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Tick-tock, the moogle clock runs on clockwork, kupo. If I forget to wind it up, it'll stop dead and we'll be in untimely trouble!
The Mog Clock (モーグリクロック, Mōguri Kurokku?, lit. Moogle Clock) is a gameplay element exclusive to Final Fantasy XIII-2. It appears whenever Mog senses that monsters are about to materialize before the player character and progresses through a series of phases. It is mainly used to give the party a better start in the battle.
If the player gets 100 consecutive preemptive strikes with the Mog Clock, they earn the achievement/trophy "Clock Stopper".
Usually when an enemy group materializes it is immobile for a brief time and the Mog Clock starts with the green area, but some enemies when they materialize are actively attempting to score a first strike and the Mog Clock start with the yellow area. Green clock means the monsters have materialized, but they are standing still and not pursuing the player party, meaning they are easy to either run away from, or for strike first to initiate a preemptive strike. When the clock turns yellow the monsters have noticed the player party and will come after them. Red clock means the player has run out of time and a battle will begin.
Upon the Mog Clock's appearance, the player can press / next to the enemy to attack first, to get a preemptive strike. A preemptive strike is granted if the player is able to strike the enemy before coming in contact, even if the Mog Clock is no longer green. Simply coming into contact with the enemies will initiate a normal battle. When the player runs out of time and the Mog Clock turns red, a battle will begin even if the player never came into contact with the enemy. If an enemy appears in Yaschas Massif in the searchlight area of the Pass of Paddra, and the player character is within the searchlight's light area, the clock hand will stand still.
If the player gets a preemptive strike the battle begins with bonuses of an increased enemy chain gauge and Haste on the player party. If the time runs out the retry option will be locked, though it will still be made available if the battle is lost. Fleeing from enemies completely will cause the Mog Clock to disappear and no penalties to come into place, but failing to escape before "Time's Up" appears will trigger a forced battle with a disadvantage. To flee the player must get far away enough from the enemies before the time runs out. When a player runs out of time, images of a Grim Reaper appear on the screen during the battle transition phase.
If Mog is away due to the player having used Moogle Throw, then the Mog Clock will still appear, but will run down quickly. This will almost always result in either a normal battle or a battle with disadvantages. Additionally, the Mog Clock begins in yellow for all encounters in Academia 400 AF and the player won't be able to run from enemies there.
Whenever monsters suddenly materialize, the Mog Clock appears and progresses through the following indicators:
- Green: The enemy is immobile. Preemptive Attack possible.
- If you attack successfully, you will begin the battle with bonuses.
- Yellow: Enemy is moving and ready for battle.
- Coming into contact with the enemy will begin a standard battle.
- Time's Up: Enemy is fully alert and battle begins.
- If time runs out, you begin the battle with penalties.
- A similar mechanic for initiating battles is present in Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII although some rules were changed: if the enemy attacks Lightning first, she loses 5% of her HP on Normal and Hard difficulties; when Lightning strikes the enemy after she is noticed all the enemies in the enemy party lose 10% of their HP, and if Lightning strikes the enemy without being noticed all the enemies in the enemy party will lose 25% of their HP.