Asbel is the eldest son of Lord Aston, ruler of the city-state of Lhant. As a child, he was disobedient, adventurous and quick to make friends. Due to an incident during his childhood, he leaves his home and trains to become a knight, in order to find the power to protect those he cares about. He is forced to return after hearing news of his father's death, only to receive a tepid welcome.Throughout the game, Asbel struggles with the idea of responsibility he has as the next Lord of Lhant and his desire to keep his loved ones safe.His Accelerate Mode is Spiral Surgenote Japanese: "Accel Force", which summons a dark flame that orbits Asbel and damages any enemy it touches.
Berserk Button: He takes Sophie attempting to sacrifice herselfvery badly.
Bishōnen: Typical slim build and pretty face, though not as much as Richard.
Butt Monkey: He often can't get the leading of the "We are... awesome!" victory pose right with the team, even once succumbing to the Corner of Woe.
Chronic Hero Syndrome: If you need help, Asbel will help you. No questions asked, even if it destroys the world. Everyone, even Lambda, calls him out on it. His determination to stay true to his idealism that ultimately earned him Lambda's respect.
Clueless Chick Magnet: It's implied via NPCs/Skits that he had been one during his time at the Knight Academy. He is absolutely oblivious to it.
Confirmed in the Tales of Graces f sub manga, where he admits that Valentine's Day was hard for him since he had to buy so many return gifts for White Day.
Dark and Troubled Past: Sophie's death when he was a child really shook him, in both his irresponsibility and powerlessness. He does not however, spend much time angsting over it.
Failure Knight: Saw a childhood friend die and swore to protect as many people as possible after that. After his father dies, his inadequacy hits him, as everyone calls him out on leaving Lhant and he still feels unable to protect the people around him.
Genre Savvy: In a strange, meta-example. He is probably the first JRPG protagonist ever to deconstruct the Omnicidal Maniac trope, asking Lambda an Armor-Piercing Question about his endgame. When Lambda has no answer beyond mere flailing about and tranquil panic, it's the sign that Asbel has already won.
Genre Blind: He never pieces together that glowing eyes, out-of-character violence, or clutching one's head yelling 'No, this isn't me, don't come out!' might mean that Richard is possessed. It has to be spelled out by Emeraude. Though to be fair, most of the party are pretty slow to cotton onto this one.
Luminescent Blush: Around Cheria, especially after he realizes he shares her feelings.. And probably just around any embarrassing situation.
Neat Freak: It's hinted that after being such a messy kid, Asbel became something of a neat freak. He even managed to get enjoyment out of scrubbing the deck of a ship from top to bottom. If you visit his room in Lhant and examine the desk, he comments that he really oughta clean it up.
Nice Guy: Serious attitude aside, Asbel is an honest and kind guy, and is the only one who hasn't made jokes at Cheria's expense.
Oblivious to Love: Like most Tales Series protagonists, Asbel is rather... dense... when it comes to matters of romance. Although he gets better at spotting Cheria's affections for him as time goes by.
He's also something of a deconstruction, as Cheria ends up bitter and angry at Asbel for not noticing even after the Time Skip (7 years... She spent them alone) whereas Asbel had a lot on his plate.
Sheltered Aristocrat: As a child, he was adventurous and believed he could take anything and even raise Sophie. When she seemingly dies due to his negligence, reality dawns on him and he sees just how little of the outside world he undestands.
Take a Third Option: Asbel will neither have Sophie sacrifice herself to destroy Lambda, nor let him absorb their planet. His solution? Merge Lambda with himself.
Team Dad: Gets labeled the "Dad" of the team by Pascal. Begins to fit into the role due to Character Development. Also, as an adult, acts as a father figure to Sophie.
Acknowledged by him during one skit:
Pascal: "Well "dad". She (Sophie) asked you a question."
Asbel: "Who, me? Well...uh... I'm gonna field this one to Mom."
Took a Level in Badass: Played with. He already got his chips at the Knight Academy, but everyone around him says he still hasn't changed a bit (much to his chagrin). The game is about him learning that actions, not mere brute force, is what truly makes him badass. This is what allows him to ultimately subdue Lambda where all other attempts failed: instead of forcing him into submission, he allows Lambda to live through him and see that Humans Are Special.
Trauma Conga Line: What happens 2-3 hours into the game alone? Asbel makes two new friends (Sophie and Richard), saves the latter from Bryce, steps in and saves his escorts' lives. What happens next? Sophie sacrifices herself to save everyone, and Aston chews him out for it. He doesn't get to see Richard again because of his social status. Hubert is sent to live with another family, and then he abandons home and Cheria for good (for the next seven years).
