Final Fantasy IX introduces a new battle element called a Trance which is similar to the Limit Breaks that appeared in previous Final Fantasy titles.
Each character has a Trance gauge which is visible on the battle screen and is located directly under their health bar. The gauge slowly fills each time the character takes damage during the fight and the character will enter a “Trance” once the gauge is completely full. Under this new Trance state, each of the characters becomes much stronger and obtains a distinctive set of unique new abilities as outlined below (and lights up as shown in the screenshot below). The Trance gauge resets after the battle ends or after a certain amount of time.
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Along with the additional abilities, a character under the Trance effect will do 1.5x their normal damage.
Note: The Trance system is incredibly erratic and difficult to plan around. Quite often characters will be thrown into their Trance status towards the end of a particular battle and there are very few ways to prevent this. The Trance system is one of the most useless Limit Break systems that the creators of Final Fantasy have ever come up with, so don’t spend too much time researching and building strategies around a character’s Trance abilities.
Zidane will lose the ‘Skill’ command which will be replaced with the ‘Dyne’ command. Selecting Dyne allows Zidane to use a new set of abilities that cost MP. More abilities become available as you progress through the game.
Vivi’s ‘Blk Mag’ skill (Black Magic) will be replaced with the ‘Dbl Blk’ skill (Double Black Magic). This will allow Vivi to cast two Black Magic spells during a single turn in combat. Each spell will still cost the regular amount of MP that it would take to cast it.
Steiner’s Attack Power stat will triple when he enters a Trance meaning that all of his regular attacks will do significantly more damage.
Dagger will gain the ‘Eidolon’ command in place of the ‘Summon’ command. This will give an added opportunity for her Summons to have a stronger attack (which happens when the longer Summon animation plays). The Trance state for Dagger also adds a chance that any summoned Eidolon will return randomly during the battle.
Freya does not gain any new abilities however her Jump will do a significant amount of additional damage. Her attack will go from hitting one target to hitting all targets which means that Jump should be her default attack whenever she enters a Trance.
Quina’s Trance alters the ‘Eat’ command into becoming the ‘Cook’ command. “Eating” an enemy will normally only be effective if the enemy has 25% HP or lower, however using the Cook command allows Quina to swallow enemies when they have 50% or less HP.
Eiko’s Trance is very similar to Vivi’s – it replaces the ‘Wht Mag’ command with the ‘Dbl Wht’ command which allows her to cast two White Magic spells in succession. Both spells will still cost full MP.
Amarant’s Trance will cause the ‘Flair’ command to be replaced with the ‘Elan’ command. The Elan command is similar to the Flair command except that it will target all of the enemies in the battle instead of just one.