Quickening (ミストナック, Misuto Nakku?, lit. "Mist Knack") is the term for the Limit Break system of Final Fantasy XII and its sequel, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings. In Final Fantasy XII, Quickenings use a new system over previous Limit Break systems, involving the real-time input of button commands, requiring fast reflexes to chain together attacks before a timer depletes.
In Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Quickenings use a more familiar system involving charging up a "Mist Gauge" to unleash a powerful attack. Quickenings also appear in Dissidia Final Fantasy as Judge Gabranth's EX Burst, and in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy for both Gabranth and Vaan.
Quickenings are divided into three levels, with each level being more powerful than the previous and requiring more Mist Charges to use. Quickenings are found on the License Board and each requires 50 LP to unlock. Quickening squares on the License Board automatically teach the recipient their next level technique and cost the same amount of LP regardless of the Quickening's level. Each Quickening square can only be taken by a single character, but there are eighteen squares total and so all party members can eventually learn all their Quickenings.
Quickenings boost the recipient's max MP when unlocked - Level 2 Quickenings double the recipient's original MP, and Level 3's triple it. The party member's MP bar takes on a gold color to represent how many "Mist Charges" they have. The MP bar grows longer as more Quickenings are learned, and will consist of one, two or three golden bars depending on the user's Mist Charges. The bars represent all (zero or 1 charge), 50% (with 2 charges) or 33% (with 3 charges) of the user's max MP. Using a Quickening costs a number of Mist Charges equal to the Quickening's level; for example two Mist Charges to use a level two Quickening.
Using a Quickening takes no Charge Time. When a character uses a Quickening, normal gameplay stops as the character executes the attack. A timer appears along with a blue bar and button icons corresponding to any of the three current party members who know any Quickenings. Characters who are KOed, petrified, stopped, disabled, berserked, silenced or confused can't use Quickenings.
As the attack executes, the timer and blue bar deplete, and the player must quickly press a shown button to have the next character execute another Quickening. This is called a "Quickening Chain". The player may press R2 to "shuffle" the shown commands for the other party members, randomizing the commands they can be given.
If a character has the "Mist Charge" option available, using it will restore the character's Mist Charges to full and allow more Quickenings to be chained. The faster the player inputs the next command, the more time they will have to input another command during the next attack. Assuming the player can react quickly enough, and they get lucky in having the Mist Charge command appear, there is virtually no limit to how long a Quickening chain can get. When the chain ends, characters lose MP equal to however many Mist Charges they used in the chain, and any characters who used the Mist Charge command lose all their MP.
In the Final Fantasy XII: International Zodiac Job System version, Quickenings no longer use MP, but have their own Mist Charge gauge, similar to Revenant Wings. Each job only has four Quickening licenses, but as with the original release of the game the licenses vanish from the boards of other party members when taken. As a result, if two party members take the same job, both cannot learn all their Quickenings.
The player must input the command for the next Quickening in the chain within a time limit, and the faster the player selects a new Quickening more time they have left.
The exact formula for time allowed in hit k+1 is:
- T(1) = 4 seconds.
- X(k) is the time the player spends to make an action in hit k.
The player always has four seconds in the first hit. If the player is fast they get more time in subsequent hits as well.
- T(1) = 4
- X(1) = 0.4 (the player spends 0.4 seconds to initiate the second Quickening)
- T(2) = T(1) - X(1)/2 = 4 - 0.2 = 3.8 (3.8 seconds is left to initiate the next Quickening)
The chance for "Mist Charge" to appear as an option depends on the number of Quickening participants.
- 1 Participant: 1/6
- 2 Participants: 1/7
- 3 Participants: 1/8
If the character has all bars full, the option of Mist Charge does not appear.
Every Quickening uses the user's Strength stat, but because they are executed using MP they cannot be used if the character is unable to perform magick. Despite their appearances, all Quickenings and Concurrences are non-elemental and break the damage limit, allowing them to do up to 99,999 damage. Level 1 Quickenings have a power of 90, level 2 a power of 140, and level three have a power of 230.
Damage done is equal to a random number between 1 and the power of the Quickening multiplied by a random number between 1 and the character's Strength. Thus, a character with 50 Strength using a level 2 Quickening will do random damage between 1 and 7000. Damage dealt with Quickenings is unaffected by Reverse.
Depending on how many Quickenings the player chains, and what levels they are, a Concurrence may occur when the Quickening chain ends. Concurrences are power attacks that affect not only the target of the Quickening chain, but all enemies nearby as well. If the player fulfills the conditions for more than one Concurrence to occur, the strongest one will take priority. Executing every Concurrence unlocks Judge Gabranth in the Sky Pirate's Den, granting the player the title of Mist Walker.
