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%%MODERATOR NOTICE
%%Mohs does not qualify as a CompleteMonster per the cleanup effort.
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* AccidentalInnuendo: In the English version. Luke learns [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything Sonic Thrust]] from Guy. [[HoYay At night]].
** [[spoiler: ''"Professor Nebilim]]. . . I'm coming!"''
** "Day in and day out, SCORE! SCORE! SCORE!"[[note]]Largo is talking about the rock, but 'score' has been used as a euphemism for getting laid [[/note]]
* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: Everyone.
** Luke in the first part: Wangsty loser or child betrayed by both sets of parental figures and treated as a scapegoat by his friends?
** Luke in the late game: Sympathetic individual who is trying to [[TheAtoner atone for what he's done]] and come to terms with [[spoiler:being a replica]] even if he doesn't know how, or wangsty, guilt-driven and suicidal?
** Tear: Decent person or StrawHypocrite?
** Mohs: A good man who put too much faith in a benevolent but powerless god or is he only out for his own power?
** Anise: JerkassWoobie or {{Jerkass}} KarmaHoudini?
** Asch. He's either a tragic victim, or an emotionaly simple villain who murdered scores of people and who can't deal with complex situations.
** Van: Manipulator that rivals the minds of Mengele and Hitler or extremist that will avoid the extinction of humanity at any cost?
* AntiClimaxBoss: The final boss isn't particularly challenging in any of his forms, and in his final form you have infinite HP and TP.
** Note: the infinite HP and TP phase only occurs when you have Luke and Tear in the party, and besides...what could be more satisfying than whaling on ''[[spoiler:Van]]'' with impunity?
** The HopelessBossFight with Asch actually isn't all that tough to beat if you have enough healing items and know how to use the free-run mechanic to perform hit-and-run tactics.
* AwesomeMusic: One of the strongest contenders for the Best Soundtrack in the TalesSeries title. And that's saying something.
** ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SHM-7qMiDs Meaning of Birth]]'' and ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSdY8rrwafU Finish the Promise]]'', hands down.
** ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neqMLadIZoc Karma]]''. Even the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVnmcTw6NqA stripped-of-vocals English version]] kicks enough ass to compel you to watch the entire opening every time you boot up the game.
** ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ro3jaEeI2Tc Happiness in My Hand]]'' plays right before you head off to [[spoiler: Eldrant]]. And it's beautiful.
** ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hL3rgkGAtc Crimson Pride]]''. Sets perfectly the tone for the GrandFinale.
* BaseBreaker: Luke, big time. For some people, he's a mess of an unlikable and obnoxious character, either because of his jerkass attitude in the whole first act or for his {{Wangst}} during a big chunk of the third... or both. For others, he's one of the best developed, most deep and (eventually) sympathetic main characters in video game and anime history.
** [[http://solardata.tumblr.com/post/54678076490/kumagawa-scarletflare-scionoflorelei This]] Tumblr post goes to great length to analyze Luke's character and defend him.
* BreatherBoss: Fyr Bronc, the dragon in Mount Zaleho, especially considering that the previous boss was [[spoiler:the first fight with the BigBad]] and ThatOneBoss.
* BrokenBase: ''Very'' much so; this is possibly ''the'' most polarizing game in the franchise. Depending on how you feel about the story, it's either wildly melodramatic and overblown, or it's the high point of the entire ''Tales'' franchise and one of the highest in the entire EasternRPG genre. Not many people take a middle ground. It's worth noting that in Japan, it was voted the most popular game in the ''Tales'' series in a Famitsu poll.
* {{Creepy Awesome}}: Jade Curtiss.
* DudeNotFunny: When you learn how Guy became scared of women the jokes about it might become a little harder to laugh at. The female members of the party realize that it was wrong to make fun of him for it and apologize.
** Luke actually gets one too, though it's a 'Blink-And-You-Miss-It' moment.
-->Tear: "How do you not know about the Order of Lorelei?"
-->Luke: "I was busy learning other things...[[WhamLine like my parent's faces."]]
* EightPointEight: Nintendo Power's review of the 3DS port gave the game a 7.0.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Asch in the anime, which leaves out his KickTheDog moments in the game, including his participation in the ''Tartarus'' slaughter[[note]]He arrived afterwards.[[/note]] and his attacking Tear, making him much more sympathetic.
