[[quoteright:200:[[MilestoneCelebration http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TalesAnni_3161.jpg]]]]

The ''Tales Series'' is a [[VideoGameLongRunners long-running]] SpectacleFighter {{JRPG}} series by Creator/NamcoBandai, famous for its [[ActionRPG action-combat battle system]], copious amounts of CharacterDevelopment and continued {{deconstruction}} of the very genre it inhabits.

Earlier games in the series were developed by Wolf Team, once a subsidiary of Creator/TelenetJapan, which was reorganized as Namco Tales Studio in 2003. Namco Tales Studio was shut down in 2011 but absorbed into Namco Bandai, which continued the series.

The series is divided into two sections:

* "Mothership" Titles are considered the main entries in the franchise, comparable to the numbered ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' titles.[[note]]Due to each installment getting a different title, {{Numbered Sequel}}s are almost always direct sequels to another game. ''Tales of Eternia'' being renamed ''Tales of Destiny II'' in North America is an exception, as that was due to the fact that "Eternia" was already trademarked.[[/note]]
* "Escort" Titles are secondary entries, composed of {{Spinoff}}s, MassiveMultiplayerCrossover games, {{Mobile Phone Game}}s and {{Gaiden Game}}s to the Mothership Titles. [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg And]] ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheTempest''.


[[folder: Mothership Titles (in chronological order): ]]

* ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' (1995; [[UsefulNotes/SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem Super Famicom]] (JP), UsefulNotes/PlayStation (JP), UsefulNotes/PlayStationPortable (JP), UsefulNotes/GameBoyAdvance, iOS)
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny'' (1997; [=PS1=], UsefulNotes/PlayStation2 (JP))
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfEternia'' (2000; [=PS1=], PSP (JP, EU))
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny2'' (2002; Asia only, [=PS2=], PSP)
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'' (2003; [[UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube GameCube]], [=PS2=] (JP), UsefulNotes/PlayStation3, PC)
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfRebirth'' (2004; Japan only: [=PS2=], PSP)
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfLegendia'' (2005; Japan and North America: [=PS2=])
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' (2005; [=PS2=] (Asia and NA), UsefulNotes/Nintendo3DS)
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfInnocence'' (2007; Japan only: UsefulNotes/NintendoDS, UsefulNotes/PlayStationVita)
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' (2008; UsefulNotes/XBox360, [=PS3=] (JP))
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfHearts'' (2008; DS (JP), iOS (JP), Vita)
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfGraces'' (2009; UsefulNotes/{{Wii}} (JP), [=PS3=])
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia'' (2011; [=PS3=])
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2'' (2012; [=PS3=])
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfZestiria'' (2015; [=PS3=], UsefulNotes/PlayStation4, PC (NA, EU)
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfBerseria'' (2016; [=PS3=] (JP), [=PS4=], PC)


[[folder: Escort Titles: ]]

* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheTempest''
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia: Narikiri Dungeon''
--> This game follows a pair of twins named Mel and Dio as they explore the aftermath of the events of ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' with the help of Arche the witch. ''Narikiri Dungeon X'' is a VideoGameRemake that includes an UpdatedRerelease of ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'', adding a new character (Rondoline E. Effenberg) into both games.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia: Summoner's Lineage''
--> A tactics game that followed Fulein K. Lester, a descendent of Claus F. Lester from ''Phantasia'', and his robot ally Macaron.
* ''Tales Of Fandom''
--> Compilation games with the Tales characters in various scenarios. The first features the cast of ''Phantasia'', ''Destiny'', and ''Eternia'', while the second stars ''Phantasia'', ''Symphonia'', and ''Abyss''.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheWorld''
* ''[[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World/Knight of Ratatosk]]''
* ''Tales of Versus''
--> A four-player MascotFighter featuring characters throughout the ''Tales'' series.
* ''Tales of the Heroes: Twin Brave''
--> A VideoGame/DynastyWarriors-like [[HackAndSlash hack 'n slash]], featuring famous duos from the ''Tales'' series fighting together.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfAsteria''
* ''Tales of Link''
--> A crossover mobile game that has you summon Tales Series heroes to save the world of Liafyse from the "seeds of ruin".


