Dissidia Duodecim Prologus Playtest: Lightning Fast Playthough

By Spencer . January 18, 2011 . 5:05pm


Released today on PlayStation Network is a demo/prequel to Dissidia 012[duodecim]: Final Fantasy. Dissidia Duodecim Prologus follows Final Fantasy XIII lead character Lightning and the Warrior of Light from the original Final Fantasy through 012: Treachery of the Gods.


While Dissidia 012[duodecim]: Final Fantasy has a map to walk around in, you wont find it in Prologus. The game goes from one bad guy battle to a brief cutscene to the next fight. There are four stages to clear in the mini-scenario, but Lightning never gets a break or a HP boost. You have to win all of them with one life bar. There may be someone aligned with the Chaos side that might surprise you…


In addition to story mode, Dissidia Duodecim Prologus has an arcade mode. Pick normal for five rounds, hard for 30 battles. Seven playable characters are available right after you install: Lightning, Kain, Warrior of Light, Garland, Kefka, Sephiroth, and Jecht. None of the characters can be customized and they all have a pre-assigned assist character. You’ll fight more Dissidia 012[duodecim]: Final Fantasy characters including Shantotto, Terra, and the Cloud of Darkness.




The battle should be familiar to anyone who played Dissidia: Final Fantasy. Brave points hover over your life bar. These represent how much damage you’ll deal when you hit an opponent with a HP attack (square). Players siphon points from an opponent’s brave meter with brave attacks (circle). If you drain an opponent’s brave meter down to zero you send them into break status and obtain a cache of brave points between the two life meters.


Dissidia 012[duodecim]: Final Fantasy adds assist characters in the ring. When Lightning has one bar she can call the Warrior of Light to jump in for a brave attack (L1 + circle). Two bars and you can do a HP attack, like the Warrior of Light’s Ultimate Shield. Assist attacks can be used to distract an enemy while Lightning prepares a HP attack or as a combo extension. Although, this tactic probably isn’t recommended, assist characters can absorb a blow if you call them out right before an opponent strikes you. Assist characters are temporarily knocked out if they get hit.


One other difference between Dissidia: Final Fantasy and Dissidia 012[duodecim] is how enemies react to EX cores, items that fill up a super meter of sorts. In Dissidia Duodecim Prologus, opponents are more aggressive about collecting the glowing bells and switch into EX mode as soon as their meter is filled.


I mostly played around with the two newcomers, Lightning and Kain. Kain from Final Fantasy IV has his trademark Jump attack. It’s a HP damaging move in Dissidia Duodecim Prologus. You can hold down the square button to charge his jump and the longer you hold it the further Kain travels. Let go and Kain leaps in the air and straight down at his target. Jump timing seems like it takes some practice. I found this move more useful as an evasion technique since it gets Kain out of harm’s way fast. Kain’s other HP damaging moves in Prologus include Gungnir, a mid-air attack where Kain lobs his spear at an enemy, and Dragon Fang, a forward stab. I found Gungnir the most useful out of the three. You can just float in the air throwing spears until one of them connects.


Before you can do that you need to chip away brave points with Kain’s fast combos. His Spiral Claw makes him arc upwards and Crasher Type is a mid-air somersault attack. Think Blank’s roll, but with Kain and a spear. Kain has one long range attack, Cyclone, a mid-air move that throws a ball of wind. In EX mode, Kain transforms into a holy dragoon and players have to mash different buttons during his EX burst to power it up.


Lightning brings the Paradigm Shift system from Final Fantasy XIII into Dissidia 012[duodecim]: Final Fantasy. In Commando mode (Attacker in Japan), Lightning has quick sword combos like the ground move Smash Upper where she does a spin slash and slams her opponent into a wall. She also has Ruinga, a slow firing grenade-like attack. On impact it explodes and sends an enemy soaring upwards. Ravager (Blaster in Japan) turns Lightning into a projectile character. She can shoot homing fire blasts by using the Fire spell, slow moving water orbs with Watera, fast wind bursts, and a powerful ice spell. If an enemy gets too close she can hit them with Thunder in mid-air. Medic (Healer in Japan) gives Lightning a single move, Cura, which doesn’t restore HP. It boosts her brave and can be comboed if Lightning is you mash circle.


Players can switch paradigms by pressing L and R at the same time. Having three forms makes Lightning extremely versatile. You can fire off spells and take screen space as a Ravager. While your enemy is distracted by floating water orbs and ice blasts you can switch to Commando to dash in for a combo. Lightning has the same HP damaging moves with all three paradigms one makes her throw Odin’s swords, another has her call lightning down before hitting her enemy with a cross slash, and the last attack is a sword air dash.


Beating the game in arcade mode clears missions. Dissidia Duodecim Prologus gives players goals such as complete normal mode with Jecht and beat 10 fights in hard with Sephiroth. Clear enough of these and there, perhaps, may be a reward…


Square Enix also revealed the Third Form outfits for The Warrior of Light and Garland. Both are based on artwork from Yoshitaka Amano’s original designs.


wol garl


When you purchase the game you get two files, one for Dissidia Duodecim Prologus and another 486KB character assist file, which allows you to use Aeris/Aerith as an assist character in the retail game.

  • Ravager was my favorite class for her, lol. Sounds like a fun experience!

  • SonicRulez

    I looked all over the PSN and I couldn’t find it. Japanese only?

    • yup

    • For now, yes. Dissidia Duodecim Prologus has been registered for the US and Europe as well, so it should hopefully be available soon.

  • Three other things:
    The RPG (Command) mode is much easier to control than the one present in DFF. In fact it’s a bit broken, you can literally press no buttons and you’ll probably still win.
    Every returning character present in Prologus has their “another” costume on from the start, and you can’t change it.
    From the new stages, you get to fight in the Crystal Tower, Prima Vista, Sky Fortress Bahamut and Orphan’s Cradle.