The Stoic: Surprisingly, yes. As an adult, he's one of the calmer members of the party. Malik even remarks on this during an optional skit.
An enigmatic, purple-haired girl with no recollection of her identity, Sophie has an innocent atmosphere about her, but is actually a quite proficient fighter. She has vowed to protect Asbel.Her Accelerate Mode is EX Boostnote JP: "High Boost", which gives her the ability to Flash Step and increases her combat statistics.
Badass Adorable: So, so much. Even while she's still seemingly an Emotionless Girl, she does many things that will just make you want to hug her. Sometimes right after an epic and brutal smackdown, to boot.
Odd Friendship: Sophie's an artifical human who looks like a young teen, and is friends with two high-ranking noble soldiers, the king of Windor, a 40 year old Knight-Captain and Fendelian ex-revolutionary, an Amarcian savant, and Cheria.
"Open!" Says Me: She tends to respond to locked doors with a somewhat... straight forward approach.
She Is All Grown Up: Played with. While the epilogue shows that she already matured physically, she chose to retain her immortality so that she may watch the world as per the Little Queen's request. Her age-up was caused by fusing the Little Queen with herself.
Many of her moves come straight out off Street Fighter. Alternatively, some of her skill poses took pages from Farah Oerstead, as well as Hermana when she uses Beast. It seems most if not all Tales brawlers will use that pose.
What Is This Thing You Call Love?: Doesn't quite understand human emotions for a long time. Even towards the end of the game, she doesn't understand the concept that the party would be sad if she sacrificed herself.
Who Wants to Live Forever?: Struggles with this during Lineage & Legacies. She dreads the death of her friends as she doesn't want to be left alone, going as far as to ask Pascal if she can make her human.
Asbel's younger brother. The more quiet, responsible of the two, Hubert likes to point out his maturity compared to Asbel a lot.His Accelerate Mode is Arrow Squallnote JP: "Arrow Rain", which damages enemies in a wide area for a limited period of time.
Adorkable: Still the same comic book-loving nerd beneath all that seriousness.
Always Someone Better: Played with. When he's first sent away to Strahta, he assumed that his parents loved Asbel more than him. The truth is that Aston wanted to avoid a messy succession crisis between his sons, having once been in that situation himself.
Ascended Fanboy: Some of his self-taught artes are inspired from comic book superheroes. Now he gets to kick ass like his idols.
Badass: With a weapon like his it's impossible to not view him as one. Doubly so given that his weapon design and fighting style were self-taught (and heavily implied to be inspired by comic books).
Badass on Paper: Played with. Hubert is famous in Strahtan and respected by most of its military, and has improved the most within the group. He also tries very hard to act like the coolest person in the world. However, once he becomes playable, it turns out that this is just his preferred image to the public. Deep down, he's still the same compassionate and easily-spooked boy he used to be... and a colossal geek.
The Red Mage: Gains a healing and a status-curing arte along with offensive ones.
Second Place Is for Losers: After he is adopted by the Oswells, he refused to accept anything but first place in everything he did, both for his new family, as well as getting back at his original parents for abandoning him.
Separated by a Common Language: In the English dub, his first Mystic Arte is named, "Broadside Waltz". While the intention was obviously to evoke the image of a battleship's cannons, "Broadside" is also the name of a popular beer in the UK.
Ship Tease: With Pascal in the main story and even more in the future arc.
Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Takes this attitude towards Asbel frequently, for being 'naive and foolish'. Even after he mellows out, he remains more pragmatic and cynical than his brother. Also used to hilarious effect in skits - especially regarding marriage and kids.
The Unfavorite: He believes he is this, since his parents sent him away to Strahta when he was just ten.
Unmanly Secret: Zigzagged with his fanboy-ish interests. In some cases, he has no problems debating canon with other characters. But when Sophie catches him playing with "Beach Brigade" toys, he tells her that the Beach Brigade is a branch of the Strahtan military dedicated to waterfront protection.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: During his reintroduction post-time skip. He wants to protect his homeland and boots Asbel out of it to do just that.
Lady of War: Able to fight at short- and long-range, can cast offensive and healing spells, and uses fast-acting artes. Her Accelerate Mode can even be used to stop enemy Mystic Artes during Eleth Break.
Meido: She exhibits a few traits, notably her habit of clasping her hands in front of her when walking or standing idle. Makes sense as she was a servant of the Lhant family. She's far from submissive however.
Noblewoman's Laugh: Pokes fun at this with one of her victory quotes: "Next stop: high society. Ohohoho!"
