|No matter what we put on you, you always make it look like a total mess! - L'Arc
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Excel acts are special actions executed by characters during battles. During a certain event which takes place relatively early in the story, the characters learn that they are able to perform particularly powerful moves, that is, Excel Acts. From that point on, whenever a character meets a level requirement, he/she will learn an Excel Act in the next battle they engage. This new move will replace the first Attack command used against foes in that round, regardless of the type of Excel Act learned.
Excel Acts cost SP (and AP) to be executed, and consume anything from 25% to 100% of the SP bar, which means that more powerful Acts cannot be executed twice in a row by the same character. For example, when Ryfia executes “Revive Ray”, it’ll use 60% of her SP bar, so she won’t be able to execute that move again until she regains the necessary amount of SP for its execution. In terms of AP consumption, Excel Acts consume 3 to 8 or 9 AP (depending on the character). Naturally, more powerful Excel Acts are learned later in game, and are more AP and SP costly.
Unlike Magic, which can be cast by any character who has a given gem in their orb, Excel Acts are exclusive to each character (with the notable exceptions of “Brutal Cannon”, an Excel Act shared by the two gun users of the game: Niko and Leslie, and “Dark Blade”, an Excel Act shared by two sword users: Rastan and Ignacy). Some Excel Acts, however, have identical effects (for example, Leslie’s Healing Bullet and Ryfia’s Oracle’s Healing). Each Excel Act has two possible voice over lines, except for Ryfia's and Adele's “Hymnomancy” Excel Acts (Radiant Song, Healing Song and Decadent Song, since each has a melody, rather than a phrase), such as L’Arc’s Gae Bolg, in which he can either say “Gae Bolg”, or “Right through you”.
In terms of strategy, Excel Acts are somewhat harder to use on a constant basis (aganist bosses, for example), but its effects tend to be more powerful than Magic.
“Main” characters (that is, the ones who become members of the party throughout the entire game) learn seven Excel Acts between the first time an Excel Act is shown in game and their Lv55-60 (roughly). They are learned at a rate of about an act for each 10 levels. “Temporary” characters (the ones who don’t stay in the party until the end of the game) learn about three to four Excel acts, and some will even come with a given set of Excel Acts and won’t learn new ones at all.
Excel Acts can be divided into two broad categories: offensive Excel Acts and defensive/healing Excel Acts (with the exception of Cecille’s “Here I Come!” Excel Act, which boosts some of her stats and lowers others, while damaging the enemies nearby). Offensive Excel Acts can deal either untyped or elemental damage (with the exception of Leslie’s Sonic Rage, which deals untyped damage through the act, with the last hit being of the lightning element), while support Excel Acts act somewhat similar to support/healing Magic, sometimes expanding or combining their effects such as Leslie’s Blitz Boost, which has the same effects of Acceleration (lv4 wind Magic that adds the blitz effect on a single target) in an area around her. The effects of a particular Excel Act, Ryfia’s Healing Song, are identical to those of summoning Rufunga (Full heal, ups resistance and defense).
Apart from Ryfia (whose first and last Excel Acts are healing-type) the first and last Excel Acts learned by the characters are of the offensive type, the last one being usually elemental. Some enemies and most bosses can (and will) also perform Excel Acts, usually of the offensive type, against the party.
Trinity Acts (Sync Excel Acts)Edit
Like Attacks, Magic and some Arm Forces, Excel Acts can be Synched from relatively early in the game. Sync Excel Acts can be chained from the point when Magic Chains become available. Excel Act chains, however, obey a stricter rule: the entire party (or, if a guest character is in the party, three of the total four characters) must use their offensive Excel Acts against the same target as their first move. If any of the characters targets a different enemy, uses another command before performing their Excel Act, or uses a support Excel Act instead, the Sync breaks, and does not happen. The battle's mechanics also allows moves such as "Here I Come!" and "Death in the Dark", which are offensive Excel Acts centered on the character that performs it, to Sync with the other characters' EAs, provided that they all hit the same target, therefore making it tougher to perform, but not at all impossible. If such a Sync happens, the target will be placed together with the attacker during that Excel Act's animation, not in its true position relative to the attacker. Like with Attacks, Sync Excel Acts will happen in tandem, with the characters performing their moves one after the other. Synched Excel Acts share some similarity with Supreme Magic as well, since the Sync Rate (a percentage that appears on the lower left of the screen) will appear and indicate how effective the EA combination was. It can be deduced, then, that ceratin Excel Act combinations will be more effective than others. It must be noted, however, that Sync Excel Acts do not influence AP regeneration like Sync Magic does.
Some bosses are also capable of Single Sync Excel Acts into a “powered-up” Excel Act, such as Clyde’s “Sonic Blade”, Dynos’ “Death in the Dark” and Adele’s “Decadent Song”. These Syncs, however, take place as a single move, not a tandem.
