Tetra Master

2 players: You. A game opponent.
minimum of 5 cards in each player's inventory.

Getting Cards:
-Find them hidden in towns and dungeons.
-Get characters to give them to you. (rare)
-Win them in card battles.
-Get them at the end of a random encounter. (crap cards)
-Buy Them. (crap cards)

As a side note, the arrows and stats of these cards is not determined until you actually own it. So for cards you find in towns and dungeons, or obtain from other characters, you can reset the game until the card has the stats you desire. This works on all cards, even rare ones - so this can help you in getting that top collector level.
This does not really matter anyhow, due to the fact that the more rounds a specific card is used in a game that you win, the higher its stats will become.

To Play:
Walk up to a character, and press 'square' to initiate a card game. Not everyone plays, but many do. Once the card game has been initiated, pick five cards and confirm them as your final choice. Once you've done this, the game begins.

The Game:
The game grid looks like this:

                   #|     |     |     |     |#
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                   #|     |     |     |     |#
                   #|     |     |     |     |#
This game grid may have anywhere from 0-6 random spaces blocked off at the beginning of the game, restricting where cards can be placed. A coin is tossed to determine who starts the game. Whoever starts must place a card in one of the grid spaces, and the flow of the game turns to the second player.

Card Holding:
Cards, being collectible, are given numbers. There are 100 cards in the game, and you can only have 100 with you at any one time. So, if you really wanted to be a master player, you can only have one of each card. It is not as hard to acquire all 100 as it may seem.

Card Stats:
Cards will have a few stats below the picture. Here's what they mean:
P : the power of the card in hexadecimal.
T : the card type, P, M, X, or A.
D : the card's physical defense in hexadecimal.
M : the card's magical defense in hexadecimal.

Example: 1P40

What is hexadecimal, you ask? Hexadecimal is the numbers represented from 0-15 by letters and numbers. So 0 is 0, and 15 is F. This means the strongest card in the game would be FAFF, since A is the strongest card type.

Here's the confusing part. While the card's stats are represented in hex, those stats represent another number entirely. Here's a chart.

   Hex | Stat  | Min | Max
   0F  |   0   | 000 | 015
   1F  |   1   | 016 | 031
   2F  |   2   | 032 | 047
   3F  |   3   | 048 | 063
   4F  |   4   | 064 | 079
   5F  |   5   | 080 | 095
   6F  |   6   | 096 | 111
   7F  |   7   | 112 | 127
   8F  |   8   | 128 | 143
   9F  |   9   | 144 | 159
   AF  |   A   | 160 | 175
   BF  |   B   | 176 | 191
   CF  |   C   | 192 | 207
   DF  |   D   | 208 | 223
   EF  |   E   | 224 | 239
   FF  |   F   | 240 | 255

Why the "Hex" column? Notice how the first number in the hex column matches the number in the stat column? That's how hexadecimal works. For a two digit hex number, you take the first number, multiply by 16 and add the value of the second number. So 6F is 6*16+15 = 111. The minimum value would be 60 or 6*16+0=96.
There is more detail of the card letter/numbering further below.

Card Arrows:
Each card will usually have a set of arrows in any of 8 directions.
A sample card with all directions below:

                    |\ | /|
                    |-   -|
                    |/ | \|
Here are a few cases where the arrows will not do anything:
-The first card played obviously can not affect other cards.
-A card is played next to another card, but has no arrows pointing to the opposing card.
-A card is already on the board with an arrow pointing to a square. A new card is placed in that square, but the new card doesn't have an arrow pointing to the first card.

Basically, this means that nothing will happen unless the card that is played has an arrow pointing to another card.

                   card 1 | card 2
                    |\ | /|    /|
                    |-   -|    -|
                    |/ | \|    \|

Card two was placed second, so nothing happened. The fifth possibility is that the card placed in the grad has an arrow pointing to the adjacent card.

                   card 1 | card 2
                    |\ |  |    /|
                    |-    |-   -|
                    |/ |  |    \|

The player that placed card two now owns card one. These ownerships can change through the game, and whoever ends up owning the most cards at the end of the game wins. Cards may have *no* arrows, and these are discussed in the "combos" section.

Card Battles:
There is one final possibility remaining. If a card is placed next to another card, and they both have arrows pointing at each other, a battle ensues.

                   card 1 | card 2
                    |\    |     |
                    |    -|-   -|
                    |/    |  | \|
The above placement would result in a card battle. Each battle has three phases where different numbers are displayed.

Phase 1:
Each card has a power as discussed previously. This value falls between the min and max listed in the table. Each card also has a defense fitting the the above chart.

Example : 4P22 attacks 1M01

The first number that appears on card A is its attack power, say 70 (4 = between 64 and 79). Card A is a physical card, and card B has 0 physical defense, so the first number to appear on card B is its defense, say 7 (0 = between 0 and 16).

Phase 2:
Next, the computer rolls a number between 0 and the number shown in phase 1. This will be the *actual* attack or defense. Let's say it rolls a 66 for card A, and 1 for card B.

