Sudeki | Gameplay | Combat
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Battles occur only in pre-set designated areas. If you re-enter these areas at any time, you may trigger another battle, either with a similar group of enemies, or different foes altogether. You will sometimes be spared a fight upon re-entering an area because some are determined by some unknown percent chance of combat, but others will see you fighting each and every time you enter the area, even if you just cleared it out, stepped over the threshold, and re-entered it 2 seconds later.
General Flow and A.I.
Once combat commences, the music will change to a more exciting theme, the sky may darken, your characters will draw their weapons, and monsters will start to appear. At this point, all controls switch to the battle configuration, your combo or ammo meter will appear in the bottom-left corner of the screen depending on which character is in the lead, and the Main Menu will no longer be available to you (though you can still pause the game by pressing Start).
The combat system in Sudeki is largely controlled by the game's A.I., or artificial intelligence. This means that any characters other than the one you're controlling directly will still participate fully in battle (sometimes performing better than if you were controlling them yourself). You can switch between any characters in your party at any time by pressing F2, and the computer A.I. will take over the previous character.
This allows for fast-paced, often chaotic combat with dozens of characters acting all at the same time over a large area. You will have to switch characters whenever you want to use a particular character's Skill Strikes, as these can only be activated by you, or when you want to heal anyone, as the A.I. only allows your allies to move, attack, and defend.
While you can exert no specific control over characters other than your lead at any particular time, you can adjust their A.I. settings to determine the overall slant of their actions. Open the Quick Menu and choose the rainbow-coloured brain icon to access the A.I. menu. Select the character you want to change and set them to one of the following 3 options:
Attack: The character will go after any nearby enemy and try to take them out. They will run after enemies if there aren't any nearby. Characters on this setting will still defend if surrounded and call for help if seriously injured.
Defend: On this setting, characters will attack monsters that threaten the lead character. So 'defend' refers to defending you, not themselves.
Retreat: Choose this to make characters avoid combat, running away from enemies whenever possible.
Just remember that even though the other characters can largely fend for themselves, it is still your responsibility as the player to keep the party alive and kicking. You can only heal characters through direct actions, either using special Skill Strikes or restorative items (which can be used on any character who needs it regardless of where they are on the field). To use a healing item on another character, however, you must select it from the Quick Menu. The Quick items programmed onto the Quick Menu will only be used on whoever your lead character is (unless it's a rare whole-party item). Remember, too, that player characters cannot harm each other, so feel free to unleash attacks around your allies without fear.
Combat in Sudeki can take one of 2 forms: Melee, (close-up) or Ranged, where attacking takes place from afar. Each character can engage only in one of these 2 forms of combat.
Tal and Buki are your melee fighters, Tal engaging the enemy with his sword and Buki with her claws. When controlling a melee fighter, the camera is in third-person mode, as it is for most of the non-combat game, allowing you full view of your character and their immediate surroundings.
Melee combat includes 3 types of attacks: vertical slashes, horizontal slashes, and spin attacks to knock over enemies surrounding you but without causing them much damage (one note: Buki seems to take longer to make this move and has a shorter radius of attack when she does, compared to Tal). In addition to single slashes, the player can also carry out a number of combos using the LEFT (1) and RIGHT (2) mouse button attacks. Entering combos depends on proper timing. Watch the combo meter in the lower left corner of the screen, and as each circle flashes, press the next button in the combo sequence. NOTE: Tal's combos require slightly slower button presses than Buki, so get used to the timing for each.
It is important to note that you can control your direction throughout a combo, meaning that you can target different enemies with each hit. Use this to your advantage when surrounded, or when a combo finishes off an enemy before the final strike.
2-2-1 Juggling Move 2
The most powerful combo. Excellent for quick counter attacks, and can be devastating if you press 1 repeatedly. You will use this combo most of the time because this is simply the most damaging combo.
2-2-2 Full Circle Attack
Very useful if you're surrounded by enemies. This will (most likely) hit multiple enemies at the same time because of its awesome circling range. It will knock enemies back and give them adequate damage at the same time.
