- For videos, see: Quickening (ability)/Videos
Quickening (ミストナック, Misuto Nakku?, lit. Mist Knack) is the term for the Limit Break system in Final Fantasy XII and its sequel, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings. In Final Fantasy XII, Quickenings use a new system over previous Limit Break systems, involving the real-time input of button commands, requiring fast reflexes to chain together attacks before a timer depletes.
In Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Quickenings use a more familiar system involving charging up a "Mist Gauge" to unleash a powerful attack. Quickenings also appear in the Dissidia Final Fantasy series for Gabranth and Vaan.
Quickenings are divided into three levels, with each being more powerful than the previous and requiring more Mist Charges to use. Quickenings are found on the License Board. In the original version each requires 50 LP to unlock, but the Zodiac version has varying license costs for the Quickening licenses.
Quickening licenses teach the recipient their next level technique. Each Quickening license can be taken by one character. The original License Board has eighteen squares and so all party members can learn all of their Quickenings. The Zodiac versions have four Quickening licenses on each board; once three Quickenings have been acquired, the final one will be removed from that character's License Board(s).
In the original release, Quickenings boost the recipient's max MP when unlocked—Level 2 Quickenings double the recipient's original MP, and Level 3s triple it. The party member's MP bar takes on a gold color to represent how many "Mist Charges" they have. The MP bar lengthens as more Quickenings are learned, and will consist of one, two or three golden bars depending on the user's Mist Charges. The bars represent all (zero or 1 charge), 50% (with 2 charges) or 33% (with 3 charges) of the user's max MP. Using a Quickening costs a number of Mist Charges equal to the Quickening's level, for example two Mist Charges to use a level two Quickening.
In the Zodiac versions, Quickenings no longer use MP, but have their own Mist Charge gauge, similar to Revenant Wings. The mechanics remain the same, but a character afflicted with Silence can still use Quickening since it no longer draws from the user's MP. The Mist Charge gauge recovers slowly over time, but for the most part can no longer be charged by using Ether or Hi-Ether items, as they no longer draw from MP. Using an Ether restores an extremely minute portion, while a Hi-Ether restores most of a single of the three bars. It can, however, be fully recovered by using an Elixir, as well as when touching a Save Crystal or other situations in which the party is fully healed. A Megalixir will fully restore the gauges of all three active party members, or all reserve members if targeted at the reserve. The Charge Technick charges both MP and the Quickening bar; while a failed Charge reduces the user's MP to zero, it does not reduce the Mist gauge.
Using a Quickening takes no Charge Time and normal gameplay halts as the character executes the attack. A timer appears along with a blue bar and button icons corresponding to any of the three current party members who know Quickenings. Characters who are KO'd, petrified, stopped, disabled, berserked, silenced or confused can't use Quickenings.
As the attack executes, the timer and blue bar deplete, and the player must quickly press a shown button to have the next character execute another Quickening. This is called a "Quickening Chain". The player may press to "shuffle" the shown commands for the other party members, randomizing the commands they can be given.
If a character has the "Mist Charge" option available, using it will restore the character's Mist Charges to full and allow more Quickenings to be chained. The faster the player inputs the next command, the more time they will have to input another command during the next attack. Assuming the player can react quickly enough, and they get lucky in having the Mist Charge command appear, there is virtually no limit to how long a Quickening chain can get. When the chain ends, characters lose MP equal to however many Mist Charges they used in the chain, and any characters who used the Mist Charge command lose all their MP.
The option to use Quickenings is not available while an Esper is summoned, as it draws from the same Mist mechanic and all party members are absent except for the summoner.
The player must input the command for the next Quickening in the chain within a time limit, and the faster the player selects a new Quickening more time they have left.
The exact formula for time allowed in hit k+1 is:
- $ T(k+1) = T(k) - X(k)/2 $
- T(1) = 4 seconds.
- X(k) is the time the player spends to make an action in hit k.
The player always has four seconds in the first hit. If the player is fast they get more time in subsequent hits as well.
- T(1) = 4
- X(1) = 0.4 (the player spends 0.4 seconds to initiate the second Quickening)
- T(2) = T(1) - X(1)/2 = 4 - 0.2 = 3.8 (3.8 seconds is left to initiate the next Quickening)
The chance for "Mist Charge" to appear as an option depends on the number of Quickening participants.
