Combat is the more important part of the game. The Last Story uses a real time battle system. You can move freely on the battlefield and use different tactics, from attacking in an all out assault to taking out your enemies one by one with stealth. For most of the game, you control Zael, so he is the main fighter.
Note: All controls from here on will be the wii remote and nunchuk control scheme.
To attack as the player you are controlling, you simply have to move towards the enemy you wish to attack. You will attack automatically. However, if you find that boring or if you wish to speed up your attacks, you can change the control scheme in the Options menu. Doing this will allow you to attack much faster by pressing A.
You can also guard, or block by pressing and holding B. This greatly reduces the damage dealt by enemy attacks. Later on in the game, you receive the ability to Guard Counter. Press B just as an enemy attacks and you will guard, receiving no damage, and retaliate with a very powerful attack which also deals a fair bit of knockback.
Main Article: Gathering
Gathering is an ability that Zael obtains in Chapter 1. By pressing C, it attracts all nearby monsters causing them to switch their attention to Zael, as well as doubling allies' casting speed. This allows Zael to keep enemies away from mages while they're casting spells.
While Gathering is active, when Zael attacks, a small amount of health will be restored upon each hit. Gathering Burst also heals Zael when it is released.
Later on in the game, Zael receives the skill, Gathering Burst. As Zael takes damage while using Gathering, a "Burst Up" and later "Burst Max" message will appear in the middle of the screen. When Gathering at max is deactivated, damage will be dealt to all nearby enemies and they'll be "stopped" for a moment. If Zael releases Gathering right after the "Burst Up" message appears, Gathering Burst will only deal damage to nearby enemies and inflict the status, Gravity.
Some of the online weapons given as prizes in Multiplayer, bestows Zael a few interesting boosts. One for example, when Zael uses Gathering Burst, he has a 50% chance Gathering Burst will heal allies depending on how much damage is dealt. Other offline weapons also have a Burst boost.
Each character has a number of skills. Some can only be used in Command Mode. The mages' skills usually are spells. When controlling a character, you will usually be able to use one of these skills by holding A. When you are using a character capable of using magic you are able to aim and cast it anywhere you want by pressing and holding 'A'. When casting, you can release the spell whenever you want; however, the longer you charge it, the more powerful it will be. When characters controlled by AI use magic, they will only ever release the magic when fully charged.
You can change the spell they cast in Command Mode. This is the most strategic part of Command Mode, as a mage will continue to use the same spell unless you tell them to use a different one in Command Mode. If fighting an enemy with healing properties in certain magic circles, then you must tell a mage not to cast that spell. If a mage is using Recover, then they will just hide until their Healing Circle runs out, before casting a new one.
The skills that can only be used in Command Mode are buff skills, like Syrenne's Power Chain and Zael's Power Strike, as well as Magic attacks.
Battle skills are skills you can use in the game without using Command Mode. Skills like Vertical Slice, Slash, and Guard Counter can be used without commanding or depleting your command gauge.
- Vertical Slice: a skill that lets the user run towards a wall and slam dunk on enemies. This skill is valuable to the battles with Asthar and Kraken
- Slash: a skill that can be used when hiding. Tilt the joystick to the preferred enemy and press A for an ambush attack. With Gathering activated, it is stronger.
- Guard Counter: a skill that lets the user receive no damage at all and deflect physical and magical attacks. Guard right at the moment when an enemy attacks you, and you will Counter them.
You recieve Command Mode at the begining of Chapter 11. It allows the player to stop time and give orders to his allies. You are only able to use Command Mode when your skill bar is full. Using it will deplete the bar completely. Because the bar fills up over time, you have to wait a while between each use. An advantage is that the spells ordered by Command Mode will just take 3 seconds to cast. When you receive the ability to use it, it appears that Command Mode is unique to Zael. However, later in the game, there are small sections where you are not in control of Zael; in these sections, you can still use Command Mode.
Note: You can actually obtain Command Mode when you are around Level 10-13. Zael obtains Gale after leveling up, resulting in a newly obtained Command Guage. It is only at Chapter 11 where Zael would be able to 'Command'.
Spirit Attacks are special powers that can only be activated through Command Mode. Each character has their own unique Spirit Attack. Once each character has reached the level where they learn their Spirit Attack, they get a new bar: the spirit bar. Similar to Command Mode, Spirit Attacks require this spirit bar to be filled before they can be activated. The characters and their Spirit Attacks are as follows:
- Zael: Accelerate