2-1-1 Spinning Stun Attack
Probably the least damaging of all combos. The only reason to use this is to stun enemies, so you can chain another more damaging combo on them. Note that some enemies can't be stunned.
2-1-1 Charging Attack
Very useful if you need to "charge" an enemy, canceling enemies' moves as well as pushing them far behind while also giving them reasonable damage. Not as useful as the (2) (2) (1) combo though.
1-2-1 Spinning Air Attack
Considered the second most damaging combo, this gives the most amount of damage in one (final) strike although less than the combined damage of Juggling Move 2. This is very useful in the beginning of the game, as enemies are few and slow. The only drawback of this combo is it takes a long time to execute and enemies will most likely hit you first (canceling your combo).
1-1-1 Stabbing Attack
Just like its name. Useful for giving quick damage to enemies (for a counter attack, for example).
2-1-2 Slow Spin Attack
The third most damaging attack. It's faster than Spinning Air Attack combo, although still very slow, especially in the heat of battle. Extremely useful for Buki.
1-1-2 Juggling Move 1
It's not as strong as Juggling Move 2, and it has no real use in battle. It's not as slow as Spinning Air Attack, but it also gives less damage. It's a mediocre attack. With the juggling moves, you can repeat the final move in the sequence up to three times by pressing the last button repeatedly.
SCREENSHOT Keep an eye on the Combo Moves at the bottom left of the screen.
You can make melee fighters Tal and Buki hit enemies over and over by chaining Combo Moves together. Repeat pushing the attack button in rhythm when you have executed some combos and the character will keep swinging their weapon. Since you're in the thick of the fray in melee combat, you're almost always in a good position to unleash a furious Skill Strike on nearby enemies. It also means that you're highly vulnerable to enemy attacks, so watch out for what's going on around you and heal as necessary.
Ailish and Elco are your ranged fighters. Ailish fires blasts of magical energy from a variety of staffs, while Elco uses a collection of high-tech guns to dispatch foes. When controlling a ranged fighter, the camera shifts to first-person view.
You can control your movement in this view with the mouse. L/Click to fire your current weapon while doing so, holding it to fire continuously (if the weapon allows it). You can also use a pseudo-physical attack to clear surrounding enemies by pressing R (similar to in melee combat). It is also possible to scroll through your weapons using the Mouse Scroller.
Your firepower varies according to the weapon equipped. Each weapon also has a particular amount of ammo or number of times you can fire before you must reload. Reloads happen automatically once you're out of shots, and the time to reload varies by weapon. For both Ailish and Elco, the initial weapon has unlimited ammo and can be fired continuously, but is also fairly weak by comparison. Some weapons have area effects upon contact with a target, some can only hit enemies at closer range while others can shoot across the entire field, and some weapons' shots can pass straight through enemies to hit multiple targets in a line.
Attacking is all well and good, but you need to know how to defend yourself too to stay alive. The easiest way to do this is to keep pressing the SPACE bar and WASD direction buttons, dodging attacks before they connect with you. This will defend against most attacks, but powerful enemies will be able to break through your shield, so it's not always effective. And again, the R-sweep attack can clear surrounding enemies, giving you brief breathing space.
In ranged combat, you have no shield with which to defend yourself, so continuously moving around the field is your best option. Since you attack from a distance, you can stay away from any enemies while still contributing effectively to battle. Remember that ranged fighters also have use of the sweep attack, so press R if monsters are getting too close. It is especially important to keep moving while a weapon is recharging, since you're vulnerable during that period.
Skill Strikes are powerful attacks that you can use anytime in battle. These attacks are powerful, but they cost SP (Skill Points) to use them. Each skill strike has different power and range, such as poisoning enemies or boosting your own attack. Needless to say, skill strikes are very useful in battle. It can turn the tide of battle into your own favour. You learn them by spending advancement point when you level up.