[[folder: Anime adaptations of the Tales series include: ]]

* ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia''
--> A 4-episode {{OVA}} covering the events of the game
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfEternia''
--> A 13-episode anime about a subplot unrelated to the actual game.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia: The Animation''
--> Two 4-episode and one 3-episode {{OVA}}s, each one covering a third of the game.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss: The Animation''
--> A 26-episode television anime covering the events of the game.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia: The First Strike''
--> A prequel movie adaptation.
* ''Tales Of Fandom Gaiden''
--> A humorous DVD extra released with ''Tales Of Fandom 2'', featuring the heroes of the games arguing over who's the best.
* ''Viva - Tales Of!''
--> A series of DVD extras given away with pre-orders for games in the series, featuring [[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia Zelos Wilder]] and [[VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss Jade Curtiss]] as talk show hosts interviewing various characters. HilarityEnsues.
* ''Tales of Theatre''
--> A set of five anime shorts given away as a [[BonusMaterial pre-order bonus]] for ''Tales Of The Heroes: Twin Brave'', featuring the ''Twin Brave'' characters in [[SuperDeformed chibi]] style.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfZestiria: Dawn of the Shepherd''
--> A 45 minute long OVA that covers the beginning of the game.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfZestiria the X''
--> Pronounced "The Cross," a two-cour TV series aired during [[Summer2016Anime Summer 2016]] and Winter 2017. It is an anime of the game's story with lots of AdaptationExpansion (including a fully anime-original prologue episode). 2 episodes also serve as promotional material for ''VideoGame/TalesOfBerseria'', [[AndNowForSomeoneCompletelyDifferent covering roughly the first hour of that game.]]


[[folder: And Now For Something Completely Different ]]

* ''[[Manga/SgtFrog Keroro RPG]]: The Warrior, the Thief, and the Legendary Pirate''
--> An RPG based on the ''Sgt Frog'' anime. Here because it's made by Namco Tales Studio itself, using the ''Tales Of'' series' Linear Motion Battle System and even having the Tales-styled skits. It is known among Tales fans as "Tales of Keroro" (NDS, released in March '10)
* ''[[Franchise/KamenRider Kamen Rider]] Travelers Senki'': Another licensed game using the Linear Motion Battle System, this one based on the ''Kamen Rider'' franchise.

See also ''VideoGame/StarOcean'', a RPG franchise made by many of the same creators as ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia''.
Information and tropes pertaining to the individual titles are on their respective pages.

