Video Game: Tales of Eternia
The third title in Namco Bandai's Tales Series
, originally released in 2000.
In the remote farming village of Rasheans, Reid Hershel
lives a simple and boring life with his best friend, Farah Oersted
. That was until the day they witness an airship fall from the sky and crash into the nearby forest. From the wreck emerges a strange girl
wearing foreign clothing and speaking an alien language
. Farah jumps at the opportunity
to help out the girl, and drags the reluctant and lazy Reid
along for the ride.
With the help of their childhood friend and scholar Keele Zeibel
, Reid and Farah discover the terrible warning that the girl (named Meredy) has brought: that the two worlds that make up the Eternia
universe are destined to collide, with apocalyptic consequences
Tales of Eternia is a Japanese PlayStation
action role-playing video game released by Namco in 2000, and later ported to Playstation Portable
in 2005. Eternia is a 2D anime-style RPG with an original real-time battle system taken from its predecessors, Tales of Phantasia
and Tales of Destiny
. In addition, this game actually introduced many features that are still in use in many Tales Series
The game inspired Tales of Eternia: The Animation
, a 13 episode anime series co-produced by Production I.G, which is loosely based on the game. The series focuses on the four heroes while introducing some new faces in a subplot unrelated to the actual game's plot. All 13 episodes of the series were animated in early 2001.
Just so you know, this has nothing to do with Masters of the Universe
. In the US, it was called Tales Of Destiny II
held the rights to the word "Eternia" at the time. Confusion ensued when an actual
sequel to Tales of Destiny
came out in Japan and was called Tales of Destiny 2
- All Swords Are the Same: Notably averted. Weapons have separate slashing and thrusting stats, and different swords, or other weapons, may have significantly different balances.
- Alternate World Map: Celestia, considering the protagonist comes from Inferia and spends the first part of the game there. Next to Inferia, which is your classic fantasy world, it seems almost post-apocalyptic by comparison. This is really due to the elemental makeup; Inferia has the elements of Fire, Water and Wind, so their weather is more natural, their plant life is more lush, and the world itself is warmer, while Celestia has the elements of Earth, Thunder and Ice, so the weather is rife with storms almost all the time, their world is more barren and craggy, and much colder. Furthermore, Inferia is associated with the Craymel of Light (Rem) while Celestia is associated with the Craymel of Darkness (Shadow). Ironically for their contrast in climates, the name Inferia seems to come from Latin infernus, meaning hell, while Celestia comes from caelestis (also Latin), meaning heaven.
- Artistic License – Astronomy: Though it makes more sense due to the fact that they essentially go in circles around the Orbus Barrier, Eternia is essentially a binary planet system, which like binary star systems that exist in real life (and are very common in our own Milky Way Galaxy minus our own Sun) seem to orbit a point between the two, though unlike Eternia with its Orbus barrier binary stars orbit the area between them. With Eternia, since they orbit a star themselves, as pointed out on a diagram of its star system in one of Seyfert's shrines. Rotation would explain why they both experience day and night. Although it seems they always face each other, it could just be that the continent on Inferia Reid, Farah, and Keele live on does and that Mt. Mitche on Inferia always faces the part of Celestia Keele showed the Reid, Farah, and Meredy with the observatory's telescope on Mt. Mintche, similar to how one side of Earth's moon always faces its planet but still experiences day and night (i.e. the cause of moon phases). In addition, even though Celestia and Inferia are shown to be round on the solar system diagram the party sees, traveling across the northern or southernmost part of the map loops around.
- Awesome but Impractical : The Destiny summon, only useable once every 30 minutes of gameplay, summons the main characters of the previous game to attack a single enemy.
- Ax-Crazy Hyades becomes increasingly more insane and inhuman each time you fight him.
- Bag of Holding: Chat's weapon of choice is a handbag, which holds an unlimited supply of cannonballs and toy hammers for her to hurl at enemies.
- Beach Episode: The whole anime is this, taking place on a beach island and having little to do with the original plot- Until Cerberus Syndrome kicks in.
- Big Eater: Reid. He brings up food a lot, especially in the presence of it, even if that means just smelling it without knowing where it actually is.
- Blatant Lies: "Ras was the one who did all the teaching." Bull. Fucking. Shit.
- Bonus Boss: Sekundes, the Greater Craymel of Time, doesn't require the heroes to fight him for him to join as with the other Craymels. However, fighting him is still an option for players who want to and doing so is required to be able to use Maxwell's extensions.
- Bragging Rights Reward: If you do decide to fight Sekundes, doing so gives you experience and money. It also gives you the Derris Emblem, which unlocks the final ability of the Maxwell summon.
- Calling Your Attacks: And unlike Tales of Destiny, international releases dubbed the voice acting for this.
- Catch Phrase:
Farah: No problem!