SCREENSHOT Two of Tal's Skill Strikes
To activate a Skill Strike, open the Quick Menu during combat by pressing Q. The action all around you will slow down to a crawl, giving you a moment to make your selection from the Skill Strike menu (you don't have forever, though, so make up your mind quickly). Performing a Skill Strike requires that you have enough SP. If you don't, restore it by using restorative items, or sleeping at an inn between battles (there are also some weapon runes that will restore your SP as you cause damage to enemies). You will also be unable to perform a Skill Strike if your character is 'not ready', meaning that they are busy recovering from being hit or are otherwise engaged in a certain action.
Once you have selected a Skill Strike, you will see your character in third-person view with a coloured zone indicating the area of effect of that skill. The area will gradually fill with brighter colour, and once it is full, the skill will be activated. This gives you a little bit of time to aim or move yourself into an ideal position to ensure the maximum effect from the strike. You are invulnerable while the skill is charging in this manner.
If at any point you find that your Skill Strikes are not as effective as you would like, one option is to boost your Essence after levelling up and earning advancement points. Each character's essence score determines the strength of their Skill Strikes, either through the amount of damage they cause or the amount of time that the status-boosting skills last.
You gain Spirit Strikes throughout the story (they are given to you as opposed to you "buying" them in the Advancement Menu – like Skill Strikes). You need Special SSP (Spirit Strikes Point) to use them. This bar will fill up slowly, so it's best to use them in hard battles, or in boss battles.
SCREENSHOT Make sure you have enough SSP to use your Spirit Strikes (the Gold Bar on the left)
The SSP Level is shared by the entire party, and is gained by engaging in combat, damaging monsters and taking damage yourself. Your party's max SSP is 200. Damaging Spirit Strikes consume 200 points, while status Spirit Strikes only use 100. The SSP meter is the curving sliver along the left edge of the lead character's icon in the bottom right corner of the screen. It fills with silver to reach 100 SSP, then again with gold to reach 200 SSP.
SCREENSHOT Tal's "Sword of Ashuran" Spirit Strike
In combat, there are 2 ways to use restorative items.
1. You can use those already mapped to the Quick menu (F1-4). This has to be set up in the Main Menu between battles. Quick items are also only used on the current lead character
2. The other way is to open the Quick Menu, and quickly choose the desired item from the list, then the character to use it on (only those who can benefit from the item will be listed). You cannot use items from the Quick Menu if you are busy recovering from being hit or otherwise engaged in another action.
SCREENSHOT Already mapped items in the Quick Menu
There are several positive and negative status effects that can be applied to either player characters or enemies. When a status effect is in play, its corresponding icon will appear over your character's icon in the bottom right corner of the screen, or over an enemy's health bar. Most positive status effects will also be indicated by a glowing ring at the character's feet. The statuses are as follows:
Boost (Red heart) - Doubles physical damage caused with regular attacks.
Haste (Yellow up arrow) - Increase speed of movement.
Protect (Blue shield) - Decrease damage received from all attacks.
Regen (Green drop) - Gradually gain HP over time.
Weaken (Broken heart) - Halves damage caused to others with regular attacks.
Slow (Purple down arrow) - Reduce speed of movement.
Curse (Broken green shield) - Doubles damage received.
Poison (Green bottle) - Gradually deplete HP over time.
Freeze (Snowflake) - Unable to move for short time and very vulnerable to attacks.
SCREENSHOT Your characters can be affected by Status Effects like Boost or Poison. Special Effects appear around the feet of your character when this happens, and a small icon will appear on your health bar.
All statuses vanish at the end of battle, some will fade on their own even while battle is still going on. You can also remove negative statuses by using special items (Panaceas), or by using certain Skill Strikes.
It is also possible for player and enemy characters to possess innate defence against specific negative statuses. For your party, this is achieved through inscribing special runes onto your armour. For enemies, this is an inherent quality. The statuses that each monster is resistant to will be listed in their entry in the Monster Compendium, viewable through the Main Menu. When a player or enemy attempts to invoke a negative status on a character that is immune to it, a black shadow of that symbol will appear (in the same location that active status effects do), indicating that resistance. Continued attempts to inflict that status will be pointless. You can also gain temporary resistance to a particular status by curing yourself of it using a Panacea or special Skill Strikes.