!!Common and recurring plot elements:
* Plots that [[InvokedTrope start]] as {{Cliche Storm}}s but later go on to [[SubvertedTrope subvert]] and [[DeconstructedTrope deconstruct]] the very tropes they employ, often by [[DeconstructorFleet drastically highlighting the nasty downsides]] of them. This is one of the main reasons why the games have a fanbase.
** ItSucksToBeTheChosenOne.
** Deconstructing BlackAndWhiteMorality. In the most extreme cases, it even bends towards BlackAndGreyMorality.
** Liberal use of CrapsaccharineWorld. If the game has a remotely positive look for face value, even if it is for seemingly minor plot points, chances are the game is very dark and will have CerebusSyndrome.
* The main party is always a GenderEqualEnsemble. There are rare occasions where the balance is tipped, but it's always by a TeamPet, an OptionalPartyMember, a GuestStarPartyMember, or additions in an UpdatedRerelease.
* ImpliedLoveInterest is usually (but not always) the approach of the romance aspect of the plots. One way to tell is if the characters [[BoyMeetsGirl just meet briefly]] and [[FirstGirlWins then stay together for the rest of the game]] or if [[VictoriousChildhoodFriend they have met when they were kids]].
* Heavy use of MagiTek in the plot, powered by some world specific AppliedPhlebotinum (lenspunk, craymelpunk, fonpunk, blastiapunk, psipunk, manapunk...)
* LifeEnergy, which often takes the form of {{Mana}}.
** A WorldTree, which is often the source of aforementioned LifeEnergy and scales on both sides of [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic massive]] [[RuleOfSymbolism symbolism]]. While ''[[VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia Phantasia]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia Symphonia]]'' are the only two Mothership titles to really feature this (and that's because they share the same setting), the WorldTree is an almost omnipresent feature in the Escort titles.
* A DoomedHometown that often serves to {{Foil}} the core situation of the game. TheHero kickstarts his journey due to these events in search of answers.
* Religion as a major part of the world. If there's a religion, or even an organization with vaguely-religious imagery, chances are it's a CorruptChurch, with a KnightTemplar or BloodKnight to boot. In some cases, they are [[BlatantLies lying through their teeth]] if they have any relation to the plot.
* A BigBad with a personal reason for wanting to do whatever he's doing. He often wants to save something precious to him, or sincerely wants to SaveTheWorld. The problem is that his method most often involves [[WellIntentionedExtremist killing an awful lot of people]].
* If the BigBad is a WellIntentionedExtremist, the game will include at least one [[SmugSnake utterly vile]] minor villain to act as a HateSink. More often than not, they'll be TheUnfought, quicky dispatched [[CutsceneBoss in a cutscene]], or, uncommonly, [[DiscOneFinalBoss like a final boss]], just before the major plot kicks in. In the English dubs, this character [[PigeonholedVoiceActor is nearly always voiced by]] Creator/LiamOBrien.
** Suprisingly, the series has an oddly shocking habit of actually having the antagonists {{Killed Off for Real}} each game, and it's usually by you/the protagonist's hands.
* Plots that involve at least two isolated worlds. These worlds will be antagonistic towards each other, though neither will be painted as [[PlanetOfHats outright evil]]. Fighting over a common resource is a popular trope. At least one world will be [[TechnologyLevels significantly more technologically-advanced than the other]], and the ''most'' technologically-advanced world [[ScienceIsBad will also be the most antagonistic]]. More often than not, the plot will involve the heroes finding a way to SaveBothWorlds.
* Evil military leaders, somewhere close to TheEmpire. The position of Commandant is a [[{{Foreshadowing}} particularly common warning sign]] for nefarious schemes. Multiple times, there are named officials, and you will end up fighting them in a BossFight. If soldiers use the color red (or dark colors like [[PurpleIsPowerful purple]]), along with SigilSpam on the armor, they are ''definitely'' a part of TheEmpire and the antagonistic world.
** A core group of four military leaders [[RedBaron often called "The Four [x]" and have other titles]] associated with them. There are always {{Boss Fight}}s with each individual, but whether or not they pop up and fight you again is really dependent on the story. (Since the series is Japanese, you can probably guess [[FourIsDeath why there are four]].)
* FantasticRacism as a whole. Several of the games have used it as their central focus and aesop.