* EvilIsCool: [[spoiler:Sync is Ion's EvilTwin, and is an antagonist. Guess which one is blessed with... martial arts skills, [[AnimeHair a slick hairstyle]] and [[MaskPower a snazzy mask]]]].
* EvilIsSexy: Nebilim.
* FanNickname: Even if it's their first time hearing it, fans know you're talking about Van Grants when you mention "Master Badtouch".
** Ambassador Asshat, for when Luke becomes the Kimlascan ambassador and takes about 2 or 3 [[TookALevelInJerkass levels in jerkass.]]
* FunnyAneurysmMoment:
** See DudeNotFunny for how Guy's gynophobia becomes much less funny when you realize that it was because [[spoiler:he was buried under the corpses of many women of his house who died to protect him]].
** Similarly, the part when you realize that Anise's attempts to get a rich husband are not out of greed, but to free her family from their debt, [[spoiler:as well as how far she's willing to go for their sake]].
* GameBreaker:
** The Glory AD Skill. A character equipped with this bad boy is completely immune to stagger, meaning you can continue spamming melee attacks and channeling spells, save being hit by Overlimit or an enemy Mystic Arte.
** Long story short, it's entirely possible for Guy to solo Nebilim without ever needing to heal himself because of abusing the temporary invulnerability during a Field of Fonon Arte. See this [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4KMVgXp9VU&feature=related video]] for a demonstration.
** Anise can also get a accessory that restores her HP and TP periodicly. Nearing the end of the game, your HP and TP will be so high that you'll never need to use a gel on Anise...assuming you play on Easy Mode. On Unkown Mode on the other hand....
** Likewise, Jade. Impressive, especially, since he ''has'' no healing abilities. He's strong, and his fonic assaults are powerful. He really reaches gamebreaker status when you re-play the game and have Tutti on him for his Capacity Core the whole time, since it's +4 for everything, and is thus the best in the game, and his stats shoot through the roof.
* GeniusBonus: Jade's sister's name is Nephry. The minerals Jadeite and Nephrite are collectively called Jade. Also counts as FamilyThemeNaming.
** Jade at one point rattles off Lorelei's fonon frequency, which sounds suspiciously similar to the first dozen or so digits of pi.
* GoodBadBugs: One of the cutscenes regarding [[spoiler:Nebilim]] involves the entire party talking to Peony. It can be triggered [[spoiler:when you regain control after the DiscOneFinalDungeon & the supposed end of the game]], when Luke's your only party member. Apparently, he was [[PartyInMyPocket carrying the entire party around in his pocket]] just in case he needed them for a cutscene. Talk about CrazyPrepared.
* HoYay:
** Guy's gynophobia plus his close friendship with Luke.
** Jade plus Dist or Peony, both of whom earn innuendo-laden comments from Guy.
** Luke's worshipful relationship with his "Master" Van[[note]]Although lessened if you consider that he calls Van "sensei" in the Japanese version[[/note]].
* JerkassWoobie
** Anise. Her family was the victim of a con and wound up in debt. Mohs paid off the debt, but had her parents become indentured servants, leading Anise to want to earn the money to free them. Unfortunately, she does some morally dubious things to reach this goal, including wanting to marry into wealth, performing occasional scams and [[spoiler:serving as a spy for Mohs, leading to Ion's death]]. How much you sympathize with her depends on how willing you are to forgive her for the latter, spoilered act.
** Asch is [[spoiler: the original Luke fon Fabre who was kidnapped by Van as a child and made his way home and discovered the replica Luke and is SecretlyDying because of how Luke was born.]] However, his many KickTheDog moments throughout the game, aka attempting to murder Luke, controlling Luke to try and make him kill Tear ForTheEvulz and hurls endless emotional and verbal abuse at Luke throughout the entire game until they finally settle their differences in the final dungeon make it hard to like or pity him.
** Sync is not only allied with the villains but does some exceptionally cruel things [[KickTheDog for no good reason]], such as making fun of [[spoiler:Akzeriuth's destruction]] and [[spoiler:mimicking Ion's voice to guilt-trip Anise]]. However, it's difficult not to feel a drop of pity for him when you realize that he [[spoiler:was cast away along with the other unused Ion replicas and only kept around as a tool by Van]].
* MagnificentBastard: Heroic subversion: His name starts with a 'J' and ends with an 'ade Curtiss'.
