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MECHANICS

BASICS:

Stats:

HP. Health Points. The amount of damage a character can take before being knocked out. Vi and Leif start with 7 maximum HP each, Kabbu starts with 9 maximum HP. When Ranking Up, you can select to increase maximum HP by 1 for each bug.

TP. Teamwork Points. Spend these to use skills; there is one common pool for the party. The party starts with 10 maximum TP. When Ranking Up, you can select to increase maximum TP by 3.

MP. Medal Points. This is the party's capacity to equip medals, which do all sorts of things. The party starts with 5 MP. When Ranking up, you can select to increase MP by 3.

Attack. This stat indicates how much damage will be inflicted by the bug's basic attack, as well as their skills (though skills often have inherent modifiers to damage).

Defence. Subtracted directly from the enemy's attack in damage calculation.

EXP. Exploration Points. Get these for defeating enemies; collect enough and the party will Rank Up. The amount earned from a given enemy decreases as you gain ranks. If all enemies in a battle awarded 0 EXP, 1 point will be awarded at the end of the battle (I call this "pity EXP").

Berries. These are the game's primary currency, used to buy things in shops. They can be found by cutting weeds, dropped by enemies, or paid to the party by NPCs. They can also be deposited in the Bank of Bugaria to earn interest (2.5% of the total balance, paid every 30 minutes of game time). The party can carry up to 999 berries, and the bank can hold an additional 10,000.

Status Effects:

For all status effects, a number displayed in the icon indicates the remaining duration in turns. An infinity symbol means the effect is permanent for the remainder of the fight.

Poison. The affected character will take damage at the end of each turn. The damage is equal to 10% of maximum HP (rounded down, minimum 1); this is capped at 2 on enemies. Poison damage cannot kill and will leave the affected character on 1 HP instead. Enemy resistance increases by 8% each time it is inflicted by Poison Needles, and 0% from other sources.

Freeze. The affected character is frozen and cannot act (nor block). The next hit taken will do +1 damage but will unfreeze them. Enemy resistance increases by 18% each time they are frozen.

Sleep. The character is asleep and cannot act (or block), and will heal 10% of their maximum HP (rounded up) at the end of each turn. The next hit taken will cause them to wake up. Enemy resistance will increase by 13% each time they are sent to sleep.

Numb. The character is paralysed and cannot act (or block). Defence is increased by 1. Enemy resistance increases by 15% each time they are numbed.

Taunted. If used on enemies, forces any single-target attacks used by the enemy to target the character who used it (and, if Deep Taunt is equipped, increases their attack and decreases their defence by 1 each). If used on player characters, prevents the affected character from using actions in menus other than basic Attack and Strategies.

Attack Up. Increases Attack by 1.

Attack Down. Decreases Attack by 1.

Defence Up. Increases Defence by 1.

Defence Down. Decreases Defence by 1. (See associated bug, discussed below.)

Charge Up. Increases Attack of the next attack or skill used by 1. Can be stacked up to 3 times. Does not have a turn duration, but lasts until consumed by attacking.

Hustle. Next turn, this character will start with an extra action. Multiple instances of this effect can be stacked.

HP Regeneration. Restores 2 HP at the end of each turn.

TP Regeneration. Restores 2 TP at the end of each turn.

Delayed Attack. This icon indicates a delayed attack has been launched at the character's position, and will impact on a future turn.

Flipped. (Enemies only) Indicates the enemy has been flipped, which reduces their defence to 0. Can be inflicted by certain attacks, but only on enemies which are specifically designated flippable.

Off-Balance. (Enemies only) Indicates an enemy has been hit by an attack that would knock down or flip it, but an additional attack is required to apply the effect.

MECHANICAL NOTES:

Positioning:

Positioning is a core mechanic in Bug Fables. The bug in front of the party receives +1 Attack, but will be targeted twice as often by enemies. Specifically, it's 66%/33% with two bugs, or 50%/25%/25% with three. Some medals, such as Back Support, also interact with this system, providing bonuses based on positioning.

This icon indicates the bug in front and will be displayed on their portrait in the status bar.

Press (B) to choose who acts next without changing formation
Press (X) or select "Rotate Party" from Strategies while all bugs have turns remaining to change who is in front
(v1.1 only) Select "Swap Positions" from Strategies while all bugs have turns remaining to swap two bugs' positions

Timed Blocking:

Press (A) when an enemy hits you to reduce the damage by 1, or by 2 with perfect timing.
At 60 FPS, the block window is 19 frames, with the last 4 frames triggering Super Block.
There is a 36 frame cooldown between block inputs.

Exhaustion:

A bug's attack will be reduced by 1 for each previous action they have taken in the same turn (with some exceptions, such as Spy, Do Nothing, Turn Relay). This is visibly represented by sweat drops coming off the character.
If a bug equips Strong Start, their exhaustion penalties increase to 2 points per action on the first turn.

