This page explains the basics of the battle system in Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamer’s Edition. If you need help understanding the battle system, we’ve got you covered!
Similar to other games of its era, Chrono Cross features turn-based RPG combat. However, it has its own spin on things, while adding several layers on top.
Right from the start, even attacking “normally” is probably more complex than you’d expect.
When you select the “Attack” option, you can choose from 3 levels of attacks:
- 1 (weak)
- 2 (strong)
- 3 (fierce)
The higher level the attack, the more damage it deals to the enemy. But conversely, the lower the hit rate–the chance of your attacking landing.
After performing an attack, the character will consume Stamina equal to the level of the attack (so 3 for a fierce attack).
Chain of Attacks
After choosing an attack, if the character has remaining Stamina, you can choose another attack, until you reach 0 Stamina. This is called a chain of attacks.
Characters have a maximum of 7 Stamina. So you could perform 7 weak attacks, for instance (although, for the record, this generally isn’t that efficient).
Another thing: Each time an attack successfully strikes the foe during a chain of attacks, the hit rate for all attacks will slightly increase. The game recommends chaining a weak, strong and fierce attack in that order; in most cases, this is a good guideline to follow.
Once the character reaches 0 Stamina, their turn will automatically end. Otherwise, you can prematurely end their turn (and save Stamina) by choosing “Defend”.
The second option during battle is “Element” (the same option will also appear at the bottom, when choosing “Attack”).
Elements is this game’s version of magic spells and consumable items bundled in one.
To use an Element, an Element must first be allocated to a character’s Element Grid–in other words, it must be equipped.
During battles, using standard attacks will increase your character’s Elemental Power Level (shown as “Level”). The Level starts at 0 and increases for each standard attack used, the amount equivalent to the standard attack’s level (eg. 3 for strong attacks).
After increasing the Elemental Power Level, you can use any Element from the Element Grid up to that Level. For example, if the character’s Elemental Power Level is 4, you can use any Element from the Level 1, 2, 3 or 4 positions.
After using that Element, the character’s Elemental Power Level will be subtracted by the Element’s position value. Eg. Using an Element in the Level 4 position will bring you from Level 4 to 0 again.
It always costs 7 Stamina to use an Element–and thus immediately ends the character’s turn.
Against tougher enemies, defending is often a wise maneuver, especially if your character is low on HP or you predict a powerful attack coming. Doing so will reduce incoming damage by 50%, while regaining Stamina.
When things are going downhill, there’s one more thing you could consider: running away. As they say, live to fight another day! Running away has a 100% success rate–and, unlike most RPGs, you can even run from bosses!