Tsundere: Starts out as a Type A, but she eventually becomes a Type B, although she's a little heavier on the tsun than most of them in the beginning.
Trauma Conga Line: Consider what she goes through as a little girl. Asbel constantly leaves her behind because she's sickly. Even with good intentions, it still huts to keep getting left out. After finally getting to be friends with four other kids, a monster attacks all five of them and Sophie has to sacrifice herself to save them all. She can't see Richard again because he's a prince, Hubert is sent away to the Oswells, leaving her with only Asbel... who leaves her for seven years after he runs away from home. This leaves her the only member of their five-man band left home.
Pascal is a genius researcher and technician with quite a few screws loose. She is loud-mouthed, cheerful, and serves as the heart and soul of the group.Her Accelerate Mode is Runic Shieldnote JP: "Round Shield", which dramatically decreases the amount of damage taken by all allies within the area of effect and prevents stagger.
Ambiguous Disorder: Of the "autistic" variety. She's a genius with somewhat child-like social skills, often failing to read the mood of a situation. She often becomes obsessed with things and will pursue her new obsession to the detriment of everything else. Not to mention she's just plain bad at noticing subtleties like Hubert's crush on her. The latter is eventually Played for Laughs in Graces f.
Buffy Speak: She uses this whenever it comes to working machines.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Deconstructed. Pascal is a genius with the mindset of a preteen. And her older sister Fourier is none too happy about it. She is so envious of her sister's incredible intelligence and skills that she'll rant at Pascal with the slightest provocation, and is so frustrated that Pascal beats her in practically every field of study save biology that their reunion is just a hairsbreadth short of Pascal getting strangled. It's also this jealousy that drove Fourier to continue with dangerous experiments that could literally wipe out the entire country she lives in with a massive explosion. Both characters start to undergo some Character Development once this comes out in the open.
Cat Smile: Is prone on doing this from time to time.
Distaff Counterpart: Pascal and Fourier's relationship is basically a gender-flipped version of that between Hubert and Asbel, where the younger sibling ends up becoming more successful than the older one. The difference is that Asbel held himself better than Fourier did.
Duel Boss: For CHERIA, as the latter finally has enough of Pascal's personal hygiene issues in f and resolves to force her to get clean.
Hates Baths: Not like she hates to bathe, it's more that she's often so busy with research she keeps forgetting to take one.
According to a skit, another reason is that apparently Fourier always used up so much of the hot water when she bathed that there was none left for Pascal to use.
But apparently this is all lies— there's a segment in which Cheria actually goes into battle against her to force her to take a bath. If she didn't really hate them, then this shouldn't be necessary. Also, hilariously, one of the pictures shown during the closing credits of Lineage and Legacies depicts Pascal being held tight and scrubbed in a bubbly washtub by Fourier, with Poisson standing by quietly.
Drop the Hammer: She carries a big hammer around for her work with machines. On top of that, one of her weapons is called "Giant Hammer".
I Have No Idea What I'm Doing: Her method of "fixing" Duplemar, a massive eleth crystal that essentially powers all life on the continent and could explode with simple mishandling, is drilling it a bit and smacking it with a hammer.
Pascal: "I was just winging it, but it looks like it mighta worked."
Meaningful Name: Pascal is named after Blaise Pascal, a famous real-life mathematician, fitting given her brains. Fourier, is named after Joseph Fourier, another famous mathematician.
The Pigpen: Never LOOKS it, but is repeatedly stated that, due to her frequently missed bath appointments, she tends to have a rather unpleasant aroma.
Plot Device: Need info about ancient ruins? Pascal knows about them. Need to find a way to infiltrate a fortress? Pascal knows a path. Need to fix the Criath? Pascal can do that. Need the Global Airship? Pascal knows where to find it. And that's just for starters.
The Red Mage: A minor version, as she has a healing spell, but it also doubles as an attack spell.
Squishy Wizard: An odd case; she can take more than a couple hits, usually having the best physical defense in the game. Likely because she has to get really close to her enemies in order to cast her spells, and plenty of her artes are ranged.
Asbel's instructor from the Knight Academy. Asbel looks up to him as his mentor and role model. He's the second offensive mage of the group.His Accelerate Mode is Harsh Lessonnote JP: "Grapple Dance", a 35-hit melee attack that grants him immunity to physical damage while being performed.
Duel Boss: Optional, if you view a certain skit, between him and Asbel. Malik does it to see if Asbel is truly prepared to back up his talk about "protecting everyone." And indeed, if you lose, he gives Asbel a rather harsh "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
The pacifistic, gentle, though somewhat aloof Prince of Windor. As a child, he befriends Asbel and Sophie.His Accelerate Mode is Arcane Vigornote JP: "High Spell", which doubles his casting speed.
