Battles in Unlimited Saga take place when a monster is encountered on the Field, and it chooses to attack you; or vice-versa. Battles relevant to the story take place after cutscenes. Note that once a battle begins, it is impossible to flee. The fight will continue until one side wins.
- Change Highlighted Action: Left/Right Directional Buttons
- Select Action: X Button
- Add Action to Combo: O Button
- View Status: Square Button
Battle Basics and the Reel System
Combat in Unlimited SaGa is different from most RPGs. Combat takes place in "Rounds." Five actions must be selected per round. Once actions are chosen, a Reel begins to spin in the center of the screen. Actions are ordered based on how they were selected before.
(Example: If one chooses: 'Punch,' 'Kick,' 'Kick,' 'Throw,' 'Punch,' then those actions will appear in that order when the Reel begins spinning, starting with 'Punch,' then 'Kick,' and so on.)
Of course, actions can be used in the order the players wants to. In the above example, One could use 'Throw' before 'Kick.' This is useful for when a player makes an error, or has a planned-out strategy.
Characters also position themselves based on who was chosen first, with the first-chosen in the front, and the last-chosen in the back. This allows damage-soaking characters and physical fighters to lead on while Magic-casters and low-Endurance characters can take potshots from behind with a lower chance of being targeted.
To execute actions, players must stop the Reel on a Panel with the 'X' button. The color of the Panel determines what technique is used.
Panel Colors Legend
- Level 1: Green
- Level 2: Blue
- Level 3: Purple
- Level 4: Red
- Level 5: Orange/Yellow
After all possible actions are taken by both sides, the Round ends. Characters that didn't participate in the last Round recover some HP, while characters that have been stricken with Ailments may recover from them.
Advanced Tip: After a while with the Reel, one may notice that the Panels spinning in the Reel appear in a fixed order. This makes isolating and executing certain Techniques much less of a pain. When a new technique Sparks, let the Reel spin awhile until you can map where it's corresponding Panel appears on the Reel.
To make this easier, keep in mind that the majority of Panels on the Reel are Green. After Panel patterns flash by, a massive line of Green Panels will appear before the Panel patterns repeat themselves. This creates a loop that can be memorized, making it easier to map individually colored Panels.
Early on in the game, most Panels will be Green. As characters fight in battle, a light-bulb icon may appear atop a character's head just before they release a new technique. This manner of learning new skills is known as "Sparking."
Upon using said technique, a new Panel corresponding to that Technique is added to the Battle Reel. That Technique is now permanently available to the character and can be used again by hitting that Panel on the Reel.
(Example: John Doe uses 'Punch,' only for a Spark to occur. Instead of using 'Punch,' he unleashes 'Bear Swipe,' the Level 2 Technique for 'Punch.' If John uses 'Punch' again, a Blue Panel is added to the Reel. Hitting the Blue Panel lets him use 'Bear Swipe' again.)
Important Note: Techniques are not universally applied. If John Doe learns 'Bear Swipe,' and Jane Doe uses 'Punch,' Jane cannot use 'Bear Swipe' until she Sparks it herself.
What are HP and LP, and how do they work?
HP, rather than simply being your health, is instead your stamina, if you will. When one uses Techniques or is hit by the enemy, this number will decrease. The lower the HP, the more vulnerable a character's LP is.
(Example: John Doe has 100 HP. He uses 10 HP for a 'Punch,' then takes 47 damage from the preceding round. Next round, he takes one LP of damage as well as HP damage from an enemy attack, since his HP was too low to protect him proper.)
Important Note: HP is a relative stat. Characters can fight perfectly with Zero HP, but their LP will be somewhat more vulnerable. Characters can recover HP by staying out of a battle round, using the Purify Water Art, or using the Stand-By feature in the Field.
One can increase total HP by completing Quests.
LP is what HP is to other RPGs: Your health. All characters have fixed LP amounts that cannot be altered. When a character's LP reaches zero, they are knocked out and are unavailable or the remainder of the current quest.
Unfortunately, if the main character of the story has their LP brought to zero, the game is immediately over, regardless of the state of other party members. If the main character is on the verge of defeat, keep them out of battle entirely or in the back row of Reel line-ups.
When the Reel spins, the player has the option of saving an action for a Combo. If one selects an action while another is saved, a Combo can occur. Combos are extremely powerful, and have damage thresholds no character can reach alone.
Of course, Combos can also be broken, or Interrupted. If a Combo is broken, Characters will still execute any already-saved actions, but Enemies' actions will be added to the Combo. This causes the attacks dealt by both sides to deal double damage. Note that Actions not native to the Combo are not affected in any way.
The power of a Combo is determined by three factors: How many Actions are strung, What type of Actions are strung, and how many participants are involved.
A combo utilizing only one character has a much higher chance of success. However, since only one person is involved, it's power will be...lackluster at best.
A Combo with more than one person is much harder to pull off, but deals much more damage than a solo one. A Combo can only use a maximum of five different characters. Needless to say, a five-person Combo is the hardest to pull off, but is among the strongest.
Advanced Tip: Due to what may be a programming flaw, Magic Spells have a much higher Combo-linking chance than other Actions do. A Five-action Combo comprised completely of Arts has a much higher chance of successfully linking than a five-action Combo composed of various physical techniques. This also occurs with varied Combos. Spells will almost always link to any type of Combo while other Actions are subject to chance. While all Actions in the game have a degree of luck when it comes to linking, Arts are given priority. This makes Magic Arts combos some of the most deadly in the game if properly exploited.