Turn Relay:

Using Turn Relay lets one bug donate their turn to another. Each bug may use this action up to once per turn.

First Strikes:

Outside battle, attacking an enemy with a field ability will stun it. Touch an enemy while it is stunned and the bug in front will get an extra action on the first turn.
Outside battle, if the bug in front is hit by an enemy's attack, each enemy will get to attack before the player's turn begins. (If Hard Mode is not enabled, only the enemy in front will attack.)
Equip Crazy Prepared to negate enemy first strikes.

Charmy's Spells:

Charmy can be found selling spells in the back alley of Defiant Root. Here's how they work.

There are five possible boosts, each of which can trigger at a specific time. There's a 5.5% chance of the bonus activating, after which there's a randomly-determined cooldown of 3-8 turns before another bonus can activate (though the cooldown doesn't persist between battles). Each time one of these boosts triggers, it consumes one charge of the spell.

Here are the effects and their associated timing:

Attack Up (for 1 turn, on one character). Can trigger whenever a character attacks, if that character doesn't already have Attack Up status.
Defence Up (for 1 turn, on the entire party). Can trigger before an enemy's attack.
Healing (20% HP to the entire party). Can trigger after an enemy's action.
TP Refund (half the amount spent, minimum 1). Can trigger after using a skill that costs TP.
EXP Increase (1.5x). Can trigger at the end of a battle.

The three packages available for purchase differ in how long they last:
Cheapskate (10 berries): 5 charges
Regular (20 berries): 12 charges
Overcharmed (40 berries): 23 charges

Known Glitches:

"Ignore 1 defence" bug:
Skills which have the property of "ignoring 1 defence" actually add 1 to the attack when the enemy has defence. This check is made before Defence Down status effects are applied, so combining these effects produces more damage than expected.
These attacks may also ignore Defence Up status (more research needed).

Sleep bug:
An enemy who is woken from sleep by an attack will skip their next turn as though they were still asleep.

SKILLS

Vi's Skills

Beemerang (basic attack): Vi throws the Beemerang at an enemy.
Targeting: Any above-ground enemy
Action command: Press A when the cursor is in the green area
Effect: Knocks down airborne enemies

Tornado Toss (3 TP): "Tosses the beemerang in a circular motion. Multi-hit move that targets a single enemy".
Targeting: Any above-ground enemy
Action Command: Bar fills from left to right, press A each time it reaches the icon.
Effect: Hits the same enemy 1-4 times (each successful A press adds one hit). Damage starts at (Vi's attack - 1) and decreases by 1 each successive hit. As long as the first hit deals nonzero damage, the follow-ups will always deal at least 1 damage.

Hurricane Toss (5 TP): "Vi tosses the Beemerang and holds it in place, ignoring 1 defense while damaging and flipping an enemy."
Learned: During the Golden Festival in Chapter 2
Targeting: Any enemy
Action Command: Press (Left) and (Right) rapidly to fill the bar.
Effect: Hits the same enemy 1-4 times. Ignores 1 defence, flips enemy if possible, and can hit (and force to surface) underground enemies. Damage starts at (Vi's attack - 1) and decreases by 1 each successive hit. As long as the first hit deals nonzero damage, the follow-ups will always deal at least 1 damage.

Needle Toss (4 TP): "Vi tosses some piercing darts at enemies."
Learned: automatically on reaching Rank 11
Targeting: "All enemies" (manually aim the darts)
Action Command: Press (A) to launch a dart at the targeting reticle
Effect: Vi throws 2 darts, each of which deals damage equal to her attack and ignores all defence. If multiple darts hit the same enemy, the damage will be reduced each subsequent hit (by 1, or by 2 if the damage is 4 or more, but it won't go below 1). Can inflict status effects when certain medals are equipped.

Secret Stash (3 TP): "Vi heals 4 HP to an ally while curing poison with an item from her secret stash. This does not consume normal items."
Learned: automatically on reaching Rank 2
Targeting: Any ally
Action Command: none
Effect: Recovers 4 HP and cures poison.

Sharing Stash (6 TP): "Vi will heal the entire party with items from her secret stash, healing poison and restoring 2 HP for 3 turns."
Learned: complete Vi's Request
Targeting: All allies
Action Command: none
Effect: Each ally recovers 2 HP and cures poison, and gains HP Regeneration for 2 turns.

Kabbu's Skills

Horn Strike (basic attack): Kabbu attacks an enemy with his horn.
Targeting: Front-most grounded enemy only
Action command: Hold (D-pad down) until the big icon lights up, then release.
Effect: Flips enemies if possible. Ignores 1 point of defence.

Taunt (2 TP): "Taunts enemies, making them focus on attacking Kabbu for this turn."
Targeting: All enemies
Action command: none
Effect: Enemies using single-target attacks will be forced to aim them at Kabbu.

