- Damage Types
- Chaining Skills
- Switch Between Characters
- Try New Party Members
- Use Your EXTRA Gauge Wisely
- Flash Tactics
- Status Effects
Ys 8: Lacrimosa of Dana features an exhilarating and flashy combat system that is surprisingly robust, offering many ways to approach most situations. Of course, having a cast of six unique playable characters will help make any combat system more engaging, especially in a JRPG where everything can be as over-the-top as it wants.
There's never a dull moment with Ys 8's combat system, and once you familiarize yourself with every character and their Skills and upgrade their weapons, you will be tearing through everything in your path with elegance and style. If you like air-juggling, flashy anime combat, and fun gameplay with a deep, complex system in the background, then this will be your cup of tea.
Damage Types are a crucial part of Ys 8's combat system, allowing you to take advantage of enemy weaknesses to deal more damage and earn more loot. The game has three Damage Types, all being excellent against a specific type of enemy. We will cover them in the section below:
- Slash: Excels against Soft Enemies, dealing high damage and lowering their defense.
- Pierce: Excellent against Flying Enemies, dealing moderate damage but lowering their defense and temporarily disabling their flying capabilities.
- Strike: Thrives against Armored Enemies, dealing moderate damage but drastically lowering their defense.
Aside from dealing extra damage, using Damage Types to attack an enemy's weakness will also increase the odds they drop a rare item when defeated, making it an excellent method to farm materials you may need for a recipe or an upgrade. You should always be using the proper Damage Types against your opponent. There's no point in leaving so much damage and benefits on the table!
Skills are the backbone of Lacrimosa of Dana's combat system, allowing you to carry out flashy and robust combos, dealing immense amounts of damage. Most characters have a 'launcher,' which more or less means that one of their Skills will knock their target high into the air, allowing you to follow it up with air-based Skills, then finish it off with ground-based ones for a devastating combo.
While some Skills cannot chain into one another, most Skills can, and you should experiment with them, as you will likely find something that works for you and does considerable damage. Furthermore, every Skill can be leveled up and deal an extra bit of damage, so the more you use a Skill, the better it will become over time. If you want to learn more about Skills, check out our guide that covers every character's Skills, how to obtain them, and what they do here!
Switch Between Characters
One incredible mechanic of Ys 8's combat system is the ability to freely switch between your current party mid-combat, allowing you to quickly jump to a character who may possess Skills that have the Damage Type your current opponent is weak to or can safely dispatch them from a safe distance such as Hummel.
Furthermore, if your character of choice falls in combat, you can jump to another character and attempt to run away (if it isn't a boss encounter), finish the fight, or revive your fallen comrades. Another excellent way to use this mechanic is to mix Skills together from different party members. An example would be to launch an enemy in the air with Adol, then switch to Laxia and perform anti-air attacks to lay the damage on even thicker. This system has much potential, and we recommend experimenting with it any chance you get!
Try New Party Members
As touched on before, there are six playable characters in Ys 6: Lacrimosa of Dana, and they all possess unique playstyles and mechanics that it almost feels criminal to place some on the back burner. Like most JRPGS, it's easy to grow an attachment for certain characters and how they play, but we urge you to branch out and give everyone a fair shake.
Whether it's trying out Ricotta and her unique trap playstyle or Hummel and his incredible ranged game, you cannot go wrong with either of the cast, especially when all of them have fun Skills to mess around with that feel exhilarating to use. Whenever you encounter a new playable character, give them a whirl, you won't regret it!
Use Your EXTRA Gauge Wisely
The EXTRA Gauge acts as your Special Meter, allowing you to carry out a cinematic finishing move that deals excessive amounts of damage and looks incredibly cool. While it may be tempting to use your EXTRA Skill whenever it becomes available, it does take quite a bit of time to regenerate, so you may want to save it for boss encounters or extremely challenging enemies.
Also, we recommend never using it early in a boss encounter, as you never know if there are additional phases. There will almost always be a better time to use it in the fight anyways, so blowing it right out the gate is essentially always a bad idea. Use it when you need to or if it makes sense, instantly depleting it whenever you obtain it will come back and haunt you, especially in the later portions of the game.
Flash Tactics are another crucial mechanic in the game, as it allows you to perfectly time an Evade or Guard to gain a significant advantage in combat. There are two types of Flash Tactics in Ys 8. Let's review what they are below:
- Flash Move: Evade just before an incoming attack lands, slowing time, making you temporarily invincible, and granting you increased mobility, allowing you to land several uncontested attacks in a short window.
- Flash Guard: Block just before an incoming attack lands, slowing time, making you temporarily invincible, regenerating some of your SP and EXTRA Gauge, and making all attacks register a Critical Hit until the effect ends.
Both are useful in certain situations, but the Flash Move is far easier to land consistently, while Flash Guard is a bit harder to get the timing right on. Still, you can't go wrong with either, and we recommend getting used to both mechanics, as they will give you a tremendous helping hand in boss encounters or Raids.
Finally, we have Status Effects, which are helpful to understand for many reasons. The first is that you can equip pieces of Equipment or use specific Skills that inflict these Status Effects on your opponent. Knowing what they do can allow you to strategize what to do after successfully affecting your opponent with an Effect. And the other reason is that these Status Effects can be applied to you, and familiarizing yourself with what they do can save your life. Let's cover them:
- Poison: Gradually lose HP over a short period of time.
- Paralysis: Dramatically lowers movement speed and disables the ability to attack or jump.
- Darkness: Temporarily blurs your vision.
- Freeze: Halts your movement, disabling all actions for a brief moment.
- Burn: Rapidly lose HP over an extended period of time.
- Bleeding: Lowers Defense and Movement Speed, disables the ability to dash, and deals significant damage with a large burst.
Understanding what each of these Status Effects is capable of will allow you to steamroll your opponent and adequately prepare for specific situations if you take the surrounding area in as a large context clue. Never underestimate the power of Status Effects. They are powerful and deadly in the wrong – or right – hands.
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