When facing a certain boss during the story, one of the characters instructs the party to Sync their Excel Acts against it. In addition to the Excel Sync, a fourth move starts taking place after the first three, led by the first party member to chain the Excel Acts (the Party Leader). This fourth move is called Trinity Act, and will take place whenever a Sync Excel Act happens from that point on.
Trinity Acts are opened by all three characters facing a fuse-shaped stone which stands on one of its tips. This stone also has a golden ring around it, and emits a beam of light upwards. The Party Leader occupies the central position of the screen, with its back to the player, and the other characters are placed diagonally, forming a triangle around the stone. There are two Trinity Acts the characters can perform: Mystic Fortune and Geo Impact, with the latter being the most powerful of the two. Both moves affect a single target, and are said to be of the water and earth elements, respectively. In battle, however, they count as physical attacks (which means that if an enemy is buffed by No Physical, the Excel Acts and the Trinity Act won’t harm it). Mystic Fortune produces a series of “light drops” on a blue field, while Geo Impact’s animation consists of a large round boulder being dropped on the Field, breaking its ground and then exploding upwards in a pillar of fire.
The criteria that defines which of the two Trinities will happen is based mainly on SP consumption. If the SP% average consumed by the previous three moves is below 50% (that is, a total of 150SP% spent by the three characters), it will yield Mystic Fortune. SP% average consumption equal or greater than 50% will produce Geo Impact (that is, a total SP% between 150 and 180 spent by the three characters). Much greater SP% average consumption (usually above 60%, or above 180 SP% total used) will result in an Excel Trinity being executed. The rules for performing an Excel Trinity seem to be, from battling experience, somewhat stricter in terms of AP consumption. Apart from the "over 180SP%" consumption "rule", Excel Trinities take place with an AP total consumption greater than 16. Excel Trinities are discussed below.
Regarding SP% usage, the examples are as follows: if a character performs an 75SP% Excel Act, and the other two use their 25SP%, the Trinity Act will be Mystic Fortune. If two Characters perform their 75SP% Excel Acts and the third uses his/her 25SP% Excel Act, the Trinity Act will be Geo Impact. If a character perform his/her 100SP% Excel Act, the second one uses his/her 75SP% move and the third uses his/her 25SP% move, an Excel Trinity will take place. This average SP% consumption enables the player to control which Trinity Act/Excel Trinity will take place during a battle, while controlling the total AP consumption during that round, so that AP is left for other actions if necessary. As stated above, the total AP consumption has to be greater than 16. If two characters use their 75SP% moves at 7AP each (for total 150SP%/14AP), using another 40SP%/4AP Excel Act will still yield Geo Impact, despite the total 190SP% expenditure.
As a side note, boss trios are equally able to perform Trinity Acts. They work on the same basis, but the most frequently used by them is Mystic Fortune, and occasionally Geo Impact. There is a notable exception, which is "Forsaken Friends" Arena Challenge. The three characters battled against in that specific challenge are fully capable of performing Excel Trinities, and will do so, albeit rarely.
The combination of particularly powerful Excel Acts will yield “Special” Trinity Acts, called Excel Trinities. These moves take place after the three main Excel Acts, but will be executed by the Party Leader, with the other two playing a supporting role. Like Excel Acts, these moves are exclusive to the character who performs it, and count as physical attacks, not Elemental ones, regardless of what the game says. Unlike some Rogress and some regular Excel Acts, there are no healing or support Excel Trinities. Even Ryfia, who’s the most healing-oriented character in the game, performs an offensive Excel Trinity. As an addition, no Excel Trinity in the game debuffs the foes, as well (though the Excel Acts that take place before it may debuff enemies). The SP% average required for the execution of an Excel Trinity is above 60% (above 180SP% total), which usually means using the character’s most powerful Excel Acts together. Like Trinity Acts, Excel Trinities target a single enemy, and though they may break through special protection effects such as Block Physical, No Physical or Stop All Status Changes, the damage dealt to the target will be much lower than usual (around 10 to 20% of a "full scale" Excel Trinity).
Excel Trinities can be performed as early as the lower 40 levels, When the characters learn their 60-75%SP Excel Acts. Strategically speaking, using the weapon “The Detective” with its secret Arm Force unlocked enables an additional AP to be held by the party, which, together with Ryfia’s “Aqua Spiral” and Niko’s “Trickster” becomes the easiest way to perform an Excel Trinity. It must be noted also, that, from the point when Excel Trinities can be cast, if Niko is still in the party, he usually isn't able to lead an Excel Sync. Therefore, he does not perform an Excel Trinity. If he happens to lead such a party, however, the game reverts the Excel Trinity to Geo Impact, a regular Trinity Act. As a last note, the Party Leader may change when using the same combination of Excel Acts to produce an Excel Trinity. So far, these changes have taken place usually when the character faces a boss, or a single enemy instead of a party. For instance: using the same two Excel Acts mentioned above (“Aqua Spiral” and “Trickster”) together with L’Arc’s "Ignis Beat" usually yields, as an Excel Trinity, Ryfia’s “Luminoso”; when facing a boss, however, the same combination of Excel Acts will result in L’Arc performing his “Disaster Fang” Excel Trinity.
