->''"Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the heart of mankind."''
-->--'''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDDAYg-8iSM Edward D. Morrison]]'''

''Tales of Phantasia'' is the first game in Namco's Franchise/TalesSeries, debuting on the Super Famicom in 1995.

The story begins when best friends Cress Albane and Chester Burklight return from a hunting trip to find that [[DoomedHometown their entire village has been destroyed]], and their families slaughtered. [[YouKilledMyFather Swearing of revenge is imminent]].

It turns out that the culprit needed [[MacGuffin Cress' heirloom pendant]] to unlock the seal on [[SealedEvilInACan Dhaos, the legendary Demon King]]. Picking up a WhiteMagicianGirl (Mint Adnade) and a guide (Trinicus D. Morrison) along the way, Cress and company arrive [[YouAreTooLate just in time to see the seal broken]] and Dhaos freed. Unfortunately, Dhaos is only vulnerable to magic, and the WorldTree that powers magic has been dead for a century.

With the last of his powers, Trinicus flings Cress and Mint [[TimeTravel a century into the past]], where they land in the middle of a world war between the human country of Midgards and the evil forces of Dhaos. As Cress and Mint are unable to use magic, they recruit a [[BlackMagicianGirl half-elf witch]] called Arche and a human [[SummonMagic summoner]] called Claus F. Lester. Together, they must figure out a way to SaveTheWorld and defeat Dhaos once and for all.

Over the course of the rest of the game, Cress and Chester continue acting vengeful and manly. Arche kicks off the ''{{Tales Series}}''' fine tradition of [[FantasticRacism exploring racism through elves]]. Claus redefines long-distance relationships with the help of the Spirit of Creation. Dhaos sets the standard for TalesSeries villains as {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s. Also, there's a minor [[TimeyWimeyBall time paradox]] in there.

''Phantasia'' played many RPG tropes straight, but on the technical side, it was nothing short of a marvel. Programmer Hatsuya Hiroshiba found a way to fit full voice acting for all the moves and spells ''and'' a full opening song into the plucky Super Famicom cartridge, with room to spare for brilliant arrangements of Motoi Sakuraba's gorgeous themes. The early version of the Linear Motion Battle System was a bit rough around the edges, but when the game was remade for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation in 1998, the control scheme was redone to fit ''Tales of Destiny'''s revamped "command" style, and all sorts of little extras were dropped in, from an extra character to little graphical coolnesses.

''Phantasia'' also invented many of the series' set pieces. A huge number of the moves that later ''TalesSeries'' swordsmen would use come straight from Cress' playbook. Phantasia also introduced the basic spell list, most notably the high-level magic "Indignation" (which comes with its own incantation too).

There was a remake for the GBA, which was the first version to get an official English release. While there are a few incredibly awful spots in the localization, such as the "Kangaroo War" for Ragnarok and the poor quality of the voice casting and acting, most of the fanbase's issues with it are a result of Nintendo ''not'' taking... liberties... with the script that the best-known FanTranslation did. (If they ''had'' done so, the game almost certainly wouldn't have got by with anything less than an "M" rating.)

There are English patches for the SFC and PSX versions available online. There are also two versions for [[UsefulNotes/PlayStationPortable PSP]], one being the "Full Voice Edition" and the other being paired with an UpdatedRerelease of the GameBoyColor sequel, Narikiri Dungeon. Recommended in general, but especially for people who liked ''Symphonia'', just to play "spot the continuities." [[NoExportForYou Unfortunately, neither version was released outside of Japan...]]

... until an [=iOS=] port (based off the "Full Voice Edition") was released in September 2013 in Japan, which was followed by an English translation in January 2014. However, Namco Bandai eventually shut down the game servers and quietly pulled it from the App Store later in 2014, leaving the game completely unplayable. Namco Bandai cited ''poor response'' as it's official reason (expected given [[AllegedlyFreeGame what they turned the game into]]).

Due to ExecutiveMeddling (most likely brought on by a desire to make the game better compete with the then newly-released ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'',) the original development team schismed and mostly broke away from Namco after the game released, going on to reform into Creator/TriAce and create the ''VideoGame/StarOcean'' series.

The most well-known PSX translation is available [[http://www.absolutezerotranslations.com/phantasia/ here]]. An alternative translation - completed on December 31st, 2012, after 12 years of work - is available [[http://tales-cless.org/ here]]

A four-episode {{OVA}} based on the game was created in 2004, and licensed and dubbed by Creator/{{Geneon}} three years later.

Due to the fact that about a decade passed before a canon English translation was released, [[BrokenBase there's a bit of conflict]] [[SpellMyNameWithAnS about what some of the characters' names are.]] '''In order to reduce confusion, please use the official localized English versions of the character names, and not the [=DeJap=] versions.'''

A psuedo-sequel called ''Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon'' was released for the GameBoyColor in 2000. It would later get an UpdatedRerelease on the UsefulNotes/PlaystationPortable (along with the original ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' game) as part of the ''Tales of Phantasia X'' project celebrating the 15th anniversary of the game's release.