The Atoner: In the f scenario, Richard feels he owes a debt to the world for the things he did while under Lambda's influence.
Ambiguously Gay: He's so obviously in love with Asbel that the only thing that could make it more evident is having him saying it out loud. Ironically, he ends up getting ladykilling legend ZelosWilder's costume in the PS3 version.
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite being an otherwise levelheaded person, he also moonlights as the Mask of Barona, and once participated in a prestigious swimming competition... While wearing his usual regalia.
The Gadfly: The thing about Richard is that he's shown to a Deadpan Snarker Par-excellence. After he joins in the future storyline we start seeing his "Wacky eccentric" side, and it becomes hard to tell when he's being serious or is just messing with everyone's heads. He even manages to best Malik on occasion.
Camp: Just look at his hand gestures. And then there's his Graces f costume. It could only be camper if it was florescent pink.
Closet Geek: Prone to having long conversations about comics with fellow Closet Geek Hubert during Lineage and Legacies.
Deal with the Devil: He made a deal with Lambda as a child, allowing it to reside within his body. Richard survives the lethal dose of poison given to him by Celric, and Lambda survives the lethal wounds inflicted by Sophie.
Despair Event Horizon: The infamous "TOMODACHI HUARGGGGGGGG" / "FRIENDS HUARGGGGGGGG" scene, where Richard believes that he has been abandoned to die by his friends. This, coupled with Lambda's possession, completes his Face-Heel Turn.
The Dragon: To Lambda after the latter fully takes him over.
Disproportionate Retribution: Lambda's influence causes him to violently lash out at everything and everyone who slights him. It gets worse when Asbel tries to bring him back to his senses, as Richard interprets that as an act of betrayal from his first true friend.
The Good King: In Lineage and Legacies. To the extent that the whole kingdom (and beyond) loves him.
Guest Star Party Member: He has less titles and skills than the rest of the cast, and gets his Lv.1 Blast Caliber much earlier, though he gets promoted to full party member in Graces f's Lineage and Legacies.
Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: In Lineage and Legacies, where he tries to atone for his past behaviour and improve life not only for people in Windor, but everywhere. His friendship with Asbel and Sophie (and the rest of the party) becomes warmer and more considerate too.
100% Adoration Rating: In Lineage and Legacies, he's so beloved that Windor is raising money to pay off its war debts by selling keychains and snacks with his image on them, and Richard is horrified by how well it's working. Malik and Hubert also mention that he's more popular in Fendel and Strahta than their their own chancellor and president, who are implied to be elected.
Incurable Cough of Death: Suffers from a weak constitution and doubles over in pain every so often. This is because as a child he was given a lethal dose of poison by Cedric. The only reason he's not dead is because he made a deal with Lambda to keep them both alive.
Large Ham: Particularly when under the guise of The Mask of Barona.
Married to the Job: A Lineage and Legacies skit reveals that he's been having Dalen forward all his paperwork, and he's been staying up late every night to get it done. Even though they're on a journey to save the world, and have been on another planet for most of it.
Troll: Especially when he joins in with Malik. It's often impossible to tell if he's being serious, such as wanting to make his citizens legally obligated to eat natto. Often in skits, if Pascal suggests something bizarre, he'll take it Up to Eleven.
Used to Be a Sweet Kid: In the beginning of the game, we can see that Richard was an adorable little boy. Then Lambda happened.
A mysterious being whose presence influences many events in the story. Lambda is an immortal Energy Being who resides within Richard for the majority of the game. As he does not have a physical body, he possesses other people and grants them access to his limitless power, effectively making them immortal. However, Lambda can also whisper into the mind of his host, sewing seeds of mistrust and eventually taking them over completely. Which is even worse than it appears, as he regards humans with (understandable, given his past) utter disgust and fear.
Voiced by: Eriko Hirata (Japanese) and Tara Platt (English)
A young researcher who the party find sleeping in a pod on the planet of Fodra. Emeraude is highly knowledgeable about Lambda, Sophie and most of the backstory. She is largely responsible for Lambda's Start of Darkness, having carried out a series of cruel experiments upon him with the goal of restoring the wartorn Fodra to its former glory.
A God Am I: Goes drunk on her newfound power after absorbing Lambda.
Artificial Human: She is actually a Humanoid with the memories of the original, long-deceased Emeraude.
