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Crisis Level is a hidden condition in Final Fantasy VIII used to determine how often a character's Limit Break will appear, as well as different damage outputs, additional statuses, and more options for the Limit Breaks. The Crisis Level is invisible to the player, but is used in the game's coding to determine the outcomes of the characters' Limit Breaks, as well as the chances for the summon Odin's appearance.

Crisis Level is achieved by having a character in HP Critical status (having a character's HP lower than 32% of their max HP, though for Seifer, he must be lower than 84% of his max HP). There are four levels of Crisis Level, and aside from current HP, various statuses also factor into determining what a character's Crisis Level is.

Crisis LevelEdit

How to calculate a character's Limit Level:

$HPMod = 2500 * CurrentHP / MaxHP$[1]
$DeathBonus = DeadCharacters * 200 + 1600$
$StatusBonus = StatusSum * 10$
$RandomMod = [0..255] + 160$
$LimitLevel = (StatusBonus + DeathBonus - HPMod) / RandomMod$

If (LimitLevel > 4) Limit Break can be used. This is recalculated every time a character's turn comes up, so, assuming it is possible for a character to use Limit Break, the player can repeatedly skip the character's turn until the command appears.

Seifer is a temporary character and uses a different HPMod:

$HPMod = 1000 * CurrentHP / MaxHP$[1]

Each status effect has a certain value. The StatusSum variable is the sum of all statuses in effect.

By being under the effects of Aura, the character can easily reach the limit without being in critical health.

The Limit Level is used to determine the Crisis Level that affects the move's potential strength.

Limit Level to Crisis Level conversion:

Limit Level Crisis Level
4 or lower 0
5 1
6 2
7 3
8 or higher 4
[1]

A higher Crisis Level means the character's Limit Break is in some way enhanced. A character needs at least Crisis Level 1 to use a Limit Break. It is easy to reach the highest Crisis Level with the Aura spell, as a character only needs to be at 11.2% of their maximum HP and under Aura status to reach Crisis Level 4 100% of the time. Without Aura, a character with 10% HP has only a 3% chance to get Crisis Level 4. While this is effective, in the end it is a risky decision as the character can easily be KO'd.

Crisis Level doesn't affect temporary characters' (Seifer, Laguna, Kiros, Ward, Edea) Limit Breaks' strength; their Limit Breaks use a fixed damage calculation instead.

The following lists the differences in each character's Limit Break:

Squall LeonhartEdit

The Crisis Level affects the number of hits in Squall's Renzokuken and the chance to perform a finishing blow.

Crisis Level Renzokuken Hits
1 4
2 5
3 6
4 7
[1]

In addition, there is a 50% chance to perform an additional Renzokuken hit at the end, making the maximum possible amount of hits eight. Certain enemies, such as Jumbo Cactuar and Ultima Weapon, have special Renzokuken sequences that are unaffected by Crisis Level. During a special Renzokuken sequence the triggers' timing is different from the regular Renzokuken sequence.

After the Renzokuken sequence there's a chance to perform a finishing blow:

$Chance \% = (CL * 60 + 1) / 256 * 100$[1]

Meaning, there's a (CrisisLevel * ~23.4%) chance to perform a finishing blow. Which finishing blow is used is not affected by Crisis Level, but rather has a fixed chance of occurring depending on which weapon Squall has equipped.

Rinoa HeartillyEdit

The Limit Break used with Combine varies depending on Rinoa's Crisis Level. If Rinoa has not yet learned an ability on the list, it will automatically go to the next highest ability. For example, to increase the chance of getting Wishing Star, Rinoa should not learn Angelo Strike or Invincible Moon.

• Crisis Level 1: Angelo Cannon[1]
• Crisis Level 2: Angelo Strike
• Crisis Level 3: Invincible Moon
• Crisis Level 4: Wishing Star

Zell DinchtEdit

The amount of time Zell has in his Limit Break Duel varies on his Crisis Level:

• Crisis Level 1: 4.66 seconds (Always starts with Punch Rush)[1]
• Crisis Level 2: 6.66 seconds (Always starts with Punch Rush)
• Crisis Level 3: 9.33 seconds (Always starts with Booya)
• Crisis Level 4: 12 seconds (Always starts with Booya)

Selphie TilmittEdit

The higher the Crisis Level Selphie is in, the more rare spells appear in her Slots and the amount of spell castings will become three castings more often. The game data contains different spellsets which are graded to higher level and lower level spellsets. The spells in the higher sets are more powerful. The Crisis Level affects the chance Selphie's Slots will select a high level spellset.

