Though each Final Fantasy story is independent, many aspects of gameplay have remained relatively consistent throughout the series.
Throughout the Final Fantasy series, players have been able to command a party of characters. The maximum size of the party has been as low as three and as high as seven, depending on the game. This is only noticeably different in Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII and Dissidia: Final Fantasy, in which you take control of only one character. Many of the games feature a random encounter system, This remained true of the series until Final Fantasy XI moved to a system where all enemies are visible as the player explores the game world.
In battle, the characters can select a variety of commands from a menu, such as "Fight", "Magic", "Item", as well as other special skills such as "Steal" or "Summon", to battle against opponents. Since then, games in the series allow characters to perform special moves when they fill up a power meter,
Throughout the series, the battle system has evolved from a turn-based system to incorporate more real-time elements. The original turn-based system, with the player characters on the right and the enemies on the left, is imitated by numerous RPGs. Hiroyuki Ito introduced the "Active Time Battle System" in Final Fantasy IV, On the battle screen, each character has an ATB meter that gradually fills, and the player is allowed to issue a command to that character once the meter is full. Because the fact that enemies can attack or be attacked at any time, and the player can lose his turn if he doesn't attack quick enough, urgency and excitement are credited to be injected into the combat system. This remained the norm until Final Fantasy X implemented a Conditional Turn-Based system, which slowed gameplay while making it important for the right characters to square off against the right monsters. However, Final Fantasy XI embraced a real-time battle system where characters continuously attacked unless issued another command. Final Fantasy XII continued this real-time gameplay with the Active Dimension Battle system, where the player may issue commands to the characters or allow them to act automatically with certain behavioral triggers.
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