    • I never liked playing the rpg mode it was like… attack.. uhh brave attack…uhhh attackk… uhh… defend?… wait dont run away from the enemy!! NOoooOOo

      This game is a lot better going fast placed “button smash” way

      • ChaosPaladinFayt

        You don’t button mash when u play Dissidia……if you do….that kind of fails. Just kinda.

        • That is why i used the ” ” because is not exactly that, but is the only way i found to represent the not turn based combat way

          • ChaosPaladinFayt

            I think Real-Time Action would be more appropriate.

          • Well, as i said, that is the only way i found (could think of) at the moment to represent it D:, since im not english native, sometimes the words escape from me lol

          • ChaosPaladinFayt

            Well, now you know =P

          • B..but i always knew D: i just couldnt find the word at that moment, oh well, whatever lol

  • Does she gives knives to little stupid kids and make them lead the way and killing soldiers (people(human beigns)) along the way too? >:D

    Anyhow, she sure seems like a cool character too use, and now she is even more on the spot thanks to that …. FFXII-2 announcement… I don’t think she alone is worth for one game though, i hope for a more interesting cast of characters appear.

  • SneakyHawk

    Can’t way to play this. :D

    P.S: There’s a typo here. “L1 + circle”

  • For those like me who have been playing Dissidia a lot, getting used to the new mechanics is, as lightning would say, a trial. For One, Characters fall superduper fast now, some dropping like Rocks (If you thought kefka fell fast before, oho, you haven’t seen anything yet!). Chases feel a LOT faster and can be a bit disorienting if you’re used to the much slower-paced original. Also, the timings of several different moves have changed because Attacks actually feel like they have weight and impact to them now. When you smack someone away with a Double Cut, you REALLY Smack them away. To be more specific, when HP attacks hit, there’s now a visible and audible slowdown (Not lag slowdown, don’t worry) and the attack is emphasized greatly. As I said before, if you played the original a lot before playing this, a lot of the new stuff is a bit disorienting.

    But It is fun and, overall, a much needed improvement to the system.

  • Finally! The Fighter sprite has been 3-Derized.

  • NoElixirs

    Pretty awesome. I would seriously tip my hat if they were to include ‘Sword(s) of Fury’ from FF9 on the Theater Ship level. Such an epic track that was grossly underused and underestimated.

  • IceRomancer

    Wow lightning sounds like she will be really fun to play, but kind of a pain to fight against.

    And also yay kain!! :D

  • badmoogle

    So will the story mode of prologus will also be in the retail version or will it stay in downloadable form only?

    Also bad news for me that the opponents are even more aggressively collecting items now.I had trouble getting the bells before them even in the first game.>_<

    • ChaosPaladinFayt

      If you had trouble getting the EX cores in Dissidia, here’s a tip. Use omni-dash. it’s a lot faster and u can dash up to two times consecutively.

      • Or just Multi-Air-Slide or whatever it was called.

        • ChaosPaladinFayt

          I think that was the one i was thinking about xD. I just forgot the name lmao.

  • PrinceHeir

    i cannot wait for this :D

    Tidus and Yuna FTW ^^

    all we need is Rinoa and Squall and we can have a perfect lover’s couple :P

  • ChaosPaladinFayt

    You forgot to mention that the HP assist attack can be activated by pressing
    L + [ ]

  • Does this have ad-hoc play? Would love to play with my nephew.

    • Nope, the demo doesn’t have ad-hoc play… It’s the definitive description of a demo, with nothing extra added aside from the bare necessities to give someone a taste of what is coming.
      I have no idea why SE is charging for this… I can only find justification in the arcade character roster, which is quite impressive for a demo

      • You’re paying for Aeris, and the amount of content this demo offers.
        A similar type of demo would probably only give you 2 maybe 3 chars to choose from.

  • So, I pay to get:

    – A prologue chapter
    – An Arcade mode with Easy (5 battles) and Hard (30 battles)
    – Play as Lightning, Kain, WoL, Garland, Kefka, Sephiroth, Jecht and Cloud (must be unlocked in the demo)
    – Aerith as an Assist for the full game
    – MOAR Chocobo Perfumes for the full game.
    – Can save the progress made in the demo.

    Did I missed anything?

  • Seems pretty meaty for a demo, but with it being paid I guess it would have to be.

  • “Assist attacks can be used to distract an enemy while Lightning prepares a HP attack or as a combo extension. Although, this tactic probably isn’t recommended, assist characters can absorb a blow if you call them out right before an opponent strikes you. Assist characters are temporarily knocked out if they get hit.”

    Yeah but I would recommend this in some situations. If this could block a deathblow allowing you a chance to re-obtain the upper hand, then it’s TOTALLY recommended you work it in to your strategy.
    Having another way to deflect HP attacks after using the Ex Mode activation is going to be cool.

  • Just played the demo. What Mark Shaver said for the most if was one, but the chase mode doesn’t feel too disorienting, just a piss off too me. Sometimes when the enemy send you into chase, they hit the moment they get near you and don’t even give you a slight chance of pressing X, and sometimes for me, when the hit with O, and I try to dodge, it lags and I get hit. Arcade mode is great. When they say Hard Mode… they really mean hard mode. 29th battle, against Onion Knight… it was a piss off… lol but challenging, which is very rewarding in my opinion. What I didn’t like as well is that when your thrown off balance, and the enemy is about to attack you, I used my assist, while still off balance and my assist bar gets disabled… he/she didn’t even got it.

    Overall… it is a excellent demo… just need a few more tweaks…

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