In both Legend of Legaia and Legaia 2: Duel Saga, damage is done through the TAS (Tactical Arts System). Rather than merely pressing a button to execute a physical attack, the player specifies the location of each attack; 'Right' and 'Left' will strike with the right and left arms, respectively, and 'High' and 'Low' strike at their respective heights.
Each direction has its own pros and cons, depending upon the opponent and weapons equipped. For example, in Legend of Legaia, equipping boots will increase the power of kicks, but 'Low' will not strike a Killer Bee, since it flies above the ground.
Certain strings of attacks initiate combos known as "Arts," which deal substantially more damage than would a non-combo string of comparable length. The player can uncover each character's Arts by experimentation, or through non-player characters throughout the game who reveal Arts to the characters. "Art Points" (AP) is necessary to initiate Arts, which drain AP in quantities which are proportionate to the length and power of the combo.
Inputting an Arts sequence without the requisite AP will cause the character to simply perform the string of attacks, without the Arts animation or damage bonus. AP can be earned in three ways; dealing physical damage without performing Arts, taking damage from opponents, or by foregoing actions for one turn in order to charge up using the Spirit command. In Legend of Legaia, all Arts drain AP, whereas in Legaia 2: Duel Saga, normal Arts will add to the AP total.
Arts can also be linked by the last and first inputs. For example, an Art that ends with 'Down' can linked with another Art that starts with 'Down', allowing the player to use two Arts in a row costing fewer inputs. This also works for linking Hyper Arts into Normal Arts.
Once learned, Arts will be recorded in a menu that can be accessed any time during battle or in the status menu. Normal Arts are the most numerous and require the least amount of AP to execute in both Legend of Legaia and Legaia 2: Duel Saga, though they are also the only Arts that add to the AP total in Duel Saga.
In Legend of Legaia, each character possesses 11 Normal Arts in total, though they are more numerous in Duel Saga and not every character has the same amount of Arts.
Super Arts differ considerably between Legend of Legaia and Legaia 2: Duel Saga. In Legend of Legaia, Super Arts are specific chained combinations of normal Arts that will activate a Super Art at the end. Unlike all other types of Arts, the Super Arts are not recorded in the menu of Arts that have been learned. They cost more AP than normal Arts, and the more powerful of Super Arts cost more AP than even Hyper Arts.
In Legaia 2: Duel Saga, Super Arts are still more powerful than normal Arts, yet the first one is taught automatically through a tutorial and learned before Hyper Arts. Certain Super Arts will add status effects like Paralysis and Stun as well. Unlike the Super Arts in Legend of Legaia, they will be recorded in the menu of Arts already learned.
Hyper Arts are a type of Art found in both Legend of Legaia and Legaia 2: Duel Saga. They are more powerful than ordinary arts, yet are not the strongest type themselves. In the first game, they are learned through collecting elemental books, three per person to be exact. In the second game, they are learned through several different ways.
When using Hyper Arts in Legend of Legaia, they are displayed in the Arts list in yellow font, as opposed to the usual blue with yellow ending. Hyper Arts cannot be linked from another art, yet they can begin their own links. They generally cost more AP than normal, and there are only three for each character, with a total of nine overall.
In Legaia 2: Duel Saga, Hyper Arts are learned in many different ways. Lang, for instance, learns his first by reading a scroll, though this scroll must be found to advance in the story, unlike Vahn’s. Another different aspect of learning Hyper Arts in this game is that if you use a Hyper Art a certain amount of times, you will learn a stronger, more costly version of the art.
Miracle Arts are a type of Art found only in Legend of Legaia. They are the ultimate Arts and are three in total - one for each party member. Miracle Arts cost 99AP and require 9 Art blocks to execute. They consist of a string of normal Arts followed by a Hyper Art (or a variation of a Hyper Art in Noa's case).
Mystic Arts are a type of Art found only in Legaia 2: Duel Saga. They take the place of Miracle Arts from Legend of Legaia as the ultimate attack for all party members (except Ayne). The requirements to execute a Mystic Art are more stringent than any other types of Arts. The character must have full AP, as well as less than half its HP remaining and at least 100MP to spare. Additionally, the Mystic Art will not be performed if any commands other than the 7 needed are inputted into the Arts bar.