Welcome back to part 3 of my look at Resonance of Fate, I'll be putting the links for the previous entries at the bottom of this one. In part 2 I talked about how attacking works and for this part I'm going to finish my talk about combat with a look at heroic actions.
The first mechanic I need to talk about is the hero gauge; the gauge is made up of bezel gems with each gem representing one point. This bar is very important to your survival in RoF as it affects both offense and defense.
Let's look at defense first, as mentioned in previous entries each member of your party has their own health bar. When someone is attacked they will take scratch damage and if it fills up their health bar it will cause your gems to break. Each gem is worth 1000 health points and you will lose enough gems to restore your characters health bar (for example if the person has 3500 health then you will lose 4 gems). The shards will appear on the field and can be picked up by enemies to boost their defenses.
You can pick up the shards which when you perform specific actions (I'll talk about later on) it will allow you to restore your gems .If you lose all your gems during combat you'll enter a critical condition, in this state all damage taken will be direct and everyone's defensive and offensive abilities will be drastically weaken. If one party member's health hits zero it's game over.
Besides saving them for defense you can use your hero gauge to perform heroic actions. A heroic action allows you to pick a point on the map that the character will run towards. While they are running they can attack anyone they want as many times as they are traveling the predefined path. You can also have the member jump into the air and attack while traveling which not only looks bad-ass but also affects your targeting.
While you are attacking from the air, your attacks will hit every part of the enemy, from their defenses to their main bar. This can be handy when you have an enemy who has a completely overlapped main bar but is blocking it from attack with its remaining defenses. When you are running you will only hit the side of the enemy that you are facing.
As mentioned from the last entry you have a chance at knocking enemies into the air while attacking and during a heroic action if the enemy gets knocked into the air you have two special actions you can perform. If you keep attacking from the ground you have a chance at getting a bonus shot, a roulette wheel will appear with a yellow section, if the pointer falls on the yellow section you'll get an extra attack that will allow you to charge up several levels more than your max.
You can also jump into the air and attack an airborne enemy, this will give you a knockdown, in which the enemy slams into the ground, taking extra damage and has a chance at dropping more items. Hilarity ensues when you start repeatedly slamming the enemy into the ground, watching it bounce back up and repeating the process all the while items are dropping out of it.
The last use of the hero gauge is in the form of the strongest attack known as the "tri attack". This is where all three characters perform a heroic action at the same time on the same enemy. This is a bit tricky to pull off; first a character must perform a heroic action whose path intersects between the other two characters which gives you a resonance point. If you perform any other action (including attacking) other than a heroic action between the other two characters you lose your points. When you are ready you can initiate the tri attack, allowing you to attack an enemy that is between each member of your party (in a shape of a triangle).
Each resonance point you have will allow your party members to keep moving between the three points of the triangle, when used properly this can be devastating to enemies however you'll have to use up most of your hero gauge to make the attack worthwhile.
Now that we talked about its use we can talk about how to recover the hero gauge. First finishing a battle will restore health and the gauge back to max which is the simplest way. Next causing a gauge on an enemy to break will restore one gem and this affect can be multiplied if you go through several bars in one attack. Finishing off an enemy will also restore a gem.
If you play your cards right you can use a gem for a heroic action and use the ensuing damage to restore the gem. During longer fights with bosses or multiple enemies being able to keep restoring your hero gauge is vital, especially when the enemies are strong enough to cause your gems to break.
One final aspect of the hero gauge I want to talk about before moving on is increasing it. At the start of the game you'll have a total of three gems. Every time you beat a boss you'll get a quarter of a new gem, get four quarters and your bar will go up by one. On the map you can find dangerous encounters which I'll talk about in part four, sometimes as rewards for winning them you'll get a shard as well.
To finish up this part there are a few more aspects of combat that I want to talk about. First is dual wielding, as an option you can equip two of the same types of guns to one person giving you the ability to dual wield.When you do this the person will effectively attack twice in a single turn which can be overpowered if you equip two SMGs. However double the guns means double the weight and with each gun's base weight being around 250- 300 points without modifications on them; you will not be able to do this early on. The first time I was about to try this out was when my party members were around max level 33.
The cost of this of course is not being able to equip secondary equipment limiting your options in combat. Later on in the game you will definitely need someone to provide healing and aliment support.
Aliments unlike in most JRPGS are incredibly powerful in RoF. The good news is that aliments don't persist after combat; the bad news is that it allowed the designers to make them really dangerous. A few nasty ones I've ran into include being set on fire, which causes continuous scratch damage. Shocked, which causes your movement and charge speed to be reduced to a snail's pace. Frozen, which causes you to become immobilized preventing attacking, healing and moving. Trust me the first time you run into a boss that can freeze you, it will kick your ass.
It's not all gloom and doom as you can inflict aliments on enemies as well. Certain specialty rounds have a chance at causing an aliment along with certain grenade type weapons. This can be a great tactic for evening the odds during a boss fight or when dealing with a huge group of enemies.
You can also equip accessories that reduce the chance of specific aliments from happening which is required for your first trip to an ice area. Some accessories will also increase your resistance to damage and if you are really lucky you can find some accessories that can make you almost immune to an ailment.
With two parts dedicated to combat I think I got everything covered on that regard. For part 4 I'll be talking about the world map along with the use of shops. Finally part 5 will be advanced tips and my overall opinion of RoF.
Links to previous parts: