Over Limit (オーバーリミッツ Oobaarimittsu?, "Overlimits") is recurring feature in the Tales series that originated in Tales of Symphonia, a status which usually allows a character greater capabilities than normal. What exact effects occur vary from game to game, but one of the most common features is the ability to prevent stagger as well as use artes normally unavailable. It is the successor to the Spirits Blaster Mode from Tales of Destiny 2 and related to the Awakening state in Tales of Innocence.
Appearances in Mothership Titles
Tales of Symphonia
Over Limit makes its first appearance in this game. Visually, the character gains a black aura and, in the PS2 port, their character's face status shines white. To gain Over Limit, a character must accumulate Tension Points. Tension Points increase when the character gets hit, has allies die, or eats food that they like. Conversely, it is possible to lose Tension Points by having the character eat food they dislike, and it is reset to zero once Over Limit ends or the character dies.
Originally, there was no way to measure the Tension Points a character had, but in the PS2 port, the character's in-battle face portrait gets progressively brighter white borders as the character nears Over Limit. Once in Over Limit, the character gains several bonuses. All damage done to that character is halved, and spells take less time to cast. The character does not stagger, which means that character can continue attacking and mages are unable to be knocked out of spells. Some characters also gain access to certain artes in Over Limit, such as Genis Sage's Indignation Judgment or Sheena Fujibayashi's summons. Enemies also have the ability to go into Over Limit, when their HP gets low or after being hit many times. How close they are to Over Limit is signified by a red glow that will cover their body. Only one party character can have Over Limit mode active at any time, but enemies are not bound to this restriction.
Tales of the Abyss
In contrast to Tales of Symphonia, Tales of the Abyss introduces Over Limit as an AD Skill which all characters learn at level 15. It also features the Overlimit gauge. The Overlimit gauge is a bar beneath the character's HP and TP which fills as the character deals and receives damage. Once the gauge is full, the player can press the R2 button to activate Overlimit, which allows the player to decide whether or not it is needed. Here, Overlimit activates with a burst of energy which, while dealing minimal damage, can push away and even stagger enemies. In Overlimit, a character is surrounding by moving circles of yellow light. A character takes less damage and is unable to be staggered. Being in Overlimit also allows access to the character's mystic artes, the specifics of which can be found on their respective artes pages. Enemies also have the ability to use Overlimit. It provides them with the same benefits that it gives the players, often used when they reach a certain HP threshold.
Tales of Vesperia
Over Limit is an ability which Yuri Lowell learns from the Imperial Knights during their battle in Halure. Tales of Vesperia introduces multiple levels of Over Limit as well as a shared Over Limit gauge. As player characters deal and receive damage, the Over Limit gauge fills until it reaches its maximum. Then the player can use one or more levels to bring a character into Over Limit, or use more bars to increase the character's current Over Limit level. The "Limit Bottle" item and the "Ryoushinabe" recipe will also increase the gauge's level by one.
Over Limit has four levels, each of which grant new effects in addition to the lower levels:
- Level 1: Can attack indefinitely with normal attacks or artes, spells have no casting time, enables use of burst artes, activates the character's Skill Symbol
- Level 2: Deals more damage to knocked down enemies
- Level 3: Artes cost no TP, enables use of mystic artes
- Level 4: Prevents damage and stagger
The different levels correspond to different aura colors which surround the user: 1 is blue, 2 is green, 3 is orange, and 4 is red. This form of Over Limit is the concept for the Radiant Drive system that would later be used in Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 3. At first, the character can only use the first level. At Ghasfarost, Judith gives Yuri the "Limit Duo" item, which provides the party the ability to stack two levels of Over Limit as well as have more than one character in Over Limit at a time. Multiple characters in Over Limit share the effects of their Skill Symbols. Through synthesis at shops, the player can obtain the "Limit Trio" and "Limit Quartet" items which allow three and then four levels of Over Limit.
The PlayStation 3 port of the game allows the player to stock eight bars with the "Limit Octet" item, though a single character may only access up to four levels of Over Limit. The player activates Over Limit through the use of the control pad. The right button will add one Over Limit level to the player's character; the down, two; the left, three; and the up, four. Activating it also gives a start-up burst of energy which deals minimum damage, pushes enemies away, and may stagger them. Enemies also have access to Over Limit, traditionally as their HP decreases. They only have one level, but in it, they have most of the benefits as the player does for a Level 4 Over Limit save for the Skill Symbol bonus and the invincibility to damage.
Tales of Xillia and Tales of Xillia 2
In Tales of Xillia and Tales of Xillia 2, Over Limit is used to govern usage of linked artes, chained linked artes, and mystic artes. Over Limit has five levels, all available from the beginning. The best way to charge the gauge is to quickly attack enemy, preferably with attacks that strike its weakness. Whenever the Over Limit gauge charges one full level, it stops at there and to raise it more a linked arte is required to be used which will enable to charge another level of the gauge. When a linked arte is used when the gauge is at maximum level, the party enters the Over Limit mode which allows the party to chain artes and perform mystic artes. Each party member has a variety of skills which improve the duration of the mode and their performance during the Over Limit. Some bosses can also use linked artes and mystic artes but they do not have the Over Limit gauge.
Appearances in Escort Titles
Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology
The Overlimit system in Radiant Mythology as well as its sequel is identical to Tales of the Abyss. Characters have an Overlimit gauge beneath their HP and TP which fills as they take and receive damage. Once full, the player can activate Overlimit by pressing the "L" and "R" buttons to release a burst of light. Surrounded by moving circles of yellow light, the character takes less damage and does not stagger while in Overlimit. If available, characters can also access their mystic artes. Enemies can also do the same.
Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World
For the first time, Over Limit is unavailable to the player but is accessible by enemies. When it is used, the enemy gains a blue aura which increases its defense and prevents stagger. Furthermore, the effect lasts for the rest of the battle. Luckily, only random enemies, typically Vanguard soldiers, can use it; bosses usually can not but on higher difficulties it is possible for some of them to use it.
Tales of VS.
Tales of VS. continues the tradition of the Over Limit gauge beneath the character's HP and TP bar. When the gauge is full, the player can press "L" and "R" to activate Over Limit, surrounding the character with rings of light, as well as knocking back its enemies.
The following things increase the Over Limit gauge:
- Dealing damage increases it by 1.5%
- Dealing damage with the "High Tension" skill increases it by 1.875%
- Receiving damage, except through enemy mystic artes or stage effects, increases it by 3%
- Taunting increases it by 5%
- Obtaining a "Limits Ball" item increases it by 33%, 66%, or 100%
In Over Limit, the character gains the following benefits:
- TP recovers while moving
- Prevents staggering
- Increases physical and magical attack
- Increases spell casting speed
- Enables use of mystic artes
If both characters in the party activate Over Limit, they both enter an improved state called Overlimits Cross (オーバーリミッツクロス Oobaarimittsukurosu?), which, upon activation, completely recovers HP and TP. The benefits to Overlimits Cross, in addition to the benefits from Over Limit, include:
- Enables chaining of any arte regardless of level
- Cast spell instantly
- Using artes without consuming TP
- Warp Hole stops functioning
- Able to attack downed enemies
In addition to these benefits, if, at the time of Overlimits Cross's end, the characters are performing a combo of at least 10 hits, they will perform an "Extra Finish" where the two characters beat upon the opposing party. Only one party may activate Overlimits Cross at a time, and only if the opposing party is not already in Over Limit. If one character performs a mystic arte, Overlimits Cross is then canceled for both party members. It will also end if one of the party members in Overlimit Cross is KO'ed.