The damage of each quickening hit is: 
POW is a fixed number that depends on the Quickening level.
- POW (Lv1) = 90
- POW (Lv2) = 140
- POW (Lv3) = 230
STR is the Strength of the character performing the hit. The damage of each Quickening is summed up at the end to produce the total damage. Regular Quickening hits only damage the target enemy. Certain enemies can reduce received damage, including damage from Quickenings.
If the party performs enough Quickening hits they can trigger a Concurrence. Concurrences have a radius of 10, so it also damages enemies close to the target.
- POW x Lv(enemy)
For example, for a level 99 enemy, a Black Hole alone would deal a damage of 253 x 99 or 25,047.
List of QuickeningsEdit
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3|
|Vaan||Red Spiral||White Whorl||Pyroclasm|
|Red Spiral||Deep Hazard||Melt Crimson|
|Balthier||Fires of War||Tides of Fate||Element of Treachery|
|Compass of Plunder||Portolan of Destiny||Aspect of Trickery|
|Fran||Feral Strike||Whip Kick||Shatterheart|
|Chaotic Splitting Deadly Palm||Strong Armor Destroying Point Kick||Chew Attack Ice Wolf Wave|
|Basch||Fulminating Darkness||Ruin Impendent||Flame Purge|
|Shockwave of Black and Darkness||Unmistakable End||100 Demon Scorching Sun of Crushing Evil|
|Ashe||Northswain's Glow||Heaven's Wrath||Maelstrom's Bolt|
|North Star Bone Crushing Slash||Holy Light Explosion Slash||Heavenly Drum Thunder Sound Lightning Slash|
|Power over Life & Death||Disappearing like Mist||Scenic Beauty|
List of ConcurrencesEdit
The Concurrences animations use the same animation as the Espers' special moves when fought against as bosses. For example, Black Hole uses the same animation as Zodiark's Darkja. All concurrences are non-elemental.
|Inferno||3x Level 1 Quickenings||90|
|Cataclysm||7x Level 1 Quickenings||110|
|Torrent||2x Level 1 Quickenings|
3x Level 2 Quickenings
|Windburst||5x Level 2 Quickenings||155|
|Whiteout||5x Level 3 Quickenings||205|
|Ark Blast||2x Level 1 Quickenings|
2x Level 2 Quickenings
2x Level 3 Quickenings
|Luminescence||3x Level 1 Quickenings|
3x Level 2 Quickenings
3x Level 3 Quickenings
|Black Hole||4x Level 1 Quickenings|
4x Level 2 Quickenings
4x Level 3 Quickenings
In the game's manga adaptation, two Quickenings have been used thus far. In the Nalbina Dungeons, Balthier uses Fires of War to defeat Gijuk and Bwagi, and in the Garamsythe Waterway, Fran uses a new Quickening, "Sesshouku Hatsudo", an ice-elemental attack, to kill Firemane. High amounts of magical energy and great concentration are needed to perform Quickenings, and while Fran's magical aptitude is how she is able to perform hers, Balthier is implied to have been enabled by the high amounts of Mist around him.
Quickenings are heavily simplified in Revenant Wings, with only one Quickening available to each character, and no potential for chains. Quickenings are learned upon the defeat of a certain Rank III Yarhi, and are charged by the Mist Gauge, which fills up as a character deals and receives damage in battle, much like the Limit Break systems of Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy IX.
|Vaan||Pyroclasm||Belias||Deals heavy damage in a designated area.|
|Penelo||Dance of Rapture||Ultima||Restores all allies to full health and cures them of debuffs.|
|Kytes||Nature's Wrath||Chaos||Deals heavy multi-elemental damage to all foes in a designated area.|
|Filo||Wind Soul||Mateus||Refreshes all allies' ability gauges.|
|Llyud||Fanfare||Hashmal||Raises all friendly Yarhis' levels by one.|
|Balthier||Element of Treachery||Shemhazai||Deals massive ranged damage to a single foe.|
|Fran||Gaze of the Void||Exodus||Remove all positive buffs from foes.|
|Ashe||Empyrean's Edict||Famfrit||Prevents all enemies from summoning Espers.|
|Basch||Apocalypse Shield||Zalera||Nullifies all damage done to allies for a short time.|
Gabranth's EX Burst is a sequence of three Quickenings based on Basch's - Fulminating Oblivion, Ruin Unflinching, and Frost Purge. As Gabranth performs the attack, a timer will count down as the player cycles through the other Quickenings Gabranth can perform. If they select the next-level Quickening before the timer depletes, Gabranth will chain the previous Quickening with the next.
