Bravely Default’s Battle System Is Like Classic Final Fantasy, But Faster

By Spencer . June 27, 2012 . 11:12pm

It took three demos, but Square Enix finally gave 3DS owners a taste of Bravely Default: Flying Fairy’s battle system. Bravely Default is a throwback to earlier Final Fantasy games with turn based battles and multiple hits. Remember Final Fantasy III? It’s kind of like that, but with "brave" and "default" commands.



Select "default" and Tiz will skip his turn to stock one BP. Choose "brave" to use up one BP and get an extra turn. for each BP you have. You can hold up a maximum of three BP in the demo and unleash four attacks (your regular turn + 3 BP turns) in a row. What makes Bravely Default: Flying Fairy’s fighting system interesting is you can dip into *negative* BP. It’s a gambit, but you can take four turns in a row as your first move. If you annihilate the enemy you can end a battle in seconds, but if any monster remain you have to wait three turns until you can move again. Ouch!


You can play speedy and safe by making one character, lets say Tiz, use four attacks in a row, but only have Edea use her regular turn. If Tiz and Edea can’t wipe out the enemies in one turn, Tiz will be frozen, but you can still call Edea. (And, you can try to speed things up by using four turns with Edea.) Bravely Default: Flying Fairy rewards players who complete battles in one turn with a bonus. There is also another bonus for finishing a fight without taking damage.




Bravely Default uses a job system and while this isn’t a Final Fantasy game the classes should sound familiar. When the demo begins you can choose to make Tiz and Edea a knight, monk, white mage or black mage. After you decide, Ominous Crow, a black mage who is one of Bravely Default’s main villains summons a pack of wolves to attack.


The first time I played through the demo, I had Tiz as a white mage and Edea as a black mage. I was surprised that Tiz was able to defeat a wolf just by thrusting a pole at it. It took four turns only using the fight command, but he prevailed dealing multiple hits with each attack. Tiz had white mage staple spells cure and poisona. Edea had the three core elemental spells – fire, blizzard, and thunder. Edea finished off the other wolves and the battle was over in under a minute. I was rewarded with potions, experience points, and job points.


Ominous Crow summoned a second round of monsters – two wolves, two goblins, and a sword goblin. Since there was only one sword goblin, I guessed he was the most dangerous enemy and finished him off before he could strike. In this battle, the monsters started using the brave & default system either stocking turns or striking twice by spending brave points. Fortunately, I had a white mage present to heal the team.


In the third battle, Ominous Crow made a group of three zombies appear. These minions were much more aggressive and after one round they assaulted my team with poisonous claws going all the way down to –2 brave. Since the zombies drained all of their brave I was free to strike them without fear of retaliation. Edea used fire, which the game indicated was their weakness.



Ominous Crow, frustrated at his constant defeat threatened to summon Bahamut… but the legendary dragon was a no show. Enraged, Ominous Crow prepared to fight. Ominous started the fight by using four spells in a row. Good thing I played it safe and had Tiz use default to stock a brave point instead. Edea bombarded Ominous with fire, thunder, and blizzard. With Ominous and Edea waiting for their BP to refill, Tiz took four turns in a row to heal the party and smack his cat familiar. The battle continued for a couple of minutes, relatively fast for a boss battle. Then again, my characters were probably over powered for the fight.


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I tried the demo again to get a feel for the knight and monk classes. The knight is a damage absorber and can use a smite skill to attack plus give him or her a defense boost. Monks have a charge up skill that increases their attack, but it can backfire resulting in damage. If you use the charge up skill first then strike with three more turns you can pretty much obliterate any enemy in the demo.


Oh, and we’re not done with Bravely Default: Flying Fairy demos either. This demo teased Bravely Default demo volume four so we’ll have more impressions of the 3DS game.

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  • leadintea

    Sounds interesting. I actually saw a couple of videos on youtube of the demo and I couldn’t figure out why characters and enemies were attacking more than once in a round. Good to know that there’s a consequence attached to this system.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    The latter battles were whooping my ass good due to the enemies stacking all those brave attacks and the Knight class being pretty poor in damage. Ended up having to stack brave attacks on my Monk and barely scraping by.

    Was pretty enjoyable overall. And it has amaaazing music.

  • Suicunesol

    Here, let me help you with that: (demo recording)

    I appreciate the summary. :) I do wish there would be some collision action in the fights, however. Swinging your sword in the air just doesn’t feel right in this day and age.

    •  yeah, they’ve got the monster intros, like FFIX. All they need is the attacks that actually connect. lol

      But in all seriousness, the combat looks fun, if a little silly with the flailing. But I guess that’s how old FF games did it XD

    • Anime10121

      God, that game, I NEED this.  Cant wait til next year (when it will inevitably be released in the west).

  • Ethan_Twain

    I kind of like this!  The battle system doesn’t sound so far removed from the classic RPGs this game imitates in so many ways, but the brave/default mechanic sounds unique and should give battles their own rhythm.

  • pekikuubik

    Kind of sounds and looks (based on the video) like Chrono Cross’s stamina system? Except you have control over when you use it and you can go into negative BP with everything you do, not just magic.

