Previous Element is an effect in Riviera: The Promised Land that imbues a skill with the previous element that the user was hit by. Such skills are typically of the PHY element by default. Due to the fact that HLY is player-exclusive and DRK is enemy only, they are considered counterparts of each other. For example: If Cierra is hit with a Dark attack from an enemy, her next attack will be instead Holy aligned if the skill has this effect. The effect maintains until a new element is introduced.
Most of these attacks are enemy attacks, except for the Overskills and Cierra and Serene's Normal Skills with the Mithril Sword.
In the GBA version, a glitch occurs when two users of Last Element attacks face each other. This is easiest to see in the practice battles in Yggdrasil that contain the Knight-type enemies (who have Previous Element in all their close-range attacks). If the player uses a holy attack against them; they will counter with copied Dark. If the character who was hit then uses a Previous Element skill to copy the copied Dark attack, the character will use Dark to attack. The icons for Dark even appear in the skill window, and the animations also change accordingly (e.g. the player will see the 'pillar of darkness' appear with Fia's Rising Edge). The damage formula behaves strangely as well: the damage can range from normal to very poor. This is the only way to use Dark-type attacks without a cheating device. Similarly, this glitch also allows enemies to use copied Holy-type attacks against the party, with some attacks even gaining the ability to inflict Purify.