Weather conditions never change during a battle. Whatever weather condition is present at the start of the battle persists throughout the whole fight. This means that a battle that begins at 19:58 will still be a Day battle at 20:05 (actually Twilight battle, tinted gold).
The specific weather patterns the player might see depend on which map they're fighting on.
Possible weather patterns
General outdoor maps
This includes most areas in the game—including all overworld random battles, and many story battles. In these areas, the weather effects can change in two ways, based on the time of day and on whether there are any storms.
|Weather||Day Effects (04:00-19:59)||Night Effects (20:00-03:59)|
|Clear (no rain or light rain)||No special effects||Evade rate vs. bows x 1.33|
|Rainstorm (heavy rain)||Evade rate vs. bows x 1.33, Fire damage down 25%, Lightning damage up 25%, Movement through swamps at 1/2 rate (slower)||Evade rate vs. bows x 1.80, Fire damage down 25%, Lightning damage up 25%, Movement through swamps at 1/2 rate (slower)|
|Thunderstorm (heavy rain, and flashes of light)||Evade rate vs. bows x 1.33, Fire damage down 25%, Lightning damage up 25%, Movement through swamps at 1/3 rate (slowest)||Evade rate vs. bows x 1.80, Fire damage down 25%, Lightning damage up 25%, Movement through swamps at 1/3 rate (slowest)|
Twilight battles (04:00-05:59 and 18:00-19:59) also exist where the screen is tinted gold. In gameplay terms, this is the same as a Day battle. A light rain is treated the same as a clear sky. A light rain and a rainstorm actually look pretty similar—the difference is just in how quickly and frequently the raindrops fall.
There are three categories of weather effects:
- Nighttime and storms increase the evade rate versus bows and crossbows (by 1.33 or by 1.80 depending on the weather pattern). Other weapon types are not affected.
- Since this effect simply multiplies an existing evade rate, it has no effect on attacks with a 0% evade rate (i.e., a 100% hit rate). So, a bow or crossbow that would have a 100% hit rate can never miss no matter what the weather conditions are.
- This also has no effect on the chance of blocking attacks with Shirahadori and Archer's Bane, which depend wholly on Bravery and are separate from evasion.
- Rainstorms and thunderstorms decrease the damage dealt all by Fire-elemental attacks by 25%, but increase the damage dealt all by Lightning-elemental attacks by 25%. This effects "stacks" on top of any Boosts or elemental strengths/weaknesses.
- Rainstorms and thunderstorms slow movement through swamp tiles. Normally, a character can move a number of tiles equal to their Move statistic.
- During a rainstorm, moving through a Swamp, Marsh or Poisonous Fen tile requires two Move "points". So, with a Move of five, they can only move through two Swamp or Poisonous Fen tiles during a rainstorm.
- During a thunderstorm, the penalty is even more severe—each Swamp, Marsh or Poisonous Fen tile requires three Move "points".
- This movement penalty can be eliminated with the Mystic's Ignore Weather movement ability.
- Only four battlefields have Poisonous Fen, Swamp or Marsh tiles: Siedge Weald, Tchigolith Fenlands, Dorvauldar Marsh and the Riovanes Castle Gate. When not fighting on these maps, Ignore Weather is useless. Since these are the only four maps with swampy tiles, it's only on these four maps that rainstorms and thunderstorms have different effects.
Battles that take place in a snowy area have a different set of possible weather patterns.
- Clear Day: No special effects.
- Light Snow (Snow is falling only vertically, with no horizontal movement): Same as clear day—no special effects.
- Snowstorm (Snow is moving from side to side, as well as vertically): The damage from Ice-elemental attacks increases by 25%. Other elements are unaffected.
- It is always daytime on snowfields, even if it is 20:00-03:59.
- There are no random battles in snowy areas. Snowstorms can only occur in a few (optional) story battles and in the multiplayer modes.
There is no weather indoors, and so there are never any weather effects. Battles that take place indoors include a number of story battles and Midlight's Deep. Aside from Midlight's Deep, random battles do not take place indoors.
Even though it's pitch black in the Midlight's Deep, the accuracy of bows and crossbows does not decrease.
Ignore Weather ability
Movement through Swamp and Poisonous Fen tiles is slowed during a rainstorm or thunderstorm. This penalty can be eliminated by equipping the Mystic's Ignore Weather movement ability. Ignore Weather does not change or ignore the accuracy penalty of bows and crossbows, nor the effects on elemental damage.
When do weather patterns occur?
Story battles and Rendezvous
Each battle has a predetermined weather pattern and there is no randomness involved.
