Targeting Data

Target Flags

Rows and viable targets

In any battle there are 2 or 3 rows.

  • Most normal battles have 2 rows: allies and enemies.

  • Pincer Attacks and Side Attacks have 3 rows: 2 enemy rows for the Pincer Attacks and 1 for Side Attacks.

Under most conditions, a “viable target” is a battle participant (enemy or ally) that is not inflicted with the Death status.


Targeting is defined by a single byte with eight different effects for each bit that is set:


Effect on Target Selection



Enable selection

Cursor will move to the battle field and a target can be selected with the other bits constraints.


Enable enemy selection

Cursor will start on the first enemy row.


Multiple targets

Cursors will select all targets in a given row.


Toggle Multiple / Single targets

Caster can switch cursor between multiple targets or single target. Damage (or cure) will be split among selected targets.


Single row

Cursor will only target allies or enemies as defined in 0x02 and can not be moved from the row.


“Short Range” (Physical damage only)

If the target of the caster is not in the front of their row, the target will take half damage. Also, selection is constrained by the Cover Flags.


Battle scene

Cursor will select all viable targets of the battle scene.


Random target among selected

When multiple targets are selected, one will be selected at random to be the receiving target. Cursor will cycle among all viable targets.

Targets flags are set in 4 places :

  • Commands

  • Attacks

  • Weapons

  • Items

The Command’s target trumps any target information provided by the Attack or the Weapon. As such, it is analyzed first. Any additional settings are added through the Weapon or Attack.

This is further trumped by Confuse and Berserk which will set the target data to 0xC0 and 0x97 respectively. Confuse will pick any available command to perform and Berserk will just attack with the equipped weapon.

New target

Although the cursor can move to an ally with the Death status, if no targets selected to receive the attack are viable the attack will renew its target.

A dead enemy cannot be targeted, dead allies can. This is true for monsters and party characters. A target renew resolution takes the original targeting flags AND it with multiple targets choice, then random is added.

Example 1

Fire (Target = 0x0F) is selected to be performed on an enemy. That action is put into the ATB actions queue. But the enemy dies before Fire is performed.

Fire’s targeting data is then AND’d with 0x07 (Multiple + Enemy + Selection) then 0x80 (Random) is added:

New target = (0x0F & 0x07) + 0x80 = 0x87 # Random enemy

Example 2

Cure (Target = 0x0D) is queued to heal a suffering ally. Before Cure is cast the ally dies. Cure renew its target:

New target = (0x0D & 0x07) + 0x80 = 0x85 # Random ally


Enemy AI Setting a target in enemy attack does not control how the enemy selects targets. That is defined in their AI. Targets in enemy attack data only get used while they are being manipulated with the Manipulate command.

Sample Target Flags


Set on



Defend / Change

This will only allow the caster to perform the command on itself.



This will only allow the caster to perform the spell on itself or one ally.



A PC cannot perform a summon that attacks on his/her own character or row. It will only target all of an enemy row, but only one row.


Some of Aeris’s and Cait Sith’s Limit Breaks

Same as above, but only on the caster’s row.


Most weapons

This make some of the weapons into a short range attack. If the Long Range Materia is equipped, bit 0x20 of its targeting data is forced to 0.


Comet2 / Berserk

This will target one target of the enemy row at random.



Will choose one target at random from among all battle participants not inflicted with the Death status.

Cover Flags

These flags are used in conjunction with row to determine if a target can be selected as the target of a short range attack.

The determination is worked out in this way:

  • An enemy exists in row 1 and another in row 2.

  • If any enemy in row 1 shares a cover flag with the enemy in row 2, then the enemy in row 2 cannot be targeted until all enemies in row 1 that share a cover flag with him are defeated:

    if ((B_row > A_row) && ((B_flags & A_flags) > 0) {
      # Enemy cannot be targeted by short ranged attacks.