Lloyd's vices at the beginning of the story represent the opposite of what Colette goes through during her angel transformation - he's a Big Eater, he oversleeps (and sleeps in class), he constantly complains about being uncomfortably hot in Triet, and he talks too much.
Lloyd ditching "Give me your name and I'll give you mine" in Tethe'alla comes directly after Raine borrows it (in their first meeting with Zelos) and he notes it sounds rather arrogant. Being a Nice Guy, once he's aware of how it sounds no wonder he ditches it!
Colette's angel transformation greatly resemble the symptoms of depression. And while the typical efficiency-obsessed workaholic may think it would be awesome if they didn't have to eat, sleep, or feel uncomfortably hot or cold, the way Colette's transformation is portrayed negatively is a reminder to all of us to appreciate the little "inconveniences" that make us human.
Why do so many of Lloyd's (and various other characters') artes have demonic-sounding names? Because demons are the opposite of angels, and the angels are the enemies.
Kratos and Presea, the two playable characters with a leitmotif not in common time, are also the two characters whose aging processes have been changed by Exspheres.
In the test-taking scene at the Palmacosta Academy, we get everyone's scores - Lloyd gets 25, Sheena 190, Colette 210, Presea 240, Regal 290, Zelos 300, Kratos 380, and Raine gets a perfect score. Genis gets either 398 or 400. While this seems at first to be just another gag on Lloyd's stupidity, you eventually realize that all the scores make perfect sense in context:
Sheena grew up in an isolated village. On top of that, she tends to have self-confidence issues that might have undermined her performance on the test.
Colette doesn't seem dumb, but she's also characterized as naive and inexperienced.
Presea and Regal are much older and more experienced than Lloyd and Colette. Regal in particular is a successful businessman running a large company in Tethe'alla.
Zelos grew up in the large city of Meltokio, had sufficient resources and privilege to pursue whatever he wanted, and lives in a world much more advanced than Sylvarant. He is also a lot smarter than he seems at first
Kratos is actually 4000 years old. The reason he didn't get a perfect score is probably because history books are not always accurate.
Noishe, while only IDed as a "dog" or "protozoa" in game, quite clearly fits the description of a Cu Sith (pronounced "coo shee" of Scottish Mythology. In case you don't get it, it's supposed to rhyme (the English version of the game screwed it up.).
The end sequence music is the same tune used in the end sequence of Tales of Phantasia. This also happens with one of the battle themes as well. Fighting of the Spirit plays in this game and it's sequel Tales of Phantasia whenever you fight a summon spirit.
When you go to the night-time area of Altamira, you can see a stage play being performed by the Katz. For people who didn't get the joke, Cats is an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.
The placement of the skits - the ones where you can choose a response which might affect your relationship with the character - seems to be mostly random. But the two skits outside Flanoir make so much sense. The two skits are with Zelos and Kratos. Flanoir is where you make the decision between keeping Zelos and or inviting Kratos back into your party. Kratos's skit is one where you must choose whether to talk to him or ignore him. That's the exact decision you make in Flanoir to keep him or not. In Zelos's skit, if you pick the positive response, Lloyd observes that Zelos is brooding more than usual, and Zelos seems really surprised by the fact that Lloyd might actually care. In Flanoir, Lloyd saying either "I trust you" or "I want you to live too, Zelos" - showing Zelos that he does care - is pretty much what keeps Zelos from committing Suicide by Cop. Additionally, Zelos more or less admits during the Flanoir scene that the snow reminds him of his mother's death. Perhaps that's why he's brooding outside Flanoir?
Considering how familiar Zelos was with Kratos and his motivations, as well as Zelos's heavy involvement with Cruxis it's entirely possible that the reason they have nearly identical fighting styles is because Kratos might've trained him at some point.
They're also both Tethe'allans. Since Cruxis controls everything it's not improbable that they haven't changed how they train knights (in Kratos' case) or nobleman (Zelos in 4000 years.
