The introduction of STRANGER OF PARADISE FINAL FANTASY ORIGIN doesn’t just represent a bold new approach to the series but something of a challenge, too. This action RPG is unlike anything in the FINAL FANTASY world before it, and those expecting to just stroll through the Chaos Shrine may find themselves surprised.
For those who can’t wait for 2022, the STRANGER OF PARADISE FINAL FANTASY ORIGIN TRIAL VERSION is available on PS5 until June 26, 2021 7:59 pm PT / 3:59pm BST, and we’ve got plenty of helpful tips to help you see it through to the end.
If you’ve yet to try it out, it’s available at the following link:
1. Make your defence as strong as your offence
A key skill all fighters should possess is knowing when to block and when to evade, and this holds true for Jack, too. Not every situation will warrant evasion, and it’s not an infinite action either, meaning that trying to roll out of the way could sometimes leave you open to a follow-up attack or surrounded.
The solution is to keep your guard up and be prepared to block. The virtue of the day is patience; and rather than brute-forcing your way through every encounter, there’s merit in choosing your moments and knowing when to absorb attacks.
It’s always better to take a small bit of damage now than take a lot through a failed dodge, or because you’ve missed your attack and left Jack wide open.
2. Distinctions of Defence
It’s not just about knowing when to block, but also how you choose to do so.
In STRANGER OF PARADISE FINAL FANTASY ORIGIN there are two distinct methods of defence, and knowing when it’s best to defend and when to employ your soul shield will make all the difference in combat.
Your standard block will help you absorb attacks, but the soul shield mechanic can be used to stun your opponent, damaging the opponent’s break gauge. If you quickly attack in this moment you can land a powerful counter-blow, and render your foes deceased.
If you work your soul shield ability into your repartee, you will strike back even harder, and learning when to employ this manoeuvre can help you turn the tide against the onslaught of foes in the Chaos Shrine. We’ll explain more in the next tip.
3. Absorb the onslaught with soul shield, then strike back harder
Although you’ll come across a menagerie of enemies throughout the Trial Version, not all of them fall the same. Some of them have special abilities, which when unleashed can make short work of Jack and his team. While some of these moves can be defended against, you can also turn your defence into offence with the soul shield, learn from your foes, and let them hand you the keys to their own destruction.
When you use soul shield on selected enemy attacks, these abilities can be temporarily absorbed, allowing you to strike back with a vengeance. For example, swiping moves from Goblins allows you to toss stones at a distance, distracting or beckoning foes towards you.
Likewise, Bombs can spew flames at you, but those who’ve been taught the adage of fighting fire with fire will know that throwing it back towards your explosive foe can be deadly, and allow you to control their detonation.
Just make sure you do that at a safe distance, lest you find yourself back at a rest point.
4. Learn the ropes of your new role
Throughout the trial, Jack will have access to the three distinct job roles – swordsman, mage, and lancer, allowing him to switch between spells, greatswords, and lances with ease. With enough levels put into each job, these roles can eventually be upgraded to warrior, black mage, and dragoon. These give you the opportunity to fight close up, at a distance, or with power at a premium above all else.
However, these jobs have more subtleties going on than you may have first realised. Black mages, for example, have six different spells in their repertoire when you start out, and not all of them necessarily need to be used on your enemies (we’ll come back to that later).
As you progress throughout the Chaos Shrine you may find that your regular spells could do with a little extra ‘oomph’ to dispatch your foes. That’s possible with a little levelling up and some build-up of the special gauge. If you have two or more sections of the bar filled up, then holding down your attack button will allow you to charge your magic from Fire to Fira, and eventually all the way to the ‘aga’ level.
Black mages aren’t the only one with hidden depths – when Jack is a warrior and decked out with his mighty greatsword he can let loose a series of special attacks if the player moves the left stick in different directions mid-combo. These special combos could get you out of a tight spot in the Shrine, so it’s worth learning them early.
We’d tell you the secret behind dragoon too, but it’s always good to have a little mystery.
5. Dress for the job you want
As you explore the Chaos Shrine, you’ll find plenty of equipment and attire to deck Jack out with. Some of these will also come with additional and randomised stat-changing properties or set bonuses, meaning that there’s plenty of reason to take the occasional rest and try on your latest spoils.
What you may not know, however, is that you can equip Jack with different clothes for each job role. As a mage, you can optimise your outfit to be more resistant to magic, while your role as a lancer can have you decked out to maximise your strength, and your Swordsman wardrobe can put defence above all to help you get stuck in with your greatsword? It’s all possible.
Even better, you can quick-change your role at the press of a button, allowing you to swap out your loadouts in the heat of battle and deal destruction in all occasions.
6. Become a master of your environment.
As you explore the Chaos Shrine, you may find more than a few obstacles blocking your path… and we don’t just mean the myriad of monsters roaming its hallowed halls. If a path seems inaccessible, or a Bomb has spewed fire on the battlefield, help is at hand from your own menagerie of spells.
Once Jack learns the mage job role, you’ll soon discover that spells aren’t just useful against enemies, but against the Shrine itself. For example, if you break down the pillars that lie in your path, you can do considerable damage to the break gauges of enemies that are caught up in its collapse, and even break several foes at once. Meanwhile, fire can be hosed down with a well-placed water spell, allowing you to make your way through perilous flames unscorched and even score some critical damage if any Bombs happen to be floating in the way.
Speaking of Bombs, you didn’t hear it from us, but there may be one hidden in the heights of a certain hall that’s crawling with wolves. Would certainly be a shame if Jack were to, say, knock it down into the pack below and make the ensuing fight easier. There could be plenty of other tricks to add to your arsenal if you take the time to explore to become a master of this domain.
7. Good luck against the boss, you’re going to need it.
No, really. This boss is the business. His stagger gauge replenishes quickly, he has two health bars, and if you can’t land your attacks effectively, his can easily take a massive chunk out of yours.
This fight is not for the faint-hearted, and trying to brute-force your way through it will leave you meeting with defeat.
Seriously, good luck.
Okay, fine. If you can roll behind the boss then attacking his back will give you some well-needed critical hits. Watch out for when he employs his Flamebringer move, as he’ll need to stop and charge it up for a few seconds – vital time to duck, dodge, dip, dive, and stab him in the back.
Use your soul shield to absorb their attacks and unleash counters, avoid charging moves, and don’t try to force a full combo if you don’t want to be punished.
You’ve got this. Probably.
8. When the going gets tough, the tough change difficulty.
It’s okay, really. The STRANGER OF PARADISE FINAL FANTASY ORIGIN TRIAL VERSION comes with adjustable difficulty settings, allowing you to tone it down if you’re unable to surpass the boss, find the fights overwhelming, or even if you want to make yourself feel more powerful as you cut through swathes of monsters. If the forces of the Chaos Shrine are too much, enemies can also be defeated more easily if you raise your job levels and invest your hard-earned experience into learning new skills.
On the other hand, if you’re someone who relishes a challenge, you can raise the bar to give yourself an even tougher time. Just keep in mind that pride comes before a fall (of difficulty), and could mean the difference between being the architect of Chaos’ destruction or your own.