- Allegretto: "Beat! Look over there at that enemy!"
- Beat: "What about it? How did that happen? It just turned into a completely different monster!"
- Allegretto: "There are some monsters that can transform depending on whether they're in sunlight or in shadow. Some will get really strong, and some will even change the kinds of attacks they use, so you gotta be really careful."
- — Allegretto explains about certain monsters changing form in light and darkness.
Light and Darkness is a gameplay feature found in battle in Eternal Sonata. Conditions of light and darkness determine which Special Attacks may be used by playable characters and certain monsters can change into different monsters depending on whether they are standing in light or darkness.
At the beginning of each battle, the playable characters in the active party are transported to a battlefield of light and darkness. As characters may move freely throughout the battlefield during their turn, the player may move them to an area of permanent light if they wish to use light Special Attacks, or an area of permanent darkness if they wish to use dark Special Attacks. In some cases, this may be impractical for melee attackers, who can only attack at close range. Some areas also possess overhead light sources, such as hanging lanterns or shadows created by overhead clouds, that change the conditions of light and darkness within particular areas of the battlefield throughout the battle. All playable characters and opponents also cast a shadow of darkness that can affect characters at close range. Occasionally, certain actions taken by the player within an area can affect future conditions of light and darkness during battles within that area. For example, within the Double Reed Tower of Sand, the conditions of light and darkness change after defeating each boss.
A number of opponents change form and name depending on whether they are standing in light or darkness. In general, one form is usually much easier to defeat than the other, with the stronger form often possessing extremely high defense and powerful Special Attacks. If the player has trouble defeating the stronger form, they may try to lure it out of the darkness or light in order to get it to morph, though the weaker forms generally give less EXP. Additionally, many such opponents attack at a distance, making it difficult to lure them away from their position. Some weapons deal greater damage to light or dark creatures.
There are three character status effects that can affect conditions of light and darkness: Shining Body, Darkness Body and Air Body. Shining Body generates a field of light around a character, while Darkness Body generates a field of darkness. Air Body allows a character to be unaffected by character and enemy shadows when using Special Attacks and the character does not generate a shadow of their own. Certain opponents use Special Attacks which can inflict Shining Body or Darkness Body and there are various items and equipment that generate these statuses as well. When it comes to equipment, Shining Body takes priority over Darkness Body, so if the character equips items that generate both statuses, then in battle the character will be in Shining Body status, rather than the two canceling each other out. Additionally, if a character in Darkness Body status stands in the field of light generated by another character's Shining Body, then the character with Darkness Body will use light Special Attacks.
A fairly common tactic is for monsters of the weaker form to uses moves that inflict either Shining Body or Darkness Body in order to try to force the player into a situation where they must deal with the enemy's more powerful form.
Items and EquipmentEdit
There are items and equipment that generate or cure the statuses Shining Body, Darkness Body and Air Body, as follows:
- Twilight Feather (Cures Shining Body)
- Dawn Feather (Cures Darkness Body)
- Fallen Feather (Heal Air Body)
- Glowing Tail (Recover HP and temporary Shining Body)
- Shadow Tail (Recover HP and temporary Darkness Body)
- Shining Tail (Recover HP and temporary Shining Body)
- Dark Tail (Recover HP and temporary Darkness Body)
- Bubble Ring (Recover HP and temporary Air Body)
- Brilliant Brooch (Accessory, Shining Body)
- Dark Brooch (Accessory, Darkness Body)
- Sky Blue Brooch (Accessory, Air Body)
- Chapel EZI (Accessory, Air Body [stated by game to have an "Unknown Effect"])
- Rainbow EZI (Accessory, Shining Body [stated by game to have an "Unknown Effect"])
- Solar Eclipse (Weapon for March, inflicts greater damage to light creatures, Shining Body)
- Wheel of Will (Weapon for March, Darkness Body)
- Lunar Eclipse (Weapon for Salsa, inflicts greater damage to dark creatures, Darkness Body)
- Torn Umbrella (Weapon for Polka, Darkness Body)
- Thunder Stir (Weapon for Viola, increases movement speed in battle, Shining Body)
- Double Crescent (Weapon for Viola, Shining Body)
- Oracle Cane (Weapon for Frederic, Darkness Body)
- Obscure Jacket - Air Body (DEF +80)
- Cursed Armor - Darkness Body (DEF +85)
- Daybreak Cloak - Shining Body (DEF +120)
- Dark Armor - Darkness Body (DEF +150, HP -20%)
Behind the scenesEdit
- When using Harmony Chains during Special Attacks, the conditions of light and darkness may shift, particularly if there is an overhead source of light or darkness. As such, it may be possible to have the same character use both light and dark Special Attacks within a single Harmony Chain, particularly if other characters are out of range.
- In the PlayStation 3 version of Eternal Sonata, some areas such as the Hanon Hills have shifting areas of shadow that are not present in the Xbox 360 release.