The story is set one hundred and seven years after the conclusion of ''Phantasia'', and focuses on two twins named [[OriginalGeneration Dio and Mell]]. One day, the two twins are met by a mysterious woman who prophesies a "doomed future" for them both unless they complete the Ordeal of Spirits, a trial where they must seek out and test themselves against the twelve Summon Spirits of Aselia. While doing so, the twins explore the aftermath of ''Tales of Phantasia'', travelling through time and space to speak with the alumni of ''Phantasia'' and uncover deeper insight into their thoughts and motives. The UpdatedRerelease adds another character to their party: Rondoline E. Effenberg, a mysterious [[TimeTravel time traveller]] looking for Dhaos, the BigBad of ''Phantasia''.

The key feature of the game was the ability of Dio and Mell to "[[{{Cosplay}} dress up]]" as various character classes (Fighter, Thief, Mage, etc.), gaining new powers depending on which role they were portraying. Their wardrobe included the outfits of various Tales Series heroes and villains, and even [[LawyerFriendlyCameo cameos]] from various NamcoBandai games. The concept proved so popular that it formed the basis for two more ''Narikiri Dungeon'' games, though they would be released under the ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheWorld'' banner.

!!Contain examples of:

* AbsurdlyHighLevelCap: Confirmed to be ''999''. To compare, the party finishes learning most of their skills by level 55, and the most difficult parts of the game can be conquered just a little past level 70.
* AcrophobicBird: Averted. One puzzle requires leaving Arche behind to stand on a switch so that she can fly out of a hole later, and in a scene after defeating Volt she's asked to go fetch treasure chests that are normally inaccessible.
* AerithAndBob: Cress Albane's parents are Miguel and Maria. Clearly, someone decided not to pass down the Hispanic heritage.
* AfterTheEnd: A meteor impact thrust society back into the dark ages, from which it is only just emerging.
* AlasPoorVillain: It does this with [[spoiler: the BigBad. It's mentioned that Dhaos actually was trying to save his own people who needed mana to live whereas your races didn't, and that if you look at it from their perspective, you're the villains.]] Whenever [[spoiler: Arche]] would bring up this possibility, [[spoiler: Cress]] would just begin shouting at her.
* AlmostKiss: In the Tower of the Zodiacs, Artemis says Arche needs to kiss Cless before he'll allow them to meet Luna. The two are ''almost'' kissing when Mint rushes in saying "it's not right" to do it. Then Luna's voice interrupts as well, telling Artemis to just let them pass.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: Averted with demons. Some are evil and aligned with Dhaos, but Chameleon, Gremlin's Lair, and Pluto are all demonic spirits who can be recruited to help save the world.
* AmnesiacDissonance: In ''Narikiri Dungeon'', [[spoiler:Dio and Mell discover that their past selves are Dios and Meltia, the two people responsible for destroying the World Tree of Derris-Kharlan, turning it into a wasteland and kicking off the events that led to ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'']].
* AndIMustScream: Remember the sarcophagus Dhaos was sealed in at the beginning of the game? The one he was trapped for ten years in? Remember how he was able to mind-control Mars to an unspecified extent? Yeah, that confirms he was conscious the ''entire time he was sealed in there'', only kept from starving to death because of his magic. Can't exactly blame him for losing the last few shreds of sanity he had after that.
* AndManGrewProud: The war between Fenrir and Odin is what left mankind vulnerable to a meteor strike in the first place
* AnimeThemeSong: Yume Wa Owaranai/The Dream Will Never Die. Fully voiced on the Super Famicom, too, something almost unheard of at the time.
* AntiFrustrationFeatures: If you fail the button pressing minigame with Arche in Dhaos' castle enough time, Claus gets impatient and he and Mint do it for you.
** Also, Chester will likely rejoin your party at a third of the experience levels of everyone else. From the PSX version onwards, sleeping at Inns will show a couple scenes in which he [[LevelGrinding level grinds]] himself at night while the others are sleeping. Afterword, he gains massive amounts of Experience, catching him up fairly quickly.
* AntiVillain: Although a major jerk, Dhaos, as it turns out, is only trying to [[spoiler: save his ''own'' homeworld from destruction]]. A noble and [[strike:some]]''everybody'' would say heroic motivation. It's only too bad he considers it so far above ''this'' one that he regularly {{Beam Spam}}s everyone with no regard for the consequences. Hey, it's not [[spoiler:''his'' planet he's screwing up]] now, is it?
** Dhaos [[spoiler:orders the total and absolute elimination of any communities he deems has any remote connection whatsoever to magitek development. This often includes completely clueless children who are murdered for the sole reason of being the unlucky offspring or relatives of magitek scientists. Aseria's magitek research was rushed into unstable development to (whoops) combat Dhaos's own pre-emptive threats against the planet. Furthermore, when the party rushes Dhaos's palace following the Valhalla battle, he puts on his trollface and simply questions them--a group of soldiers clearly representing a society he has already threatened to annihilate--on what their reasons are for coming to kill him. This is a problem on its own, since he already brainwashed Meia to personally assassinate the party earlier in the game. Dhaos consciously decides to exert a form of omnipotent racial discrimination and become the judge, jury, and executioner of Aseria to benefit Derris Kharlan.]] In all practicality, he is utterly clueless to the ramifications of his actions at every level. The famous "If there is evil in this world..." quote is less thoughtful social commentary and more just illustrating Dhaos's ridiculous mindset that self-defense is a form of evil and mindraping people to commit atrocities somehow proves natural human malevolence.
