FenixStryk Oct 12, 2013 @ 9:22am
What is your preferred Skill setup? Also: "Never let go of Guard," and other general combo advice?
Hi! I picked up the game during the most recent Steam sale and have been having a blast. I found a setup I enjoy very much and am curious to see what everyone else is using.

This has been my skill setup since around Day 15 in my first run (I am on Cruel now):
X: Swallow
Up: Tears of Sol
Left/Right: Lightning Drop
Down: Shrike
-Regenerate
-Rune Soul

(For controls, I am using a PS2 pad with Attack on Triangle, Special on Square, Jump on R2 and Guard on L1.)

Tears of Sol and Lightning Drop cover fast movement up and down and combo into each other. Shrike clears everything horizontally at a safe distance. Swallow is instant, no-effort hit stun and additional damage that makes everything safe -and- can be used while blocking (thus, easier approaches for hit-confirms even if I'm forced to turtle).

I chose to put Lightning Drop on Left/Right instead of Down because it makes [Hold Guard] -> Backstep -> Lightning Drop much faster to input, increasing overall attack speed. Likewise, Shrike is -not- on Left/Right any more since I would sometimes accidentally backstep while trying to fire Shrike, making me shoot in the wrong direction. Switching these two moves was two birds with one stone.


Is there a Combo Guide or video somewhere? I know the game is a couple years old, but I didn't see any on Steam. Some of what I'm about to say may already be well-known, but I've found it on my own and would like to share it if it's not common knowledge:

I noticed during my second playthrough that Guard is exceptionally good at -all times-, even while playing extremely aggressively, to the point where I am attacking constantly while simultaneously never letting go of the Guard button unless it is to do multiple Guard cancels (for certain combos) or to avoid Guard break. So long as I am holding Guard, I can move anywhere on the screen while attacking and have the game block for me if I run into anything in the process. It's a very strange realization since the tactic removes a lot of initially perceived threats in the game.

This strategy is enabled primarily by the ability to quickly transition directly from a Guard to any safe aerial attack by using [Hold Guard] -> Forward -> Jump -> [...]. You can also Backstep Cancel out of any* Special Attack if you use it while blocking, which is a major boon for both movement an offense.

For example, these two loops work just fine if you want to spam Lightning Drop or Tears of Sol:

[Hold Guard] -> Back -> Lightning Drop -> Back -> Lightning Drop -> [...xN]
[Hold Guard] -> Up-Back -> Tears of Sol -> Up-Back -> Tears of Sol -> [...xN]
( ^this one will also get you the About 5 Floor High achievement!)

To move and attack quickly, I am using the following combo starter(s):
(A is the Attack button; *notation is influenced partially by my skill placement)

[Hold Guard] -> Forward -> Jump -> A A A -> [...] (very fast forward movement).
[Hold Guard] -> Forward -> Jump -> A A A -> *Back+Lightning Drop.
[Hold Guard] -> Forward -> Jump -> A A A -> *Up-Back+Tears of Sol.
[Hold Guard] -> Down-Forward -> Jump -> A (performs an instant Cataract Ax).
[Hold Guard] -> Up-Forward -> Jump -> A (performs an instant Ether Saber).


Another Guard-based trick is to cancel normals by pressing Guard immediately after you use them, allowing you to chain-fire punches or slashes. It's a little riskier than simply holding Guard for the rest of your life, but Just Guards cover the gap well enough if done right:
[optional: Hold Forward] -> A -> Guard -> A -> Guard -> [...xN; fastest if you don't whiff]

I'm sure there are other applications for Guard cancel, but I would need to spend more time with the game to find them. That statement likewise applies to the various juggle loops I'm sure are in the game. I'll get back to you on this and that, I suppose?


All in all, it turns out Freesia's combo system was enough to support the entire game despite the lack of platforming sections and small enemy roster. I look forward to hearing about other players' skill setups and combos!

