The following article is based on a subject that has not been officially named in any official Square Enix material; the current title is merely a placeholder. Full ATB skills, also known as Unparalleled Attacks, are attacks used in Final Fantasy XIII and its sequel Final Fantasy XIII-2. They are akin to Limit Breaks in other Final Fantasy series games.
Each member of the main party has a unique attack, which requires the use of the whole ATB bar. These attacks all deal extreme damage or multiple strikes. To perform these moves, the player must manually select them during the battle, as the A.I.-controlled battle members will never use them and auto-battle will not select them.
All full ATB skills have a special effect against staggered enemies. They ignore target's type-based defense, meaning even enemies that are immune to physical/magical damage can still be damaged by full ATB skills. This also means status effects like Deprotect and Deshell have no effect on the sustained damage.
If used against a staggered target, the target's stagger status can't end before the full ATB skill's animation has finished. Even if the enemy's stagger gauge depletes during the full ATB skill execution, its stagger status will not end until after the skill has been completed and during this time allies will also be able to continue dealing damage to the enemy. Even if the enemy has all of its HP depleted by the full ATB skill execution, it will still hang on with 1 HP, no matter how much damage it takes until the animation for the move is complete.
Full ATB attacks are unlocked at Crystarium Stage 9, after the final boss of Chapter 11. When executed, a stream of golden watery effect will run along the top and bottom rims of the screen. A full ATB skill is technically not a "Limit Break" in the traditional sense of the term, but like a Limit Break, it deals massive damage and is a character-specific skill.
List of SkillsEdit
Army of OneEdit
I control my fate!
Army of One (シーンドライブ, Shīn Doraibu?, lit. Scene Drive) is Lightning's full ATB skill. It is part of her Ravager Crystarium tree, and deals eleven hits of physical damage against a single opponent. The game calculates every hit separately, meaning if Lightning is equipping the Random: Instant Chain passive ability, it has eleven chances to trigger. This also means that if Lightning has the Attack: ATB Charge ability, her ATB gauge will get charged eleven times, giving an extra 1.1 ATB segments with the basic ability, or 2.2 segments with Attack: ATB Charge II. When used against a staggered foe its ability to accumulate chain bonus is boosted and it can very quickly fill the enemy's gauge to 999.9%.
The attack manifests as several fast strikes from Lightning's gunblade, as well as heavy kicks. If this move is performed midair, it has the same appearance as a ground attack, meaning Lightning lands midair and also pushes off the air for her back-flip.
Army of One is a physical attack that uses Lightning's Strength stat to calculate damage. Army of One ignores physical resistance, but also ignores physical weaknesses; it will deal 100% damage whether it is resistant, normal, or weakness. Army of One can be affected by Commando bonus, Bravery/Bravera, and Debrave, but is unaffected by Deprotect, Protect on enemy, or enhanced element spells like Enfire.
A player is able to use a Paradigm Shift during the cutscene that Lightning uses her full ATB skill. If the player shifts to Commando role during the attack animation, Lightning will deal more damage but will still increase the chain bonus.
Army Of One reappears as the Feral Link ability for Lightning in Final Fantasy XIII-2.
The heroes always win!
Sovereign Fist (ルーラーフィスト, Rūrā Fisuto?, lit. Ruler Fist) is Snow's full ATB skill. It is part of his Commando tree, and deals one strong hit of physical damage and is an area attack, meaning it will hit nearby enemies as well. It is shown as Snow leaping into the air, and heaving his fist down into the enemy.
Sovereign Fist is a physical attack that uses the Strength stat to calculate damage. Sovereign Fist ignores physical resistance, but also ignores physical weaknesses; it will deal 100% damage whether it is resistant, normal, or weakness. Sovereign Fist can be affected by Commando bonus, Adrenaline bonus, Bravery/Bravera, and Debrave, but it is not affected by Deprotect, Protect on enemy, or enhanced element spells like Enfire.