Actually, the above is misleading. Zelos is but Kratos is not Tethe'allan because he comes from before the world was split into 2 by Mithos. This doesn't make the logic completely wrong, however, knowing that Tethe'alla was strongly associated with Cruxis at almost a man-to-man level. So the training styles can still be closely related.
The Seal of Fire is said to be made out of polycarbonate, which can only really be made by our level of technology, as it's a type of plastic. It's the first hint that the Medieval Stasis game isn't just a setting trope. Another interesting hint comes from the rather futuristic teleporters that can be seen in the Renegade bases, the seal temples, and the Desian bases (and later the Tower of Salvation and Welgaia). At first glance, it appears to be a regular dungeon gameplay trope, but on closer inspection, its probably because the three groups have the same leaders and thus the same access to magitechnology.
Raine joins after the EX Skill menu option is unlocked, but doesn't actually join in the 'can participate in battle' sense until her Exsphere is equipped. Given the name and descriptions of EX Gems, it's safe to assume that they're related to Exspheres in some way, which is why Raine doesn't join (and thus can't get EX Gems) until after she has one. Likewise, by the time Colette joins, her Cruxis Crystal has been mounted by Remiel - and Cruxis Crystals are an evolved form of Exsphere.
At the beginning of the game, you can only buy gels that restore 30% of HP or TP. You can only start to buy the ones that restore 60% when you reach Meltokio. Why is this? Because gels restore life force and magic - basically, the body's mana. It's not unreasonable to assume that gels are made of or with mana. Sylvarant doesn't have enough mana to mass-produce these products! To add to that, there is actually one place in Sylvarant where 60%-restoring gels are available - Katz Island, which is only reachable after you've released all the seals and evened out the mana distribution a little. (Nobody but the Katz dared try to waste precious mana on creating so many things, as most people cannot sense subtle shifts in the mana flow. Also, if all of this is actually true within the setting, that means that the Katz could secretly be elves or half-elves.
Mithos' final form at the end of the game seems like a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere (especially since it just appears without a word from anyone,) but makes a little more sense if you remember the three boss fights preceding it representing the personal demons and Fatal Flaws of Lloyd's comrades, of which the final form is a fusion of all three. His personal demons have basically consumed him.
When you first visit the Tower of Salvation, the party is horrified by all the coffins in the entry room of the Tower. Raine even theorizes that this is where all the bodies of the failed Chosens are kept. Fast forward to later in the game, if you end with the path where Zelos performs a Suicide by Cop, with the claim his entire life was a mistake - guess where it all goes down.
Dwarven Vow #11: Lying is the first step down the path to thievery. Colette lies to Lloyd about her time of departure, she lies to the party about how the seals are taking her humanity bit by bit, she tells Lloyd she's fine when the Chronic Angelus Crystallus Inofficium kicks in after her Cruxis Crystal has a Key Crest... no wonder the perfect little angel learns Item Thief!
Visit an inn after opening the Seal of Water, and Kratos will notice that Colette can't sleep. He advises her to count the stars. "Although, a human life is far too short to count them all". Go on and try it; it's a good way to tucker yourself out. Except Kratos has seen this happen to Martel, he knows Colette is physically incapable of sleeping, he can guess that she has reasons for not bringing it up, and he's giving her both something to do in the extra time and a way to come across as inconspicuous.
During their third training session, Lloyd tells Kratos, "Even when I get to your age, I don't think I'll be as calm as you." Kratos simply responds with "Ah, I wouldn't be too sure of that." Because frankly, 4000+ years is a lot of time to get calm and collected.
Lloyd's Twin Blade sets all have a "Slash" stat and a "Thrust" stat. Most of his weapons lean towards one or the other, but the Material Blade and Nebilim both have equal values for both stats. Both sets are also mismatched, having one sword with an arced blade for slashing, and one sword that comes to a straight point for thrusting.
In the first game, Genis and Colette quoting Dwarven Vow #7 after a battle elicits Lloyd's "Ugh, I HATE that saying". However, in the second, he simply notes the "goodness" just doesn't sound cool. That's because in the first game, they misquote the vow as "justice and love", and Lloyd hates the word 'justice'; in the second, they're getting it right as "goodness and love".