Meredy: You bet!
- In the Let's Play done by PrinceBoo21 (seen here), he actually keeps running counters for how many times they say their individual phrases.
- Classic Video Game Screw Yous: The Game Designers must have put together a check list of this for the fight with Rem. Flies? Check. Long Range, fast juggling basic attacks? Check. Sets up an impenetrable shield around her that can juggle you to death easily? Check. Channels Spells while protected by said Shield? Check. Has a passive orb that mucks up your attacks by flying into you? Check. Damn you, Rem? Hell yes, Check.
- Combination Attack
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Every mini-game. Especially Craymel Ball. Dear god Craymel Ball...
- Convection Schmonvection: Subverted. In Efreet Gorge, the party needs protection from Undine to survive the heat from the lava.
- Cool Ship: The Van Elita, a high-tech ship which happens to be a pirate ship.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: Seyfert is God, but his relationship with Nereid has an interesting twist, revealed partway through the second disc. In the meantime, Seyfert has several churches, and a cathedral with the works, including stained glass and organ music.
- Dead All Along: Balir, the ruler of Celestia. The heroes think he's the one trying to end the world and a group of Celestians known as Shileska plan to overthrow him, but despite what the general public of Celestia believes, he's been dead for some time.
- Disc One Nuke: You can technically get the Eternal Blade starting from about 1/3 into disc one, with emphasis on the word "technically" since doing so that early would require an excessive amount of Level Grinding.
- Doomed Hometown: Three of 'em, at various points in the game and flashbacks.
- Dummied Out: The US release of the game removed some things from the original, unfortunately. Such as the camping skits, a few voice clips, and even some titles. Only some of these were restored in the EU release.
- There's more than that. In the original version of the game, Shizel has dummied data for every spell in the game. It really makes you wonder...
- Enemy Scan.
- Escort Mission. Only one, but it's a nightmare — the combat system isn't designed to let you defend a non-combatant.
- Shizel actually has a heal spell bound. However, the game doesn't let you rebind or even see her techs, so you have to figure it out the hard way.
- Evil Overlord: Balir. Turns out he's been dead for some time and isn't who the heroes, especially Max, are after.
- Evolving Attack: 2/3 of Reid and Farah's skills are souped up versions of their basic ones.
- Fantastic Racism: Not exactly very played up, but Inferians think that Celestians are a race of savage monsters. What the Celestians think of Inferians is only slightly better than that. At least the Inferian party members ended up getting along fine with the people of Meredy's hometown of Imem, who tend to show more curiosity than hostility and only take their weapons out to show off what Celstians use to defend themselves, though for a brief moment the Inferian party members are startled until the townspeople explain why they took their weapons out, likely because an Inferian (aside from the ones present at the time) probably wouldn't take out a weapon in front of a Celestian merely to show it off.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: Before you fight Volt, you see Max/Fog walk right on up and Touch him, getting him shocked. Surprisingly, starts the battle at one health.
- Given that Max isn't the brightest, his Artificial Stupidity might be a hidden form of Gameplay and Story Integration. His attacks are ranged and have a long charge time...and unless you tell him otherwise, Max will go right on in, bludgeon a couple times, and then start charging.
- Global Airship: The party's ship, the Van Elita, ends up with storage for this as well as submarines.
- Global Currency Exception: The town called Jini uses, "Jini" rather than Gald (normal money) for most of its services.
- God Is Good: And He even gives you all the moves you need to beat Nereid with. And His voice congratulates you in the ending. What a guy.
- Guide Dang It: Just try finding all those Lenses on your own, as well as the entrance to the town of Jini. We'll wait.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Ras.
- Hidden Elf Village: Even though it has no particular reason to be hidden, the Celestian town of Jini can only be entered by going through an underwater cave with the Aifish. Despite Jini's actual location being south of the non-hidden town of Peruti, the entrance is actually quite far from there, so looking up the coordinates for the entrance after getting the GPS is the easiest way to find it.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: Fortunately, you get your ass handed to you so fast, there's no mistaking this for anything else.
- In fact, if you manage to survive and reduce the boss to half HP, the game immediately cuts to the aftermath as if nothing had happened without so much as a victory screen or any acknowledgment whatsoever.
- Unless you kill him really, REALLY fast (impossible without cheating in some form). But then, he's only worth 300 experience, which is the equivalent of about 4 regular battles.
- HP to One: Eternal Finality, particularly during the Hopeless Boss Fight in Disc 2.
- One of Cless's' Hi-Ougis in the Cameo Battle, Final Justice, also has this effect.
- In fact, many hi-ougis will not kill their targets (leaving them at 1 HP instead) except for the last hit. Holy Lance has the same effect (those 100 damage hits the lances do will never kill its target, only the damage procured from the explosion will). Admittedly trivial pursuit but hey.
