her HP attacks are hard to aim and needs time to charge. 
 the HP breaking RD shuould spank her ass as
 punishment for using those skills!
 
 though it seems that her charging of skill became faster when it 
 comes to brave, ultimecia shouldn't be air dashed 
 at times since the air dash tend to lose its gas while ultimecia 
 isn't even done firing. when she charges knight's sword,
 don't even think charging or guarding since it can guard break. 
 you can however strike her from behind (O_O)!
 since it's her only weak spot during the charge. or simply go 
 on top of her for a heel crush.
 
 knight's arrow is annoying! it can reach from a long range and 
 can hit you from behind while blocking. the charged version
 can serve as traps but would still hurt otherwise especially if 
 they were deployed from behind pillars

 knight's ax is quite fast to pull out and the charging is faster. 
 the charged version does a homing guard crush property
 but is slow while the 3 axes attack from 3 directions
 
-----------------
vs. Zidane Tribal
-----------------

 one annoying monkey!
 
 his EX mode enables him to seize the air thanks to his 10+ 
 jump capacity and his number of aerial combos that tend to
 swoop you down. CPU and even human players play this much like 
 onion knight but doesn't rely on spells for ranged attacks
 
 instead, they punish you with HP ranged attacks and run after 
 you from behind with melee braves that can chain to HP.
 
 even if Squall's beat fang is good to use, don't linger on the 
 air too much since it is his zone. don't even try to punish 
 shift break with a rough divide since it can pull faster. instead, 
 if he does it while you are still high in the air,
 just let yourself fall out of the flood's reach. he gets a separate 
 HP attack called free energy. in the JAP version,
 this comes after some of his combos. instead, in the NA, most of his 
 combos end with Meo Twister. watch out for free energy
 since it's like a shotgun. he can easily pull it out and blast you 
 within a short range. it can guard brake and is as
 quick to pull as the circles. oh and be careful of grand lethal, 
 it's his version saint's fall/braver.

--------
vs. Kuja
--------

 was nerfed big time thanks to his ultima gaining a slow start and 
 limited fall radius. his holy rings doesn't last longer
 like the JAP version which can be intimidating. still ,he gets to 
 cover all ranges and is excellent at running away.
 
 be careful of his snatch blow and strike energy. blocking the attack 
 may stagger him but is useless if he isn't within 
 counterattack range which happens most of the time. also, his snatch 
 shots can scoop you down even from its range
 
 learn to identify when to block his attacks once and when to block 
 spam it since he can employ the use of ranged attacks
 and ranged magic.
 
 oh and don't get to stay too close for him to use flare star. 
 it's quite hard to avoid and hurts like hell. 
 holy star can be avoided but can suck you in. as for ultima, 
 just air dash or dodge to the side then punish with a rough divide

---------
vs. Tidus
---------

 he's like a mix of Squall and Cloud. he can be made to 
 suddenly close in the distance and hit hard at the same time.
 his attacks can also be a feint, an attack and a dodge combined so 
 be careful in aerial fights and when trying to keep the distance
 on the ground since he can cover the ground easily. he can also 
 link his brave attacks to HP attacks which make him more deadlier
 
 try to keep up the range and punish him when he uses Jecht shot. 
 other than that, don't stay close in his game and try to
 determine when to block his attacks

---------
vs. Jecht
---------

 Another annoying character!
 
 his bare hands can deflect even garland's blaze! his jecht counter 
 can block any attack except for the circles, though,
 it can still be heel crushed. his combos can be chained to any of 
 his HP attacks which makes him indeed a formidable
 opponent especially in close combat and he can chain his combos 
 continuously when he goes into EX. his jecht blade is
 also like octa slash and can be very annoying.
 
 it isn't good to stay inside his game but rough dividing him from 
 a distance isn't a good thing too thanks to his jecht block.
 just measure the range of his attacks to determine when to hit 
 with a beat fang or upper blues and when to end it with a
 circle

 ver 5 update:

 the solid barrel during EX Mode pierces through his jecht counter
 abuse it to regain lost brave!

