The Assist system is a gameplay feature in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy that allows for a fighter to call an ally into battle to perform an attack. It is designed to be directly opposed to EX Mode as a game mechanic - Accessories that enhance Assists negatively effect EX Mode and vice-versa, and EX Break and Assist Break allow one mechanic to cancel out the other.
The player can set their Assist and his or her outfit freely in some battle modes, while in others, such as in all storyline gameplay, their Assist is preset for them, although they can still change the Assist's outfit.
As characters perform attacks, the Assist gauge under their HP bar fills, a section turning orange when it is completely filled. After a few moments of inactivity from the player, their Assist Gauge will start to decrease, so aggressive actions keep the meter filled. Any sort of attack will fill the meter, even if it does not connect. Whenever one character enters EX Mode, the other character's Assist Gauge instantly depletes to zero.
Counter-attacking the opponent when low on either Bravery or HP can trigger an Assist Charge, wherein the attacker's Assist Gauge instantly fills by half or all the way, depending on the circumstances. Countering an opponent's bravery attack when the character's bravery is low will fill their Assist Gauge halfway. Countering an HP attack whilst under Near Death status will completely fill the character's Assist Gauge.
When an Assist is summoned, the "Assist" tag next to the summoned Assist glows blue if he/she is Assisting the player, and red if he/she is Assisting the opponent (in an early screenshot of the game, the opponent's "Assist" tag glowed yellow instead of red in the final release).
A Bravery Assist attack, known in-game as "Assist-B", can be triggered by pressing L and O, which consumes one assist bar, while HP Assists, known in-game as "Assist-H," are triggered by pressing L and [Square], consuming two assist bars. The Assist will react, and appear according to what conditions were in the assist ability customization screen. While an Assist attacks, their blows do not produce EX Force. However, depending on the Assist character's amount of damage dealt, the opponent's EX force meter is reduced by a proportionate amount.
After an Assist attacks, depending on the attack used, one of two things can occur. If the Assist's attack inflicted Wall Rush, the opponent is still vulnerable, and the player can attack them while they are still recovering from the attack to press their offensive further. If the Assist's attack began a Chase Sequence, pressing X will teleport the player character behind the opponent while they are recovering, allowing them to attack again. These two abilities allow the potential for Assistance attacks and main player attacks to be chained together in different ways.
Assist Lock and Assist ChangeEdit
If the Assist character is staggered or attacked before they can leave the field, it will result in an Assist Lock. Once the player's Assist is locked, they can no longer build or use the Assist character for about twenty-two seconds. In addition to the Assist Gauge becoming locked, the opponent who locked the Assist out will receive all of the EX Force on the field. The more times the Assist is locked, the longer the time required for it to recover. When the Assist Lock wears off, the Assist Gauge returns to whatever state it was in when it was locked, and retains any charge it had at that time.
Players may also use an Assist to perform an Assist Change, wherein they call their Assist while being attacked to have their Assist take the blow for them, with the main character being flung up or down out of the opponent's attack to avoid damage. Calling the Assist while consuming one bar will perform "Change-1", wherein the main character escapes, but is inflicted with Assist Lock.
Using two bars will cause the Assist to perform "Change-2" where the character evades the attack and the opponent is staggered, but the Assist Gauge is not locked. Timing an Assist Change properly is important, as some attacks will continue to home in on the player and hit them if they perform an Assist Change too early, such as Tidus' Slice and Dice, or Onion Knight's Guiding Swipe and Swordshower.
Assists can inflict Assist Lock by hitting the opponent's Assist with their attacks. However, this cannot be done on purpose as Assists will always target the opponent regardless of who the player is currently targeting. Thus, locking an opponent's Assist with the player's own Assist is largely down to the luck of calling an Assist against the opponent while their own Assist is present and happens to get in the way. As with two attacks cancelling each other out, if two Assists happen to hit each other at the same time, they both will inflict Assist Lock.
EX Break & Assist BreakEdit
If a character calls their Assist to attack an opponent in EX Mode, an EX Break will occur if the Assist's attack connects. This grants the player who called the Assist the Stage Bravery, as though they had inflicted Bravery break, and the opponent's EX Gauge instantly depletes to zero, their EX Mode ending.
Similarly, if an Assist character is attacked by an opponent in EX Mode, an Assist Break occurs - the EX Mode character receives the Stage Bravery in addition to their opponent being inflicted with Assist Lock. There are few exceptions - Gabranth's EX Mode ability "Jamming" prevents the opponent from gaining the Map Bravery when he is inflicted with EX Break, but his EX Gauge is still cancelled, and superboss characters like Feral Chaos are unable to be inflicted with EX Break during their EX Bursts.