- Max starts off with this after he touches Volt.
- 100% Completion: One of the most difficult games to try to achieve it in.
- I Let You Win: Ras
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Meredy's dress is so outstandingly cool that Farah has to lend her something less flashy to begin traveling. If you bother yourself to translate, Meredy comments that "it is a little plain..." in Melnics.
- Improbable Weapon User. Meredy equips whistles, to command her Non-Human Sidekick to attack.
- Infinity+1 Sword: It should be noted that the Eternal Sword was only the ultimate weapon in terms of sheer power, sacrificing other stats for it. Not to mention its Time element weakens it against certain enemies. The game had a few other weapons like it too. The true Infinity+1 Sword was the Last Fencer. While not as strong in terms of sheer strength, it had no element, and the advantage of raising all stats at once. It also may or may not be named after one of titles Cless gets in Tales of Phantasia.
- It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: In a Tales Series game...this is to be expected; but this is probably one of the first to really do this. If you bear fibril of Seyfert, make sure you went all the trials before invoking it or else you die. (And even then; you have to put yourself at death's door to use it!) If you have Nereid's fibril? Invoking it may result in him possessing you!
- Katanas Are Just Better: The ninja sword (found in a pirate storehouse!) is one of the best swords in the game, with highly balanced stats and good damage output.
- Killer Rabbit: Literally. Rabbit-like enemies called Rapid Rabbits appear during random encounters on Celestia, and they don't look very threatening and tend to be easier to defeat than a lot of enemies at that point. A pink Palette Swap called the Pink Hopper appears a bit later in the game, and it looks even less threatening.
- La Résistance: Shileska, a group of Celestian rebels. Unlike Inferians' obedience to their king, not all Celestians are content with their regime. And said regime turns out to actually be led by someone different than everyone thought and that the original ruler was dead.
- Large Ham Max. Boy howdy, Max.
- Last Disc Magic: Reid's Aurora Skills, difficult to use against random encounters, but essential to beat the last boss.
- Any of Maxwell and Sekundes' spells. Especially Shooting Star, which requires you to grind them both up to level 26.
- Lethal Lava Land: Efreet Gorge, home of the Craymel Efreet. Since the game's designers know what convection is, the party has to have temporary protection from the heat via Undine's water abilities, so exploration of the area is essentially timed since her HP runs out over time (running out more quickly in the presence of fire).
- Limit Break: The aforementioned Aurora Skills, the mage's extended Indignation, Chat's Eternal Hammer, and Max's Elemental Master... wow, plenty.
- Long Song, Short Scene: Dragon Rock Mountain, the music for Dragon Rock Mountain, a Celestian mountain. The music would fit right in if used for an outdoor dungeon, but the heroes cross the mountain in question by train instead of by foot, so this song only ends up playing at the train station where the heroes board a train outbound for the other side of the mountain.
- Luke, I Am Your Father. Meredy's mother, Shizel.
- However, she knew about it the whole time.
- The Man Behind the Man: Here, it's 'The god behind the woman behind the man'.
- Magical Incantation
- Market-Based Title: Justified due to trademark reasons, but things got confusing when Tales of Destiny got a direct sequel.
- Medieval European Fantasy: Inferia is pretty much this way, but this is not the case with Celestia. If the spaceship in the intro didn't make it obvious enough, the first town visited in Celestia, Imem, has electric lighting and telephones while the biggest city, Tinnsia, has moving walkways and escalators connecting the town's areas. Tinnsia is basically a real-world modern city.
- Medieval Stasis: Inferia, which incidentally had been cut off from the more technologically advanced Celestia for centuries until Meredy travels from the latter to the former.
- New Game+: Only exists via the game not allowing you to enter the Bonus Dungeon or playing the Hardcore difficulty level without the save file being marked as "cleared", and the game only marks new save files as such by default. Thankfully it's not too difficult to circumvent.
- Only Smart People May Pass. Subverted in Volt's Ruins. Hilariously. At the beginning of the dungeon, since the smart guy of the group, Keele, isn't present for that dungeon, the party doesn't know how to get in. Max, whom the party ended up finding out isn't the brightest, ends up charging head-first into the door, breaking it open, and walking out covered in dust (which he then brushes off).
- Optional Party Member: Handled strangely, to say the least. You don't ever have to take Chat along with you, but getting her on your party is as easy as speaking with her on the ship any time after recruiting Celsius. Max is forced for at least dungeon, but after that you have to go speak to him again at his hideout to get him to join.
- Point of No Return: The Bridge of Light, which allows travel from Inferia to Celestia but not the other way around. The heroes are aware of this before they cross it since they learned about it in Inferia City but later do so anyway due to their mission. Of course, the heroes do find a way to go back and forth, thanks to a device, the Relay Point, the pirate Aifread used to travel between the worlds, and do so because they end up having to go back to Inferia. However, this time they travel between worlds it isn't a point of no return — they can go back and forth anytime after that.