** Dhaos ''is'' a very good candidate for AntiVillain, but this isn't obvious to Cress' party or the player due to ever only seeing him when he's in the middle of JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope. In the prequel novel ''Katararezaru Rekishi'', it's revealed that Midgard had been developing magitek weapons since before he arrived on Aselia, to combat the hordes of demons ''already hostile'' toward it. Dhaos attempted to talk down the head of the magitek research, Reisen, but Reisen suspected him of being a demon due to his alien mana and refused to listen to him. He then proceeded to ''attack Dhaos'', and although Dhaos escaped, his close friend Winona is severely injured in the attack, and Reisen claimed Dhaos attacked first, making him a fugitive and a wanted man, hunted by the guards of Midgard. Left with no other choice and no option to negotiate, Dhaos aligned himself with the demons attacking Midgard, in the hopes of stopping magitek development as quickly as possible. However, although he commands loyalty over his demons, ''he is not omnipotent or omniscient,'' and several of his demons went out of control, resulting in far more body counts than Dhaos would have liked; Demeter was only supposed to assassinate Rhea's parents for their role in magitek development, Rhea herself would have been spared as she was a close friend of Winona. Instead, Demeter went mad with the power granted to him by Dhaos, and slaughtered the entire town.
* ArcWords: "If there is evil in this world, it lurks in the hearts of men." Cranked UpToEleven in the OVA.
* ArtEvolution: A strange version in that it happened between versions; the in-game character sprites of the SNES version were based on an earlier artists work on the game, but the portraits and general artwork all used the newer character art. This resulted in characters on the SNES version looking very different in-game compared to their portraits (Claus in particular is almost completely different). Later versions changed the sprites to be based on the newer artwork.
* ArtificialStupidity. Averted for the most part. The ranged characters like Mint, Arche, Chester, and Claus ''will'' stay clustered in the left part of the screen if you tell them to. Your spellcasters will, for the most part, figure out which spells don't work on enemies through trial-and-error until they settle on a spell that does. However, there's still problems like Mint repeatedly trying to use Hammer skills on an enemy that's clearly immune to them (like bosses,) sometimes doing that instead of healing or buffing, and sometimes your other spellcasters will still spam spells that clearly aren't working or aren't as effective as another spell in their arsenal (even if they casted that one earlier in the fight.) Fortunately, you can turn off spells to keep them from using them.
** Mint's other problem is also the fact that the AI can't predict what'll happen, so she will start casting spells with a cast time (like Pow Pow Hammer, Acid Rain, or Sharpness) when Cress or Suzu are taking damage and not cancel it to swap with a heal.
* AscendedExtra: Suzu goes from an NPC in the SNES version to an optional hidden party member in all future versions.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The Sword Rain technique causes Cress to attack with a flurry of stabs that deal massive amounts of damage. Unfortunately, each hit also pushes the enemy backwards while Cress stays still, so unless you have your opponent pinned against something (or your opponent is the type to keep running into your sword,) you'll only get in about three hits at best; not worth the amount of TP the move consumes. Unless you first corner the enemy to the edge of the battlefield, which then most of your attacks will not be able to push the enemy further back, in later games, Cress gets pushed back by himself though.
* BadassNormal: Chester; Cress has the legendary Eternal Sword, Arche can cast devastating spells, Klaus can summon elemental spirits to fight, and Suzu is the next successor to the Fujibayashi ninja clan. Chester is just a guy who learned to use a bow to hunt. Even more obvious in the SNES game, where he doesn't learn any skills, and yet has the second highest damage output of the party, just behind Cress.
* BaldOfAwesome: [[spoiler:Claus,]] according to Arche.
** She was just messing with him.
* BonusDungeon: Lower floors of Moria, overlaps with MarathonLevel for longevity, and to some degree DroughtLevelOfDoom
* BrokenBridge: Due to the time travel mechanics, this is handled quite strangely. In the present time period, a literal broken bridge blocks passage from Euclid to Venezia until the plot actually requires the party to go there... ''100 years in the past''. Incidentally, due to how little time is spent in the present to begin with, this means the latter is completely inaccessible in the time period in which the party first visits Euclid. However, considering how future Venezia isn't much different from past Venezia, this probably doesn't mean much.
* ButNowIMustGo: [[spoiler: At the end of the game, Claus and Arche have to return to the past. Arche is a bit of a subversion, since, being a half-elf, she'll still be around in 100 years (though, at best, her relationship with Chester will in her point of view be taking a 100 year break) and they can just visit her whenever, but Claus... must return to his love, with the little dirty magazine (and tons of other books) he got from the quest.]]