- 1 Participant: 1/6
- 2 Participants: 1/7
- 3 Participants: 1/8
If the character has all bars full, the option of Mist Charge does not appear.
Every Quickening uses the user's Strength stat, but because they are executed using MP they cannot be used if the character is unable to perform magick, with the previously mentioned exception of the Zodiac versions. Despite their appearances, Quickenings and Concurrences are non-elemental. They break the damage limit, allowing them to do up to 99,999 damage. Level 1 Quickenings have a power of 90, level 2 a power of 140, and level three have a power of 230.
Damage done is equal to a random number between 1 and the power of the Quickening multiplied by a random number between 1 and the character's Strength. Thus, a character with 50 Strength using a level 2 Quickening will do random damage between 1 and 7000. Damage dealt with Quickenings is unaffected by Reverse.
Depending on how many Quickenings the player chains, and what levels they are, a Concurrence may occur when the Quickening chain ends. Concurrences are power attacks that affect not only the target of the Quickening chain, but all enemies nearby as well. If the player fulfills the conditions for more than one Concurrence the strongest one will take priority. Executing every Concurrence adds Gabranth's sprite to the Sky Pirate's Den in the PlayStation 2 versions, and awards the "Mistwalker" trophy/achievement in The Zodiac Age.
The damage of each quickening hit is:
- $ DMG = RANDOM(1 \dots POW) \times RANDOM(1 \dots STR) $
POW is a fixed number that depends on the Quickening level.
- POW (Lv1) = 90
- POW (Lv2) = 140
- POW (Lv3) = 230
STR is the Strength of the character performing the hit. The damage of each Quickening is summed up at the end to produce the total damage. Regular Quickening hits only damage the target enemy. Certain enemies can reduce received damage, including damage from Quickenings.
If the party performs enough Quickening hits they can trigger a Concurrence. Concurrences have a radius of 10, and thus also damage enemies close to the target.
- POW x Lv(enemy)
For example, for a level 99 enemy, a Black Hole alone would deal a damage of 253 x 99 or 25,047.
List of Quickenings
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3|
Red Spiral* Name in Japanese: レッドスパイラル
Deep Hazard* Name in Japanese: ディープハザード
Melt Crimson* Name in Japanese: メルトクリムゾン
|Balthier||Fires of War|
Compass of Plunder* Name in Japanese: 略奪のコンパス
|Tides of Fate|
Portolan of Destiny* Name in Japanese: 宿命のポルトラン
|Element of Treachery|
Aspect of Trickery* Name in Japanese: 謀逆のアスペクト
Chaotic Splitting Deadly Palm* Name in Japanese: 乱命割殺掌
Strong Armor Destroying Point Kick* Name in Japanese: 強甲破点蹴
Chew Attack Ice Wolf Wave* Name in Japanese: 咬撃氷狼波
Shockwave of Black and Darkness* Name in Japanese: 闇と暗黒の衝撃
Unmistakable End* Name in Japanese: 紛れ無き終焉
100 Demon Scorching Sun of Crushing Evil* Name in Japanese: 百鬼・烈日の破邪
Nordswain's Glow*Zodiac versions
North Star Bone Crushing Slash* Name in Japanese: 北斗骨砕斬
Holy Light Explosion Slash* Name in Japanese: 聖光爆裂斬
Heavenly Drum Thunder Sound Lightning Slash* Name in Japanese: 天鼓雷音稲妻斬
Power over Life & Death* Name in Japanese: 生殺与奪
Disappearing like Mist* Name in Japanese: 雲散霧消
Scenic Beauty* Name in Japanese: 山紫水明
List of Concurrences
The Concurrences' animations use the same animation as the Espers's special moves when fought against as bosses. For example, Black Hole uses the same animation as Zodiark's Darkja. Concurrences are non-elemental.