See here for a more thorough explanation on Selphie's Slots mechanics

Irvine KinneasEdit

The higher the Crisis Level Irvine is in, the more time Irvine has to fire off Shots.

• Crisis Level 1: 8 seconds [1]
• Crisis Level 2: 12 seconds
• Crisis Level 3: 20 seconds
• Crisis Level 4: 26.6 seconds

Quistis TrepeEdit

Crisis Level is the biggest factor for Quistis's Limit Breaks, as several of the more powerful spells she has will only be potent if she is at Crisis Level 4. Below is the list of Blue Magic and their corresponding effects with Crisis Level:[1]

Spell Attack Power Effect
Laser Eye Crisis Lv 1: 40
Crisis Lv 2: 48
Crisis Lv 3: 58
Crisis Lv 4: 64
Non-elemental damage to one enemy.
Ultra Waves Crisis Lv 1: 27
Crisis Lv 2: 33
Crisis Lv 3: 40
Crisis Lv 4: 48
Non-elemental damage to all enemies.
Electrocute Crisis Lv 1: 30
Crisis Lv 2: 36
Crisis Lv 3: 44
Crisis Lv 4: 50
Lightning-elemental damage to all enemies.
Lv? Death Crisis Lv 1: LV4 Death
Crisis Lv 2: LV3 Death
Crisis Lv 3: LV2 Death
Crisis Lv 4: LV1 Death
Inflicts Instant Death on all enemies whose levels are are multiple of X. X is equal to the current LV of the Crisis Level Death spell.
Degenerator Instantly kills enemy, but fails on Grat, Vysage, Lefty, Righty, Cactuar, Tonberry, Esthar Soldier (Terminator), UFO?, PuPu and most bosses.
Aqua Breath Crisis Lv 1: 50
Crisis Lv 2: 70
Crisis Lv 3: 80
Crisis Lv 4: 100
Water-elemental damage to all enemies.
Micro Missile Crisis Lv 1: 50% HP
Crisis Lv 2: 75% HP
Crisis Lv 3: 87.5% HP
Crisis Lv 4: 93.75% HP
Inflicts gravity-elemental damage on one enemy.
Acid Crisis Lv 1: 30
Crisis Lv 2: 38
Crisis Lv 3: 44
Crisis Lv 4: 52
Crisis Lv 1: Poison
Crisis Lv 2: Poison, Blind
Crisis Lv 3: Poison, Blind, Silence, Vit 0
Crisis Lv 4: Poison, Blind, Silence, Vit 0, Petrify
Gatling Gun Crisis Lv 1: 60
Crisis Lv 2: 80
Crisis Lv 3: 100
Crisis Lv 4: 120
Non-elemental damage to one enemy. Also is the only physical spell in Quistis's arsenal.
Fire Breath Crisis Lv 1: 70
Crisis Lv 2: 90
Crisis Lv 3: 100
Crisis Lv 4: 120
Fire-elemental damage to all enemies.
Bad Breath Crisis Lv 1: Poison, Blind, Silence, Sleep, Confuse, Slow
Crisis Lv 2: Poison, Blind, Silence, Sleep, Confuse, Slow, Berserk, Stop, Gradual Petrify
Crisis Lv 3: Poison, Blind, Silence, Sleep, Confuse, Slow, Berserk, Stop, Gradual Petrify, Petrify, Zombie
Crisis Lv 4: Poison, Blind, Silence, Sleep, Confuse, Slow, Berserk, Stop, Gradual Petrify, Petrify, Zombie, Vit 0, Doom, Death
Various negative status effects on all enemies.
White Wind Restores HP equal to Quistis's Max HP - Current HP.
Homing Laser Crisis Lv 1: 100
Crisis Lv 2: 150
Crisis Lv 3: 200
Crisis Lv 4: 250
Non-elemental damage to one enemy.
Mighty Guard Crisis Lv 1: Protect, Shell
Crisis Lv 2: Protect, Shell, Regen, Float, Haste
Crisis Lv 3: Protect, Shell, Regen, Float, Haste, Aura
Crisis Lv 4: Protect, Shell, Regen, Float, Haste, Aura
Various positive status effects on all party members.
Ray Bomb Crisis Lv 1: 80
Crisis Lv 2: 90
Crisis Lv 3: 100
Crisis Lv 4: 110
Non-elemental damage to all enemies.
Shockwave Pulsar Crisis Lv 1: 150
Crisis Lv 2: 200
Crisis Lv 3: 200
Crisis Lv 4: 250
Non-elemental damage to all enemies. This spell ignores 9,999 damage limit, dealing up to ~34,000 HP damage.