If the player misses the timing or inputs the wrong command, the sequence ends. Depending on how many Quickenings Gabranth chains together, the sequence ends with the Inferno (0 chains), Ark Blast (1 chain), or Black Hole (perfect) Concurrence. The command for Mist Charge can be spotted during the "shuffle", but can never be selected.
With the addition of Vaan to Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, his Quickenings appear as his EX Burst, in which they are chained together in the same way as Gabranth's. However, unlike Gabranth, Vaan concludes with the Luminescence Concurrence regardless of how many Quickenings he connects with. Additionally, the Inferno, Windburst, Cataclysm and Torrent Concurrences appear as Vaan's HP attacks. A Concurrence circle appears as Vaan performs his HP attack in Chase sequences.
Gabranth's EX Burst in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy is unchanged from its previous incarnation.
In Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade characters from Final Fantasy XII use Quickenings and Concurrences when they are summoned as Legends. Maelstrom's Bolt. Northswain's Glow and Heaven's Wrath are Ashe's abilities, Vaan uses Inferno and Balthier uses Element of Treachery.
Vaan, Ashe, and Balthier makes an appearance in Final Fantasy All the Bravest. They use their signature Quickening's White Whorl, Northswain's Glow, and Fires of War as their primary attack.
Several cards featuring Final Fantasy XII party members have their Quickenings as abilities.
Basch has Flame Purge. For a cost of 5 Fire CP, Dulling Basch and discarding another Basch card, Flame Purge deals 9000 damage to up to two target Forwards.
Vaan's card has White Whorl as its ability. Activated by paying one Wind CP and discarding a Vaan card, White Whorl sets all Wind Forwards the player controls to Active. Another Vaan card has Pyroclasm, which deals 2000 damage to a chosen Forward for each Backup the player controls, for a cost of Dulling Vaan and paying two Wind CP.
Balthier's ability is Fires of War, costing a Wind CP and the discard of another Balthier card. Fires of War grants Balthier the Pre-Emptive Strike ability and prevents him from being targeted by summons or abilities until the end of the turn.
Ashe's ability is Heaven's Wrath. For the discard cost of another Ashe card and two Water CP, Heaven's Wrath grants Ashe +2000 power and the Pre-Emptive Strike ability until the end of the turn.
Penelo's ability is Evanescence. For the discard of a Penelo card and Dulling Penelo, the player can choose a Dulled Forward and send it to the Break Zone.
The term "quickening" refers to the action of bringing someone, or something, to life, as well as the feeling of stimulation or excitement.
The name Quickening may also be a reference to the Quickening Glitch in Final Fantasy Tactics, which requires at least three allied units working together to successfully activate. This technique has no official name, but was named Quickening by the fan community because it relies on the reaction ability Critical: Quick.
- In the Japanese version of Final Fantasy XII, Quickening chains were accompanied by a message, like "Cool!" and "Very Cool!", beside the chain number. The higher the chain, the better the message. These were removed in the North American and European versions.
- The Bradygames official strategy guide for Final Fantasy XII lists Whiteout and Luminescence in reverse. This is a mistake, as Luminescence is the stronger of the two.
- The Ultimania guide includes a picture of a 47-hit level-1 Quickening. It is said to made possible by purchasing only one Quickening license and then acquiring an Esper that requires three Mist Charges to summon (Famfrit, Chaos, Ultima, or Zodiark).
- An early trailer of Final Fantasy XII, shows that the standard battle HUD was initially present during the Quickening sequence instead of the simpler HUD which relied on pressing buttons to chain Quickenings. It also seems that Quickenings weren't initially meant to be chained.
- With their appearances in Dissidia and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, all Concurrences, except Whiteout, appear in some form.
- Fran's Shatterheart seems to be a direct reference to the Diamond Dust ability performed by Shiva.
- Vaan's movements in all three of his Quickenings are based off of baseball pitches, while Penelo's are different ice skating moves.
- Penelo's Quickenings are all one word, as opposed to everyone else's that usually feature a full phrase.
- While performing Quickenings, if a controller disconnects, the game will not be paused. The Quickening chain will continue, despite the player not being able to press buttons.
- Basch is the only character to not speak when performing any of his Quickenings, only letting out various grunts and cries as he attacks.
- Basch uses Fulminating Darkness to finish Air Cutter Remora, the boss at the introduction of Final Fantasy XII. When it has 40% of HP left, Basch uses it automatically, finishing the battle.