- "You look rather pale, you must know what's coming! Galactic Nebula! ... Diament! ... Verbum: Expello! ... L'energie du Vent! ... Sun Slash! Starlight Blast! This game is over!"
- —A full Harmony Chain sequence with Crescendo, Serenade and Allegretto
Harmony Chain is a battle feature in Eternal Sonata that allows the player to chain additional Special Attacks following the use of a character's Special Attack if the Echo count is either 24 or 32. To execute the chain, the player must hit the Special Attack button again when the attack name changes and a chime is sounded.
Unlike Guarding and Counterattacking there is no penalty for accidentally pressing the button early or pressing the wrong button, so if the player is not skilled at the timing and hits it too early, he or she can simply hit the button again to gain the additional Special Attack. One potential, if not exactly skilled, strategy is to press the Special Attack button repeatedly until the next Special Attack takes effect, then start tapping the next button if the button has switched as a result of the random mapping of Party Level 6.
The availability of Harmony Chains is a function of the Party Level. They are first made available on Party Level 4, with the chance for one additional Special Attack by the same character as the first one being given. Party Level 5 increases it to three Special Attacks, with Party Level 6 granting six. As an offset, however, in Party Level 6 the command buttons for everything except item usage will rotate randomly each time the Harmony Chain option is used. They will reset to normal at the end of each battle.
Echo Usage and BuildupEdit
When using a Harmony Chain on Party Levels 4 or 5, the Echo count will be consumed each time a new Special Attack is used. It is thus recommended to attempt to begin with an attack that only hits once or twice, or a healing move, and then follow it up with one that builds the Echo count back up, for example - have March use Aurora Curtain and then follow it up with Midnight Cloud. In Party Level 6, the Echo count continues built from Special Attacks are not depleted each time a new one is used and the built-up attack power carries throughout the chain, and is retained at the end of the chain. As such, with certain characters' Special Attacks, it may be possible to build the Echo count back up to 24 or 32 within the Harmony Chain.
Execution and StrategyEdit
Skilled use of Harmony Chains is considered essential to beating some of the more challenging bosses of Encore Mode.
A Harmony Chain can only be begun by the character who uses the initiating Special Attack, in other words, it is not possible, for example, to use Salsa's Shadow Silhouette and then immediately follow it up with a Rapid Shooter from Beat. Certain characters join the party with only one Special Attack in each slot initially, which can be annoying in Encore Mode, which allows the player to choose the Party Level from the beginning of the game. These characters will be unable to initiate Harmony Chains unless the condition of light and darkness has shifted from the time when they used their first Special Attack. It is generally recommended, therefore, to not use Special Attacks with these characters when the Echo count is 24 or 32, instead saving them for other characters who are able to initiate Harmony Chains, until the characters level up enough for them to have more than one Special Attack in each slot.
When using Harmony Chains on Party Level 5, the additional move chosen following the first two Special Attacks is selected randomly by the game. This may prove less than ideal if, for example, the party wants healing and is hoping for Viola's Heal Arrow to take effect but she instead uses Sacred Strike. In Party Level 6, up to six moves are made available if possible, but again, past the first two moves, the order of use is randomly chosen by the game, which may result in certain moves being used at points which are less than ideal in relation to the Echo count.
As the game allows each character to bring four Special Attacks into a battle, two light and two dark, a typical complete Harmony Chain sequence consists of two Special Attacks by one character, two by another, and two by a final character. Special Attacks, however, are randomly selected from those available. As such, if conditions of Light and Darkness shift during the battle, it may be possible for a particular character to use three of their Special Attacks within a Harmony Chain sequence, or in rare cases even all four. This is most likely to occur in areas that have rapidly shifting areas of light and darkness like the Hanon Hills in Eternal Sonata's PlayStation 3 release, and the Pirate Ship Dolce, or if a character begins a chain standing directly on the edge of the boundary of light and darkness, as characters tend to move around a bit during their Special Attacks.
When using Harmony Chains, in most cases the game will allow the chain to continue to build even if the enemy has already taken enough damage from past attacks to technically be KOed. This is likely a benefit granted to allow for greater building of Echoes. Certain Special Attacks, however, seem to be "finishers" and will cause the chain to break if an enemy takes enough game to be KOed when the move is used. These are often, though not always, moves that only deal a single hit and include Salsa's Solar Flare & Shadow Silhouette and Frederic's Mirage Blow. Other examples include Falsetto's Shadow Beam and March's Eclipse Gaze.
When using Harmony Chains, it will not be possible to initiate a sequence if the character is unable to use the first Special Attack, e.g. if Viola attempts a Heal Arrow when nobody on the field is in need of healing. If, however, the first Special Attack is successful, then a move that can't actually be pulled off can be used to initiate the Harmony Chain. One case would be if Beat uses a Rapid Shooter; he can then follow it up with a Sledgehammer even if there is no target for him to hit at melee range, and then other characters can continue the chain.Knockdown and knockdown effects are never used within a Harmony Chain, only at the end of it, as these moves might end up breaking the chain.