The Let's Play Archive

The Last Remnant

by Stabbey_the_Clown

Part 4: i. Gameplay Mechanics: Tactical Situations

Gameplay Information

This might seem intimidating, and if so, don't worry about it. This is going to be a reference to a bunch of mechanics and features that will come up repeatedly.

i. Tactical Situations

Note: For these diagrams, allied unions are in shades of blue, and enemy unions are in shades of red. Dimmer shades are unions which are required in-place for the situation to happen.


A deadlock occurs when an allied union and an enemy union mutually target each other and meet. Each union can attack the other. This is the most common tactical situation.

Flank Attack

A flank attack occurs when a union is in a deadlock, and another union attacks one of the participants. The flanker can attack the target union without fear of reprisal, and gains a bonus to Morale and attack. It is possible to be flanked by two unions at once.

Interference and Interception

Interference is when an enemy union is targeting an allied union, but a second allied union succeeds in deadlocking it before the enemy union reaches it. It is called Interception when one of your unions targeting an enemy union is intercepted by a second enemy union. Once contact occurs, it is treated as a deadlock, and there is no attack bonus, although the intercepting side gets a Morale boost. The intercepted unit will perform the commands it was following on the intercepting unit.


A Raidlock is a one-turn surprise attack against a vulnerable union. They get an attack and Morale bonus. A Raidlock can be triggered in the following ways:

Raidlocks last until the end of the current turn, after which they become normal Deadlocks, but if another unit attacks a unit that is Raidlocked, it does additional damage.

Rear Assault

A Rear Assault occurs when a deadlocked union is flanked twice, and a fourth union attacks it. I think it can also happen if you break deadlock and are attacked by a unit positioned directly behind you based on the battlefield map orientation (hey, it’s actually used for something?).

(Another possibility – I am not entirely sure about this – if a union attempts to a flank attack on a unit which is in Raidlock. (Raidlock only lasts for the duration of a turn, after which it becomes a Deadlock, and for a rear assault to take place, the Raidlocking unit has to still be alive.) )

Unions performing a Rear Assault get a Morale boost, and a higher bonus to attack than flanking unions. This is a rare occurrence, as most of the time, piling several unions onto an enemy union will kill it before you can pile on a fourth or fifth union (and the rare unions that can survive that can typically perform a Multi-(union)-Deadlock.


Multi-Deadlock occurs when allied units are facing a particularly powerful (or just a particularly large) enemy union. That is often (but not always) an enemy boss union. The powerful union can deadlock multiple unions at the same time. It is able to attack each union deadlocked with it. Such powerful unions require more units attacking it to flank. If it can Multi-Deadlock 3 unions, you need to hit it with 4 before you can get a flank attack (there may possibly be an exception for specific battle commands). Only enemy unions can perform a Multi-Deadlock.

This can have an advantage for the player, though: as long as one union remains deadlocked with the powerful union, other unions can disengage from the powerful union without fear of getting Raidlocked by it. This can be used to rotate squads in and out for healing, although it’s not guaranteed, as you’ll still need to get battle commands that let you disengage. It also doesn’t help against AoE attacks that hit the field, which are common for multi-deadlocking unions to have.

Massive Strike

An extremely rare situation, which occurs when a union surrounded by four unions and at Rear Assault stage gets attacked by a fifth union. They receive a Morale boost, and a massive bonus to attack. Very rare because very few enemies can withstand being attacked four times, and those which can usually are capable of a Multi-Deadlock.

ii. Arts

These are the active skills you use in battle. There are three categories: Combat, Mystic, and Item.

Combat arts
These are your weapon skills. Some Combat Arts are shared for all weapon types under a category, but in addition to that, different weapons will get their own specific arts. All combat arts have unique animations. These are virtually all single-target attacks, but some high-level ones can affect more than one target. Mages should turn these off, obviously.

One-Handed (1H) are combat arts for using a one-handed weapon with one hand only. The second hand is either free or using a shield to block. These tend to be faster than power grip arts. These work with Swords, Katanas, Axes, and Maces.

Power Grip
Power Grip (PG) are combat arts for using a one-handed weapon with two hands. These tend to be stronger than one-handed arts. These work with Swords, Katanas, Axes, and Maces.

Two-Handed (2H) are combat arts for using a two-handed weapon. These tend to be slow, but powerful. They work with Staves and Spears.

Dual Wield
Dual Wield (DW) are combat arts for using a one-handed weapon in each hand. They tend to be slower than Power Grip arts, but stronger.

Combat Arts – Sovani-Specific
Sovani get exclusive combat arts to take advantage of their four arms. Only Sovani can use these, and they won’t use any of the ones above.

Dual Two-Handed
Dual Two-Handed (D2H) is wielding a pair of two-handed weapons.

Dual Power Grip
Dual Power Grip (DPG) is wielding a pair of one-handed weapons in the power grip style.

