Shadowfiend's Guide to Melee Combat Here's a few tips for aspiring warriors. Some of it will be stuff most of you already know, but not everything I have to say is common knowledge. If you're just starting out and want to know all you can about the games melee battle system-- I hope you find this useful. If you've already got an excellent handle on how to fight, then maybe you'd like to try the Highwayman Challenge. It's covered in "Fighting with Reversals." The challenge is something I found while looking for more difficult things to accomplish in Fable II. Good luck, heroes. Button mashing X Although it's strictly amateur hour, it gets the job done early in the game. Chain Attacks You can enhance your regular mashing attacks by timing the button presses to the end of each swing. This will make every following swing faster and do more damage. Just how much damage is anyone's guess. I personally DO NOT recommend using chain attacks. The blue after-image is very pretty, but it just isn't a practical method of fighting. I'll give you my reasons why, and I'll offer suggestions on how to get it to work regardless of my opinion. So you can make up your own mind whether or not it's worth it. - On the more difficult enemies such as Spire Soldiers and Highwaymen, you'll have about three or four swings before they start blocking you (although this may vary.) This makes it difficult to gain momentum with chain attacks. + A way to circumvent this problem is to use Slow Time to teleport behind your opponent and then wail on his exposed back. Raise Dead and Chaos could also achieve the same end. - A problem that I have, which may not be the case with other players, is that I can do chain attacks perfectly fine when slashing at air-- but it's hard for me to tell if I'm doing them when actually hitting an enemy. The blue after-image is difficult to distinguish and I lose my sense of the timing. + The only solution to this that I can think of is to practice the timing until you don't need to see the blue blur in order to know you're tapping the X button correctly. I can't think of any reasons why someone would spend the time developing the skill when there are more effective and easier to perform fighting strategies available. I certainly can't do it. Props to master chain attackers, if you're out there. Flourishes A warriors best friend. It breaks through blocks, you're invincible while you do it, it can knock enemies to the ground, and you look cool all at the same time. To my mind, heavy weapons such as maces, axes, and hammers are better suited for flourishes than the lighter, faster weaponry. I've come to this conclusion after noticing that heavy weapons seem to have a greater likelihood of knocking enemies (in a hilariously rag doll way) to the ground. Once they have been floored, you can walk up to their prone bodies and hit the X button to perform a finishing move, killing them instantly regardless of how much health they had. Enemies can also be knocked into the air-- and then straight off a cliff, which also (obviously) causes instant death. Curiously, sometimes if an enemy is hung up on a piece of scenery (like a rock or a ditch) and cannot stand up on solid ground to resume fighting you, they will have a shaking fit and inexplicably die. Hobbes kill themselves in this fashion very frequently. Heavy weapons further their dominance of flourishes by hitting multiple enemies with a single swing. Sending many opponents flying at once. It should be noted that I *have* hit two enemies at once with a katana before, so it isn't exclusive to the heavy stuff. Even so, heavy weapons seem to manage crowd hits more often in my experience. It could just be me. Perhaps your luck will be different. !Fighting with Flourishes! Always have the block button up, and don't go into a flourish stance until you're certain that no attacks are coming at you. Even though you can SUPPOSEDLY still block in the flourish stance-- you usually won't. You'll still get hit more often than not if you try to absorb attacks while readying a flourish. Keep your guard up and spend as little time in the flourish stance as possible. Reversals/Counter-attacks This is the instant kill on command, and the most stylishly dramatic way to off your enemies available. This is where lighter weapons shine, due to their fast swing speed. The object of a reversal is to press the control stick towards your enemy and the X button just in time to meet an attack (Reversals work ONLY on enemies with weapons, with the exception of bosses, armed villagers, and Spire Soldiers. None of which can be reversed.) If you connect with it properly, your opponent will be spun around and stunned for a moment, allowing you to press the X button again and kill them instantaneously, even if they had full health. If there is a wall nearby, your enemy will not be spun around. They will instead be slammed up against it and set up for one of two unique finishers. While performing a finisher you are invincible. Attacks bounce right off you as though blocked. It's worth noting that the heavy weapon reversal only has one animation. It's a swift, single move beheading. There is no stunned enemy, no spinning around. The enemy is simply decapitated on the spot. This is actually more efficient than the light weapon reversal, but it's much harder to get the timing right because heavy weapons are so slow. !Fighting with Reversals! (and the Highwayman Challenge) Keep your guard up. That's right. Hold block before you try to reverse an enemy. That way if you mess it up, you'll probably still deflect the attack. Took me awhile to figure out I didn't have to stand there like a moron and try to catch attacks perfectly. Instead, wait a moment and observe your enemy. I've reversed whole groups of bandits all in a row because I blocked the first few strikes and saw the next one coming. I've noticed that there are really only two types of swordsmen in the game: Highwaymen... and everyone else. Bandits and Guards all have a basic combo that you can learn to anticipate with ease. However, they have a second attack to watch out for. A flourish. Yep, they actually have one! It's unblockable, but can still be reversed. They don't use it very often. I've noticed that they almost ALWAYS use it if you're gathering exp orbs while still fighting them. You can tell they are about to unleash it when they stop moving and shake their shoulders about (as if they're psyching themselves up.) They will usually shout a battle cry or do a roar of some kind as well. The flourish they use is a rush forward with great speed while taking a huge slash with their weapon. Once you can successfully counter-attack regular enemies... you graduate to highwaymen. If you can reverse a highwayman then you can count yourself as a master of the art. What makes them so tough to reverse is that they attack with lightning speed, and often from a good distance away too! Highwaymen must be reversed twice. In a row. I'm serious. If you mess up on the second counter, you'll have to try again. However, even these tricky fighters have a pattern that you can exploit. Before a highwayman attacks, he will twirl his blade in a fancy way. It's pretty obvious and easy to recognize. He won't always attack after he does it... but it's your best indication that he is about to lunge at you, so once you see him do the twirl... wait about half a second... and then do your reversal. He moves pretty damn fast. If you connect with him then you'll lock blades and force him to jump back. He'll then wait a moment before leaping at you with an overhand slash. If you manage to reverse THIS attack, he'll get spun around and will ready to be finished off. Congrats if you manage this. You're now a master swordsman. Frankly, I think out-finessing a highwayman should have been an achievement. One thing to watch out for: Highwaymen DO have guns, and they sometimes like to whip them out for a quick shot before resuming their ordinary attack pattern. The ultimate weapons of a Warrior: If you prefer light weapons, then you can't get any better than the Daichi. It's more powerful than a katana has any right to be. In fact, I'd complain about its broken-ness if guns weren't so much MORE broken. If you prefer heavy weapons (and they do have a lot to offer, despite popular opinion) then you're going to have to snag yourself a master grade mace, axe, or hammer-- because the legendary heavy weapons SUCK. Use whichever one you think looks cool, because fighting with heavy weapons isn't necessarily about damage (although augmenting your weapon for extra damage helps) It's about knocking your enemies down (and into areas where they will instantly die.) If you've mastered reversals, then you can pretty much use whatever melee weapon you want. Regardless of the damage it does.