When a guest character is in the party, care must be taken regarding the target and the Excel Acts used. Guest Characters usually target enemies placed on the borders of the enemies' lines, so if the other characters chain a Trinity on the centermost target, the Guest's Excel Act isn't likely to influence it. If there is a single target on the battlefield, however, any three Excel Acts performed will chain (and the fourth will take place as a separate move), therefore Guest Chains become feasible. If a guest chains a low SP% Excel Act with two 60SP% Excel Acts from the party, for instance, the Excel Trinity will be "downgraded" to a Trinity Act (following the aforementioned SP% average consumption "rule"). These moves may be led by the Guest member. If, however, the Guest chains a high SP% Excel Act (for instance, Alf's Cerulean Slam) with other two high SP% Excel Acts used by the party against the same target, an Excel Trinity will take place. Usually, such a chain cannot be led by the Guest, but if it does, the ET will be "downgraded" to a TA, since most Guests don't have an Excel Trinity to perform (there are some specific situations in which Party Members may take on the Guest role). If the Chain is not led by the guest, the Excel Trinity takes place normally, with the guest playing a supporting role, as described below.
Excel Trinities’ opening animation is similar to the Trinity Acts’ one, save for the fact that, this time, the Party Leader is facing the screen, with his/her back to the stone, while the other two characters face the Party Leader instead of the stone. He/she then performs his/her move, which can be considered a powered-up Excel Act. Below are described the animations for each of the characters in the game:
L’Arc – Disaster FangEdit
L’Arc dashes forwards at the foe, striking him multiple times with his sword, as he jumps and dives with the sword pointing downwards, sticking it to the ground. A whirlwind is then formed and moves towards the foe, striking some more times.
(This move is somewhat reminiscent of Vyse’s Cutlass Fury and Pirate’s Wrath, from the game Skies of Arcadia)
Ryfia – LuminosoEdit
Ryfia starts singing, summoning a single light comet towards the foe. Upon touching the ground (and damaging the enemy), a wide, blue magical circle can be seen on the sky, behind light clouds, while the ground is covered in greenery that sways gently in the breeze (damaging the foe one last time). It can be considered a powered-up version of her Radiant Song, and Imaginal’s ideal of future, with nature returning to its original state.
As a side note, Adele’s Decadent Song has the same animation, dark-oriented. She sings and summons a Black comet towards the foe, and upon its reaching the ground, the comet’s tail sprouts red tendrils, crystallizing the area around it. Also, creepy dark eyes appear around the dark beam, opening as the song finishes. As a contrast, it can be interpreted as Real’s vision of future, with the entire land crystallized. Different from Luminoso, which targets a single enemy, Decadent Song works in a very wide area, centered in a character (not surprisingly, the usual target is Ryfia, if she’s in the party), and will lower the enemies' stats (ATK, DEF, MAG and RES). This move is not obtained through an Excel Trinity, but through a Single Sync Excel Act, and later as a 100%SP Excel Act. Since "Decadent Song" is a song-based Excel Act, the game defines it as Hymnomancy, much like Ryfia's Radiant Song and Healing Song Excel Acts. When used against Ryfia or L'Arc, Adele will shout "It's all your fault!" before starting to sing. When used against anyone else, she'll shout "Listen!" before performing this move.
Cecille – Exceed LightningEdit
Cecille runs toward the target, eventually becoming so quick as to transform herself into a lightning bolt which strikes the foe multiple times. As she stops, there is an explosion, and a statue of herself in a heroic pose is dropped on the enemy, as the final strike.
Rastan – Shadow SlashEdit
Rastan uses his left hand to produce a beam of darkness, which becomes a sphere around the enemy (damaging it) as they come into contact. He then jumps and imbues his sword with darkness, slashing it across the sphere, exploding it and dealing damage to the foe one last time. It can be considered a powered-up version of his Dark Blade Excel Act.
Leslie – Crimson ShootEdit
Leslie points both of her guns at a Magic circle which is placed bewteen herself and the enemy. Upon shooting at it multiple times, the circle changes shape. A fireball then appears and she kicks it at the circle, shattering it and damagind the foe one last time. She then blows a kiss at the screen.
Serge – Million RegretEdit
Serge creates multiple ice daggers, then jumps and throws them at the enemy. They rain down on the foe, accumulating into a massive iceberg. He lands and raises his hands, as two gigantic ice daggers cross the iceberg and deal major damage to the target.