  • the system seems pretty awesome, and well thought out.

    I can see some killer bosses stacking Brave to decimate your party late game~

    I’m hoping demo four shows off some other classes too. Hoping for the Dragoon, Red Mage/Mystic Knight, Summoner, etc.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    With this, my doubt that the battle system will be repetitive is solved lol.^^This game does not only look graphically nice here.^^ But it seems the battle system is also interesting however still maintaining the system flow here.^^

  • SetzerGabbiani

    I suspect that this game began life either as 4 Heroes of Light 2 or a Final Fantasy V remake.  Seems like a good game overall.

    • kylehyde

      From what I saw in images, some enemies have resemblance to the enemies of 4 heroes of light 2, also, the guy with the fox used for save the game in 4 heroes of light reappears in this game, so I think that this could be consdered as the sequel (or kind of) of the DS game.

  • Göran Isacson

    I’m curious of black mages actually learn to summon in the game like Crow could, or if that’s something he can do because he’s the villain and calling for support is… villain-ish?

    • puchinri

       I was wondering about that. I’m curious if there’s maybe a sub-class system going on or something.

  • kylehyde

    I liked how they improved the turn based system, it looks really dynamic (at least according to the description and the video poste by @Suicunesol:disqus ) and I think that is going to add some strategy value. Overall, I want this game, I hope that it gets localized.

  • Tom_Phoenix

    I just have one question for Spencer. Were you able to SELECT the targets of your attacks? You weren’t able to in 4 Heroes of Light, so I’m concerned.

    That said, this “Brave” and “Default” system seems really interesting and could work very well with a turn-based combat system, although it could also make balancing a lot more difficult. Hopefully, they will find a way to keep the fights appropriately challenging.

    • platomaker

      you couldn’t select your target in 4hol? Maybe this final fantasy game will be different. 

      • Anime10121

         Nope, its one of the main reasons I couldn’t finish the game, besides the simplistic and barebones plot/story.  Oh and minor correction, this isn’t a Final Fantasy game, its a new series.  You could however say that its a spiritual successor to 4HoL.

        • platomaker

           I know its not “final fantasy” but at the same time it is. Hard not to draw the similarities. What would make this an instant buy would be if it had the same multiplayer as DQ9. The name needs to change. Hope they invest in some good localization for better word of mouth to get around.

    • Suicunesol

      Yes you can select your target according to the video footage.

      • Tom_Phoenix

        I saw the video. That’s an ENORMOUS relief.

        Now let’s hope this game gets an overseas release.

    • Farid Belkacemi

       Well, you could “select” targets in 4HoL : just need to change your weapons :p 

  • Wasn’t this game called Bravery Default? When did they change it to
    Bravely Default? Anyway, this looks like a great game, one that I will gladly buy a 3DS XL for.

    • Solomon_Kano

      Nope, always been Bravely Default.

  • keithmaxx

    And now we FINALLY understand where we get our game name from… I might want to bravely buy a JP unit for this and default on my monies!

    • puchinri

       Lol, I was thinking the same. >u<
      (Er, about bravely buying a JP unit!)

      Although, I do like how the writer described the reasoning for the name~. And it's most appropriate that it shows up in the battle system as well.

  • Solomon_Kano

    Now I’m seriously going to be disappointed if Squenix never brings us this. I was pretty much convinced that there wasn’t anything to be added to FF’s usual turn-based system (and that’s not a bad thing), but they’ve gone and made it interesting all over again.

    A new take on age-old combat, beautiful art direction, incredible music. *clears throat* LOCALIZE. I can understand not bringing Type-0, if we miss this though…

    • Farid Belkacemi

       Just to be clear : we WANT Type-0 and Bravely Default to be localized ;)

      • Solomon_Kano


  • fancycakes

    I have two hopes for this game:

    1) That it gets a North American localization (pleeeeeeease, Squeenix)

    2) That the Dancer class will be included in the game.

  • puchinri

    The fun thing for me (and my boyfriend with replaying) in Tactics was our white mage; she was an awesome mage. . . and she could one hit kill a lot of monsters with her attacks as well. >u<

    I suspect I could get Tiz to become my new "Cornelia" and finish monsters with attacks and still be a beast mage/healer.

    The battle system sounds like fun, and I really hope that there's a lot of classes. I'm really looking forward to the game~. ♥

  • Anime10121

    KH3D is the (main) reason I bought my 3DS, this game is the reason I will not let go of it.

  • Farid Belkacemi

    The battle system reminds me of Four Heroes of Light : you had to stock points to use your magic spells :) I really hope Square Enix will release this game next year in Europe/USA. 

    • Hmm. Yes. Interestingly enough, I just hope BD:FF will have a better story. I know, this game is a throwback too FFs of the old (just like Final Fantasy III) but I think it will be good that Bravely Default will have an immersive plot. But of course, from all of the things I’ve read here in Siliconera, I can see that the story will be interesting. :)

  • Darrel Daley

    YES! I love the day when FF battle systems didn’t play themselves.

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