On the surface Clarissa Arwin, the first character you meet in Wild ARMs XF, looks like the late Princess of Elesius. Also on the surface, Wild ARMs XF appears to have ordinary strategy RPG combat goals such as walking up to enemies and whacking them with swords. Looks can be deceiving.
In Act 1-2 I attempted standard SRPG protocol, which essentially means wiping all the dissidents from the map. Each time I started out doing pretty well just with Clarissa and her canine companion. I took the first few rounds slowly, hanging out from a distance shooting enemies with her gun. Technically, Clarissa can snipe enemies a screen length away. However, distance affects damage and hit percentage. This strategy bought time for Felius, Clarissa’s counterpart with more HP, and a female magic user to come to her aid. With a party of four I easily crushed the next two or three opponents. The key was to cluster my troops around a single enemy to take advantage of extra damage from formation arts. Occasionally, one would use a heal berry and prolong their existence, but it was a futile effort. Beating the first few enemies was never a problem.
Once the third enemy was burnt to a crisp by a lightning bolt, a new enemy would enter the fray. Up until then he was just standing in a corner automatically recovering HP every round. His HP was already full. He probably has some kind of enhancement. He must be trouble, but not impossible to defeat. After I surrounded him, hoping to rapidly utilize formation arts, he killed one of my party members. I had to restart the battle. The second time I tried to take him down by using ranged attacks. A lightning bolt here and a few shots of Clarissa’s gun barely scratched him. The dog was out in the open, he got knocked out and I had to start over a second time. In retrospect I realize how silly it was to attack an enemy with 200+ attack head on with a team of novice characters. Perhaps, I should have listened to the wise Labyrinthia from the beginning and followed her simple instructions. The key to winning this mission has less to do with fighting and everything to do with a pyramid-shaped yellow switch on top of a hill. Passing Act 1-2 was as simple as casting lightning on it.
Act 1-3 put me in a similar situation. My party of rookie warriors was up against a squad of enemies with 200+ attack. Labyrinthia’s Direct Event Report (D.E.R.) suggested avoiding combat. Good call. Her plan was to create a wall with one of the hexagonal prisms and then flee the scene. After Labyrinthia gave her report I was allowed to switch classes. Clarissa became my token Fantastica and I executed her strategy without a fault. Once the barricade was in place all the enemies brainlessly stared at the wall while I guided my army behind a building.
Looks like combat in Wild ARMs XF has more than walk, attack, and pick defensive position.