Quad Wield
Quad Wield (QW) is wielding four one-handed weapons, one in each hand.

Mystic Arts
Mystic Arts are your magic skills. There are a few subtypes, each with a specialized role.

Invocations (INV) are your Short-Range damage spells and status effects. Only two of them can be used at long range, outside of a deadlock. It also includes the Double Time buff, which increases a target’s speed, possibly letting them avoid getting Intercepted easier. They are required to get the Blackout and Crimson Flare Arcanas.

Remedies (REM) are the magical healing spells and debuff-clearers. They’re pretty good, and you’ll never risk running out of items, but they get the ability to revive K.O. unions very late. They are required to get the Rejuvenating Water Arcana.

Evocations (EVO) are your Long-Range damage spells. Only one of them cannot be used outside of a deadlock. They have lower damage than Invocations, but inflict more powerful status effects. They are required to get the Whiteout Arcana.

Hexes (HEX) are status-inflicting damage spells that hit entire unions. Some of the better ones can’t be resisted. They’re really good, and all but two can be used outside of Deadlock. In a fresh playthrough, Rush can’t learn them until late in the game. They are required to get the Animalcule Arcana.

Psionics (PSI) are mostly Morale-boosting spells. It doesn’t do little damage on its own, but having high morale is extremely good, so these are great… but it takes a while to get them/party members who can use them. They are required to get the Fatal Eclipse Arcana.

Wards (WRD) are protection spells. They can make a union immune to an attack for one hit, make them untargetable, or make them draw aggro. They’re another mid-late-game thing, though. Few party members can learn these. There is no associated Arcana.

Arcana (ARC) are special group-casting spells. They are automatically learned by an applicable leader once he and two other party members have the appropriate prerequisite spells and levels, and have enough AP to cast the Arcana. They’re extremely powerful arts that hit the entire battlefield.

Item Arts
Item Arts require items to use, obviously, and they come in several flavours. Some components are cheap, others are really expensive (unless you’re on New Game Plus!), and it can be hard to find shops that sell all of what you need. Some items simply are not available to buy until late. They have some good benefits though - they can’t be prevented by Silence or Paralyze status effects and have 0 AP cost to use.

Herbs (HRB) are the lowest level healing item. They’re cheap and common, and you will need these . They get early access to an ability to let you Revive KO’ed unions. They don’t heal much though, but you’ll want to use these just for reviving. The highest level item is actually an attack item, but you’ll probably never use Herbs enough to see it. Sold everywhere, but Athlum has the complete set of Herbs components.

Potions (POT) are stat buffs, and not that good. They can boost Strength, Intellect, Speed, Attack, Evasion by 15%, but you’ll probably find better uses for your AP. Celepalais has the complete set of Potions components.

Lotions (LOT) are full-union status-healing healing items, but the big problem is that lotions first level is an anti-poison one, and poison is rare and easily ignored, so getting this art to level up to gain access to more useful lotions is hard – even though the experience needed to upgrade Lotions is lower than anything else. Elysion has the complete set of Lotions components.

Explosives (EXP) are damage + status effect items, which are close-range only. They cost a lot, so aren’t that practical. They’re also trickier than usual for Rush to learn, as it’s done through a certain guild quest (acquire Dragon Egg * 3), instead of a formal sidequest. Balterossa has the complete set of Explosives components.

Traps (TRP) are debuff and morale-affecting items, but they’re a lot cheaper. Only one trap does damage. Some unique leaders (including a mandatory one) start out with these. Melphina has the complete set of Traps components.

Shards (SHD) are area-effect, multiple-union targeting effects. Rush can’t learn these until literally the second-last sidequest in the game. Even in New Game+ it’s tough because you can’t even buy these very expensive components until Disc 2. Nagapur has the complete set of Shards components.

iii. Classes

iii.1 - Classes: Overview

To put it simply, a character’s Class is determined by the actions they perform in battle. Classes give a bonus to certain stats and skills, and in some cases, can even let you use unique abilities. The basic Fighter’s benefit is +5% Max HP, for instance. Your class is basically determined by the way you play. If you use a lot of items, but basically no mystic arts, you’ll unlock a class which grants benefits to item usage. If you cast Hexes a lot, you’ll move into a class that grants a bonus to Hexes.

On your first time playing, don't particularly worry too much about your class.

There are three focus areas that determine the character’s class: Combat, Mystic, and Item, and combinations of those three (except Mystic + Item) can also determine the class. Mystic and Item arts are considered to be opposing when it comes to determining class. There is a set of conditions which are checked in order, which can be read on the wiki if you care - I wouldn't bother unless you're specifically trying to make Rush a certain class.

There are something like 45 possible classes, but a lot are uninteresting, and at times if a character’s growth changes enough, they can switch to a higher ranked class. It just happens, there’s no way to decline a switch, and control over switching classes is limited and finicky. In a clean save, Rush unlocks arts through the course of the game, so it can be a lot more difficult to move him towards a specific class. It’s much easier on a New Game Plus, with all the Mystic/Item Arts unlocked from the beginning.

