When using Duel groups of button sequences appear on the screen and as many as possible must be input in the allotted time. The time given depends on the crisis level and varies between 4 and 12 seconds.
Zell has four finishing moves that can be input after a set combination of normal moves are used. Extra moves and finishers are learned by reading the Combat King magazines found in various places, although the abilities can be used before being unlocked, but they will not appear as an option. Several of the moves are reminiscent of Tifa's Limit moves in Final Fantasy VII, such as Dolphin Blow, Punch Rush, Meteor Strike and her ultimate limit, Final Heaven. Executing a finishing move ends the Duel prematurely, and are thus best saved as the final input command before the time expires.
Each attack, particularly the finishing moves, can deal heavy damage and are not stunted by elemental resistance as they are normal physical attacks. All moves register as one hit, and none can exceed the damage limit of 9,999, including finishers. Every hit has a chance to critical, but the target's Protect status halves the damage.
The amount of time Zell has in his Duel depends on his Crisis Level:
- Crisis Level 1: 4.66 seconds (Always starts with Punch Rush)
- 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)
|Name||Atk Pwr||Description||Unlock Condition||Button Sequence|
|Punch Rush||16||Zell unleashes a fierce four hit series of punches. Inflicts physical damage on one opponent.||None|
|Booya||18||Zell steadily stalls and wavers back, before performing a mighty headbutt. Inflicts physical damage on one opponent. More powerful than Punch Rush.||None|
|Heel Drop||20||Zell steadily focuses on his opponent, before performing a dropping heel kick. Inflicts physical damage on one opponent. More powerful than Booya.||None|
|Mach Kick||24||Zell focuses himself, before striking the opponent with a quick roundhouse kick. Inflicts physical damage on one opponent. More powerful than Heel Drop.||None|
|Dolphin Blow||28||Zell focuses for a bit, before unleashing a sudden marine themed uppercut. Inflicts physical damage on one opponent. More powerful than Mach Kick.||Read Combat King 001|
|Meteor Strike||N/A||Zell hoists and lifts the opponent over his head, before making a giant vertical leap to land a powerful piledriver. Inflicts damage equal to 25% of the target's current HP on one opponent, but is still considered a physical move. Capped at 9,999 damage.||Read Combat King 002|
|Burning Rave||48||Zell unleashes his energy in a mighty flaming aura, before punching the ground with his fist, creating an energy wave that erupts and explodes the battlefield. Inflicts physical damage on all opponents. Finishing move.||None|
|Meteor Barret||52||Zell jumps into the air and charges his fists with energy, before launching himself forward into a flying punch that engulfs the opponent in an explosion. Inflicts heavy physical damage on one opponent. Finishing move.||Read Combat King 003|
|Different Beat||72||Zell speeds onto the target, before making a myriad series of flipkicks into the sky, and finishes off the opponent with a crushing flying energy kick. Inflicts heavy physical damage on one opponent. More powerful than Meteor Barret. Finishing move.||Read Combat King 004|
|My Final Heaven||50||Consumed with fighting spirit, Zell calmly focuses himself, before concentrating his spirit into his fist, making a larger than life dash across the world and returns to the battlefield, unleashing an energy blast that consumes all opposition. Inflicts physical damage on all opponents. More powerful than Burning Rave. Finishing move.||Read Combat King 005|
Finishing move prerequisitesEdit
For a finishing move to appear in the list of button sequences, one must first complete a series of normal moves. Below is a list of prerequisite moves needed for the finishing moves (shown in bold) to appear.
- Punch Rush → Mach Kick → Punch Rush → Heel Drop → Burning Rave
- Punch Rush → Mach Kick → Punch Rush → Meteor Strike → Burning Rave
- Booya → Heel Drop → Meteor Strike → Booya → Burning Rave
- Punch Rush → Dolphin Blow → Meteor Barret
- Booya → Meteor Strike → Dolphin Blow → Mach Kick → Meteor Barret
- Booya → Heel Drop → Mach Kick → Heel Drop → Booya → Punch Rush → Mach Kick → Meteor Barret
- Punch Rush → Booya → Meteor Strike → Booya → Different Beat
- Punch Rush → Booya → Heel Drop → Mach Kick → Heel Drop → Booya → Different Beat
- Punch Rush → Booya → Heel Drop → Meteor Strike → My Final Heaven
- Punch Rush → Booya → Heel Drop → Mach Kick → Punch Rush → My Final Heaven
The most effective way to use Zell's Duel is to do a technique dubbed by fans as "Armageddon Fist." To perform this technique, the player must constantly input Zell's two weakest moves in rapid succession (Punch Rush ↔ Booya or Booya ↔ Heel Drop). It only takes fractions of seconds to input each command, and with the proper stats each move does around 5000 HP damage, critical hits reaching the 9,999 damage cap. With great concentration the player should be able to input these commands at or around 0.10 seconds (on the game timer).
With Duel lasting a minimum of four seconds and at maximum twelve seconds, the damage potential surpasses any other attack or combo in the game. If during a twelve-second round the player were to input every command at or around 0.10 seconds and Zell were to average a critical hit once every 5 attacks, under ideal conditions (Zell's Strength at 255 and the enemy's Defense at 0 from Vit 0) this strategy could yield roughly 720,000 points of damage, enough to kill any enemy save for Omega Weapon in one round. With enough luck to land critical hits more frequently, even Omega Weapon can be killed instantly by this strategy.
Not only is this hard to pull off, it depends on Vit 0, making it less effective on normal encounters and early game. Punch Rush, Booya, and Heel Drop are weak and do less than half the damage of a Renzokuken hit and roughly 1/10 the damage of Renzokuken's Lion Heart finisher if damage cap isn't an issue. With most players and under most conditions, even with Vit 0 this will usually be weaker than Lion Heart but stronger than Renzokuken due to Lion Heart's randomness.
Zell's Limit Break command is called Fight in the PlayStation version demo of Final Fantasy VIII. It doesn't involve player input and only includes Meteor Barret, although the animation is slightly different than in the final game. In the demo the chance to use Limit Breaks sometimes appears even when Zell isn't on low health, although the chance is small.
Some of Zell's Duel moves appear in Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade.
Zell uses his Duels in Final Fantasy Record Keeper.