|Inferno||3x Level 1 Quickenings||90|
|Cataclysm||7x Level 1 Quickenings||6x Level 1 Quickenings||110|
|Torrent||2x Level 1 Quickenings|
3x Level 2 Quickenings
|2x Level 1 Quickenings|
2x Level 2 Quickenings
|Windburst||5x Level 2 Quickenings||4x Level 2 Quickenings||155|
|Whiteout||5x Level 3 Quickenings||4x Level 3 Quickenings||175|
|Ark Blast||2x Level 1 Quickenings|
2x Level 2 Quickenings
2x Level 3 Quickenings
|Luminescence||3x Level 1 Quickenings|
3x Level 2 Quickenings
3x Level 3 Quickenings
|Black Hole||4x Level 1 Quickenings|
4x Level 2 Quickenings
4x Level 3 Quickenings
In the Nalbina Dungeons, Balthier uses Fires of War to defeat Gijuk and Bwagi, and in the Garamsythe Waterway, Fran uses a new Quickening, "Sesshouku Hatsudo," which could be translated as "First Contact" or "First Snow/Cold". It's an ice-elemental attack that kills Firemane. Plenty of magickal energy and great concentration are needed to perform Quickenings, and while Fran's magickal aptitude is how she is able to perform hers, Balthier is implied to have been enabled by the quantities of Mist around him.
Quickenings are simplified, with only one Quickening available to each character, and no potential for chains. Quickenings are learned upon the defeat of a certain Rank III Yarhi, and are charged by the Mist Gauge, which fills up as a character deals and receives damage in battle.
|Vaan||Pyroclasm||Belias||Deal heavy damage to all foes in range.|
|Penelo||Dance of Rapture||Ultima||Fully restore all allies' HP and remove debuffs.|
|Kytes||Nature's Wrath||Chaos||Deal heavy elemental damage to all foes in range.|
|Filo||Wind Soul||Mateus||Allow allies to act immediately.|
|Llyud||Fanfare||Hashmal||Fortify all friendly Espers.|
|Balthier||Element of Treachery||Shemhazai||Deal heavy ranged damage to one foe.|
|Fran||Gaze of the Void||Exodus||Remove buffs from all foes.|
|Ashe||Empyrean's Edict||Famfrit||Prevent all foes from summoning Espers.|
|Basch||Apocalypse Shield||Zalera||Nullify all damage to the group.|
Dissidia Final Fantasy (2008)
Blows embodying wrath itself.
Gabranth's EX Burst is a sequence of three Quickenings based on Basch's from Final Fantasy XII—Fulminating Oblivion, Ruin Unflinching, and Frost Purge. As Gabranth performs the attack, a timer will count down as the player cycles through the other Quickenings Gabranth can perform. If they select the next-level Quickening before the timer depletes, Gabranth will chain the previous Quickening with the next.
If the player misses the timing or inputs the wrong command, the sequence ends. Depending on how many Quickenings Gabranth chains, the sequence ends with the Inferno (0 chains), Ark Blast (1 chain), or Black Hole (perfect) Concurrence. The command for Mist Charge can be spotted during the "shuffle," but can never be selected.
A powerful attack infused with Mist.
With the addition of Vaan, his Quickenings appear as his EX Burst, in which they are chained the same way as Gabranth's. It starts out with Red Spiral (where swirls of energy appear around the opponent and then hit by a beam of light), White Whorl (where Vaan kicks up a tornado and slams it into the opponent), and Pyroclasm (where Vaan creates two fireballs in his hands and tosses them at the opponent, causing a massive explosion), and it concludes with Luminescence, where Vaan traps the opponent in between two Concurrence circles and consumes them in a blast of light.
Gabranth's EX Burst remains unchanged.
Vaan's Quickenings (Red Spiral, White Whorl and Pyroclasm) function as his HP attacks. Unlike the other characters, Vaan can use two HP attacks instead of one, and each Quickening can chain into Luminescence after landing two HP attacks.
Vaan gains three more HP attacks: Azure Torrent, Calamitous Orb and Earthen Eruption, and the ability to chain into the Black Hole Concurrence, which can be used after he lands five HP attacks, doing more damage than Luminescence.
Pyroclasm is an ability exclusive to Vaan, learned at level 40. During Battle Music Sequences, each time a boss-type enemy enters, Pyroclasm damages that enemy based on Vaan's Strength, Magic and Level.