* CallBack: If you cast Indignation on Dhaos during your fight with him midway through the game, he shouts "[[ThisCannotBe Sonna... Sonna bakana!]]", just like he does when it's cast on him in the prelude fight in the intro [[spoiler:(of course, due to TimeTravel shennanigans, it's technically the same fight with different people involved, so it makes sense for him to say the exact same things.)]] As a ShoutOut to this, every BonusBoss version of Dhaos in later games in the series has responded the exact same way when Indignation is cast on him.
* CallingTheOldManOut: Arche blows up at her dad after [[spoiler: she sees her mom alive in the HiddenElfVillage, as he'd told her for years that her mother was dead.]]
* CallingYourAttacks: As usual for the series, but notable for having it on the SNES.
* TheCameo: The PSX port onward added a cameo fight with [[VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny Lilith Aileron]], Stahn Aileron's sister. Beating her earns you the "Swordian Dymlos" weapon as well as Stahn's "Final Fury" arte for Cress.
** One of the Narikiri skins in ''Narikiri Dungeon X'' transforms the player into [[VideoGame/TalesOfGraces Asbel Lhant]], complete with his move pool. Another turns the player into [[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Asuka Kazama]] complete with a tenstring as her Mystic Arte.
* CityOfCanals: Venezia
* ChasteHero: Cress. It happens when Arche is explaining why she left Mint alone in the White Forest to meet the Unicorn.
--->'''Arche''': Because... well... once, there was this guy, and...
--->'''Cress''': ...and what?
--->'''Arche''': ...and... you know! So I thought the Unicorn wouldn't see me!
** And much earlier into the game, Cress seems to struggle with understanding the implications of Mint and he sharing the same bed.
* CompetenceZone: Total aversion of the "Too Old" type. Claus is pushing thirty while the rest of the group average age 16, Suzu pushing it down, being age 11, but he's the brains of the operation from the moment he joined and does most of the talking to other people.
* CompressedAdaptation: The first half of the game is crammed into the first half of episode 1 of TheAnimeOfTheGame.
** Ironically, the OVA actually does a pretty good job of telling the story- many fans believe it makes more sense than the game does.
* ConvectionShmonvection: Played straight in one dungeon and averted in another.
* CosmeticAward: The titles your characters can earn in this game are purely for aesthetic purposes, unlike titles in some of the later Tales games.
** Although one title does allow Cress to use his [[LimitBreak ultimate attack.]]
* CuteWitch
* LittleMissSnarker: Suzu.
* {{Determinator}}: Chester [[LevelGrinding level grinds]] himself while the others sleep so he can catch up to them. Only in PSC version and onwards.
* DiscOneNuke: Several candidates depending on version. In the SFC release, Maxwell qualified but was toned down in the PSX release. Indignation qualifies in either version. Gnome can be obtained really early as well, though he's incredibly hard to beat at that level. By SequenceBreaking (or using the behind-the-counter trick in Olive Village) and saving up a load of cash you can acquire advanced weapons for Cress long before you'd normally get them (simultaneously offset and built-in in PSX release since Gungnir is a great weapon gained by story progression, but in SFC version Gungnir is underwhelming).
* DoomedHometown: [[spoiler: Though it becomes a thriving city in the future, named after Cress' father.]]
* DualWielding: One of the spirits has four arms, enabling him to ''quadruple-wield'' little staff-spear things. That make lightning.
* EnemyScan: Magic Lens items. Can be used to fill in entries in the monster encyclopedia. Getting 100% completion of this gives Claus a new title when you start a new game+ on the PSX version.
* {{Engrish}}: Some of Mint's spells are announced in what is ostensibly supposed to be English.
--> '''Mint:''' FAAAAA-STO EI-DO!![[note]]"First Aid."[[/note]]
* EvilIsNotAToy
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: Arche puts her hair up in a ponytail [[spoiler:after Rhea leaves her body.]] This is actually how she normally has her hair, but [[spoiler:Rhea]] wore it down.
* FantasticRacism: A core plot element.
* FightingAShadow: The remnant of Dhaos in ''Narikiri Dungeon'', comprised of his anger towards [[spoiler:Dios and Meltia]].
* FinalBossPreview: At the end of the Present time period, the party encounters Dhaos, who wastes no time in showing the awesome power of his [[WaveMotionGun Dhaos Laser]].
* FiveManBand
** TheHero: Cress.
** TheLancer: Chester.
** TheSmartGuy: Claus (comes up with most of the plans).
** TheBigGuy: Arche (A BlackMagicianGirl, but her spells eventually become incredibly damaging, and she learns the classic spell Indignation).
** TheChick: Mint.
** TheSixthRanger: Suzu.
* FantasticScience: Sorcery is treated this way (even more so in the prequels). Your party visits three separate "magical research labs" over the course of the story, and Claus considers himself a scientist.
* FrothyMugsOfWater: A DuelBoss in the second part of the game is forced by all the characters other than Cress having hangovers after a night of party on the sea. The official translation changes this to "ate too much."
** Mint didn't get drunk. She was just very seasick.
* GagDub: The famous/infamous fan mistranslations of the SNES version has Claus asking Cress which girl he would rather sleep with, and Arche dreaming about having sex with Cress after getting drunk.