** If there is this, expect visiting [[HiddenElfVillage at least one small village of said race that is more down-to-earth than most areas on the worlds]].
* People in your party having the dire need of pulling off a HeroicSacrifice to make the world a better place, with their group always trying to find an alternative to keep their member alive. This character is usually a Guest.
* A [[DuelBoss duel]] between two friendly characters for a reason other than malice. The fight will be used as a plot device for the two duellists to resolve the differences between them, and/or as a trial for the less experienced fighter to overcome. The importance of the fight will further be highlighted with unique battle music.
* Party members will usually include:
** A [[HeroesPreferSwords sword-wielding]] main character. You can also tell this person is the main hero by [[{{Determinator}} how]] [[ChronicHeroSyndrome hard]]-[[ObliviousToLove headed]] the character is to those around them.
** One IdiotHero.
** One [[TokenMiniMoe kid who is much younger or shorter than everyone else]]. Most of the time they turn out to be the [[GlacierWaif most powerful physical attacker]] of the party. Is usually female, but not always.
** One party member who pulls a FaceHeelTurn at some point and/or turns out to be TheMole.
** One CombatMedic. Pure [[TheMedic medic]] characters are rare; characters that are proficient in healing will always have some degree of combat training to go with their spellcasting and healing abilities. Even [[VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia Mint]], the straightest example of a WhiteMagicianGirl in the entire series, is capable of at least [[DropTheHammer summoning hammers to fall on her enemies]]. Usually female, and often the main female supporting protagonist of the game, but there are certainly exceptions [[note]]For example, [[VideoGame/TalesOfHearts Hisui]] and [[VideoGame/TalesOfZestiria Mikleo]] are male healers, while [[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia Colette]] and [[VideoGame/TalesOfXillia Milla]] are combat oriented female protagonists that do not heal (one of Colette's status buff moves ''does'' slightly heal the party, but healing is still far from her specialization; Milla's lack of healing is in large part due to her actually being one of two ''main'' protagonists.))[[/note]]
*** Modern Tales games typically have ''two'' healers in the main party instead. One focuses on single target healing, and the other focuses on healing multiple targets at the same time. The single target healer is usually a combat-oriented character by default, with healing a secondary but still prominent skill in their moveset.
** A LoveTriangle between three main characters of uncannily similar age appearances. It is usually TheHero, ChildhoodFriend, and an AmbiguouslyHuman[=/=]character from the other world who is central to the plot. More often than not, the Hero picks the AmbiguouslyHuman.
** At least two characters who are directly (by family) or [[MindScrew indirectly]] ([[EpilepticTrees there are many weird cases]]) related to each other. Often very important to the plot.
** At least one LethalChef, and usually one SupremeChef to balance it out.
** At least one character who is physically and mentally over 25 years old (ignoring the Really700YearsOld characters, since they don't look their age). The oldest main party member in a Tales game is 62. [[note]][[DoubleStandard This character's]] AlwaysMale, however; the oldest female party member is [[ChristmasCake 25]], and even then she's only that old in [[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld a spinoff]] of [[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia her original game]] as a result of a timeskip.[[/note]]
*** This character will almost always be the butt of jokes about being an 'old man'.
** At least ''ONE'' party member who uses a rather unconventional to downright silly weapon. Sometimes the mage, but other times, it's actually a ''melee'' fighter using the silly weapon. Such weapons include brooms, books, scrolls, urns, gigantic plush dolls, and shooting bubbles out of a straw.
** Frequently, but not always, a GuestStarPartyMember. Sometimes they can be re-acquired; in the case of an UpdatedReRelease they may become a permanent party member, if they're popular.
* A Guest who doesn't appear in normal battle gameplay and is pushed to skits (see below), but is integral to the plot, normally more so than [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds initially]] [[WalkingSpoiler suspected]].
* One WhamEpisode in the ''perfect center'' of normal gameplay (it is really that horrifyingly accurate). Said FaceHeelTurn will also happen somewhere immediately before or after this time. {{Deconstruction}} will play a major part of the segment, but it will most likely not compare to the horror initiated. Due to this change in perspective, the BigBad will end up becoming the WellIntentionedExtremist he will be properly known for.