Phase 3:
The number rolled in phase 2 is subtracted from the number in phase 1. This guarantees that the number will be positive, and the highest number wins. So:

Card A: 70 - 66 : 4
Card B: 7 - 1 : 6

There are a few things this should tell you:

-Higher rolls are BAD. You want low rolls so less is subtracted from the total number.
-A weak card can defeat a strong card if the roll is in its favor, look at how the 1M01 defended itself against a 4P22.

If you want to know how likely a card is to win a battle, here's the basic formula:

      100 * Card B defense
100 - --------------------
         Card A attack

So in our example, you have:

          100 * 7         700  
   100 -  ------- = 100 - --- = 100 - 10 = 90%
             70           70

So in our example, card A will win the battle 90% of the time. But in the example of the battle, it lost because of a bad roll; that's the 10% it loses.

But, since you may not know attack/defense values right away, you can get a basic idea. Using our example again, take the maximum attack card A could have (79) and the lowest defense card B can have (0) and use our equation. The result is 100%. Now, take the minimum attack card A can have (64) and the maximum defense card B can have (15) and use our equation. The result is 76.6%.

So, in our example, if you don't know the values of the cards fighting it out, card A will have a 77-100% chance of beating card B if it is attacking.

If you played card A, good job. You would have won the card battle, but you had a 10% chance of losing, and lost. Your opponent now controls both cards. If you had won, you'd control both cards.

Card Combos:
Sometimes a card that loses a battle may also point to other cards. This is a very dangerous situation, and can lead to those cards being lost as well. For instance, let's assume player 1 owns cards one and two, player two puts down card three.

                        1 |  2  |  3
                    |\    |     |     |
                    |    -|-   -|-    |
                    |/    |  | \|     |

We'll assume card three is really powerful, and wipes out card two. Player 2 now owns all three cards, because the losing card had an arrow pointing to card one. Avoid this at all costs! A properly placed combo can flip up to eight other cards on a full board. Normally cards with a lot of arrows are good due to their great defense abilities, but the potential for combos is dire. We'll talk about how to fix this problem later.

Some of you may have encountered cards with no arrows on them, and rightly wonder what they're good for. They're good for one and only one thing so far as I have seen and heard: sheer numbers. These cards have no combo power, are completely defenseless, and are very rare. But keep in mind that if played last, you have no fear of setting off combos where you may lose cards. They're a completely safe play if all you need to do is win one more card to win the card game. They also make wonderful combo fodder.

Card Winning:
Whoever controls the most cards when all cards are on the board wins the game. After winning, the winner gets to pick a card from the loser's deck, but only a card that was flipped during the course of the game. If all of the cards are flipped to one player or another, the game is called "perfect", and they get to keep all of their opponent's cards. Good if you win, really bad if you lose.

Card Point System:
As you play through the game, you'll win points. How these points are awarded, however seems to be a bit of a complexity. Points are awarded not by your win/loss ratio as it would seem, but on the cards you own and how their arrows are arranged. Here's a quick explanation.

    - One Unique Card                : 15 points
    - Unique card, non-unique arrows : 10 points
    - Extra cards                    : 5 points per card
    - Extra cards, non-unique arrows : 0 points per card
    - X card                         : 1 bonus point
    - A card                         : 2 bonus points

So, if you have one "A" card, and it has no arrows the same as any other card, you'll have 17 points for that card. Logic would dictate that in order to reach the top collector level, you'd need all 100 of your cards to fit this criteria for a maximum of 1700 points. Ouch.

So far as arrow configurations are concerned, there are more than a hundred, here's how they're broken down:

    Arrows    |   combinations
      0       |         1
      1       |         8
      2       |        28
      3       |        56
      4       |        70
      5       |        56
      6       |        28
      7       |         8
      8       |         1
    Total     |       256

So, you have a total of 256 total arrow combinations, and you only need 100. Also keep in mind that 163 of those have 4 arrows or more, so you don't need to feel defenseless.

That still doesn't detract from the fact you'll have to have 100 "A" level cards, each with a different arrow configuration to reach the top collector level, but everything is worth effort right?

Card Collector's Levels:
The game keeps track of all wins, losses, and draws, but they don't mean anything to your collector level. Your collector level is determined by the total value of all of your cards as explained above. This may seem unfair, but it's how things work. Collector level is awarded by point values, as shows in this table:

      Points     |   Level      |       Points     |   Level
  ---------------------------  -=-  ---------------------------
  0    - 299     :  Beginner   -=-  1350 - 1359    :  Champion
  300  - 399     :  Novice     -=-  1360 - 1369    :  Analyst
  400  - 499     :  Player     -=-  1370 - 1379    :  General
  500  - 599     :  Senior     -=-  1380 - 1389    :  Expert
  600  - 699     :  Fan        -=-  1390 - 1399    :  Shark
  700  - 799     :  Leader     -=-  1400 - 1449    :  Specialist
  800  - 899     :  Coach      -=-  1450 - 1474    :  Elder
  900  - 999     :  Advisor    -=-  1475 - 1499    :  Dominator
  1000 - 1099    :  Director   -=-  1500 - 1549    :  Maestro
  1100 - 1199    :  Dealer     -=-  1550 - 1599    :  King
  1200 - 1249    :  Trader     -=-  1600 - 1649    :  Wizard
  1250 - 1299    :  Commander  -=-  1650 - 1679    :  Authority
  1300 - 1319    :  Doctor     -=-  1680 - 1689    :  Emperor
  1320 - 1329    :  Professor  -=-  1690 - 1697    :  Pro
  1330 - 1339    :  Veteran    -=-  1698 -         :  Master
  1340 - 1349    :  Freak      -=-
  ---------------------------  -=-  ---------------------------

What, there is no 1700?
What happens at 1700, you ask? Under your collector points where Master was once written it now says, superimposed over everything, "Would you like to discard?'". So, after one hundred hours of playing this game you are rewarded with god forsaken glitch.