When used against a staggered opponent Sovereign Fist gains a massive boost in its damage multiplier. When executed, Sovereign Fist will reset the target's chain gauge to 100%. This means it also ends an opponent's stagger status, meaning it is best used once the enemy is about to recover from stagger. This property can be used for strategic advantage in the battle against the Proudclad whose Retaliatory Strike can be avoided if the player uses Sovereign Fist as soon as it staggers.
Wish on these fireworks!
Cold Blood (デスペラード, Desuperādo?, lit. Desperado) is Sazh's full ATB skill. It is part of his Ravager Crystarium tree and deals seventeen hits to one enemy. Cold Blood is similar to Army of One in that it serves to raise the enemy's chain gauge, and each hit is calculated separately, meaning, if Sazh is equipped with it, Random: Instant Chain has seventeen chances to trigger. When used against a staggered opponent the skill's ability to amass chain bonus is boosted, making it a fast way to raise a staggered foe's chain to 999.9%.
Cold Blood is a physical attack that uses the Strength stat to calculate damage. Cold Blood ignores physical resistance, but also ignores physical weaknesses; it will deal 100% damage whether it is resistant, normal, or weakness. Cold Blood can be affected by Commando bonus, Adrenaline bonus, Bravery/Bravera, and Debrave, but it is not affected by Deprotect, Protect on enemy, or enhanced element spells like Enfire. The player is able to shift Paradigm during Cold Blood's attack animation to make Sazh a Commando to use the aforementioned bonuses.
Cold Blood returns as the Feral Link for Sazh in Final Fantasy XIII-2.
I decide my fate!
Last Resort (ラストリゾート, Rasuto Rizōto?) is Hope's full ATB skill. It is part of his Ravager tree and deals eight hits of magic damage to different targets; Last Resort shuffles through the list of enemies dealing a single hit to each until all hits have been distributed. Appearance-wise, Last Resort is similar to Holy spell from previous Final Fantasy games, a ring of white beads flying into the air. However, there is no Holy element in the game and Last Resort is considered non-elemental.
Last Resort is a magical attack that uses the Magic stat to calculate damage. Last Resort ignores magical resistance, but also ignores weaknesses; it will deal 100% damage whether the target is resistant, normal, or weak to the element in question. Last Resort can be affected by Commando bonus, Faith/Faithra, and Defaith, but is unaffected by Deshell, Shell on enemy, or enhanced element spells like Enfire.
When used against a staggered foe its ability to amass chain bonuses increases significantly, meaning it can be used to quickly bring an opponent's chain gauge to 999.9%. However, because Last Resort shuffles between targets, not all eight attacks land on the staggered foe unless there is only one opponent.
We can change the future!
Death deals base damage equal to 364–400% (randomly determined) of Vanille's Magic parameter and has a 1% chance to instantly kill the enemy, increasing by an additional 1% per negative status the target is afflicted with. Death does not benefit from a staggered target other than the normal damage increase.
Unlike the other full ATB skills, Death can benefit from En-spells and does not clear the chain gauge, giving it the highest potential repeatable multiplier of any special attack. Death deals magic damage, but ignores weaknesses or resistances to magic damage including the effects of Shell and Deshell. Death is still affected by weaknesses or resistances to elemental damage if Vanille has an En-spell active.
Death is not classified as a debuffing spell; consequently, its instant kill chance does not benefit from the Belladonna or Malboro Wand. Unlike all other Saboteur skills, Death ignores chain bonus as a factor when calculating success rate. Buffs like Faith boost the damage the spell deals, but not the instant death chance. The only way to boost the success rate of Death is via the Saboteur role bonus and by inflicting as many status effects as possible on the target.
Death's casting animation is long enough for the player to shift to a Commando paradigm before the damage is calculated, vastly increasing the damage dealt.