-------------
vs. Shantotto
-------------

 another annoying midget that has a bad tongue. her brave attacks 
 have limited range but she shines most in chaining her HP attacks
 for lolwut damage. her brave usually consists of restraining spells 
 such as bind and bio. watch out for bind which, as the name
 implies, renders your movement. when she casts it, you'll find your 
 character covered in some sphere, dodge it immediately. 
 as for bio, it might be slow moving like emperor's flare but 
 it tracks you down and even hits you while in chase animation. 
 once hit by the move, you get poisoned, dealing brave every 
 period of time with mild stagger effect.
 
 her only homing offensive skill is her boomerang staff 
 (I think it's called "retribution") where she can do in the air. 
 her HP attacks are quite fast to pull but is linear though if one 
 manages to hit you, you will be comboed without fail.
 watch out for her aero air HP attack since it tends to suck 
 you in much like seraphic star.

------------
vs. Gabranth
------------

 I love his British(?) accent in the NA! anyways, don't let 
 this guy go super saiyan as he can DBZ down your ass in his game.
 his default melee moves tend to push people away 
 (and quite far at that) giving him enough time to use his HP attack
 that charges his EX gauge. 

 I think in the NA, he can guard most brave attacks once he 
 starts charging. anyways, if he does charge, RD him fast
 as punishment.
 
 if you were unable to prevent him from going EX mode then I suggest
 you run until his time expires... but that's gay so if you want to
 start beating his ass, stay away and try to RD him from afar. 
 in EX mode, his normal brave attacks doesn't just send you away,
 they hit multiple times before sending you away which can lead 
 to chase. 
 he can use an HP attack that's like maelstrom from
 star wars force unleashed which can suck you in before exploding. 
 he can also fire 4 crescent arc beams at you, in ground or air
 as his HP attack. so far, I didn't yet see what his final HP attack,
 "execution" can do (and I'm too lazy to confirm in JAP dissidia)
 
---------
vs. Chaos
---------

 the first shocker I remembered when fighting this guy in JAP was 
 that I have to fight him 3 times where he gets stronger every round!
 
 he can recast his summon, shinryu, more than once in every battle and
 it does random effects. the most annoying effect 
 that could counter Squall would be omega weapon since it halves the
 brave value every period of time.
 
 he rarely uses HP attacks on the first fight but tend to use more 
 devastating ones in the second. in the third battle, he can go
 EX mode where you have to play a game of dodge. his EX mode finishes
 by hurling 4 swords at the side of the stage. 4 circles
 pop up from below and you'd have limited time to go to a part of the
 stage without the circles before it goes nuclear.
 
 but as they say, the bigger they are, the harder they fall!
 
 sometimes, depending on his starting animation, you can predict 
 what chaos would do in the next 2 battles.
 
 refer to the dissidia wiki to identify the skills he uses and for 
 a much better guide
 
 if he starts the first battle by swinging (The Ground 3-Strike Tail
 Spin), block it then upper blues him but don't end with a combo, 
 just stay in the air and wait for when he rushes after you or when 
 he teleports in the air. 
 if he rushes, then block and penalize him with beat fang. if he 
 teleports, spam the guard button immediately as he tend to 
 use his 360 Degree Spin for a barrage of damage. after guarding 5 
 times, beat fang him and stay in the air after the animation.
 
 if he starts by using Flame Wheel, just dodge. sometimes when he 
 use Great Balls of Fire, he tend to follow it with
 Flame Wheel.  Flame Wheel can guard break so dodge it. after 
 using that move, he can walk the stage or dash after you, 
 block him if he does the latter but watch out for his feints. 
 instead of dashing completely, he can stop and doe a 360 degree 
 spin or execute his tri-slash combo

 by staying in the air, you can see and predict what chaos does 
 rom the ground and block/prevent his attacks properly.
 
 his HP attacks are devastating but can be prevented/avoided.
 