Each class has a tier rating – there are seven tiers, and you can only change by moving to a higher tier class. A Marksman (Tier 3), can never move to any of the other Tier 3 classes. Class changes only happen once you reach specific values in STR or INT.

Most classes also have internal upgrades of the format: Classname -> Expert Classname -> Adept Classname -> Master Classname -> Lordly Classname -> Legendary Classname. Those have higher requirements to meet, but grant larger bonuses.

Upgrading and changing classes requires your Strength or Intelligence to reach certain values.
The criteria for changing classes first starts with your current class. You can only get from certain classes to others.

iii.2 - Classes: Leadership Skills

The most important thing certain classes do is to give you Leadership Skills that increase the chance of getting special battle commands. Not all classes can get these.

iii.3 - Classes: Class List

See the Arts list above for what the abbreviations mean.

Combat Classes

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Changing into one of these classes requires Strength to be the highest attribute and reach the specific value. There are hidden XP counters and levels for your weapons and the style you wield them in, and every combat class from Tier 3 and up requires you to have a dominant weapon or style. Of course, you can’t actually see what level your weapons or wield style is.

Mystic Classes

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Changing into one of these classes requires Intellect to be the highest attribute and reach the specific value. There are hidden XP counters and levels for your mystic arts. The highest one will determine which class you change into.

Mystic + Combat Classes

These are hybrid classes, and they start at the mid-tiers, obtained at Tier 4 at the earliest. Three of them are Sovani-exclusive, and the rest all require Mystics to be greater than Item arts.

Item Classes

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Note: The legend is different for these classes. Normally, I colour the bubbles based on the Mystic/Item focus, but all of these classes have an Item focus, so instead I coloured them based on whether they were considered Item-only or Item + Combat classes.

Item classes are distinctly less popular than other ones –mostly because they’re a lot less feasible to use, because of the requirements to maintain a supply of consumables. There’s only one class for each type of item art. There also is no ultimate Item class, although the Alchemist with its Shards is a good endpoint for Item users.

The Scout class is special (as is obvious by the tier-spanning bubble). It was a Tier 4 class on the XBox, but changed to be considered Tier 5 on the PC. However, it retains the STR/INT 41 requirement for a Tier 4 class, instead of requiring STR/INT 47 like the other Tier 5 classes. That makes Scout one of the easiest classes to change into, and one of the harder ones to change OUT of, making it obnoxious and potentially ruining your intended class progression. That's especially problematic on a fresh game.

Herbs are the significant item required for Scout, and Herbs are the only early game way to revive fallen unions mid-battle, and so they will likely become quite high quickly.

iii.4 - Classes: Changing Class

Since all class changes and upgrades have a stat requirement, the process for changing a class starts when Strength or Intellect reaches a certain level.

The wiki says this more clearly than I can, so I’ll just copy what it says.

“Last Remnant Wiki” posted:

Definition of Significant, Highest:

  • A stat (STR, INT) is considered significant if it's at least 12% greater than the other one.
  • A skill group is considered significant if the sum of its skills is higher than the average of the skill sums (ignoring the wield style group).
  • An individual skill is considered significant if it's higher than the average of the skills in its group.
  • An individual skill is considered highest in its group if it's at least as high as the highest one.

The first step in class changing is to satisfy the requirements for a class type. While these could be considered as actual class requirements, none of them have to be satisfied to change into a class with a type matching the current one, which makes them more of a requirement to change between class types. The requirements are checked in the order following; if any of them are met the evaluation stops there and the class type is determined, none of the other class types are even looked at. If none of these requirements are met the character cannot change class.

  • All Combat classes are checked. If the character qualifies for any, and his Strength is significant, Combat Type is picked.
  • All Mystic classes are checked. If the character qualifies for any, and his Intellect is significant, Mystic Type is picked.
  • All Combat classes are checked. If the character qualifies for any, and his only significant skill group is Weapons, Combat Type is picked.
  • All Item classes are checked. If the character qualifies for any, and Items are among his significant skill groups, Item Type is picked. Unlike the similar Combat and Mystic checks, this does not require both of the other skill groups to be insignificant.
  • All Mystic classes are checked. If the character qualifies for any, and his only significant skill group is Mystic, Mystic Type is picked.
  • All Mystic+Combat classes are checked. If the character qualifies for any, and has 2 significant skill groups with one of them being Mystic, Mystic+Combat Type is picked.
  • All Item+Combat classes are checked. If the character qualifies for any, and Items are among his significant skill groups, Item+Combat Type is picked. This is exactly the same requirement as that of the Item type classes.
  • Finally, classes of the same type as the current one are checked. There are no extra requirements here, if the character qualifies for any, the current Type is picked.