Thank you for reading.
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FenixStryk Oct 12, 2013 @ 10:33am 
I found a much older Skill Setup thread here: http://steamcommunity.com/app/214590/discussions/0/864950841113051084/

Skimming through it, I got the impression that Lightning Drop, Tears of Sol, Regenerate and Rune Soul were all very popular (although not necessarily all four in the same build). I'm not entirely surprised, although I was glad to see it wasn't the only thing around.

Regrettably, I still haven't found anything I would consider a combo theory guide. The closest is a general advice thread from a few months ago that can be summarized by the following: "Guard a lot, Backstep even more; Hard Turtle a plus; enemies in hit stun can't hit you; keep mashing until you win." While that's not particularly bad advice, it's not anywhere near the notation I'd prefer...

I'm sure I'll figure it out on my own if the English userbase is slacking, but I would greatly prefer if I had someone else to throw ideas against.
Ironclaw Oct 12, 2013 @ 1:32pm 
Disclaimer: I am probably doing this horribly wrong - I don't usually guard except on boss stages, I don't use guard cancelling for anything except the basic slash spam you mentioned, and I barely ever use any ranged skills.

Freesia is one of about three fighting games I've played, so I know what you're talking about, but I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for.

My skill setup: I use Silhouette Mirage as my X skill, to help avoid guard breaks since I don't have Hard Turtle - I usually have enough energy to use it, anyway. I have Lightning Drop on Down and Tears of Sol on Up. My side skill varies depending on what I'm trying at the time, usually something like Arc Slicer or Shrike.
I use Regeneration (amazing way to not die in anything other than a vortex stage) and STR Boost (greatly increases damage, doesn't require a specific situation) as optional skills. Rune Soul is cool, but if I run out of special attack energy I probably don't also have a full guard break meter, I can just sit still or use basic attacks for a bit.

My combos: I'm pretty lazy, so the combos I use most often by far are the ground Ether Saber->Blast Hammer combo - [Hold Up+Forward] -> A A A - and Gust Lance combo, [Hold Forward] -> A A
Both are great for smacking foes into other foes, and for landing ranged attacks on bosses without having to use special skills. In the former case, if there's a target below, rather than in front, you can replace Blast Hammer (the last A) with the default downward kick - Cataract Ax, I think - Down+A.

My longest frequently-used combo is probably [Hold Up and optionally Forward] -> A A -> Tears of Sol (both hits) -> optional Down+A -> Lightning Drop. Not exactly impressive, I know.

As far as I know, there are three easy infinitely repeatable juggles, if you manage to pin something against the right edge of the stage:
[Hold Up] -> A -> (wait for the animation to end so you don't accidentally use Ether Saber) -> A... (requires more precise timing than others)
Up+A (only once) -> (wait until animation ends) -> A -> (wait or guard to cancel out of combo) -> A... (fairly low-effort, some timing required)
[Hold Forward] A -> A -> A... (dead easy)

Backstep->Lightning Drop? Clever, I didn't even think of that. I usually use Lightning Drop after Tears of Sol, or occasionally Ether Saber. Guard cancelling to repeat Tears of Sol was very clever, too - I used Ether Saber 2 to get that achievement, and I still haven't completely gotten the hang of the Tears of Sol way..

Unrelated: Bantam is a really fun Special Skill to try at least once - you can bounce a golem off it and into another group of enemies behind you. It works best with Blast Hammer and the basic forward combo. Doesn't work with the stationary air combo (wrong knockback direction) or the stationary ground combo (no knockback).

Edit: That turned out longer than I expected.
Last edited by Ironclaw; Oct 12, 2013 @ 1:32pm
FenixStryk Oct 12, 2013 @ 6:14pm 
What am I looking for? Hmm... well, as of right now the biggest thing I'm missing is a combo to use after I Armor Break humans mid-screen. I haven't been able to capitalize on Armor Breaks very well thus far even though I realize how big of a damage opportunity it is. I get the sense that just about anything will work in the corner so long as you start it there and time it properly, but carrying them there is a different story.