 once he uses condemn which sucks you in, you need to dodge 
 away outside of the radius. you can also beat fang him in order to 
 reduce his BRV to 0 dealing you 0 damage. at any rate, i
 f you dodged, punish him with an HP attack
 
 once he charges a ball in his hands, he plans on using 
 soul of oblivion. dash at him fast before he finishes and 
 beat fang him. 
 it's quite difficult to dodge or block against this HP attack.
 
 once you see a number of orbs around you, just stop moving. 
    he's using divine punishment. the orbs will explode 4 
 times while the remainder will strike you. if you moved while the 
 orbs exploded, you'll be sent for a series of brave 
 damage before chaos teleports above and strikes you down with 
 his sword for HP damage. 
 the same goes if the remained strikes you. after the orbs explod, 
 dodge as far as you can in order to avoid the piercing. 
 don't stay close even after dodging since the sword strike has a 
 wide explosion range and can still hit you. chaos suffers a lag time 
 after this so air dash and beat fang him or use the fly swatter 
 to bring him down
 
 one daring move would be to double jump upwards before the orbs 
 start exploding then dodge after they exploded. since this leaves
 Squall very close to chaos in the air, you can repay his efforts 
 with any of Squall's air brave or HP attacks
 
 once he uses demonsdance, dodge like theres' no tomorrow! 
 he teleports to you 5 times to catch and hurl you for HP 
 damage every brawl. if he uses this while under alexander-shinryu 
 effect, it's game over most of the time. this is another reason to 
 stay longer in the air, yu can miss most of his combos 
 by simply falling and dodging away. it ensure that his reach 
 will be limited. the final act of this move can wall rush 
 you to the ceiling for HP damage so be very careful
 
 once he teleports to the center of the stage and has his hands held 
 with a giant fireball, don't even bother cancelling the attack.
 stay on the air and guard spam the smaller fireballs heading your 
 way and dodge once he hurls the final ball at you. if you managed
 to block all of ultimecia's knight's sword, you can block this one. 
 if you get hit by a single fireball, you'll be staggered making the 
 giant ball hit you without fail


|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| VIII. Version History                                                       |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

 Version 1.00: August 28, 2009
 Version 2.00: September 1, 2009
 
  finished "why use Squall" segment
  equipment & accessory changes and skill revision
  mode testing
 
 Version 3.00: September 4, 2009
 
  equipment & accessory changes and skill revision
  mode completion
  matchup
 
 Version 3.01: September 6, 2009
  matchup completion
  extra build
  
 Version 3.02: September 9, 2009
  additional build equipment set

 Version 3.03: September 10, 2009
  format changes

 Version 3.04: September 11, 2009
  format changes
  

 Version 4.00: September 15, 2009
  improved builds


 Version 4.01: September 17, 2009
  accessory revision for builds


 Version 5.00: September 22, 2009
  solid barrel update
  mode leon revision
  CPU matchup update

|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| X. Afterword and Credits                                                    |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
 
 Please remember that this guide is merely a reference on how I played 
 and observed other people play Squall. these are by no means a proper 
 standard on how Squall is played.
 sometimes, unorthodox techniques bring out the best in characters so 
 players should (imho) go for that
 
 thanks to the gamefaqs/gamespot community (especially the forums), 
 dissipedia wiki, and yandy kusanagi for their guides. 
 without them, it would be difficult to play the JAP version
 
 http://dissidia.wikia.com
 http://www.gamefaqs.com/portable/psp/file/939394/55224
 
 I would also like to thank and recommend Timothy Dahl's Squall guide 
 for detailed character stat analysis, a list of quotes,  
 Squall's equipment list, and Squall's story walkthrough
 
 http://www.gamefaqs.com/portable/psp/file/939394/57640
 
 not to forget, to thank kouryu15 for his Squall videos which 
 helped me a lot and the countless people of 
 youtube that posted/reposted/will be posting the exploits of 
 their dissidia gameplay
 
 if anyone wishes to correct me on anything save for the spell 
 check, please do email me at jedi_knight_bj@yahoo.com
 
 
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

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