Dissidia 012: Duodecim Final Fantasy Character Basics Guide


First appeared in: Final Fantasy X

Combat proficiency: Close-range, melee


Perhaps one of the strongest melee characters in the game, Jecht’s play style is all about quickly reaching the opponent and chaining hard-hitting combos. He only has two bravery attacks, Jecht Rush (ground) and Jecht Stream (air). Both abilities unleash a fury of powerful attacks which can expand into different combos based on user input, and can be charged to span greater distances if your opponent is playing keepaway. Once you close the gap and master Jecht’s complex combos, it’s game over.


Jecht is only effective in close quarters -- it can be challenging to fight ranged players who are skilled at pressuring you into keeping a distance. It can also be difficult to land your initial attack, and once you do so, you’ll have to maintain constant chains to lock your opponent down.

Learning curve: Difficult


Kain Highwind

First appeared in: Final Fantasy IV

Combat proficiency: Close-range, melee


Kain has strong bravery attacks and is well suited for both ground and air combat. Abilities like Spiral Blow, Cyclone and Celestial Shooter can launch enemies into the air, while Crashing Dive can bring the fight back to the ground. Controlling your enemies by ping-ponging them around is a definite advantage.


Despite Kain’s arsenal of bravery abilites, some of them have tricky attack angles and can be difficult to get used to. He also has some lackluster HP abilities, and relying on Jump isn’t always feasible when playing a cramped stage.

Learning curve: Moderate


Kefka Palazzo

First appeared in: Final Fantasy VI

Combat proficiency: Long-range, magic


Kefka may be a clown, but his magical attacks are no joke (pun intended!). Chaining Kefka’s abilities are quite simple and absolutely brutal: His Waggle-Wobbly Firaga ability moves slowly, but has excellent tracking and is great for putting a lot of pressure on the enemy. Once it connects, take advantage of its long-lasting effect and chain with Scatter Spray Blizzaga, Meteor or any of his bravery attacks.


Kefka’s bravery attacks may hit hard, but they also have a slow start-up speed, and he’s pretty dependent on chaining abilities off of Waggle-Wobbly Firaga. Letting your opponent get too close can cost you a decent chunk of your bravery or HP pool, especially if you’re facing a character with fast attack speeds.

Learning curve: Easy



First appeared in: Final Fantasy IX

Combat proficiency: Various, magic


Kuja’s biggest strength is is versatility. Unlike other characters, he can use his attacks while moving and any of his abilities can be equipped to his ground or air slots. If you prefer fighting in close quarters or from a distance, you can set his skills to suit your tastes. Ring Holy is now a nice pressure builder, and abilities like Strike Energy and Remote Flare are great for chaining combos.


Though he has a nice mix of close  / mid-ranged attacks, Kuja lacks long ranged abilities and has a slow start-up time on some bravery attacks. Learning to use his abilities effectively takes some practice.

Learning curve: Moderate


Laguna Loire

First appeared in: Final Fantasy VIII

Combat proficiency: Long / mid-range, projectiles


Machine guns, bazookas, sticky grenades, shotguns -- yeah, Laguna has quite the arsenal of projectile weapons. Homing Bazooka and Missile Barrage are tracking abilities ideal for keeping opponents focused on dodging, leaving them vulnerable to his Machine Gun and Ricochet Shot. Grenades are great for controlling ground space and his Shotgun ability is useful when opponents get too close.


Despite having weapons that fire upon pulling a trigger, Laguna’a start-up times are rather slow. He’s pretty vulnerable in close quarters and his combos can be difficult to chain. Ricochet Shot is neat if you can get used to manually aiming it and bouncing the shot off the stage, but learning to play Laguna effectively is a challenge.

Learning curve: Moderate

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000
  • silversunset23 - June 18, 2011 7:55 a.m.

    Am I the only one who plays as Jecht here? He's such a badass...
  • ranzatsu - May 30, 2011 2:14 p.m.

