JRPG fans should feel right at home in The Legend of Dragoon‘s combat. At the beginning of the game, there’s attack, defend, item, and escape; it’s all standard turn-based battle fare. What sets TLOD apart from most of its peers (even before you go transforming into flying winged warriors later on) are “Additions”. When players attack, if they press X/Cross at the right time, their single strike becomes a multi-hit combo. These start simple enough but quickly advance into being four attacks long, and later the strings extend further and grow more hurried. How do you time these? We’ve got you covered, with our guide on how to do Additions in The Legend of Dragoon.
How To Do Additions – The Overlapping Square System
After selecting attack and then your target, your character will rush toward the enemy. As seen in the video above, a blue square will appear on the screen, rotating and shrinking until it overlaps with a smaller square. The speed at which these two squares meet is different for each Addition. Each new strike in the sequence can also change the pace you’ll need to press the action button. This is less daunting than it sounds in all but the hardest additions. Tracking the squares and timing your input falls somewhere between a QTE and a rhythm game but ends up being easier than most of either with practice.
Following the Animation
There’s another visual tell that follows the same timing as the squares that guide your inputs. Also seen in the video above, you’ll notice the squares overlap at the precise moment that Dart’s sword connects with his target. This is how I’ve personally timed Additions in all my playthroughs since The Legend of Dragoon‘s original release in 2000. The party’s combo attacks are impressively animated for the PS1, and you can time your inputs by carefully watching the buildup before their strikes, then pressing the action button as soon as their weapons hit their target.
Listen for Battle Cries
For those more tuned to using their ears than eyes, there’s another cue for successful Additions. At the moment of impact, the cast of The Legend of Dragoon will often grunt or yell. Quickly pressing the cross button with these audio cues will have you stringing together blows and successfully completing your devastating Additions.
Watch for Counters
Some enemies will “counter” your combo. If they’re successful, they’ll knock you back and end your Addition. However, they can only do that if you allow them to. The success of an enemy counter depends on your failure to react accordingly. You’ll be made aware of a counter attempt with an audio cue, a flash of red lighting, and your guiding squares turning red. All you need to do in this case is continue your combo as usual, but press the circle button for your next hit. When you pull this off, time stops, and a red barrier curves toward your foe. You’ve avoided the counter, but you aren’t out of the woods yet. If you’re anything like me, this small pause in the action has thrown off your muscle memory, and you’ll need to be careful when executing the rest of the Addition so as not to drop the combo.
Check Your Equipment (Outside the Game)
When you need precise inputs, it’s important to minimize your input lag/delay. The Legend of Dragoon was released for the PS1 in 2000; it was designed to play on CRTs, which had incredibly low input lag. On a modern television, you’ll want to make sure your PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 input is being played on “Game Mode” to minimize the time passing between what’s actually happening in your game and what you see on screen.
Practice Makes Perfect
As part of the new PS Plus Classics Catalog, The Legend of Dragoon features the quality of life options that other recent PS1 and PSP game releases have. Players are allowed to create save states and/or rewind during gameplay. Back in the good ol’ days, if you flubbed an Addition, you had to wait until your character’s next turn, or if you finished off your enemy, the next battle. With the rewind function, you can turn back time to before you missed your inputs and give it another shot. If you want an authentic first playthrough of TLOD, you’ll want to abstain from using this to fix your mistakes in key battles of course, but when you’re out fighting random monsters this can be used as a training tool to great effect.
The Legend of Dragoon is available now for $9.99 on the PlayStation Store for PS4 and PS5. Users who purchased the game on PS3 or PSP can download the new version for free. It’s also included in the Classics Catalog for PlayStation Plus Premium subscribers.