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Most of the fun of playing an RPG lies in challenging and defeating powerful monsters and villains. Most battles that occus happen randomly, meaning that the characters are suddenly swept into a fight from timeto time while traveling a certain area or while moving on foot across the world.

However, sometimes a monster is introduced, or it introduces itself. These creatures are usually enemies that you must fight to proceed in the game. Commonly referred to as Boss enemies. You can expect bosses to be mush tougher, much more intelligent, and much trickier to defeat than all of the other enemies. Overcoming boss monsters requires brilliant and sometimes risky stradegies.

Battles usually don't occur in towns or cities, unless they are part of some kind of tournament or contest to win prizes. Most of your battles will occur suddenly as you are exploring dark and mysterious areas, where villains and evil lie in waitfor young heroes.

When you enter the battle screen, your party will be aligned against an enemy party of one to four monsters. All characters have an opportunity to strike, which is their "combat turn." When all of the characters have attacked and the enemy has reatliated, one combat round is complete. Battles can go on for several rounds, until all of the enemies or all the characters are dead or incapable of continuing to fight.

A character gets to fight when it becomes his/her turn. This is determined by a time guage. When the characetr's time gauge fills up, you can choose commands for that character to execute. the eight playable characters in FFIX all have different and unique abilities to utilize in battle. You must use the characters' skills so that the party functions as a team. Oftentimes, the magic-users are required to cast status-changing spells that will let the characters who can not use magic attack more effectively.

After each battle, characters may gain EXP, AP, Gil and spoils. EXP is a measure of experience and allows the characters to gain levels and become more powerful. AP are ability points that are applied to each skill or ability that the characters are trying to learn. Thus, if you are trying to learn five abilities and you defeat a monster that yields 2 AP, then 2 points are applied toward learning each ability. Characters who are not in the current party do not gain EXP or AP.

Gil is money that can be used to purchase new items, equipment, and supplies. You can also use it to gamble, stay the night at an Inn, or bid on auction items. Monsters also drop spoils after the battle, which are items of all sorts including medicines, weapons, armor, equipment, add-ons, and key items.

Time during battle is managed by the ATB System. ATB stands for "Active Time Battle." There are two ATB modes: Active and Wait. You can select the mode you prefer in the Config Menu. If you're new to RPG's, you should choose Wait. Selecting Active allows enemies to strike while your trying to choose items or spells for your characters.

   Active: Always real-time; time never stops during battle
   Wait: Time stops while selecting magic and items

Damage Points
Numbers and details pop up during battle whenever your HP and MP change. Numbers appear in two different colors. With HP, white numbers indicate damage, while green numbers indicate recovery. With MP, white numbers also indicate loss or drain, while green numbers indicate MP recharge.

The positions and lineup of your characters on the battlefield is an important aspect of combat not to be overlooked. outside of battle, you can change the order and the row of your characters using the Order option on the menu. To change your lineup, select the charcter you want to move, and press the X button. This causes another hand cursor to appear. Move the second hand cursor to the charcter you want the first character to change places with, and press the X button again to switch them.

Row is an even more important factor of positioning characters on the battlefield. There are two rows: the front and the back. In the front row, you can dish out big damage with a physical attack, but you may also recieve a higher amount of damage. In the back row, characters can only cause a small amount of damage with the Attack command, but they will recieve less damage from enemy attacks.

The rows automatically switch when a back attack occurs. This is when an enemy sneaks up on the party from behind. Damage to all characters will be greater in this situation. Those who are normally positioned in the back row are now in the front row, and vice versa. You can switch between front row and back row while in the battle menu by holding the directional button to the left. The change option will appear, and this command will let you r characters use their turn to change rows.

Characters who inflict greater damage with physical attacks should be placed in the front row, while characters who are more inclined toward magic use should be placed in the back. This is because spells cause the same amount of damage whether they are cast from either the back row or the front row. For those characters who dish out more damage with physical attacks, there are long-range weapons that enable fighters to cause as much damage from the back row.

When the character named Quina is recruited, s/he should be placed in the front row to start off. After quina eats several monsters and learns a plethora of spells and abilities, you should start using quina more as a magic-user, because his/her physical attacks inflict such a random amount of damage.

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