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Combat System
The combat system for Final Fantasy IX is comparable to the system from Final Fantasy 7. Also character classes return to Final Fantasy 9. Battling parties can consist of up to four characters, and you'll be able to make use of front and back rows, depending on the weapons and abilities a character can use. A new option called ‘Trance Mode' replaces the Limit Breaks, although it servers the same purpose (this is a very good thing because well lets face it we all like Limit Breaks). When a character takes a certain amount of damage, they will go into a trance, which allows them to make use of previously inaccessible abilities. Each character will gain skills based on their character alone, such as Zidane having a steal command (Mug like in FF8) since his character class is Thief. Magic returns to being used via magic points (MP) because so many people complained about the Junction System in Final Fantasy 8. The choice of spells available to a character will be limited by what their class is.


Spells
To completely understand the availability of skills and spells to characters in Final Fantasy IX, you must understand the equipment system. The availability of equipment for characters is similar to the SNES Final Fantasy titles - equipment will not be limited to one person, but one class type. Thieves and warriors will be able to equip light armor, while knights will wear heavy armor and mages will be able to equip robes. The same basic pattern applies for weapons, and it is then from these different equipment classes that the abilities and spells a character can use is determined. Every item and piece of equipment in Final Fantasy IX has its own set of skills it can teach to certain characters. When equipped, the items and weapons a character uses will allow the character to use its selected abilities. One example given is Vivi's Black Mage Staff (cool a Black Mage Staff! And it’s all mine!). When equipped, Vivi will be able to use the magic spells "Osmosis" and "Fire" (burn baby, burn) in battle. Each of these spells has its own Action Points (AP) gauge, which when full, allows Vivi to continue using the spells even after he unequipped the Black Mage Staff. (*Note* this AP is not for Guardian Forces). AP is gained merely by battling with the equipment on, which means you'll need to use all equipment and items available to a character for a certain amount of time if you wish to learn every spell and ability that the character can learn.

Action Abilities and Status Abilities
The abilities themselves come in two different classes, Action Abilities (AA) and Status Abilities (SA). Action abilities give your character in-battle commands, such as extended stealing abilities or the power to use summoned Guardian Forces (Which know so far the returning GFs are Leviathan and once again Bahamut). Status Abilities can raise a characters statistics or can increase a character's resistance to status changes, such as poison, or blind.