Bigger Bad: In a way. She's responsible for Lambda acting the way he does since she pretty much torture him horrible, killed his father figure in front of him, and made a humanoid warrior to hunt him down forever.
The Extremist Was Right: Subverted. She tries to reason that had Cornell not gotten too close to Lambda and let her destroy him when she had the chance, a whole lot of grief could have been avoided. Then Asbel and friends see Lambda's memories and realize that the only reason Lambda started killing people in the first place was because Emeraude and the directors were treating him like crap.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Restoring Fodora is an admirable goal and all, but she crosses some serious moral boundaries to do it.
Voiced by: Masato Hirano (Japanese)
Richard's power-hungry uncle. He murders Richard's father — the King of Windor — to usurp the throne for himself, then sends his soldiers to assassinate the young prince to prevent him from claiming his rightful heritage.
A.I. Is a Crapshoot: His Cedric 2.0 ver-ver-ver-ver-version is pretty flawed-ed-ed-ed-ed-ed-ed-ed and random.
A mysterious woman who appears in the "Lineage & Legacies" scenario of Graces f. She has a strong connection to Sophie, as if looking like a grown-up version of her didn't give it away. She is actually a manifestation of Fodra itself, born from the eleth of its core.
Assimilation Plot: Essentially what she wants to do with Sophie, and perhaps Ephinea as well.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: Played with. While the vast number of Little Queens does relegate them to Mook status — especially compared to the Fodra Queen — their boss fights are still dangerous because each Little Queen can use the powerful Purification Mystic Arte, meaning you can get hit with up to four Mystic Artes in rapid succession during an Eleth Break.
Pascal's older sister, and by far the more responsible and mature of the two. Like Pascal she is a genius technician, but her field of study also includes biology and bioengineering, the only two fields Pascal is not as successful on.
Always Someone Better: She secretly resents Pascal for copying everything she does but effortlessly doing it better.
Big Damn Heroes: After a long absence, she comes to her sister's aid with a ton of chimeras to fend off Richard's monsters before they depart out of Ephinea.
Big "Shut Up!": Shrieks one at Pascal when the latter won't stop singing
Bonus Boss: She's the eighth member of the Terma Ten.
Dirty Old Man: It doesn't show until you find out that the lapcomp Fourier lent to him has over 600 pictures of girls in their underwear (possibly also containing porn), one of them being Judith in a bikini.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kerri later reveals that he was frustrated of his emotional constipation when it came to Hubert and Asbel.
Pet the Dog: The only time we ever see him let Asbel get away without a scolding for his mischief it was to let his sons have one more happy day playing together before Hubert gets sent away. If you talk to him again after the cutscene he even urges Asbel to go out and play with his brother.
The President of Stratha who Asbel and the party meet in their attempt to help Hubert keep his position as Governor of Lhant.
100% Adoration Rating: Well not 100% but the majority of people that Asbel can speak to sing his praises and trust him to do the right thing for Stratha.
Nice Guy: He's patient, reasonable and happy to try and help out.
Reasonable Authority Figure: He's happy to listen to Asbel's request and is willing to do what he can to help, but warns Asbel that he might not be able to let Hubert keep his position at some point in the future. He also lets Asbel and the party go to Duplemar and try to fix it and immediately afterwards, he recalls Hubert to send him with Asbel to Fendel so they can stop Richard and offers as much help as he can.
He also listens to many sources so he hears every side of the story when it comes to Lhant's occupation and Hubert's performance.
He also calls out Mr. Oswell on his scheming about Lhant and immediately has him removed from his position of power.
Hubert's cousin-in-law and second-in-command of the Strahta Army stationed in Lhant. He resents the fact that Hubert — an adopted member of the family — is seemingly given preferential treatment over himself.
All Love Is Unrequited: Gets more heartbroken once Cheria hooks up with Asbel for good. Bailey shares the pain.
An entity in control of the Zhonecage, part of the seal placed on Ephinea to prevent Lambda from escaping. He was supposed to just observe the planet, but thanks to the EX Dungeon turning everything into a Tournament Arc, he goes a little nuts and decides to assemble an invincible fighting team called the Terma Ten, all with the goal of destroying Ephinea to "save" it from Lambda.
Bonus Boss: He's the tenth member of the Terma Ten.
A very bizarre race of friendly merchants found all throughout the adventure.
Ambiguous Gender: A couple Turtlez here and there are given speaking roles where their voices are pretty clearly male, but it's generally impossible to tell the gender of a Turtlez just by looking at them when you meet them on the road.
There is also a Turtlez who gives birth and is called "Miss Turtlez" by Sophie, so we can assume they do have male and female members and reproduce sexually.