* Tragedies that could have easily been avoided if people would just [[PoorCommunicationKills open their damn mouths]]; this can range from the WellIntentionedExtremist BigBad doing horrible things that could have been avoided if he had only asked nicely all the way to NiceJobBreakingItHero because people somehow thought it better not to tell the player character vital information.
* A TheReveal where an EldritchAbomination is pulling the strings of the plot. Preferably, they use main characters and antagonists via [[BrainwashedAndCrazy brainwashing them to do their bidding]], often [[AndIMustScream forcefully]]. Very often the FinalBoss of the game.
* A SpaceWhaleAesop that brings together all the events of any given game in order to take a stand against some relatively minor (compared to world domination and/or destruction) social or moral issue.
** In some cases, a GainaxEnding that wraps up everything and [[AssPull pulls the above together]].
* A CoolShip that is used during the early points of the game, and a CoolAirship that is used after the WhamEpisode.
* The Dark Wings, a trio of quirky thieves whose role is usually as comic relief. (In ''Tales of the Abyss'' and ''Tales of Rebirth'', they play a bigger role than usual.) Since the games usually take place in different worlds, it's generally a different group in each game, always composed of two males and a female.
* A VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon that is floating in the sky or actually out in space.
* Lots of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZDW3xtHAxU&fmt=18 shouting.]] Almost every Tales-related meme requires capslock.
* A snowy town and a desert town; the former usually has a "romantic" atmosphere which may be explored or just touched upon. Oddly enough, ''Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World'' ends up with both at once by covering its predecessor's desert town with snow.
* If there is something the entire planet is dependent on, such as the world-wide religion, the things that let everyone use artes/the things that strengthen ability, etc., chances are it won't make it to through the end of the game. It is usually revealed to be obtained or performed in a [[PoweredByAForsakenChild less-than-moral way]] or is [[GreenAesop ultimately bad for the planet]], sometimes as part of the WhamEpisode as well, and the second half of the game is mostly spent on fixing this problem.
* [[KickingAssInAllHerFinery Fancy outfits worn even in the most heated battles.]]
** Those outfits requiring an enormous amount of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bias_tape bias tape]] for cosplayers to reproduce.[[note]]There's a fandom joke that bias tape is to Tales as [[TooManyBelts belts]] are to Franchise/FinalFantasy[[/note]]
* At some point, the party (or at least the main character) will end up in jail. It's also possible that if the party ends up escaping from the police, a very badly drawn wanted poster will feature them.
* A casino featuring poker, where the suits feature your party members.
* A mysterious island that can only be accessed in a specific way or after a specific point in the game called Nam Cobanda Isle, and it serves absolutely no purpose other than to amuse the player. If the casino is on this island, expect to be SidetrackedByTheGoldSaucer (though the island has other merits that can lead to this). You can get at least one costume title here, too. It also is the main source of references to other ''Tales'' games or other Namco games in general, and contains a place for you to view the Anime Cutscenes (and sometimes your skits).
* A heart-to-heart conversation between each party member the night before the FinalBoss, usually to give closure to their CharacterDevelopment.
* A BeachEpisode, usually in the form of a spa.
* A famous, [[TheGhost but never seen]], pirate named Aifread.[[note]]Except in ''Tales of Eternia'' and ''Tales of Vesperia'', both in which the game's Aifread is a playable character.[[/note]] (Like the Dark Wings, it's probably not the same Aifread in each game.)
* All party members having a humorous quirk.
* MultipleEndings, which usually have:
** Either a DownerEnding (common) or a BittersweetEnding for defeating a HopelessBossFight.
** A BittersweetEnding for completing the game, sometimes combined with the above-mentioned GainaxEnding.
* A CampfireCharacterExploration typically occurs [[OncePerEpisode at least once or twice per game]]. In general, the party spends the night around a campfire or at an inn, and the main character, who can't sleep, becomes the only controllable character. These scenes typically allow the player to have hushed, intimate conversations with all the party members separately, but involve one or two specific required conversations between the main character and one or two other characters before the plot will progress.