SCREENSHOT Some Skill Attacks and Items grant PCs immunity to Status Effects like Poison or Weaken. When a PC is immune to a Status Effect, a black and white icon appears on the health bar above the character's head.
Experience & Rewards
For each enemy killed, the team is rewarded with a certain number of experience points. Combined with experience gained in completing quests, this is how characters grow and advance in their abilities. All characters in the party gain experience for enemies killed by any character. In addition to experience points, some monsters leave behind treasure when defeated. You must then walk over the dropped item to collect it (this often happens automatically as you are killing them in melee combat). These prizes can be either valuable items for trade, or consumable restorative items. Items can be picked up after the end of battle too, once your fighters have sheathed their weapons, but if you wait too long the items will vanish.
General Battle Strategy
It's good to rely heavily on ranged fighters and SP absorbing tactics, and Status-Supporting Skills, Elco's Nano-Enchancement in particular, casting them in almost every battle. This is a super effective strategy that will dispatch enemies as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Your equipment consists of weapons and armors (only). Unlike any other RPG, you won't be able to buy this equipment in shops (except for a few weapons at Kamo's). You can find weapons lying all over the world in chests, while armors will be given to you automatically as you progress through the story. In short, you don't need to worry about buying weapons and armors.
Upgrading Weapons & Armour
There are special blacksmith stores in cities and towns all over Sudeki (there are no travelling blacksmiths!). Blacksmith stores will sell the same kind of things all over Sudeki, so there's no point in shopping around as all of them have the same to offer.
Your weapons and armours come with a (or some) slots, which we can place various "Runes" in them. There are a lot of runes, and every one of them has different powers. At the start of the game, you will find a small number of runes, and you will get various runes as you progress through the story. You can engrave these runes in a blacksmith store for a price once you have received it. This is the idea of "buying" weapons and armours in Sudeki.
Weapons can be obtained in a variety of ways, i.e. found in obvious or hidden chests, or given out as rewards for different side-quests. Each weapon has its own strengths and weaknesses, but all can be upgraded to some degree. Visit any blacksmith to inscribe either a square rune (basic, available at start of game) or a circular rune (advanced, acquired throughout the game) on a weapon with the appropriate type of rune slot.
The best and ultimate weapons for Tal and Buki are, of course, their own ultimate weapons, Staeysekin and Runic Blade. For Ailish and Elco, this is a different story. Ailish's and Elco's ultimate weapons are a matter of opinion. The best weapons for them are Wizard wood Staff and Ion Fluxinator.
The main reason for this is their attack patterns. Wizard wood Staff and Ion Fluxinator both have the same attack pattern: a lightning beam attack that can pierce multiple enemies, executed at the speed of light. This is considered to be the best attack pattern in the game:
Maximum Rune Settings
Tal's Runic Blade
1. Jagged Edged
2. Soul Seeker
3. Soul Seeker
This setting gives Tal a high base power, as well as a chance to inflict a critical hit, once every two attacks.
Ailish's Wizardwood Staff
1. Razor edged
2. Spirit bite
Ailish's Night shadow
1. Jagged Edged
2. Jagged Edged
3. Spirit Bite
This setting allows Ailish to recover her SP in battle, allowing her to cast more powerful Skill Strikes in return. The high base power and the high rate of fire will fill her SP bar in no time.
1. Jagged Edged
2. Jagged Edged
3. Soul Seeker
With a high critical rate from the start, this setting will boost Buki's base power, and at the same time giving her an even higher chance of inflicting critical attacks, once every two attack.
Elco's Plasma Launcher
1. Jagged Edged
2. Jagged Edged
3. Spirit Bite
Similar to Ailish, this setting allows Elco to recover his SP, allowing him to cast Nano-Enchancement, boosting party's attack powers, and giving double damage in return.
Elco's Ion Fluxinator
1. Razor edged
2. Spirit bite