Synopsis: Tales of Symphonia

WARNING: This page contains nothing but spoilers.

Tales Of Symphonia begins in the world of Sylvarant, which periodically begins to decline. During this decline, the source of all life, known as Mana, begins to depart from the world, and an evil army known as the Desians appear. The Desians kidnap humans and take them to concentration camp-esque places known as Human Ranches. A person known as the Chosen of Regeneration must undertake the Journey of Regeneration, an event they have prepared for their whole lives. The Journey of Regeneration involves going to four shrines and breaking the seals on the Summon Spirits, then to the Tower of Salvation where the Chosen shall sacrifice themselves. The tradition was begun by the great hero Mithos and continued to this day.

The game proper begins with two friends, Lloyd Irving and Genis Sage. The two are friends with the current Chosen, Colette Brunel. During class with Raine Sage, their teacher and Genis's sister, Colette receives her Oracle telling her that the Journey of Regeneration must begin. However, Lloyd and Genis get curious and accidentally break the treaty with the Desians. Afterwards Lloyd and Genis go to visit Genis's friend Marble, an old woman in a Human Ranch. Just like everyone else in there (and some people outside, including the party members) she has an Exsphere, a strange blue sphere. However, it is dangerous to equip one without a Key Crest, which is what Marble is missing.

The next day, Colette has left with Raine and Kratos Aurion, a mercenary who helped them fight the Desians yesterday. The Desians attack the village and the duo are forced to fight a mutated Marble (see what happens when you don't have a Key Crest?). The village is burnt down and they are exiled, so the boys decide to go and join Colette. The Journey of Regeneration ends up going off on a tangent to save two sick people, involving a Unicorn Horn (as well as other things). More importantly, they are attacked by an assassin known as Sheena Fujibayashi, who claims that regenerating Sylvarant will destroy her world.

The story goes off on a couple of tangents - the party has to save a couple of sick people, and they invade the base of some people who are apparently Desians (Sheena ends up joining the party at this point). However they manage to get to the Tower Of Salvation. Strange things begin to happen to Colette during the journey - she loses things such as her ability to feel and speak. Outside the Tower, Raine delivers a Wham Line and says that she knows that Sheena is from another world, which Sheena confirms. The world is called Tethe'alla, and it shares Mana with Sylvarant. If Sylvarant is Regenerated, then Tethe'alla will start to decline.

The next day, when Colette goes to the Tower, Raine delivers another Wham Line - the Journey involves becoming an Angel, sacrificing a lot of human qualities. Colette will have to sacrifice all her memories in order for this to happen, so the party tries to save her. Inside, they meet Remiel, an Angel who has helped them throughout their quest and is Colette's father. It turns out that he lied about being Colette's father, and is actually part of an organization called Cruxis.

Not only that, but Kratos is part of it as well. The party fights both of them, followed by the leader of Cruxis, Lord Yggdrasill. The "Desians" whose base the party attacked earlier come in and attack Yggdrasill, and Lloyd awakens in a small room. It turns out that the "Desians" are actually the Renegades, who oppose Cruxis. And the Church Of Martel, who has been telling Colette everything she needs to do, is being controlled by Cruxis, and so are the Desians. That's seven Whams in one Episode, count 'em. The Renegades help the party (now without Kratos) get to Tethe'alla. However, Colette is now totally emotionless and doesn't respond to anything, as well as having purple eyes.

The party awakens the Summon Spirits, and Sheena forms pacts with them because she's a Summoner. This is the big clue that she's from Tethe'alla - summoning arts have been lost from Sylvarant. There's some drama in Te'thealla, too. The Church Of Martel exists on this side as well, only with a Pope, who is trying to kill the King and become ruler. Sheena tried to make a pact with one of the Summon Spirits a while ago but accidentally destroyed her village. The party meets Presea Combatir, an Emotionless Girl who has a Cruxis Crystal, an evolved form of an Exsphere.

They also meet Regal Bryant, a murderer, and they discover that Regal killed Presea's sister Alicia when she turned into a monster. They also discover that turning people into emotionless creatures is the purpose of the Cruxis Crystals and Exspheres. In the middle of all this, they meet Zelos Wilder, Tethe'alla's Chosen and extreme ladies' man. Genis makes friends with a boy called Mithos, who lives with a great healer called Altessa and a robot named Tabitha. The party discovers that Raine and Genis are from Tethe'alla but came through a portal known as the Otherworldy Gate, and they are not elves but half-elves who are openly discriminated against. Back in Sylvarant, the party discovers the Great Seed, which they can germinate into a World Tree so that everyone can have Mana. Since both sets of Summon Spirits will be awake at once, the Mana link between them will be broken and the protection around the Great Seed will fall.