** It is indisputable that Arche was having that sort of dream, even the official translation made it clear. The dialogue just was not as explicit as the SNES fan translation suggested.
** Not to mention a far more explicit version of the series' traditional hot springs scene.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: One of the major goals in the early part of the game is to find people who have magical powers in order to defeat Dhaos, because humans cannot use magic. Nope. Not even a little bit. Shoot plasma bolts and lightning? Heal people with light? Turn into a giant flaming bird? ''Teleport?!'' No problem! But they can't use magic.
** Speaking of defeating Dhaos, in the story he's supposed to be completely immune to anything but magic, which is why the party is gathering magic users. However in most versions other than the original;, anytime the party fights him any of the party can whack him with nonelemental weapons and purely physical arts as much as they want and it'll damage him, though he might be resistant against physical attacks during some fights, he's never completely immune. (This one veers on AcceptableBreaksFromReality, though.)
** It also has to be noted that Mint is a ''real'' sore thumb when it comes to the "magic" thing. Apparently her healing arts don't count as "magic", but then the game never, ever explains what the hell the source of her power ''is''. It's sort of vaguely "divine", apparently... and it doesn't count as "magic" for the purposes of Yggdrasil being dead and defeating Dhaos.
* GuideDangIt: Unlike later ''Tales'' games, the Sorceror's Ring is an equipable item not central to the plot. Because of how little it's used, leaps of logic like "Shoot it at that jumble of mechanical parts over there" or "Use that tiny little spark to thaw out a switch" are easy to miss.
* HarderThanHard: Besides Hard mode (unlocked in SFC release by pressing XYBA at the same time on title screen when starting a game, made a selectable option in PSX release), once you finish the PSX version you may unlock Mania difficulty. All enemies have 3x HP (compare with 2x HP in Hard mode), do 50% more damage (compare to 25% in Hard) and worst of all, you do not regen a chunk of TP after every battle. Short of powerleveling through it, Mania is incredibly difficult.
* HealingHands
* HealthDamageAsymmetry: Partially averted. Enemies use spells that hit just about as hard as yours. The real difference is that you have heals, and they simply have a lot of health.
* HiddenElfVillage: There's the standard one in Ymir forest, and then ''another'' hidden village of Ninjas behind it, hidden from the Elves that are living in the first HiddenElfVillage.
* HotSpringsEpisode
* HumansAreBastards: In the game, the blame for the whole shitstorm is distributed among several parties (Though Dhaos [[PoorCommunicationKills hiring a PR department could have prevented a lot of it]]), making Dhaos well-intentioned but decidedly threatening and genocidal, while humans are understandably defensive, though arrogant and foolish. The [[CompressedAdaptation anime]] however, goes to great lengths to shift Dhaos actions so that he tried his best to warn humans of the consequences of their actions, while the latter [[TooDumbToLive ignored absolutely everything he said for no particular reason]].
** The clearest example is the Mana Cannon, a highly destructive, very environment-unfriendly weapon. In the game, it was built to have a chance against Dhaos forces, which were attacking precisely because humans were developing that kind of technology. Part of the vicious cycle is that if Dhaos were ''not'' attacking, the weapon would not have had a reason to be ever built or used. In the anime, humans built the weapon even ''before'' Dhaos showed up for... no bloody reason.
** The Mana Cannon existing before Dhaos in the OVA might seem like a retcon, but it's actually (very, very) vaguely implied in the game: the elves stopped communicating with humans ten years or so before the Past section, due to "humanity's foolish actions," which we can assume to be magitek research. Of course, the elves clearly never bothered to tell humans what the problem actually was, so yeah. Poor communication all around.
* InfinityMinusOneSword: In the PSX version, Gungnir is a likely example.
* InfinityPlusOneSword: Excalibur, acquired at the end of the Moria Mines BonusDungeon.
* {{Invocation}}: ''I dwell amidst the abounding light of heaven...''
* JokeWeapon: The "Glossy Magazine" and Namco Gamer for Claus (though the latter [[LethalJokeWeapon has the highest attack power out of all of Claus' weapons.]])
* JustBetweenYouAndMe: Averted, and played straight in the same scene. Mars waits until after Dhaos' revival (an unstoppable process) has begun to rant and threaten you. [[GenreBlind Dhaos himself, however, lets your party escape through time because he'd rather rant and threaten you than just]] [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim blast you with his lasers.]]
* KarmaHoudini: Reisen, the head of the magitek research, whose actions basically kickstarted the entire plot of the game by killing the Yggdrasil and antagonizing Dhaos to the point of making a peaceful solution impossible, never gets so much as fired from his job or even called out on everything he's responsible for.
** Mint gets off a very subtle WhatTheHellHero on him in the OVA, however. In the aftermath of the destruction caused by his WaveMotionGun, a small child is digging through debris trying to find her parents.
--> '''Mint:''' (To Reisen) Aren't you going to help this little girl?
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler:The Dhaos that was defeated by Edward and released by Mars. The party just assumes he escaped through time again when his alternate-timeline self in the Future starts causing havoc, but the player clearly see what they didn't in their haste to escape: he quite clearly remains prone on the ground as the Mausoleum collapses, and his body is crushed under falling debris.]] Amusingly, the party never does learn this either.