Why do human ranches have a death count limit? Because Exspheres grow by feeding off of humans. If the Desians went to Kill 'em All indiscriminately, they'd run out of humans to put Exspheres on; presumably, the Grand Cardinals only permit further executions once they've evaluated their ranch's Exsphere and prisoner counts.
Gloves and gauntlets come singular, which can come across as strange to some RPG players. Read the description for the Leather Glove, however. "It provides little defense, but doesn't restrict movement." This implies that most of them do restrict movement; thus, Kratos and Zelos can equip them as an alternative to a shield, and Presea would use them on her indominant hand, which would be used mostly as support for her BFA. Meanwhile, Lloyd has an Exsphere on one hand, and putting a gauntlet over it would most likely add pressure, which would cause discomfort, which would cause a lack of dexterity, of which his fighting style requires all he can get; so he puts the gauntlets on the other hand and makes do.note Don't think too hard on why Lloyd and Presea can equip the same gloves despite appearing to be same-hand dominant....
Why do Kratos and Zelos learn Grave (which Genis learns on his Strike path) as their mid-tier earth spell, despite learning Eruption, Air Thrust, and Thunder Blade (which Genis learns on his Technical path) for their other elements? Kratos is a Death Seeker, and Zelos commits Suicide by Cop in the false ending.
"Fighting with two swords deviates from the way swords were originally intended to be used. The difficulty increases your vulnerability." Watch how Lloyd swings his swords, depending on your analog stick input, and the whole "Power = Swords x 100" mentality looks a lot clearer.
Neutral input: slash with right-hand blade, spinning slash with two swords. This is the only full combo that uses both swords more-or-less equally, and only because of the spin at the end.
Side input: three up-and-down slashes with the right-hand blade. Fixation on one sword.
Up input: jumping upward and falling downward slashes with left-hand blade. Fixation on one sword. Sky Combo adds a thrust with the right-hand blade that looks really hasty.
Down input: low thrust with the left-hand blade that does wonders for fightingcrotch monsters. note No one's down-input is programmed for more than one hit, so the swordsmen revert to the first attack of the neutral input, then follow through with the down input again - which looks really unnatural in Lloyd's case.
Why does Presea have Beast as a Lv. 3 arte when Lloyd's is only a Lv. 2? Watch her animation - a spinning round strike before launching the aura. It's more akin to Lloyd's Raging Beast; it's just not called that because she doesn't have a Lv. 2 Beast arte.
Why are Kratos and Yuan never mentioned in history texts and no ordinary person has heard of them? Because Cruxis controls the history books, and Yggdrasil probably left them out on purpose to keep them doing his dirty work without anyone wondering why their names keep popping up every generation. That's how Kratos can establish himself as a simple mercenary. It helps he's the serious, quiet loner type anyways.
Lategame spoilers: before the penultimate trip to the Tower of Salvation, Zelos claims that he's undergone injections with elven blood to quell everyone's worries about getting the Eternal Sword, then quickly dismisses Sheena's inquiry about it. Given that he or Kratos will grab a piece of Aionis from Derris-Kharlan to forge the Eternal Ring with, it's easy to assume that Zelos is BS-ing them so that he can get everyone to the Tower of Salvation. However, if you watch Sheena's scene at Flanoir, she mentions that any magic requires some elven blood in your lineage - given that Zelos shares Kratos' Magic Knight moveset, he's likely being honest about the injections, and not elaborating to Sheena because it wasn't a pleasant experience.
Through the game, you might notice bits and pieces of history that seem to have been erased or otherwise tampered with. Particularly of note are the murals in Asgard - one of the NPCs even notes that it looks like someone tried to get rid of them. But what exactly where the murals depicting that someone wanted to erase? Asgard is implied to have been the seat of political power in Sylvarant the way Meltokio is in Tethe'alla. It may have been the party in the Kharlan War that attempted to build the Mana cannon.