I do think I'll experiment with Arc Slicer in the near future. I've seen it used in various corner juggles already and it likewise benefits from the same Backstep trick Lightning Drop has (Forward -> Arc Slicer [xN] to visit unexplored planets). The only reason I dropped it before was because I wasn't used to the mid-air requirement; since Backstep counts as a jump, I've learned to work around it.

I slept on Bantam because I couldn't figure out how to use it at first. I think I understand it now, but it's closer to a portable wall for wall-bounces than a real projectile. Unless someone spoon-feeds me an exorbitantly useful mid-screen combo that simultaneously requires Bantam, it's more likely that I'll continue to ignore it.

At this point I'm too fond of Rune Soul to get rid of it in casual play. Having tons of mana means I can fly around the stage in ways not otherwise possible, and it also lets me throw out Swallow more often during normal combos to keep the rest of the stage in check (along with the extra damage).

Thanks much for the response. For a moment, I was worried that one wouldn't come at all. If I do find the mid-screen combo I'm looking for, I'll be sure to post it here.
FenixStryk Oct 18, 2013 @ 7:57am 
I finished Cruel and all of Guardian Mode a couple days ago using the strategies I mentioned in the initial post. They remained wholly effective. I never did find that mid-screen juggle, but that's fine; I never died and that was enough.

I made small changes to my skill setup.
-I dropped Shrike. It's not necessary when I can summon a Swallow and use the hit stun it gives me for a free melee combo.
-I placed Arc Slicer on Left/Right. It proved to be a very fun combo tool and was more effective than Lightning Drop in most situations.
-I moved Drop to Down since Arc Slicer benefits more from Left/Right placement.

Tears of Sol and Lightning Drop covered my vertical movement. Held Guard aerial combos covered my horizontal. Swallow effectively places damage over time on the entire map if I'm too far away to cover a certain vortex or need a boost to get back on the offensive. The end result was that I moved quickly in every direction at all times, controlled the stage at all times and generally never put myself at risk.

I started using Guard Cancel Forward+A more liberally. They were a staple against Hulking Golems and Red Vortexes, and very useful against bosses. Held Guard Cataract Ax spam also proved useful if my health was low (i.e. when GC Foward+A is unsafe).

Held Guard limits your combos somewhat: you can only do Cataract Ax, Ether Saber or the standard aerial chain. That said, it's so safe that it's not an issue. On standard levels, my go-to Held Guard combo was often:

[Hold Guard] -> Forward -> Jump -> Down+A -> Forward -> Jump -> AAA -> Arc Slicer -> Forward -> Arc Slicer -> Forward -> Arc Slicer -> [...xN] -> Back -> Lightning Drop.

In other words, Cataract Ax into a standard aerial chain into Arc Slicer spam with a Lightning Drop ender. I doubt it's optimized, but it was enjoyable to execute.


All in all, a very fun game. I'm glad I played it. It's a shame there's no way to play Guardian Mode on Cruel difficulty... or can you? The option didn't seem to be there.

I suppose this thread can lay around for the next person looking for combo help. You don't need to get too fancy in Freesia so long as you know about Held Guard combos, Guard Cancel spam for normals and Backstep Cancel for specials.

I'll compile this into a short guide if there is demand for it. Otherwise, thanks for reading.
Ironclaw Oct 23, 2013 @ 3:56am 
Rune Soul is fun, yes, I just tend to have pretty bad timing when blocking, even if I just hold the button most of the time, so I like to have some margin for error, which Regenerate provides, and to be honest, I don't use special skills that much.

No, I don't think there's any way to play Guardian Mode on Cruel.