* MoralEventHorizon: [[spoiler:Mohs kidnapping Anise's parents, forcing her to act as TheMole, and then ''personally'' murdering Ion and ''making Anise watch''.]]
*** [[spoiler: He crossed it earlier when he gets in the way of your attempts to prevent the war between Kimlasca and Malkuth BecauseDestinySaysSo.]]
** [[spoiler:Van loses any right to call himself a WellIntentionedExtremist when he causes half of the world to fall into poison mist, killing millions.]]
** The [[spoiler: massacre at Sheridan for Van and his minions. Especially for Major Legretta.]]
* MostAnnoyingSound: Mieu's sounds for the Sorcerer's Ring, especially when you make multiple attempts to hit something.
-->'''Mieu''': Fire! Mieuuuu! Fire!
* {{Narm}}: The scene just before the final showdown between Luke and Asch. It's fine for the most part, and then it gets to the very end...
-->'''Asch''' ''(with a deadpan expression on his face)'': Well said. I will make those words your last, [[spoiler:'''''[[ChewingTheScenery REPLICAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!]]''''']]
* PlayerPunch:
** [[spoiler:Mohs killing Ion (he dies)]].
** Tear [[spoiler:finding out she's dying (she doesn't, thanks to one of Ion's final acts)]].
** Luke [[spoiler:finding out ''he's'' dying (whether he does is debatable)... take your pick.]]
** [[spoiler: Seeing that little boy drown in miasma.]]
** Later on, [[spoiler:meeting a woman whose husband and son were in Akzeriuth, the latter having come to visit the former]].
** [[spoiler: Asch's death. Not only an antagonist, but one ''we'' just had a final duel with five minutes ago... But it still hurts.]]
** The death of [[spoiler: General Frings...''especially'' if you did his adorable romance sidequest...''for nothing''...]]
** Definately nightmare fuel for this troper. Nebilim replica. Just watch the cutscenes she's in before you fight her. And then fight her. "You just might die!" as she flashes across the screen. She means either your party will die or your ps2 will considering if you're lucky enough to have the version that FREEZES YOUR PS2 COME INDIGNATION TIME.
* RewatchBonus: Luke's rude and dickish behavior as well as his somewhat childlike dialog for much of the game becomes more understandable and more obvious once the player knows that [[spoiler: Luke is actually only 7.]]
* TheScrappy:
** Mohs, who is just repulsive [[spoiler:and for being the direct cause of Ion's death]].
** Anise to some. One reason being the fact that she is [[spoiler:EasilyForgiven for her role in Ion's death.]]
** For some people, Ion is some sort of male DamselScrappy.
** In-universe, Mieu. He's a RidiculouslyCuteCritter with a high-pitched voice who helps the party solve puzzles and not much else. Even after Luke's CharacterDevelopment, he still calls Mieu "annoying" to Mieu's face.
** That and you kill a bunch of wolves because he burnt down some of the forest making the wolves desperate to survive
*** [[spoiler:As well as a little girl's (Arietta's) 'mommy.']]
* ShipsThatPassInTheNight: Arietta x Sync is pretty popular shipping, despite the fact that the two characters never interact in the game nor in the anime and Arietta is clearly in love with Ion. [[spoiler:The fact that Sync is Ion's replica helps though.]]
* TastesLikeDiabetes: Mieu. It's astounding how one character can be so cringeworthy.
* ThatOneBoss:
** The 2nd fight Sync and [[spoiler: the first fight with Van]] usually give most players trouble.
** Legretta. [[MeaningfulName They don't call her "the Quick" for nothing.]] Her normal attacks are not only ranged and incredibly fast but they also deal A LOT of damage thus leaving you very little room to attack her. But it gets worse, since her artes are not only incredibly powerful but [[ArtificialStupidity your teammates will never try to avoid it even if they aren't casting fonic artes]] so unless you have both Natalia and Tear on the field the rest of your team will start dropping like flies.
** On Unknown, the Liger Queen is this, since Luke and Tear, even using their Mystic Artes, only do ScratchDamage at best. If you forgot to properly level and are ''unreasonably determined'' to fight her anyway rather than go back and level grind, it takes an hour and a half or so before you can get her to the point where the game takes mercy on you and has Jade coming in and destroying her. She's tends to be the ONLY boss this bad on Unknown, because there's not as many things to fight.