Overworld random battles and the Ivalician calendar
Outside of Midlight's Deep, weather patterns in random battles are randomly determined. The type of weather patterns likely to be encountered depend on the current date. Some months in the Ivalician calendar (below) are designated "dry months," whereas other are designated "wet months." Thunderstorms are much more common during Wet months.
|Aries||30 days [Mar. 21 to Apr. 19]||Dry month|
|Taurus||31 days [Apr. 20 to May 20]||Dry month|
|Gemini||32 days [May 21 to June 21]||Wet month|
|Cancer||31 days [June 22 to July 22]||Wet month|
|Leo||31 days [July 23 to Aug. 22]||Dry month|
|Virgo||31 days [Aug. 23 to Sep. 22]||Dry month|
|Libra||31 days [Sep. 23 to Oct. 23]||Dry month|
|Scorpio||30 days [Oct. 24 to Nov. 22]||Dry month|
|Sagittarius||30 days [Nov. 23 to Dec. 22]||Wet month|
|Capricorn||28 days [Dec. 23 to Jan. 19]||Wet month|
|Aquarius||30 days [Jan. 20 to Feb. 18]||Wet month|
|Pisces||30 days [Feb. 19 to Mar. 20]||Dry month|
Below is listed the approximate frequencies of each weather kind of pattern during Dry Months and during Wet Months. There are six possible weather patterns. This applies only to random battles—story battles always have a predetermined weather pattern.
|Clear/Light Rain - 55%||Clear/Light Rain - 25%|
|Clear/Light Rain - 25%||Clear/Light Rain - 5%|
|Rainstorm - 10%||Rainstorm - 15%|
|Rainstorm - 5%||Rainstorm - 5%|
|Thunderstorm - 2.5%||Thunderstorm - 40%|
|Thunderstorm - 2.5%||Thunderstorm - 10%|
Weather patterns in Melee are based on the chosen map. It appears that "random battle" wilderness maps have a random weather pattern, whereas maps that are only used in story battles have the same weather pattern as the first story battle at that location.
The maps with special weather effects are:
- Day or Rainstorm
All other maps never have special weather effects.
Weather and terrain
The weather and terrain on the battlefield can have a (limited) influence on the battle mechanics.
Normally a character can move a number of squares equal to their Move statistic, so moving one square uses one 'Move Point'.
When moving through flowing water, moving one square instead uses two Move Points. A character cannot advance a square in flowing water unless they have two Move Points left. This means if a character has a Move of five, they will only be able to move two squares in flowing water. This effect is nullified if the unit in question has the movement abilities Ignore Terrain or Waterwalking equipped.
Stagnant water has no effect on Move under normal conditions. However, if it is raining heavily or thunderstorming, stagnant water (as in marshes and small ponds) also requires two Move Points to traverse one square. This effect is nullified if the unit in question has the movement abilities Ignore Weather or Waterwalking equipped.
When standing in water, a character is considered to be at a height equal to the stated height of the panel minus the depth of the water, unless they have an ability that changes this such as Float (which allows the character to hover 1h over the water) or Swim (which allows the character to walk on the water).
If a unit is submerged in water 2h deep or greater, the unit cannot Act or use reaction abilities (including Reflexes and Shirahadori, which will become disabled). This effect is neutralized if the unit has the Float status or the movement abilities Swim or Waterwalking.
In some battles, thunderstorms occur. If this is the case, damage from Lightning-elemental spells = [normal damage * 5/4] and damage from Fire-elemental spells = [normal damage * 3/4]. This effect is also nullified if the caster has the Any Weather ability.
In the case of a snowstorm during battle, damage from Ice-elemental spells = [normal damage * 5/4]. This, too, is nullified if the caster has Any Weather.
Shooting in the dark
When the battle takes place at night, there is an accuracy penalty charged to users of bows and crossbows.
A target's evade percentages (P.CEv, P.SEv, P.AEv) are increased as follows:
This doesn't apply for guns. Midlight's Deep, although pitch black, is considered an indoor area, thus without weather effects and the accuracy penalty doesn't occur.
Ignore Weather ability
Normally, a character can walk over marsh squares without suffering the water penalty. However, if it is raining heavily in a marshland, a similar penalty is faced—a character must use two movement points for every square of marsh they move over. If the Ignore Weather ability is equipped, that penalty will not take effect. In addition, weather effects on magick (increase in Lightning damage and decrease in Fire damage during thunderstorms) are nullified if the caster has Ignore Weather. Overall this ability has limited uses in the game. Another curiosity: the programmers gave the Automaton class Ignore Terrain and Ignore Weather inherent, but they also gave it Cannot enter water inherent, making Ignore Terrain and Ignore Weather useless, as the elemental effect won't hit the Automaton.