Pyroclasm is an exclusive reactive ability that costs 18 CP to equip. It is activated in Battle Music Sequence (BMS) when a boss-class enemy appears. It deals damage in direct proportion to Strength, Magic, and level. It is learned by Vaan (level 40).
Some Quickenings appear as abilities.
Characters from Final Fantasy XII use Quickenings and Concurrences when they are summoned as Legends. In addition, players can obtain certain Quickenings to use as abilities.
- Ability Cards
- Legend Cards
Vaan, Ashe, and Balthier use their signature Quickening's White Whorl, Northswain's Glow, and Fires of War as their primary attack.
Some of the Quickenings appear used by their original wielders.
Players can transform into Vaan via the Trance system and use Luminescence.
Tides of Fate is Balthier's Champion summon ability. It inflicts water-elemental magical damage to all enemies, bypassing defense. It has high topple strength. It can be obtained through DLC and costs 2★ gauges to use. When used "The Fates" plays.
Several cards featuring Final Fantasy XII party members have their Quickenings as abilities.
Basch's card depicting his promotional render has Flame Purge. For a cost of 5 Fire CP, Dulling Basch and discarding another Basch card, Flame Purge deals 9000 damage to up to two target Forwards.
Vaan's card depicting his promotional render has White Whorl as its ability. Activated by paying one Wind CP and discarding a Vaan card, White Whorl sets all Wind Forwards the player controls to Active. Another Vaan card has Pyroclasm, which deals 2000 damage to a chosen Forward for each Backup the player controls, for a cost of Dulling Vaan and paying two Wind CP.
Balthier has two cards with his Quickenings. The card depicting his promotional render has Fires of War, costing a Wind CP and the discard of another Balthier card. Fires of War grants Balthier the Pre-Emptive Strike ability and prevents him from being targeted by summons or abilities until the end of the turn. His Revenant Wings artwork card uses Element of Treachery. For two Wind CP, dulling Balthier, and the discard of another Balthier card, Element of Treachery deals 10,000 damage to a Forward of the player's choice.
Ashe's ability on her promotional render card is Heaven's Wrath. For the discard cost of another Ashe card and two Water CP, Heaven's Wrath grants Ashe +2000 power and the Pre-Emptive Strike ability until the end of the turn.
Penelo's card depicting her render appearance has Evanescence. For the discard of a Penelo card and Dulling Penelo, the player can choose a Dulled Forward and send it to the Break Zone.
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
Balthier is depicted with art with him performing Element of Treachery.
The term "quickening" refers to the action of bringing someone, or something, to life, as well as the feeling of stimulation or excitement.
The word "Concurrence" simply means "agreement" or "approval" or "bargain". In other terms, a concurrence is a condition or situation that creates a good outcome of it.
- In the Japanese version of Final Fantasy XII, Quickening chains were accompanied by a message, like "Cool!" and "Very Cool!", beside the chain number. The higher the chain, the better the message. These were removed in the North American and European versions.
- The Bradygames official strategy guide for Final Fantasy XII lists Whiteout and Luminescence in reverse. This is a mistake, as Luminescence is the stronger of the two.
- The Ultimania guide includes a picture of a 47-hit level-1 Quickening. It is made possible by purchasing only one Quickening license and then acquiring an Esper that requires three Mist Charges to summon (Famfrit, Chaos, Ultima, or Zodiark).
- An early trailer of Final Fantasy XII shows that the standard battle HUD was initially present during the Quickening sequence instead of the simpler HUD, which relied on pressing buttons to chain Quickenings. It also seems that Quickenings weren't initially meant to be chained.
- Fran's Shatterheart seems to refer to the Diamond Dust ability performed by Shiva.
- Vaan's movements in his Quickenings are based on baseball pitches, while Penelo's are ice skating moves.
- Penelo's Quickenings are all one word, as opposed to everyone else's that usually feature a full phrase.
- While performing Quickenings, if a controller disconnects, the game will not be paused. The Quickening chain will continue, despite the player not being able to press buttons.
- Basch is the only character to not speak when performing his Quickenings, only letting out various grunts and cries.
- Basch uses Fulminating Darkness to finish Air Cutter Remora, the boss at the introduction of Final Fantasy XII. When it has 40% of HP left, Basch uses it automatically, finishing the battle. Despite this, he still has to learn it when he joins the party.