* UnintentionallyUnsympathetic: [[spoiler:Mohs devolves into a mindless OneWingedAngel, and after the party finally fights and kills him, they "feel kind of bad", noting that he was obsessed with the score to the very end. Considering what kind of person he was, holding Anise's parents hostage and forcing her to be TheMole and then killing Fon Master Ion (who was mentally ''two'') it's virtually impossible to feel that he didn't deserve it.]]
** Also, Anise herself. [[spoiler: She betrays the party, almost gets then killed, flat-out DOES get Ion killed, and kills Arietta rather than talking things out with her when she has the chance.]] And yet she is a complete KarmaHoudini after all of this.
* UnwinnableByInsanity: if you start the Mushroom Road sidequest before entering TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon, Luke leaves the party to give place to Asch. You can then go all the way to the other end of Mushroom Road to get out to the world map (in a cliff where the Greater Flightstone is) and then use the world map glitch to get out of there without getting Luke back. This lets you play as Asch for as long as you want[[note]]You can go back to Mushroom Road to get Luke back whenever you want, though[[/note]], and Asch replaces Luke in every scene (except for one needed to get Tear's InfinityPlusOneSword, which will not trigger). If you finish the game while using Asch, you will start the next cycle without Luke. Once you get to the tutorial battle, the game freezes because you don't have any character in your party. If you saved your clear data over your only file, [[{{Irony}} you are now stuck inside Duke Fabre's Manor forever]].
** The world map glitch by itself can be this. To use this glitch, you need to take the disc off the PS2 while being on the world map, which will make the scenario disappear, and allows you to walk over the water, mountains, etc. You can then put the disc back and wait for a while for the scenario to come back. However, if you are over a unwalkable path (over the water, for example) when you do this, you get stuck and cannot even use the world map glitch to leave, as you will be unable to move. It is possible to save the game whenever you want while being in the world map. If you save in this condition, you are stuck forever.
* ValuesDissonance: Luke [[spoiler: (Well, Asch... ItMakesSenseInContext)]] and Natalia's betrothal, as first cousins. Due to their status as nobles, no one even so much as bats an eye. This is because Auldrant seems to use a world-wide [[FantasyCounterpartCulture medieval-like setting.]] In Medieval times as well as other periods, nobles were anything but unknown for marrying within the close family.
* ViewerGenderConfusion:
** Ion. He looks ''incredibly'' effeminate and has female voice actors.
** Jade deserves an honorable mention: GenderBlenderName, feminine pose, long hair. . . and if you can believe it, some of his concept art made him feel even more like a woman, even with short hair!
** Then there's Din, who runs the trade shop in Chesedonia. Din has short blonde hair and wears thick, unisex clothing. Din also doesn't get any voiced dialogue, so you have to see a specific scene where Jade inspects Din's shop to actually know Din is, in fact, a girl. Generally it's assumed she's a he.
* {{Wangst}}: Luke goes through quite a bit of this during a big part of the third act. Also, [[spoiler:if you defeat [[HopelessBossFight Asch in Yulia City]], the resulting cutscene shows Asch doing a bit of wangsting of his own after being defeated by a mere replica.]]
* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic: If you're familiar with [[NietzscheWannabe Friedrich Nietzsche]], then you may think that the title has something to do with Nietzsche's famous quote about [[HeWhoFightsMonsters The Abyss]], but it never really has any bearing on the game itself. Except with [[spoiler:Van, who started to oppose the Score after being used to destroy Hod as an innocent child, and then does the exact same thing to Luke in order to advance his plans.]]
* TheWoobie:
** Once you revisit Baticul after Akzeriuth and travel through the Inista Marsh, you might end up wishing you could give Natalia a hug.
** If Luke's character development in the third chapter doesn't repulse you, then you'll feel terrible for Luke when [[spoiler:the God-Generals begin mass replication; it creates a whole myriad of social and ethical issues. Replicas are treated like monsters and subject to violence. Replicas have no place to call home because the originals despise them. The crowning moment of woobie for Luke comes when the world leaders ask Luke to die at the Tower of Rem to save everyone from the miasma. It doesn't get better after, because Luke is dying.]]
** Arietta. Just...Arietta. [[spoiler: She loses her mom, then her love, and then her life.]]
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