Heavy Strike (3 TP): "Kabbu will charge up his horn for a powerful strike. Can only target the first grounded enemy."
Learned: Automatically on reaching Rank 4
Targeting: Front-most grounded enemy only
Action command: Hold (D-pad down) until the big icon lights up, then release.
Effect: Deals (Kabbu's attack +2) damage. Flips enemies if possible. Ignores 1 point of defence.

Dash Through (5 TP): "Kabbu charges forward, damaging all grounded enemies with his horn. This also flips enemies."
Learned: when reaching the gate to the Lost Sands in Chapter 3 (in version 1.1)
Targeting: All grounded enemies
Action command: Mash (A) until the bar fills up
Effect: Deals (Kabbu's attack +1) damage. Flips enemies if possible. Ignores 1 point of defence.
Notes: Prior to version 1.1, this skill was learned in Chapter 5.

Pebble Toss (1 TP): "Kabbu will toss a rock, dealing 1 damage to any enemy."
Learned: equip Mighty Pebble
Targeting: any enemy
Action command: none
Effect: Deals 1 damage, irrespective of Kabbu's attack, exhaustion, and enemy's defence. Knocks down airborne enemies.

Pep Talk (5 TP): "Kabbu inspires a fallen ally, rallying them to continue fighting!"
Learned: during the Golden Festival in Chapter 2
Targeting: any fallen ally
Action command: none
Effect: Brings back a fallen ally with 4 HP.

Leif's Skills

Icicle (basic attack): Leif attacks an enemy with an icicle from below.
Targeting: Any grounded or burrowed enemy
Action command: Wait for the random button prompt, then press the requested button.
Effect: Burrowed enemies will surface if damaged. Ice elemental.

Icefall (4 TP): "Creates an ice projectile that may freeze any enemies around its impact radius."
Targeting: Radius around the impact (does not hit burrowed enemies)
Action command: Press A to stop the targeting reticle and launch the icicle.
Effect: Attacks all enemies in the radius with ice for damage equal to Leif's base attack. Can hit (and knock down) airborne enemies. Ice elemental. Can inflict freeze (1 turn duration).

Frigid Coffin (3 TP): "Encases an enemy in ice, with a great chance to freeze. Can only target grounded enemies."
Learned: automatically on reaching Rank 6
Targeting: Any grounded or burrowed enemy
Action Command: Wait for the random button prompt, then press the requested button, followed by 3 buttons in a randomly requested sequence.
Effect: Deals (Leif's attack +2) damage. Can inflict freeze (2 turn duration). If enemy is not immune, rolls against (enemy freeze resistance -30%). Ice elemental.

Bubble Shield Lite (3 TP): "Leif shields an ally from all harm for 1 turn."
Learned: on entering the Bee Hive in Chapter 3
Targeting: Any one ally
Action Command: none
Effect: Puts a bubble shield on the targeted ally, making them invulnerable for the rest of the turn. Some effects (e.g. Abombination) can break shields, though it will still prevent the damage.

Bubble Shield (7 TP): "Leif creates a shield that negates damage for all allies during 1 turn. Leif is then unable to act for 1 turn."
Learned: on hitting the switch in Honey Factory Processing, in Chapter 3
Targeting: All allies
Action Command: none
Effect: Puts bubble shields on all allies, making them invulnerable for the rest of the turn. Some effects (e.g. Abombination) can break shields, though it will still prevent the damage. This skill costs Leif 2 actions; if used when he has 1 action remaining, he will start with 1 fewer action next turn.

Empower (3 TP): "Boosts an ally's attack by 1 for 2 turns."
Learned: equip Empower
Targeting: Any one ally
Action Command: none
Effect: Grants Attack Up status (2 turn duration).

Break (2 TP): "Reduces one enemy's defense by 1 for 2 turns."
Learned: equip Break
Targeting: Any one enemy
Action Command: none
Effect: Inflicts Defence Down status (2 turn duration).

Charge Up (3 TP): "Charges up a party member, boosting their attack the next time they strike. Stacks up to 3 times."
Learned: equip Charge Up
Targeting: Any one ally
Action Command: none
Effect: Grants +1 Charge Up status.

Cleanse (2 TP): "Removes all temporary charges and status effects from one enemy."
Learned: automatically on reaching Rank 13
Targeting: Any one enemy
Action Command: none
Effect: Removes temporary buffs and status effects. Note "temporary": this does not remove permanent buffs (where the duration displays as infinity).

Global Skills

Sturdy (3 TP): "Grants 3 defense and status immunity for 1 turn, converting any extra turns into HP."
Learned: equip Tardigrade Shield
Targeting: Self
Action Command: none
Effect: Increases defence by 3 and grants status immunity for the rest of the turn. Removes any extra turns (and prevents the user being relayed to), converting each action lost into 1 HP.
Notes: Before version 1.1, the defence increase was 1.