Highwind (ハイウィンド, Haiwindo?) is Fang's full ATB skill. It is named after the recurring surname of the many Dragoon characters in the series. It is part of her Commando tree, and manifests as Fang leaping into the air and bringing her spear down into the enemy—similar to the Dragoon ability Jump—with an explosion damaging nearby enemies as she hits the ground.
Highwind is a physical attack that uses the Strength stat to calculate damage. Highwind ignores physical resistance, but also ignores physical weaknesses; it will deal 100% damage whether it is resistant, normal, or weakness. Highwind can be affected by Commando bonus, Adrenaline bonus, Bravery/Bravera, and Debrave, but it is not affected by Deprotect, Protect on enemy, or enhanced element spells like Enfire.
When used against a staggered opponent, it will gain a massive increase in its damage multiplier. When executed, Highwind will reset the target's chain gauge to 100%, meaning it will also end a foe's stagger status immediately. The attack is therefore best used against an opponent that is about to recover from stagger. This property can be used for strategic advantage in the battle against the Proudclad whose Retaliatory Strike can be avoided if the player uses Highwind as soon as it staggers.
- Army of One, Cold Blood, and Last Resort are best used on a recently staggered foe, as they are the best moves in the game for boosting chain bonuses.
- Death is best used against a strong enemy that is not immune to the spell. It is commonly used against Adamantoise, as they are a tough enemy, but killed relatively easily through the Death spell. The attack is also commonly used when battling against a Long Gui for a quick win, where Death can do up to 999,999 points of damage each hit, provided Vanille is buffed with the right enhancements, enemy is debuffed, the stagger bar is near 999.9%, Genji Glove is equipped (for the Break Damage Limit ability), and that the player switches to the Cerberus paradigm (COM/COM/COM) before Death hits.
- Highwind and Sovereign Fist are best used against a foe about to recover from stagger, as they clear the chain gauge. Using them against a staggered foe usually results in two hits of 99,999 (with Genji Glove accessory it can easily do up to three hits of over 200,000).
- When an enemy is about to exit stagger, using a full ATB skill prevents the stagger gauge from emptying, allowing other allies to attack a little longer while the enemy is still staggered; the stagger will last until the attack animation ends.
- In turn, if the player executes a lengthy full ATB skill, just as the enemy is about to exit stagger, and then switches to a paradigm like Cerberus at the start of the animation, the other two player can potentially hit 5-6 "Scourge" and "Smite" attacks each, dealing massive damage.
The two playable characters can learn their respective full ATB skills once they reach Stage 11 of their Crystaria, but they can be used only once per battle unless the player uses an Elixir, which restores the ability to use a full ATB skill. The recruitable human monsters available through the downloadable content also have their full ATB skills in the form of Feral Links.
When using Serah's and Noel's full ATB skills, neither the target or the caster can be knocked out during the animation. This can lead to a scenario where the player unleashes a full ATB skill on a near-death enemy that is just about to launch a strong attack on the player: if both parties kill each other during full ATB skill animation, the player will win the battle even if it was technically a double KO situation.
During the game's prologue Lightning uses skills that consume the entire ATB bar, but can be used repeatedly, namely, Ullr's Shield while Lightning is riding Odin, and War's Benediction when Lightning and Noel are fighting Caius on Bahamut. Both are curative abilities. Lightning can also be seen unleashing Army of One on Caius during a Cinematic Action sequence before she buries him in debris.
A number of full ATB skills appear as Feral Links for recruitable monsters in downloadable battles and scenarios. For example, Lightning's Army of One is her Feral Link, Snow uses his Sovereign Fist during the battle and as his Feral Link and Sazh uses Cold Blood as his Feral Link once recruited upon completion of the "Heads or Tails" scenario. Other human Paradigm Pack monsters also have access to attacks that seem to be their full ATB skills as Feral Links, e.g.: Nabaat and Amodar using Sadistic Surge and Iron Bear Claw against the party and as Feral Link attacks respectively.