This isn't a good plan, as the tree goes out of control and destroys the town of Palmacosta. Since the tree is only getting Mana from the Sylvaranti Summon Spirits, Lloyd gets the idea to blast it with Tethe'alla's Summon Spirits' Mana using the Renegades Mana Cannon. With the help of Yuan, leader of the Renegades, they manage to calm down the Seed, and Colette suddenly returns to normal. However, she collapses, and has to return to Iselia. Cue Disk 2.

In Iselia, everyone gangs up on the mayor to let Lloyd and Genis back in. He shuts up and the group discovers that Colette's skin is starting to crystallize. The party goes around saving her, and manages to find Genis and Raine's home village. However, their mother has gone insane, Kyoko Zeppelin Soryu style. Regardless Colette is saved, but the party discovers that Mithos (Genis's friend) is Mithos (the ancient hero) and they're both Yggdrasill. His plan is to turn people into the same mindless beings using Exspheres and Cruxis Crystals. His reasons are - well, it's a long story...

Mithos stopped the war, but not before losing his beloved sister Martel to it. He placed her soul in the Great Seed, then tried to stop the war from happening again by separating the two sides that caused it into Sylvarant and Tethe'alla. By having them vie for Mana the powerful Mana technology used in the war couldn't be developed. He then forced marriages until he got someone who matched Martel's Mana Signature and could become a vessel for her soul. Since her last wish was for a world without discrimination, he created the Desians for that purpose.

Anyway, Mithos separated the worlds with Origin and the Eternal Sword, which gave him the power to change creation. His companions turned against him - Kratos didn't agree with what was happening, and Yuan knew the Exsphere plan wasn't Martel's wish because he was Martel's fiance. While Yuan formed the Renegades, Kratos began wandering the earth until he met a woman named Anna. When Anna was transformed into a monster and he was forced to kill her, Kratos began to seek revenge. They did have a son together - a son named Lloyd. Thus, we have the game's fourth Wham Episode.

The party goes and awakens Origin, but since Kratos was the one who formed the pact with him, Lloyd has to defeat Kratos and Kratos has to sacrifice himself. With some Mana from Yuan, however, he survives. Dirk and Kratos give Lloyd a sword each and everyone comments on how Lloyd Has Two Daddies. During this, however, someone ends up getting attacked by Mithos and having him inhabit their body. Because depsite the fact that he died when he revealed himself, he was absorbed into his Cruxis Crystal which Genis took with him. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.

The party goes to Derris-Kharlan, a spaceship where Mithos is, and gets the real final Summon Spirit, Maxwell. Before that, however, Lloyd has to break everyone out of their dream worlds, being too strong to be affected himself. The party goes and fights Mithos, who has decided that since his Exsphere plan isn't gonna work, he'll just make a nice world on Derris-Kharlan for himself and Martel. There's a chance here for a scene where Zelos reveals how much he hates being the Chosen, and that he just wants to die and have his sister take the position. But since this scene has Zelos dying and Kratos replacing him, the sequel means that it isn't canon.

After the fight with him, Mithos finally gets Martel into Colette's body, but she says how much she hates the Exsphere plan and disappears. Mithos is now really pissed that all of his plans have failed, and makes a new plan - take the Great Seed into outer space, destroy it, and let both worlds die. Lloyd manages to get him to stop and he disappears into Lloyd's Exsphere. Lloyd prepares to create the Giant Kharlan Tree, but since Martel is so suicidal, the Mana is deflected. Lloyd's Exsphere, along with Mithos's power, allows Lloyd to sprout wings. Along with Colette's wings from when she was an Angel, the two fly up the Seed. Origin convinces Martel to want to live.

Efreet, Celsius, Undine, Sylph, Volt, Gnome, Luna and Shadow (the Summon Spirits) use their Mana to solve the problems, and Maxwell... well, he just kind of sits around doing nothing. Anyway, the Great Seed is germinated, and Tabitha, who got pretty beaten up by Mithos earlier, is filled with all the souls of the Chosens, along with Martel herself. She becomes the Goddess Martel, the mythological figure worshipped by the Church Of Martel. She shows the party what the tree will look like in the future, but it needs happy thoughts to grow that big. And a name. Lloyd says "The name of this tree is..."... and the game ends.

In Tales of Phantasia, which takes place in the distant future from Symphonia, there is a Giant Kharlan Tree named Yggdrasill, just like the villain of Symphonia.