    My bests are Firion (since his ground attacks deal heavy damage), Squall, Sephiroth and (sorry if he's not on the list) Feral Chaos. I use Cloud for emergencies on party battles. Jecht's an awesome Assist, especially after a Wall Rush attack. Laguna is hateable, but his Sticky Bomb and Machine Gun attacks are fun.
  • jacobtussler - May 12, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    Zidane is my fave. Run up close, rumble rush then Meo twister. Works every time. I usually party him with Lightning, Vaan, Cloud & Yuna
  • dimadimadima581 - May 1, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    But golbez + terrible air game makes no sense at all... His Gravity float systems, which have great tracking and link into cosmic ray, EVEN if you block his meele, the magic laser / whatever still hits so block his air attacks is pointless.. My 2nd main after garland. Lack of air game is the least of his worries.
  • dimadimadima581 - May 1, 2011 6:32 p.m.

    Still maining Garland since Dissidia 1, + kuja and seph. Flare just adds to his close range hp attacks :)
  • someonetgsn - April 15, 2011 10:49 p.m.

    @Minxriot Ah, I see... sneaky editing... well at least you are unlike some internet folk who simply complain about thinks they never bothered to check. Then again, it wasn't just you who had made that comment.
  • MinxRiot - April 15, 2011 6:32 a.m.

    @Someonetgsn, Tifa was NOT originally in the list. She was added in later. I checked three times before posting that. Haha.
  • someonetgsn - April 14, 2011 7:46 p.m.

    @MinxRiot & miguju999: Tifa is second from the top on page 5. I am somewhat suprised you think Tifa was forgettable. Despite her apperent lack of involvement in the story, the internet assures me that she is quite unforgettable. Unfortunately I do not have the game personally, but I wanted to see how some of the characters may stack up against one another.
  • Mirako - April 14, 2011 3:48 p.m.

    I want to use Exdeath but waiting for computers to attack can be so boring. Is it just me or is the Ex mode duration shorter in this game? I used to use Gabranth but not as much anymore. Golbez has terrible air game? I wouldn't say so his gravity and float systems are great for grabbing people.
  • MinxRiot - April 14, 2011 4:04 a.m.

    Not surprising though that Tifa was forgotten, in the story it just seems like she was randomly thrown in there at the last minute because they felt like it. Haha
  • MinxRiot - April 14, 2011 3:57 a.m.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe Tifa is missing from this list. And also, the Emperor is not that hard to learn, frankly, none of the Dissidia characters are hard to learn how to play well. But maybe thats just how it is with me. @bigwill1221, At first I HATED playing Laguna but as I leveled him up and got used to him I actually started doing really well with him, so now I don't mind him so much. Is he my first team pick? No. Will that stop me from ever using him? Not really.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - April 14, 2011 12:07 a.m.

    Onion Knight all the way, beaches!
  • ashamaxa - April 13, 2011 11:56 p.m.

    Good Article. Im using Ultimecia as my main character and, is slow, but with a nice build-up can be deadly. Knight's Lance is awesome.
  • McSpermie - April 13, 2011 11:52 p.m.

    @Ryantalj Nice, I actually also switch between Yuna and Lightning as my main as well. I think I'm going to mainly use Yuna though now, thanks again for the article :)
  • TrAnMu - April 13, 2011 11:47 p.m.

    I freaking love using Vaan. With his moves set up right and a good assist character, you control all ranges! XD Zidane was my main character of the first game and he does have some decent long range moves. While they might not land, they do a good job of pressuring the opponent into closer range. Other characters that are fun to use are Lightning, Laguna (if you don't mind taking it slow), Kain, and Kuja.
  • Larinah - April 13, 2011 11:40 p.m.

    Great article. I personally use Lightning and Vaan, because I like how versatile they are. Also, @bigwill1221 I hate playing Laguna too. He feels so clunky, and it's hard to keep control with him. I also liked your comments on Sephiroth, Ryan. I tried using him full offense first time against Jecht, and got my ass whooped. He really does have to take advantage of any blunders your opponent makes, much like he does in Kingdom Hearts 1&2.
  • McSpermie - April 13, 2011 11:25 p.m.

    Very useful, I was hoping to find a character wrap up. Thank you. Who do you use Ryan? Would you recommend using them?
  • miguju999 - April 13, 2011 11:25 p.m.

    where's Tifa???
  • Corsair89 - April 13, 2011 11:02 p.m.

    Yuna and Cloud are the characters that I use most frequently.
  • bigwill1221 - April 13, 2011 10:37 p.m.

    Does any one else hate playing as Laguna? I feel his attacks are too slow and dodge-able to be any good(and whenever I play as him long matches FTL...) On side note.. why are computers god with ricochet shot.