An upgraded and more powerful version of Lightning's Army of One is used by Lightning during "Lightning's Story: Requiem of the Goddess" downloadable content scenario as a Feral Link. Titled Legion of One, the attack is almost identical to Army of One but heals the player when used during the scenario battles, and ends with an explosive stream of light rather than just a slash.
List of AbilitiesEdit
This'll show you!
Ultima Arrow (アルテミスアロー, Arutemisu Arō?, lit. Artemis Arrow) is Serah's full ATB skill, and part of her Ravager Crystarium tree. It is obtained as a Crystarium Expansion ability later on in the game. It manifests as Serah firing an arrow into the air and it exploding into light as it returns to earth, consuming the area directly in front of its shooter.
Ultima Arrow is best used just after the opponent has been staggered. As soon as Serah starts to execute the attack, the player should switch to a paradigm in which Serah is a Commando, such as Aggression or Cerberus. This can yield a mass amount of physical damage to the target, as well as greatly raising the chain gauge.
You picked a good day to die!
Meteor Javelin (メテオジャベリン, Meteo Jaberin?) is Noel's full ATB skill, and is part of his Commando Crystarium tree. Just like Ultima Arrow, it is obtained as a Crystarium Expansion late on in the game. It manifests as Noel leaping into the air and throwing four spears into the enemy. Similar to Highwind or Sovereign Fist from Final Fantasy XIII, it resets the chain gauge to 100%.
Meteor Javelin is best used just before the enemy is exiting their stagger period, as the chain gauge is reset after using it. This is also the time the chain gauge will be at the highest, delivering the greatest amount of damage. It is also extends the period of time other allies can use attacks, such as Smite or Scourge which deal a lot of damage to enemies exiting stagger, for the use of a full ATB skill freezes the depletion of the chain gauge.
Lightning can use her Army of One but it is no longer a full ATB skill, but rather, a special skill activated during Overclock. Noel uses Meteor Javelin as an enemy attack when he is fought as a boss. Lightning and Hope use Hope's full ATB skill Last Resort in the ending to destroy Bhunivelze.
Try this on! Get lost!
Lightning's full ATB skill, Army of One, returns as one of Lightning's abilities for her Ravager skillset. She spins towards the opponent slashing, then performs a combo of sword attacks and gunshots that knocks the opponent away.
Characters from Final Fantasy XIII use their full ATB skills when they are summoned as Legends. In addition, players can obtain certain full ATB skills to use as abilities.
Some of the full ATB attacks appear.
One of Lightning's cards can use Army of One. For the discard cost of another Lightning card and a Thunder CP, Lightning gains the abilities Haste and Preemptive Strike for the rest of the turn.
One of Serah's cards can use Ultima Arrow. For the discard of a Serah card, Dulling Serah and paying 2 Ice CP, Ultima Arrow deals 8000 damage to all the opponent's Dulled Forwards.One of Sazh's cards can use Cold Blood for the discard of a Sazh card, dulling Sazh, and paying eight Light CP. The ability allows the player to choose up to three Forwards and deal them 17,000 total damage in increments of 1,000, the player dividing up the damage however they choose.
- Fang uses a jump attack in a cutscene on the Palamecia at Chapter 9, bringing down a Garuda Interceptor. She also uses Highwind at the end of Chapter 13 when she attacks the party.
- Legion of One can be considered an upgraded version of Army of One. A "legion" is normally one of many military units that together constitute an army, meaning there are less people in a legion, than in an army. However, the word "legion" relates to Lightning's more mythical appearance in Final Fantasy XIII-2 as opposed to sci-fi setting of Final Fantasy XIII.
- In Final Fantasy XIII-2, the distortion has changed from a stream across the top and bottom to only covering the top left and bottom right corners.
- The distortion seen across the top and bottom of the screen when a full ATB skill is used in Final Fantasy XIII, is also present in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, when Lightning uses Army of One.
- The Brain Blast quiz terminals at Academia 4XX AF refer to full ATB skills as "unparalleled attacks."