Orlha kicking some serious butt
Chrono Cross uses a totally new battle system, which has some touches of Xenogears. Unlike Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross does not use the Active Time Battle system. At the start of battle, everyone has 7.0 Stamina points. These points will be used for attacking, defending and using magic. Like Xenogears, you have three types of attacks; hard, medium and light. Each attack costs 3.0, 2.0 and 1.0 points respectively. Defending costs 1.0 point and casting magic takes up 7.0 points. You can combine all three actions in different ways. You can do a hard attack twice and then defend, or you can hold back and do some light attacks to save your Stamina points. Also, you can combine attacking and casting magic, but this will take your Stamina points to negative. Whilst your Stamina bar is negative or zero, you cannot do anything.
So how to restore Stamina points? Everytime one character attacks, the other characters will regain that many Stamina points. Say, Serge does a hard attack, which costs 3.0 points. The other two characters will regain 3.0 points. An exception to this is the casting of magic, where as you spend 7.0 points, the others will only regain 1.0 points. Note that no matter how much Stamina points you regain, the limit is always 7.0 points.
So when do the monsters attack? The monsters will attack after a certain amount of Stamina points have been spent. Should all characters be unable to do any action at all (i.e. their Stamina points are zero or negative), then the Stamina points will be restored up to the amount that will enable the opponent to attack, and you certainly don't want that. Strategy is the game here, where you must balance using up and regaining Stamina points. If done properly, you'll be able to damage the opponent heavily before he retaliates, if not you'll only give him a little damage before he swats you down like a fly. The death of a character not only makes it one less source of damage to your opponent, but will also disrupt your balancing Stamina points act. Usually, if you have only two characters, magic should rarely be used as should one character have negative points, everything will depend on the other character whilst the other recovers, giving time for the opponent to attack.
Grenn's and Serge's X-Attack in action
How about dual techs, or triple techs? Sadly, both aren't given much emphasis in Chrono Cross. Although Chrono Cross features about 44 playable characters, there are few techs known out there. Basically, it is better that you leave dual techs alone for some reasons. First of all, the damage done is not incredible, just a lot. Those points are better spent for the characters to cast a powerful spell each. Second, it is not easy to coordinate the dual attack. Both characters need to have at least 1.0 Stamina points, both should not have already used the required special technique, and both must reach the required magic level (explained in the magic section). Only then, can you use it. Thirdly, it takes up a lot of Stamina points. Since dual attacks are considered magic attacks and involves two characters, it is likely both will end up with negative points. This will leave the whole party vulnerable, as only one character will be able to do anything. The same goes with triple techs. Granted, these attacks look impressive, but they should only be utilised as a finishing move, when Stamina points don't matter much and the opponent is almost dead.