* LargeHam: Edward D. Morrison and Dhaos in the English GBA opening. See {{Narm}} and GoodBadTranslation for more information.
* LethalChef: Arche, in the PSX and GBA versions
* LethalLavaLand: Twice.
* LightAndMirrorsPuzzle, except with prisms
* LongSongShortScene: The present's overworld music isn't used much due to how little of the game is spent in that time period.[[note]]Despite this, this very song is the world map music throughout ''TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld''.[[/note]] Averted with the town music in that time period, however, which is reused in the future.
* LostForever: Averted. Even after [[spoiler: you travel to the future]], you can still access all the old dungeons (except for the Mausoleum, and even then anything you find there you'll have gotten replacements for long ago,) and you can still learn all the spells and skills that you missed.
* TheLostWoods
* LoveTriangle: Up until Chester joins your party, this happens among Cress, Mint, and Arche.
** Though its more like "Cress X Mint with Arche having an unrequited crush on Cress" then an actual triangle. Must be way she gave up the hopeless pursuit once Chester became an option.
* MagicalGuide: Norn in ''Narikiri Dungeon''.
* MagiTek
* MarathonLevel: The Valhalla War sequence.
** Also [[spoiler:Lower Morlia and the Dwarven Ruins, which double as both BonusDungeon and DroughtLevelOfDoom]].
* MatchMakerQuest
* MayflyDecemberRomance: Half-elves live longer than humans
* MedievalStasis: part usage and part aversion. Not much happens between the "past" era and the "present" era, but the "future" era is beginning to rediscover {{Magitek}} lost in the meteor impact
%%* MergedReality
%%* MightyGlacier: For quite a large number of boss fights (Past Dhaos and Fen Wolf, I'm looking at you), Arche and Claus deal most of the damage while Cress is just a glorified meat shield for the rest of the party, as Mint faithfully spams her strongest heals on Cress. Granted that for an overwhelming portion of the game that your party will be the WhiteMage, the CuteWitch, the [[SummonMagic Summoner]], and Cress the meat shield, Cress dying in a battle pretty much means that shit will hit the fan.
%%** He's also good for interrupting casters. That's about it, but it's the player's job in most of the series anyway.
%%*** It's actually kind of nice to have a protagonist who isn't [[VideoGame/ChronoTrigger tank, healer, and caster]] [[VideoGame/MOTHER1 all]] [[VideoGame/{{Earthbound}} by]] [[VideoGame/{{Mother 3}} himself]].
%%* MonsterArena
* MoralMyopia: Dhaos willingly and eagerly pulls off numerous atrocities against humans through the course of the storyline, and then calls humans violent and greedy.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Mars' name in the DeJap FanTranslation is Malice. Mars isn't anything to sneeze at either, since it's the Roman name for the god of war.
* NatureVersusNurture: A major point in ''Narikiri Dungeon'', as [[spoiler:Norn wished to see if Dios and Meltia were inherently evil beings, or good people whose morality had been heavily skewed by circumstance]].
* NiceJobBreakingItHero
* OffModel: A particularly famous example in the SNES version, as the field and battle sprites for our heroes were consistent in-game... but did ''not'' match Fujishima's concept and promotional art at all. Their seldom-seen portraits in-game matched the art, but the sprites? Well...
** Cress was a reasonable enough facsimile of his concept art (although the color of his armor wasn't right). Chester was also relatively on-point, save for having more earth tones in his clothing than his art and having ''EyesAlwaysShut'', for some reason, instead of the smaller-but-still-there eyes of his art.
** The other three went all over the place: Mint wore a ''blue and pink'' dress and shawl and had a hat which resembled a flapless [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ushanka ushanka]] more than her art's little nurse cap. Arche wore a green vest over a heavy blue dress with a matching blue shawl... which is ''nothing'' like her loose-shirt-and-puffy-pants ensemble in the art. Claus, however, is the most radical of all: he wears a reddish scholar's gown with a very long, almost dress-like dark green tunic beneath that, dark greenish-grey boots, a ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square_academic_cap mortarboard cap]] complete with tassel'' which matches said boots, also has greyish hair tied back in a ponytail and a fair complexion similar to his fellow castmates, and while all of the SNES sprites looked a little squat and chibi, especially in battle, Claus looked ''pointedly'' and purposefully overweight. Needless to say, [[http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/aselia/images/e/e4/KlarthArtwork.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20080208173910 none of this matches his concept art even remotely]], even if the sprite itself was a good match for the character (and some fans even prefer the SNES interpretation).
** The differences were dramatic enough that one of the selling points of the Playstation version a few years later was that the sprites were far more true to the original art, and every game since has labored to make sure the promo and in-game art matches.
** A funny little exception to note here is that ''Dhaos'', of all people, does not have this problem; perhaps due to his larger sprite, the artists were able to make sure that even on the SNES he matches Fujishima's art dead-on, down to the smallest detail that the SNES will allow.
** Part of this may well have been the developers trying to work around ''memory limitations'' on the SNES to give the enemies and backgrounds that slight bit of extra space - while Cress seems to have a unique color palette, eagle-eyed observers will note that Chester and Claus share a palette (compare their outfits), as do Arche and Mint (they were a bit more clever about this one, but compare Arche's dress to Mint's hat, Mint's dress to Arche's hair, and the trim of Arche's vest to Mint's hair). The outfits were thus reworked to reduce the party's memory footprint. Which is also why Dhaos is fine - being a huge boss who can hog all the memory allocated to the "enemy side", the artists could get him right without worry. And the PSX and beyond, of course, didn't need to worry about memory as much.
* OneHitKill: The urchin enemy in [[BonusDungeon the lower levels of the Moria Gallery]] is a tiny enemy that inches towards your party. It also can't be hurt and instantly kills on contact. Needless to say, if you ever encounter one, run like hell in the other direction.