That Arc Slicer combo sounds far more powerful than anything I've ever found. Thanks for the tip, will have to give it a try.
Mizufluffy Nov 8, 2013 @ 6:15am 
Skills that I'm using quite often are,
X: Peacock
Up: Tears of Sol
Left/Right: Sonic Rampage
Down: Lighting Drop
* Berserker
* Regeneration

And as for playing experience:
Have cleared Easy, Normal and Difficult in Story Mode and I'm at Day 16 in Cruel.
I also cleared Guardian Mode (all 99 days), I think I did it before I started Cruel in Story Mode...

As gaming device I'm using keyboard arrows for moving and mouse (Logitech G500s) for everything else (attack, guard, special, jump, ..).

Sometimes I'm changing Sonic Rampage for Samurai Edge.
Benefit of having Peacock instead of Swallow is that Peacock comes from behind of Freesia so it can be easily used on mobs that plan to stab Freesia's back. And it is also homing attack but takes a bit more mana than Swallow does. Normally can do it about twice if I don't have skills affecting mana usage.

Sonic Rampage isn't just for moving around (but it does that quite well too!) but it can also stacked up to 3 times (I believe stacking doesn't increase mana usage, probably) which makes quite nice combo. Even without stacking it is still quite nice for special attack. Samurai Edge is almost same as Down + Attack but has much more power to send monsters further away, sometimes I'm using this when I'm also slamming mobs on each other when I'm on mid-air.

Tears of Sol and Lighting Drop probably doesn't need explanation, they are quite useful specials to have.

For optional skills there are many possibilities, turtle is quite nice and strength or dying rat aren't bad either but my personal favorite so far is berserker because if you are attacking then you most likely won't get interrupted when you get hurt. This allows quite reckless playing style and regeneration is there to cover possibe HP loss. Good thing about these skills is that if you don't have to slow down your attacks and keep knocking mobs down or slamming them on each other then most of time they don't have time to react or attack back.

Also started using Up + Attack and Left/Right + Down + Attack recently and especially U+A adds quite a lot damage when combining with slamming method and using specials (Tears of Sol for example and following with Lighting Drop). Most of time I'm actually using these basic attacks and saving specials when I need them or can combine them well enough with going combo.

Guard is little bit weak and it gets broken sometimes but most of time I don't have to guard myself much unless HP is going too low. First I was actually worried if having berserker would lower my defense too much (I think I might have had turtle before it..) but have been doing quite well with this. So far biggest problems have been bosses which won't easily get pushed back and they usually can do quite nice damage just with few attacks and also move quickly. Well, Hulking Golem is exception ofc.

For bosses I probably would select turtle instead of berserker.. and again, Hulking is exception because there are so many other mobs near it which I can slam on it.. If I just want to get to next stage and not interested in fair fight against boss then sometimes I just keep guard up and spam Peacock, safe but very very boring method..

These have worked quite well for me for quite a long time now and they seem to be working quite well in Cruel of Story Mode as long as I keep checking my HP bar.. Damage that mobs do in Cruel is just insane..

If someone would as is guard important in FBF then I'd say 'yes' because there are just too many situations when it is very useful. Good thing is that it doesn't have to kept up whole time; I'm keeping it up usually when there are too many magical attacks flying around or if I'm low on HP or during boss battles.. As for actual combos, not those which game counts as combos but the 'real' combos, I don't have any 100% methods. Normally I just care about result of the end of the day..
Quint S. Akemi Nov 12, 2013 @ 10:08pm 
I have:
special: multiple homing particles (swallow?), or the laser (shrike?), or the multihit particle (woodpecker)
up + special: tears of sol, or if I don't have that yet, crescent strike. it's an upward attack.
side + special: sonic rampage. goes well with going left and right.
down + special: lightning drop. it's a downward attack that I frequently use against crowds.

extra abilities: I choose either defense boost or strength boost, and either regeneration or soul steal. regeneration seems to be more useful of the latter two. And if I have regen anyway, strength boost is probably more useful since it lets me remove enemies faster.

My control scheme is a reverse SNES setup on ZXCS. Outer key (Z) is block, middle key (X) is jump, inner key (C) is attack, and upper key (S) is special.
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