Card Power:
Each card will have a set stats, arranged to look like: 0P00. The first number is the card's attack power in hexadecimal. Refer to "Battles" for how this works.

Cards that defeat other cards in many battles, or flip many cards eventually get stronger. So a 0P00 that is used often will make it to a 1P00. These values have maximums. I really dont care what the maximums are, and can see no logical reason why anyone would spend so much time figuring out what any card's maximum is, since you gain absolutely nothing by playing cards other than to add hours to your total game time, and to waste your time you could have spent finishing the game and moving on to another badass squaresoft game. Thus, the card maximums are not posted on here.

Card Defense:
Cards have two types of defense, physical and magical. Like power, defense is listed in hexadecimal. If a card is classified as 0P12, 1 is the physical defense, and 2 is the magical defense.

Like Power, defense can increase if a card defends attack often enough. So a 0P00 can become a 0P01 or a 0P10 depending on whether it defended many physical or magical attacks.

Physical Cards:
You probably noticed that I've been listing my examples as 0P00 or some variation. What I was actually assuming is that the cards in my examples are physical cards. Hence they do physical damage in their attacks. A card with "P" in the middle of its stats is a physical card.

Like mentioned above, physical abilities are not based on the number in the attack power alone. A 1P00 card can still lose to a 0P00 card if the 0P00 card gets a better roll. Generally, cards with higher card numbers are stronger, but you can't count on that.

Magic Cards:
Cards with an "M" in their stats are magic cards. They deal their damage through some kind of magic. Unfortunately, most magic cards will be horribly slaughtered by a physical card. Hence it's essential to have a good balance of each in those chosen for the game. On the other hand, a strong magic card will liquefy a physical card with low magic resistance. Beware!

Power Cards:
Next are power cards. These can exist in any of the card numbers, and are denoted by an "X" in the card stats. Most often, you'll have a monster you have many multiples of, and maybe only one of them is a power card. These can be obtained in a couple of ways:
-Win them.
-Use a normal card until it turns into one.

Power cards seem excessive at first. They appear to have higher stats compared to the other cards you may have in your inventory. But how do they work?

  Defending card     |   Actual Defense
    0P10             |        0
    1M91             |        1
    9M19             |        1

See a pattern here? If you play a power card, the lowest of the defender's defense powers will determine the type of attack your card uses. Strong physical defense? Use a magical attack. Strong magical defense? Use a physical attack.

As you can imagine, taking a power card can be difficult. But there are a few ways to do so.
-Take the card on an unprotected corner.
-Use a powerful card that will overwhelm power card defenses.
-Use a card with high defense stats.

Three may not make much sense, but it works. Remember, power cards only gain an upper hand when defense values of the other card are low. A card with 0P9A stats would most likely demolish a power card that was 2X32.

At least at the beginning of the game, disks one and two perhaps, save them for the last card you play if at all possible. They can swiftly turn the tide of battle, and work wonders when used in combos.

Advanced Cards:
There is one more type of card that has a huge advantage over all other cards. This is one step above X cards, and instead identifies itself with an A. 1A12 for example. You can get them a couple of ways.

-Win them.
-Use an X card until it turns into one.

So what are these wondrous cards, and how do they work? Like X cards, they take the lowest of the defense values, but to add a little spice to the mix, they also throw in the attack power. For example:

  Defending card     |   Actual Defense
    0P12             |        0
    9M09             |        0
    3P9A             |        3

Yes, that's right. The lowest number in all of the stats is used as the card's defense. I don't think I have to tell you how horrible this can be. But wait, this isn't all! Take a look at the following:

  Attacking "A" card |   Actual Attack
    0P12             |        2
    9M09             |        9
    3P9A             |        A

Yes, you see right. Not only does the defending card have a very low defense, but the "A" card uses the highest number on the card as the attack. Now an "A" level Genji card doesn't look so useless as it did before, does it?

These are more rare than power cards since they are upgraded from power cards. Taking these cards can really only be done one of two ways.
-Take the card on an unprotected corner.
-Use a card with higher stats in all aspects.

If you want to take a 2A33, you'll need at least a 3P33 for equal footing, probably higher to be on the safe side. If the computer plays one of these cards, take it! Do what ever you can to make that card yours. If you don't get it the first time, rematch until you do. These cards will most definitely complete your arsenal.

Card List:
To view a list of all the types of cards and where to find them, check out the 'Cards' section on this site.