** Hell Lords in the bottom floor of the Sylph Mountain have the ability to cast Summon Lich, which at that point in the game, is a guaranteed TotalPartyKill without some severe level grinding.
* OneWomanWail: The first time Origin is summoned in the OVA.
* OnlySaneMan: Claus is usually the voice of reason within the group.
** Considering the way Claus acts sometimes this would be fairly frightening if it weren't for the way NPC's keep pointing out how young the rest of the party is. In a role reversal, Arche plays OnlySaneMan for a brief period in Midgard.
* OpeningTheSandbox: Once you get the ability to fly in [[spoiler: the future]] the world becomes an open sandbox with access to areas limited primarily by your ability to handle the challenge.
* OutsideTheBoxTactic: It's a running gag that the final boss, [[spoiler:Dhaos, is susceptible to the ''Indignation'' spell. In cameo appearances in later games, he dies to one use of the spell.]]
* PamphletShelf: Numerous bookshelves throughout the world contain snippets of information, sometimes giving veiled, minor game advice, sometimes just giving flavor text and lore.
* PenultimateWeapon: Eternal Sword, a generally superior weapon and the stuff of legends but Excalibur is a good deal better and in PSX version so is Gungnir (and arguably several others such as Bahamut's Tear and Luck Sword).
* PerfectPlayAI: The Odin, Galf Beast, and Lilith fights all work this way. Ordinarily bosses need to be balanced for fighting your whole team at once, meaning they need to occasionally channel for large attacks so they can hit the team members hiding behind and healing Cress. Not so for these three, which are all one-on-one fights. Because of this, they're instead designed specifically to relentlessly assault Cress with quick attacks to interrupt his, all of which are very likely to knock him down or back. They'll continue doing this until he's cornered, and then keep spamming attacks until he's dead. Victory in these fights purely comes down to not losing momentum against them at ''any'' point, as doing so makes it ''very'' difficult to get back into it. Abusing attacks that are hard for the AI to halt is key in this.
* PetTheDog: Rondoline's backstory in ''Narikiri Dungeon X'' is essentially a big PetTheDog for Dhaos: she befriends him despite his quietly sinister exterior, to the point where she is stunned to find out he is considered a "Demon King" in the future.
* PrepareToDie: When you meet Demitel Cress says "[[YouKilledMyFather You killed Rhea's parents.]] PrepareToDie". Though, he should've at least said hello and [[MyNameIsInigoMontoya give his name]] first.
* PointOfNoReturn - None for the endgame, you can save anywhere in the final dungeon and still leave, but once you reach the last room of the Underground Crypt, you're sealed off from [[spoiler:the Present]] and the same applies for [[spoiler:the Past]] when you set sail for Thor's nautical location.
* PoorCommunicationKills: Come ON, [[spoiler:Dhaos]], an FYI would have been kinda useful! [[spoiler:In either timeline!]]
** They ''could'' have avoided all that, if only Dhaos had ''opened his damn mouth''.
** It wouldn't have hurt for the heroes to spend more than five seconds considering what Origin had to say either.
** Dhaos did attempt to communicate. It went ignored because Reisen blocked them all.
* PortTown: Venezia
* RandomlyDrops: One of the quests in the game requires you to find five Basilisk's Scales, which drop from, as you would imagine, Basilisks. Unfortunately they're a somewhat uncommon encounter and the drop isn't guaranteed. Later in the game a pair of dungeons requires a special charm which randomly drops from enemies, though they are much more common.
** You can also get each charm by using a Rune Bottle on the version found in the dungeon that requires it - the Rune Bottle turns each charm into the other, and you need the fire charm to survive the ice dungeon (though not in the GBA version) and the water charm to survive the lava dungeon.
* RescueRomance: Very early on in the game, Cress rescues Mint from Mars' mansion. Later on, the storyline hints at romantic feelings between Cress and Mint, particularly during the SnowMeansLove moment.
* SceneryPorn: It would be remiss to discuss ''Tales of Phantasia'' without mentioning that it ranks among the most graphically beautiful games released for Super Famicom, and probably the most graphically advanced RPG of the 16-bit era. Effects now taken for granted like reflective water and mirrors, rippling water effects, realistic weather, etc were revolutionary at the time this game was released. Also, contained far more voice acting than most 16-bit console [=RPG=]s, and the music is considered among the best of any SFC game. This level of detail required a 48MB cartridge; compare with VideoGame/ChronoTrigger at 32MB, and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' and Videogame/EarthBound at 24MB. StarOcean is the only other game for Super Famicom/SNES to require such a large cart.
