Combo Maps Edit
The Combo Map is the way the player determines how to attack on the top screen. It is controlled by either the Control Pad or the A, B, X, and Y buttons. The effects of reaching the goal at the end of a branch depend on the partner the player has selected, but it will still be a successful combo nonetheless.
Reading The Combo Map Edit
The combo map shows the key presses required to attack on the top screen.
The combo map consists of a number of arrow panels and goal panels. Each panel contains an arrow in one of three directions: direction of the original attack, up, and down.
Below is an example of a random combo map. From the initial panel (the R in the first column), you can move to the right or up. The goal panels are 0, 1, and 3.
URR3 RR0 DRRR1
Arrows panels tell you where you can move. The panel you're currently on is marked by orange background. You can always move in the direction of the original attack, regardless of arrows displayed. If a panel above you has an arrow up, you can move up; similarly for down movement. If you try to move in a direction that is not allowed, the attack sequence is interrupted and you have to start from the beginning. If and when you reach the goal panel, the attack completes.
Displaying The Combo Map Edit
The combo map is not displayed when the battle starts. It appears immediately after your partner attempts to attack by pressing either the left or right arrow, or the A or Y buttons. If the attack is impossible because there are no monsters in that direction, the combo map will only display for a fraction of a second before disappearing again. Otherwise, the combo map will remain visible as long as your partner continues to progress along the map. The combo map will disappear once the attack is completed, or if the partner attack sequence is interrupted (e.g., due to a noise attack, or a mistake in following arrows, or taking too long to move to the next panel).
Combo Map Properties Edit
When the game talks about a branch, it refers to the route from the initial panel to one of the goal panels.
The default combo map has a random shape, a random number of arrow panels, and three goal panels (so, three branches). All these properties can be modified by threads through their various map-related effects.
There are no dead ends in the combo map; you can always continue in at least one direction, unless you already reached the goal panel. Other than that, it seems that a random map can have any shape whatsoever.