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The Basics

Map Screen
When you are in towns, dungeons, or fields, you will view events either through cut scenes or the Map Screen. This is where you spend most of your time exploring. You can Save your progress in designated areas of dungeons or fields, as well as in every Inn.
There are literally thousands of items to be found in this game. Some are not so easy to see. Make sure you explore all areas of fields, dungeons, and towns. Rotate the camera using the L1 and L2 Buttons to explore behind objects.

Battles occur if you run into, or are ambushed by an enemy on the Map Screen. Battles are not random, so you can easily avoid enemies if you are low on HP or MP. However, if you make a habit of this, Boss Battles and Scripted Battles will become next to impossible due to your lack of experience. Fight often.
In battles, you can attack through Symbology (magic), Battle Skills, or major and minor attacks. Battle Skills can be activated by holding down the corresponding attack button for several seconds. A great tactic to master in the game is the Cancel. You can Cancel an attack by immediately pressing a different attack button. This will Cancel the first attack and give you a bonus percentage on the next attack.
If you chose not to run through the tutorial in the game, you may change the controls that are set up there at any time. Simply go to the Camp Menu by pushing the Triangle Button and go to the Config option.
In a battle, a character will die if they run out of either HP or MP. This means that, as the player, you need to be wary of the MP of both you and your teammates. If you use Symbology too often, your character can become vulnerable to being knocked out. This also means that you can MP kill opponents - something that is often a great advantage.
If you are taking a pounding or your teammates have been afflicted with status changes, do not be afraid to escape. However, make sure you hit the Triangle Button and choose escape with time to spare. It takes several seconds for a character to escape and they will continue to be attacked during that time.
One of the key elements of battles is the Bonus Gauge. You can build up the Bonus Gauge by successfully landing attacks. The Bonus Gauge will be reset to zero if you take a critical hit, die, or escape from a battle. When the Bonus Gauge is filled, you will get great bonuses, the best being Triple EXP. If you find an enemy that gives a decent experience reward and has a weakness, exploit it! Successfully using the Bonus Gauge is vital to leveling up your characters.
Symbology is the games form of magic. You may use it in either a battle or on the Map Screen. Any character may use Symbology and additional spells can be learned through the use of books. However, an unskilled Symbology user quickly becomes vulnerable to being MP killed due to their small amount of MP.

Configuring Your Party
Since you are only allowed to use three characters at a time, it is important that you select a group that compliments each other. First, make sure that you have someone who knows Healing Symbology. Secondly, you need to make sure that you select a proper Battle Formation and Battle Plan for each player. Battle Plans are a way of selecting an artificial intelligence for the two characters you are not currently controlling. To change these Tactics, go to the Camp Menu with the Triangle Button and then select Tactics. It is probably not smart to tell a Healer to "Attack with all your might." In the Battle Formation menu, you may select where each character starts on the battlefield. This has little bearing on the outcome of the fight. Choosing the leader is your way of signifying who will start under your control at the beginning of each battle.
When you receive new Battle Skills, you must decide whether or not to equip them. Each Skill will eat up your limited Capacity Points. Battle Skills can be leveled up, but don't focus on that. It turns out that Battle Skills you get later in the game are much better than leveled up Skills from the beginning.

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