!!Common and recurring gameplay elements:
* A real-time combat system called some variation on the Linear Motion Battle System (LMBS). The battle system is reminiscent of a 2D fighting game, and focuses on chaining moves together. The player controls one character, while the other battle characters are controlled by the AI and follow general commands. Most of the time, [[ArtificialBrilliance they're actually pretty good,]] as they are able to hold their ground, don't use unnecessary actions, [[ArtificialStupidity and not flailing around like an idiot]]. There are a few exceptions, such as [[VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss Natalia]] being notorious for going through her TP VERY quickly, Guy from the same game using up all your items at the drop of a hat, or [[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia Raine]] having a penchant for trying to charge up her spells RIGHT next to an enemy [[note]]if you get attacked while readying a spell, it automatically cancels itself and you have to start over, no matter how close you were to casting it[[/note]]. However, if you play around with their default settings in the game's "strategy" menu (ex. telling Guy not to use items on his own or instructing Natalia to use less TP at a time), you can help control this and make them more competent on their own.
* [[CoOpMultiplayer Most games also allow you to have your friends control any of the other characters instead of the AI]]. Co-op play wasn't introduced to the series until ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'''s [[UpdatedRerelease PlayStation 1 remake]], which was released after the original Tales of Phantasia and ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny'',[[note]] There was a roundabout way to play multiplayer in ''Tales of Destiny'', but which characters could be used was limited and before ''VideoGame/TalesOfEternia''[[/note]], but ever since then, almost every game has allowed your friends to join in except the portable titles and, for some reason, ''VideoGame/TalesOfLegendia''.
* Combat techniques known as "Artes". Advanced techniques are known as "Arcane Artes". The combo system is often based upon chaining Artes into Arcane Artes.
* {{Evolving Attack}}s.
* [[HeroesPreferSwords The Main Character having a sword as their weapon]]. VideoGame/TalesOfLegendia and [[VideoGame/TalesOfXillia Tales of Xillia when playing as Jude]] are the two exceptions to this gameplay element since the Main Characters use [[GoodOldFisticuffs their fists]] instead.
* A ManaMeter that usually takes one of two forms:
** The ''Team Symphonia'' style uses Technical Points (TP), a traditional ManaMeter.
** The ''Team Destiny'' style uses Chain Capacity (CC) or Special Points (SP), where characters possess a constantly-regenerating pool of CC[[=/=]]SP, and can chain special moves for as long as they have points remaining.
*** ''Xillia'' uses a combination of both, with the Assault Counter (AC) system: Artes only cost one AC, but cost traditional amounts of TP, allowing you to, again, chain Artes until they run out of AC or TP, whichever comes first.
* A form of SuperMode called "Overlimit", in which characters gain increased defensive power and become immune to stagger. At higher levels, Overlimit can even allow characters to use Artes without consuming CC or TP.
* A LimitBreak called a "Mystic Arte". The requirement for activating a Mystic Arte varies from game to game, but the most common requirements are:
** The character must be in Overlimit.
** The character must have learned and equipped a skill called "Special".
** The character must successfully hit an enemy with an Arcane Arte.
** Less common requirements include having a [[DesperationAttack very small amount of HP]], expending a large amount of TP/CC and/or building a long-enough combo.
** A recurring Mystic Arte where the character delivers [[SpamAttack a massive flurry of attacks close range]] ForMassiveDamage, known as ''Satsugeki Bukouken'' (officially translated as ''Final Fury'') Characters that have used this technique are as follows: [[VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia Cress Albane]], [[VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny Stahn Aileron]], [[VideoGame/TalesOfEternia Farah Oersted]], [[VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld Regal Bryant (uses a variation)]], [[VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss Anise Tatlin]], [[VideoGame/TalesOfHearts Kohaku Hearts]], and [[VideoGame/TalesOfXillia Jude Mathis]].
* A list of commonly-recurring items, such as:
** "Gald" as a unit of currency.
** "Gels" as healing items. In a change from normal RPG convention, Gels heal by percentage (e.g. 30% of a total) rather than a fixed amount.
** "Bottles" as items used to heal status effects.
** The "All-Divide", a rare item that cuts all damage taken by friend and foe by half. This item is usually given after defeating [[ChestMonster Mimics]].
** Herbs that can increase base statistics.
** The Sorcerer's Ring, an item that shoots small energy bolts and is used to solve puzzles. Its functions are usually upgraded as the story proceeds.
** LegendaryWeapon: The Eternal Sword. Also known as the Sword of Time, it is capable of cleaving time and space itself.
* "Grade" as an extra unit of currency that can (for all intents and purposes) be treated as the player's "[[ScoringPoints score]]". Grade is awarded after battle according to how well the player did, with Grade awarded for achieving long combos or blocking attacks, and Grade deducted for taking damage, using ineffective artes (such as a Fire-elemental arte on a Fire-resistant monster) or relying on recovery items. Grade awards bonus EXP in battle, but can also be used to purchase NewGamePlus bonuses and occasionally in-game bonuses too.
* A broadly-shared list of artes and spells. It's possible to tell how nostalgic a game is attempting to be by how closely it sticks to that list. Games such as ''Destiny 2'', ''Rebirth'', and ''Hearts'' tried to break out completely.
** Very common moves include "Demon Fang" and "Tiger Blade" as the first moves the sword-wielder and "Photon", one of the early Light magic spells, for the magic user.
** The swordplay style used by the main character of ''Phantasia'' (and its accompanying moveset) would become synonymous with ''Tales'' series main characters.
** There are also a few games where one character doesn't use the "Traditional" artes used by most ''Tales'' series main characters...but another character does. Examples include Chloe in ''VideoGame/TalesOfLegendia'' (And even then, some of their artes overlap with each other or the classic ''Tales'' series heroes), Guy in ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', or Spada in ''VideoGame/TalesOfInnocence''.
* SummonMagic, called "Summon Spirits". The core four are Sylph (wind), Efreet (fire), Undine (water) and Gnome (earth). The most popular second-tier Summon Spirits include Maxwell (all four core elements), Volt (lightning), Luna, Aska, or Rem (light), and Shadow (darkness). As with the Arte/Spell list noted above, you can usually tell how nostalgic a game is trying to be by how closely it sticks to this list.