** Incidentally, StarOcean was made by the Tales of Phantasia team after they left Namco in disgust.
* ShoutOut: [[LordOfTheRings The Moria/Morlia Gallery, an ancient cave where the dwarves used to live.]]
** There are several pieces of equipment taken straight from ''VideoGame/TheTowerOfDruaga''. Collecting them all earns Cress the Gilgamesh title.
** One of Claus' book weapons is the [[Creator/HPLovecraft Necronomicon]], and another sounds like ''Literature/TheKingInYellow''.
* SliceAndDiceSwordsmanship: Subverted through the magic of separate Slash and Thrust attack statistics. ''Phantasia'' has four weapon types for Cress - high Thrust spears, high Slash axes, and balanced swords and halberds... and a few exceptions like the super stabby sword Dragon's Fang.
* SlippySlideyIceWorld: Not so much sliding, but it certainly does have an underground ice cave, and in keeping with tradition of ice levels, it's also a rather difficult level. Bonus points for ending with ThatOneBoss.
* TheSlowPath: [[spoiler: In the ending, Arche and Claus return to the past. Arche, however, is a half-elf with the potential to live for centuries, and she anticipates meeting her friends again in the present (her future).]]
* SmashMook: Golems found throughout the game. Feature very high hit points, and typically use attacks that, sure enough, smash your party, often resulting in being flung backwards and/or stunned. Frequently found serving as meat shields for mage enemies and have a really nasty habit of surrounding your party, which can be problematic.
* SnowMeansLove
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: Cress, Claus, Morrison, etc. etc. The previously accepted English spellings were ([[FlipFlopOfGod and still are]]) in use in the Japanese versions' cast lists. Not helped by the fact that there were two english translations and an OVA, and they all used different spellings/pronunciations.
* StuffedIntoTheFridge
* StupidSacrifice: [[spoiler:Edward Morrison,]] a war hero and powerful sorcerer, sacrifices his life to save some random kid an EnemyOfTheWeek had taken hostage.
* [[SwordAndSorcerer Sword And Three Sorcerers]]: It's not until you've gotten through half the game that you're allowed any party combination but this. You start off with Fighter And Healer, after which the [[GlassCannon Glass Cannons]] show up.
* ThereIsOnlyOneBed
* ThisCannotBe: Dhaos's reaction to Indignation. He keeps doing it every time he and that spell show up in other games, too.
--> Sonna... sonna bakana!/It can't beeee!
* {{Throw The Book At Them}}: Claus. He is a [[SummonMagic Summoner]], not a physical attacker, but he WILL whack enemies with his book if they get too close.
* TimeTravel: Thanks to dividing timelines, it turns out that [[spoiler: the final boss of the game is ''not'' the guy you've been trying to get revenge on all game long. Basically: the one you hate was defeated in the prologue and sealed away, and is killed about halfway through the game; the final boss is completely different, having split off from the original when your party replaced their own ancestors in reenacting the same prologue battle.]] Dammit, time travel!
** TimeParadox: Dio and Mell cause one in ''Narikiri Dungeon'' when they [[spoiler:kill their evil past selves. To resolve the paradox, the twins become one with their past selves]].
* TomeOfEldritchLore: Claus' WeaponOfChoice, which include the [[CthulhuMythos Necronomicon, The King in Yellow, the Liver Ivonis, The Celaneo Fragments, G'harne Fragments, True Magick, Requiem for Shaggai, Cthäat Aquadingen, and the Seven Books of H'San]] (which many of the names were misspelled in the English GBA version). [[GoMadFromTheRevelation Ironic]], considering Claus is the OnlySaneMan.
* TheUnintelligible: Volt speaks either in Binary or in symbols, depending on your version. [[HilarityEnsues Most of the reason he fights you seems to be because he's pissed that you can't understand him.]]
* TheUnReveal
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: Claus looks ''weird'' but no one seems to notice, even though he does all the talking for your party. No one seems to think it's at all strange that Arche follows you around on a floating broom either.
* {{Tsundere}} :Arche. She's not very fond of Chester when they first meet each other.
** Chester feels the exact same way about Arche.
* WaifFu: Suzu. She's a little girl, both in terms of age and size, but easily the most deadly physical fighter.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: [[spoiler:Dhaos kicked off the TalesSeries time honored tradition of villains that are trying to save the world by murdering thousands of people.]]
* WhipSword: Rondoline in ''Narikiri Dungeon X'' wields one.
* WhiteMagicianGirl: Really notable beyond just the character page. There may have been examples before her, but Mint is unquestionably a TropeCodifier.
* WrongSideAllAlong: See AlasPoorVillain above.
* {{Wutai}}: The village of Japoni.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Done with ''spectacular'' pointlessness on the part of Dhaos, who chose to wipe out his mind-controlled servant Mars the moment he was unsealed, despite the fact that Mars had pulled off Dhaos' release almost perfectly.
** To be fair, Mars acted as though Dhaos was his to control, and even arrogantly demanded that he grant him his power. Dhaos' reaction was predictable to say the least.
** Even more understandable, given that Dhaos had kinda basically been ''buried alive'' for a full decade, and didn't even have the benefit of being in a sort of stasis. Kind of a miracle the man had enough scraps of sanity to form coherent sentences after that.
* YouKilledMyFather: Cress' motivation against Dhaos after his entire home village is destroyed by Mars.
* YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters: Perhaps one of the most triumphant examples of this -- they practically ''say'' the trope ''word-for-word''!