In the field map, players may engage the enemy as soon as they enter Battle Mode. In Battle Mode, when the player taps the attack button, a wire frame sphere appears around Ashley. Individual body parts within this sphere can be targeted. An attack will automatically be launched by hitting the attack button again, but additional attacks known as Chain Abilities can be added, to achieve large combos and deal damage to the enemy. This is done by pressing buttons in timely succession, a similar game mechanic to Music Video games (rhythm games).[1] In addition to Chain Abilities, Defensive Abilities allow Ashley to reduce or reflect damage or avoid status ailments. Ashley also gains Break Arts, which exchange his Hit Points (HP) for increased damage.[2]

When Ashley attacks a Crimson Blade soldier, an exclamation mark is displayed, indicating the moment where the player can chain attacks; reflexes must be keen to inflict higher damage to the enemy.

While many guides, including ones such as Three Blades, are concerned with building up Class bonuses on weapons, player Beamup has performed some very convincing research[3] which leads to the conclusion that choosing the correct Type is more effective, and targeting the enemy weaknesses with debuffs is more effective than buffs.

Attack Edit

Class Affinity and Type are one quarter of the value, in attack equations, of their value in defense equations. However, base enemy Defense will be equal to all attack strategies, so what matters is how effective the attack is. Beamup rightly concludes that,[3] since there are commonly up to 40 points Type difference between different target locations, and Affinity Class and Type are is only divided by 100 on defense instead of 400 on attack, these 40-point type differences would account for a 40% advantage or disadvantage, rather than up to 25% each for Affinity and Class. Quadrupled defense, he rightly states, also makes debuffs more effective than buffs, but again, this is the same for all attack strategies.

Damage Edit

In short, damage equals total Strength x (Damage Modifiers/400), minus Defense. The Damage Modifiers have some fairly hefty values, and can fairly easily raise the damage above the total Strength value

Damage calculation: Damage equals (Attack times Multiplier) minus Defense, plus a random number between one and five

Attack equals the Ashley's Base Strength plus the Weapon's Strength plus Strength from Accessories, multiplied by (100 plus the Damage Modifier divided by 100). The Multiplier is a simple number, one for regular attacks, and more for Warlock spells and Break Arts

Class and Affinity of the weapon and Accessories, and Damage Points and Phantom Points are added together and then divided by four to make the Damage Modifier.

Magic Edit

See Main Article: Magic in Vagrant Story

Magic in Vagrant Story utilizes the same wireframe targetting system. Magic is learned later in the game using Grimoires, items dropped by enemies. Once a Grimoire is used, the magic spell associated with the Grimoire will remain in the menu, and players only need to spend Magic Points (MP) to cast a learned spell. Magic spells can be used to attack, heal, create Status Effects, and manipulate Ashley's elemental and enemy affinities. Certain magic spells allow the player to affect multiple targets by using a small sphere positioned within the Battle Mode wire frame. Unlike physical attacks however, magic attacks cannot be chained.[1][4]

Spells ignore Class, so Nemesis gems with bonuses to Class on Shields are useless against enemy magic. Spells, like Break Arts, get a bonus (Multiplier), which makes them desirable against enemies with high Chain Evade.[3]


Class Affinity and Type are four times more effective on defense than attack.

Damage Points on Armor add extra defense, but only shields defend better because of Phantom Points. Shields also protect all hit locations.

Risk Edit

See Main Article: Risk in Vagrant Story

Risk is an essential element in the battle system. A Risk bar is placed below the HP and MP bar, representing the Risk Points the player has accumulated. Risk Points affect Ashley's concentration; the longer Ashley attacks a target, the more his Risk Point accumulates — lowering his accuracy and defenses. Chain and Defensive Abilities increase Risk faster than regular attacks, while Break Arts do not increase Risk at all. Enemy attacks and spells deal more damage on Ashley, the more Risk he has; as do Ashley's, on enemies, and his healing spells increase in efficiency. A further advantage is the higher chances for the player to score critical hits.[4]

Chain Abilities, Defensive Abilities and Break Arts Edit

The battle system of the game involves the player chaining different attacks known as Chain Abilities to achieve large combos and deal damage to the enemy. This is done by pressing buttons in timely succession. In this way, combat almost resembles a rhythm game as not all attacks have the same timing. The player can target different areas of the body, and damage is done according to the part of body attacked and the affinity of the weapon used by Ashley. The longer Ashley fights, the more his Risk rises, making it harder for him to concentrate - lowering his accuracy but increasing critical hits, though at a certain point it can become virtually impossible to hit anything. Defense Abilities allow Ashley to reduce or reflect damage, or avoid status ailments. A variety of spells can be used to attack, heal, buff, and debuff. Lastly there are the Break Arts, powerful attacks that drain Ashley's hit points.

See also Edit

Links Edit

Combat Mechanics Guide - Beamup

  1. 1.0 1.1 Bartholow,Peter PlayStation Vagrant Story Review GameSpot, publisher CBS Interactive
  2. Brown, Jeff 2000 Vagrant Story: Review 2
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Combat Mechanics Guide by Beamup
  4. 4.0 4.1 Vagrant Story, Square, 2000, Playstation One Vagrant Story In-Game Manual

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