* Titles, which can be attached to a character just like a piece of equipment. New titles are usually earned at key storyline moments, or for special achievements (such as building a long-enough combo). The actual effect of a Title varies from game to game: in some it is merely cosmetic while in others it affects stat growth or contains hidden effects. This is one of the more widely known features of the ''Tales'' series, since some of them can be [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome appropriate and define the situation in which they are given]] or [[CrowningMomentOfFunny downright hilarious]].
** Costume Titles, which [[AndYourRewardIsClothes completely change the appearance of a character]] while equipped. May also be a CastingGag or MythologyGag depending on who it is used on.
* Cooking as a means to recover HP/TP after every battle. Cooking can bestow multiple effects and vary in potency, depending on which character you choose to be the cook. It is also trained as a skill, with characters improving their skills the more they practice a recipe.
** Games with Cooking will frequently include the Wonder Chef, a mysterious individual who disguises himself as various objects around the world and--if unmasked--will teach you new recipes.
** There will also be at least one LethalChef in the party, with [[HilarityEnsues hilarious consquences]].
* Skits, which are little conversations between the party members that can be triggered while travelling. They are one of the main sources of CharacterDevelopment in the game. Depending on the game, skits can also affect RelationshipValues.
** A rather weird bit of history: originally, the Skit system was made to complement gameplay due to ''hardware limitations''. Most systems in the time they were produced (like the SNES, [=PS1=], and so on) couldn't handle character-to-character talking, or even multi-character talking of more than two characters sometimes seen in {{Visual Novel}}s or even ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' when synced to an actual voice, so all the essential and non-essential stuff was pushed to the skits with a floating mouth in a box talking not in sync. The system ended up being so efficient in getting the message across in many games that it ended up sticking even through the latest games in the series on their respective consoles (Xbox 360, etc.) can handle ''way more'' than the now-tradition Skit system, ''on top'' of the now-achieved multi-character talking and the animated sequences.
** ''Xillia'' introduces Chats, which are also conversations but instead occur ''during'' battles automatically. In some of these battles, they can be between the character the party is fighting against, if they also have a voice actor.
* A previous ''Tales'' series character as a BonusBoss. More often than not, he gives you his weapon as a reward, which proceeds to be one of the {{Infinity Plus One Sword}}s or close to it.
** And as of late, there are ''four''.
* An optional arena where you can take on a number of challenges, such as {{Solo Character Run}}s and {{Boss Rush}}es. You can even end up fighting your own party members.
* A ChestMonster called the Fake which sometimes drops the All Divide.
* {{Shoutout}}s to previous ''Tales'' games, as well as to other Namco characters. Especially popular are ''VideoGame/PacMan'', ''VideoGame/TheTowerOfDruaga'', and ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}''.
** KatamariDamacy seems to be getting its fair share, with the Prince making his appearance as a secret attachment for different characters ([[VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss Anise's Tokunaga]] and a charm for [[VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia Yuri]], for instance).
* NamesToKnowInAnime: An all-star Japanese Seiyuu cast, sometimes even doing minor characters, including '''Creator/NorioWakamoto''', Creator/HikaruMidorikawa, Creator/KikukoInoue, Creator/TakehitoKoyasu, Creator/JunFukuyama, Creator/TakahiroSakurai, Creator/TomokazuSeki, Creator/NanaMizuki, Creator/MamoruMiyano, Creator/NobuyukiHiyama, and so on...
** If it gets dubbed into English, there's lots of well known Californian voice actors too. Like Creator/YuriLowenthal, Creator/JohnnyYongBosch, Creator/CristinaValenzuela, Creator/CrispinFreeman, to name a few. It can also take [[StarMakingRole part of the credit for launching]] [[Creator/TroyBaker Troy Baker]]'s career.
* Cute monsters. Especially noticable once [[FullMotionVideo FMVs]] entered the fray; the intro to Tales of the Abyss looks like Jade, Anise, Natalia and Guy are slaughtering a horde of plush toys. One of them ''with'' a plush toy.
* A weapon claimed to be the InfinityPlusOneSword that is actually the InfinityMinusOneSword.
* SquadControls: ''Tales'' games allow you to give each character orders on what to do, [[ArtificialStupidity but sometimes they'll just do whatever]]. Pretty much all of the ''Tales'' games do this, with varying levels of complexity depending on the age of the entry. Most of them include preset orders for defensive and aggressive behaviors, which can then be further customized in the strategy menus. You can also choose to enable and disable certain of your party members' abilities, and most entries allow you to choose how often they use special techniques, and in some cases what kind (for example, you might be able to set the healer to focus on conserving mana, healing everyone, or casting a lot of support spells). You can also set their default distance from the enemy when they enter battle, how closely they choose to engage the enemy when actually in combat, and sometimes what kind of enemies they focus on attacking (same as the player, different from the player, flying enemies, etc).
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' allows the player to switch the controlled character in the middle of battle after gaining a particular item.
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'' is similar to the ''StarOcean'' example, in that it also allows you to set the behavior of AI controlled party members. However, it gives the player far more options to work with, from selecting formations, setting the distance AI team mates should maintain between the PlayerCharacter and the enemy, and whether to allow them to use items (and how often).
** ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' uses a simple method of AI customisation where you can switch the abilities you want them to use on and off.
* Many games feature an EndGameResultsScreen based on your gald and maximum hit combos, among other things.