Thanks to Scott Baird of ScreentRants.com for the inspiration!
7. THE TRANCE MECHANICS
The Limit Break system is one of the most popular aspects of the later Final Fantasy titles. These are super attacks that usually require the character to have taken a lot of damage or be in a desperate situation before they can be activated.
The Final Fantasy IX equivalent of the Limit Break was called “Trance.” When a character activated their Trance form, they would receive a boost to their stats and sometimes gain access to unique battle commands.
The problem with the Trance mechanic is that they couldn’t be saved. They activated when the character took enough damage and quickly ran out. This meant that most of your uses of Trance were against random encounters, which didn’t really require the extra power to beat.
I don’t think the Trance mechanics should be cut, but it would be nice if they were improved upon. “Trance in Final Fantasy IX is an homage to Terra Branford’s ability from Final Fantasy VI” and is a nice inclusion for those players looking for nostalgia to the past games. But the system has its flaws.
Choosing when to use your Trance would be ideal. Here, your limit breaks are automatic and last for a few rounds. Maybe our characters could enter Trance form for the entire battle, yet give players the option to revert back.
How to solve the problem of random encounters? I don’t know. My guess is that if you were to never run from battles, you’d be able to Trance for boss battles. But I haven’t tested this theory, and I’m not sure if it would work. And this might be a challenge when you’re managing four characters who’s Trance bars are closer than others.
So maybe Scott is onto something here? While managing combat around Trance can be a challenge, it comes off as more of a nuisance. Maybe it would be better to save your limit breaks for later. Until then, cross your fingers and hope that you don’t Trance on the field.