Cloud's Limit Gauge can be manually filled up with this move, roughly taking around six seconds (362 frames) to fully charge (assuming it is completely empty). It can be charged on both ground and air. Taking damage while charging the Limit will not reduce the charge, unlike other charging moves. Cloud can also cancel the charge with shield, dodge and even attacking.
Once charged, Cloud will say "Genkai wo Koeru" (限界を超える, roughly meaning "Breaking the Limit" or "Exceeding the Limit") and will emit a blue aura, meaning he is in the Limit Break status.
While under Limit Break, Cloud's dash speed, air speed and falling speed will be increased. His Special Attacks will also be powered up. Some notable changes include:
- Blade Beam becomes blue instead of green, deals much higher knockback, as well multi-hit damage and gains properties of transcendent priority, meaning that in most of the time, the attack will not collide with other attacks and will instead pass-through most of them. Cases where this doesn't occur are agains physical projectiles such as Link's Bombs.
- Cross Slash becomes blue instead of yellow, it has slightly increased range and deals much more damage and higher knockback. All five hits come out instantly, meaning the player doesn't have to input additional commands.
- Climhazzard has a blue trail and it goes much higher, as well instantly sweetspotting the ledge. The first hit also deals increased knockback.
- His Down Special Move changes to Finishing Touch, which boasts from having massive knockback growth, but very poor base knockback and dealing only 1% damage.
After using a special attack while Limit Break is active, the meter will reset, meaning that Cloud will have to recharge it. If Cloud dies, the gauge will reset.
Cloud's gameplay is highly focused on the unique Limit Break system, which enhances his Special Attacks with power enough to KO opponents at earlier percentages. The manual charge can be canceled and stored, allowing Cloud to attack an approaching enemy and then continue charging. When an opponent has been launched off-stage, Cloud can start charging the Limit Charge; when the opponent starts to near the edge, Cloud can cancel and store the charge and get into edge-guarding position. As mentioned before, the gauge can also be filled by dealing and receiving damage; while Limit Charge works faster, it should not be continuously used or a smart opponent will be able to punish Cloud during the charge. Alternating between attacking opponents and using the Limit Charge is the best way to ensure Cloud's defense is not left open. It is also important not to use the Limit Break move right away once the gauge is filled, as an opponent can easily predict the attack, and dodge or intercept it. Deciding which Limit Break move to use ahead of time, biding time by adding damage onto the opponent with regular attacks, waiting for an opening, and then striking with the Limit Break is a good way to keep Cloud from being too predictable and getting the most out of his Limit Breaks.
The Limit Break attack system has been a mainstay of the Final Fantasy series since Final Fantasy VI (where it was known as "Desperation Attack") and would be available to party members when their health was low as a trump in case the battle was nearing the defeat of the team. The player could earn more powerful Limit Breaks as they progressed through the games.
In Final Fantasy VII, the Limit Break system involved a meter that filled up when party members took damage. The more powerful an attack they suffered, the more the Limit gauge filled. When full, characters could perform Limit Break attacks. More powerful Limit Breaks could be earned by using earlier Limit Breaks a number of times or killing a specific number of enemies, although for more powerful Limit Break moves the bar would take longer to fill, running the risk of a character being taken down before they could pull it off, and Level 4 Limit Breaks could only be obtained via special items, one for each character, and could only be used once all other Limit Breaks were obtained.
The "Fury" status effect allowed characters to fill their Limit meters faster but at the cost of receiving increased damage, while the "Sadness" effect worked the other way by slowing how much the Limit meter would fill whilst reducing received damage.
The mechanics of Limit Charge marks the second appearance of the FFVII style Limit System to have player interactivity; the first appearance was in the Action Fighting RPG in series crossover series Dissidia Final Fantasy, where Cloud's EX Burst mechanic required the player to fill a Limit Meter to full to properly unleash Omnislash.
|Cloud's Special Moves|
|Standard Special||Blade Beam|
|Side Special||Cross Slash|
|Down Special||Limit Charge/Finishing Touch|
- The Limit meter and red triangle over Cloud's head references the original Battle HUD seen in Final Fantasy VII. The red triangle was meant to identify which character is being controlled.
- Cloud's stance while using Limit Charge is very similar to his pose in Final Fantasy VII before using Climhazzard.
- The blue aura that surrounds Cloud when his Limit is fully charged looks similar to the same aura he exhibits in Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, when he is about to unleash Omnislash Version 5 on Sephiroth.
- This aura also references the burst of energy a character displays whenever activating a Limit in Final Fantasy VII, although they are yellowish green in the game.
- Of all Cloud's Limit Breaks from Final Fantasy VII, only Meteorain is not featured in Smash Bros. On the other hand, his first Limit Break, Braver, is present in the form of his Forward Aerial, while his final Limit Break, Omnislash, is his Final Smash.