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As you all know, a major factor in any RPG is the battle system. In fact, it has the most influence on how good the game is, like story or gameplay.

Mario RPG's are no exception, and most of us who like these types of games, love the battle system. Whether it's the the more traditional Super Mario RPG style, the Bros Moves and other combos in Mario & Luigi, or the Action Commands of Paper Mario, Mario RPG's have unique features.

In Seven Sages, we had this notion in mind when we modified the DBS of RPG Maker 2003. We couldn't do much to the actual mechanics of the battle system themselves, but through determination and ingenuity, we were able to add a layer of "Mario-ness" to the battle system. Random bonuses, Suits (a feature not even the normal Mario RPG's had!), Sage Powers and Skills combined with nicely animated heroes were the result of hard work. It was rather impressive... for a 2k3 game.

That being said, there were obvious limits to what we could do. Limits that were hard coded into the system, and that we could do nothing to change. Enemies would remain frozen in place, unanimated, as Mario, Luigi, and Bowser maneuvered smoothly. Timed hits were no where to be seen. Combo moves were attempted but ended in failure. As good as our system was, the limits of RPG Maker 2003 were all still present.

All of this changed when we made the transition to XP. Because of the script functionality of RMXP, the ability to change most of what was hard coded, we were able to finally break some of the limits that 2k3 put on us. But it was not an easy feat. As good as the SBS (Tantenkai) script is, there was still a lot we had to tinker, add, and manipulate before it could become the Mario Hybrid Battle System 2.0

Action Commands, true Badges, and Combo Attacks will prove to be the most notable upgrades to the system. All three of which are found in Mario RPGs, but were missing in Seven Sages. In addition to these features, the enemies will finally be animated, performing their own attacks with the same smoothness as the heroes. And thanks to higher quality graphics, everything will simply look better.

Because this is a thread about the actual battle system, I won't get into Badges much so I will focus on Action Commands. Action Commands or "Timed Hits" as they were once called are what make Mario Battle Systems fun. They add a simple level of interaction that is surprisingly rewarding.

Generally, each character is assigned a button they predominately use.
Mario - C
Luigi - X
Bowser - Z

But Action Commands aren't limited to pressing buttons when prompted. The mouse can also play an important roll as seen in our teaser video with the fire flower. Charging Bowser's Punch by holding down the Z button is another example. Arrow keys also are used in a Paper Mario fashion, holding back to charge Hammer Attacks and pressing forward at the last moment to increase your damage. Every attack you do is a gamble in a sense. Some moves will always damage, but generally stronger ones will miss if you mistime them. This way the battles become more dynamic and depending on how well you master AC's, you can make things a little easier on yourself.

Action Commands
Action Guarding
Starlite Power and Moves(like Star Power)
Animated Enemies/Heroes

The Guard System
Like Paper Mario and Super Mario RPG (But not in M&L), Starlite Worlds will give the player the ability to defend attacks on the fly. This is called "Guarding" which is can be used in conjunction with the "Defend" command. Guarding, however, is a simple button press timed before the damage pops up and does not take your turn to do.

Normal Guard
The basic guard. There is a 4 frame window after the impact of a hit to guard an attack. You cannot hold A before the window or else the guard won't work. If you press A in the last 3 frames, this will be a Normal Guard. It reduces the damage recieved by a slight amount. Your hero will flash green and a sound will play letting you know you succeeded.

Super Guard
An advanced guard. There is a 1 frame window of opportunity to pull it off. If you are successful, a sound will play and your hero will flash cyan. The damage received will be reduced greatly.

Starlite Guard
Although not available in the first several hours of the game, Starlite Guard can be a rather important ability. You gain it from getting a Starlite Crystal like getting a Sage Move from a Sage in SS. However, it's not something you simply select from a list of skills during battle. It's an added layer of functionality to the battle system itself.

In order to use the Starlite Guard right click on the hero you want to use it on. Right click on the hero before the enemies attack damages you. It's not a matter of timing, you can just hold down right click on the hero of your choosing while the enemy attacks you. A sound will play letting you know it was successful, and the enemies attack will be reduced. It takes about half of 1 Starlite Point (think Star Power in Paper Mario 1 & 2) but reduces the damage taken by 25%.

Things to Note:
-For multi-hit attacks, Starlite Guard is calculated for each individual hit. In other words, if a monster hits you four times, you need 2 whole Starlte Points to guard the entire thing.
-If an enemy hits multiple hero's multiple times, you can switch between who you want to Starlite Guard by simply moving your mouse to the other hero and holding the right click button.
-Starlte Guard's effect will be added to a Super or Ultra guard
-Generally, the guard window for skills is after impact but before the damage pops. It'd be worth it to practice getting into the rhythm of guarding attacks
-For multi-hit attacks, Normal, Super or Starlite guarding doesn't cover all of the hits! You got to keep on doing it.