Kratos, Raine, Genis, Presea, Sheena and Zelos are a bit fair complected compared to the rest of the cast in their skit portraits. Turns out they're all Tethe'allans.
Though Lloyd/Sheena and Zelos/Colette are well known to be counterparts, the rest of the team matches:
Raine is contrasted by Regal. Both are serious types with a lot more knowledge and experience, not to mention have access to healing techniques, but Raine is harsher in nature than Regal and Regal is much better at actually fighting than Raine.
As part of the party's collective Shut Up, Hannibal! speech, Regal mentions how even if everyone is of the same race, people will just find other reasons to be prejudiced against each other. Sure enough, the sequel rolls around and half-elf discrimination is virtually non-existant because now the collective people of Sylvarant and Tethe'alla have each other to hate and discriminate against. The flavor of bigotry simply changed from racism to xenophobia.
More like "Fridge Tearjerker/Depressing", but...the cutscene where Yuan loses his engagement ring is mandatory. The sidequest where you return it is not. So presumably, if you don't do the sidequest, he still retraces his steps searching frantically for his precious keepsake, and never does manage to learn of its fate. Poor guy.
In the manga version of Zelos' backstory, when his mother is killed, the manga seems to draw it so it looks like his mother is Taking the Bullet for him. If you didn't already know what she was going to say next, this makes her Famous Last Words even more shocking and horrifying than they already were, since it looks like she's taken the bullet for Zelos, only for her to suddenly tell him "You should never have been born". THAT'S the Fridge Horror. The Brilliance is that, while Zelos' mother is saying her last words, she's smiling, although it's not a very pleasant one. It appears Zelos wasn't the only Stepford Smiler in the family...
Kilia, who is some form of shapeshifting monster that claims to be a half-elf. One, how did a half-elf get like that? Two, she took the place of Dorr's daughter, telling the party that he "didn't even notice that his own daughter was dead". So did Kilia kill a child simply to use as cover for her spying, or was Dorr so caught up in trying to save his wife that he neglected his daughter badly enough for her to die of some other cause? Either way, it's a pretty grim fate for a kid.
When things go wrong with Exspheres, the victim turns into a monster. However, when Dirk tells Lloyd about finding him, he says that Anna was still alive and explained everything. That means that when an Exebula dies, they turn back into the human they used to be. No wonder Kratos and Regal are so guilt-ridden.
At first glance, it doesn't seem like this happened with Marble, but look at the scene a little closer: As she's dying, she regains enough composure to talk to Genis and Lloyd. It's possible that sometimes they turn back into a human, and sometimes they only regain their mental faculties. And what, exactly, is the difference? Anna and Alicia were equipped with Cruxis Crystals (or at least, an attempt to develop them). Marble was only equipped with a base Exphrere.
In the Lake Umacy scene, Raine states that she is not a 'pure maiden', with the implication that purity = virginity. We never get any details about who her ex lover might be. Then again, no one ever said it had to be a lover, or that things went particularly great between them... Raine might have very good reasons for not wanting to talk about it, ranging anywhere from rape to abuse to Fantastic Racism and any intersection thereof.
Slightly mitigated in that, on obtaining the last Devil's Arm from Koton, Raine mentions a 'him', which implies she has been in a past relationship.
More of a Fridge Tearjerker, but the fact that Symphonia and it's direct sequel are distant prequels to Tales of Phantasia makes things a sad Happy Ending Override. Symphonia and New World end with hopeful tones as the protagonists work to end discrimination between Humans, Elves, and Half-Elves and protect the Mana Tree while making a better world in general. Phantasia shows that thousands of years later things haven't really changed much at all. Humans, Elves, and Half-Elves are just as divided and discriminated against as ever, the Mana Tree is destroyed because of the actions of humans experimenting with magitechnology to build a Mana Cannon (again) though this is reversed by the Phantasia protagonists, and the measures Symphonia's villain took while extreme to avoid this very thing are ultimately proven to be, if not strictly correct, at least justifiable.