- Power Creep, Power Seep. The cameo bosses, Cless and Arche from Tales of Phantasia, now sport thousands of HP and insta-cast spells, in typical boss fashion.
- Those "thousands of HP" is deceiving as Cless has 90% resistance to every element including physical attacks, and Arche 80%. Effectively they have tens of thousands of HP.
- Punny Name: Sekundes. That's his name.
- The game also has the Gentallman enemy that randomly appears in Gnome's Mine, whose name refers to the fact that it is a very tall and vaguely humanoid monster.
- Save Game Limits. You can save anywhere in a dungeon, but when loading you will be thrown back to the last Load Point.
- Saintly Church: Played with and played straight. The church of Seyfert is composed of good people, but Keele outright saying "Dark Matter is the sign of the apocalypse" when it's (albeit incorrectly) seen as a sign of Seyfert's second coming was not exactly the best idea he'd ever had...
- Shorter Means Smarter: Inverted. This is touched on more in the anime than the game. Keele becomes taller than Reid when he goes off to the university and is the group's squishy wizard. Reid, on the other hand, is the dumb hunter/fighter.
- Shout-Out: Lots and lots - Eternia's one of those games.
- Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke: Averted: The final boss actually has an attack which instantly wipes out the entire party, the only way to survive it is to use the Aurora Artes to block it.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Mt. Celsius, home to, well, Celsius. Until she's defeated, the nearby port town of Peruti ends up being covered in ice and snow as well.
- Sprite/Polygon Mix: Characters and battle scenes are pretty much all 2D, while environments have more 3D components.
- Squishy Wizard: Taking the archetype to its extreme is Keele, who wields the powers of the Craymels to devastate his foes, reads eldritch texts and unlocks the secrets of the universe, and forces the party to rest half way through every dungeon due to getting winded.
- Stat Grinding: Reid, who has separate attack stats for slashing and thrusting like his predecessors, has skill levels for them, and Farah has a similar situation with hand and foot attacks. However, everything else is based on experience points, rather than having everything this way as in most games using this trope such as Final Fantasy II, and since the actual stats are increased with experience points, the skill levels for Reid and Farah essentially do the same job as Tech Points in other games with the exception that instead of getting points from battles that increase those skill levels, they come from successfully pulling off such attacks to level them up.
- Stylish Protection Gear: The party gets some warm, but nice looking, clothes (even changing the sprites) to take on Mt. Celsius.
- Super Move Portrait Attack: The first game in the series to use these.
- Take Over the World: Amusingly, this is actually Max's, a heroes', secondary goal after defeating Balir. None of the party seems terribly bothered by it, but that may be because they don't suspect a lot of harm out of someone like him. Also, since the current head of state of Celestia is decided by means of Klingon Promotion, becoming the ruler of the world is pretty much an unavoidable aspect of deposing the current big guy.
- Tech Tree: In addition to getting a better version of a tech by using a weaker version enough times, using at least two techs enough times unlocks a tech that combines elements of each one used, and techs are also learned by increasing Reid's slash and thrust levels and Farah's hand and foot levels.
- There Are No Tents. Averted. You ALWAYS have access to a tent.
- Timed Mission: Sort of. In Efreet Gorge, the party is protected from the heat by Undine, whose HP gradually runs out over time and runs out faster when the party walks through fire. If Undine's HP runs out, the party ends up losing their own HP from the heat. Undine's HP can be restored by exiting and reentering the dungeon and fortunately, there's a Load Point at the entrance of this dungeon much like just about every other dungeon in the game, so it's possible to save when HP is low, reset the game, and reload from there.
- Took a Level in Badass Hyades. The first time you see him, he's a Squishy Wizard with two spells he'll never be able to get off once you close to melee range. Later encounters has him MUCH more powerful. He also seems to have taken a level in Ax-Crazy in the meantime as well, but that's another matter.
- Translator Microbes. Melnics magically gets turned into English (sorry, Inferian) thanks to the Orz Earrings given to the first four members of the party. Of course, they don't work perfectly and at first Meredy's Melnics isn't translated and later on there's still some occasional Melnics that isn't translated.
- Useless Useful Spell. The Summon Spirit of Ice grants you her immunity against Freeze, which if inflicted on every character means Game Over. All of this occurs AFTER the only dungeon in which it could have been useful. (There are a few enemies here and there that can still Freeze, but only the final boss and the bonus boss are worth switching Craymel setups to get this.) Like this, MANY examples.
- Warmup Boss Hyades, as the first boss of the game, bizarrely, given his next two encounters. The first time you see him, unless on higher difficulty, he's a full-out Squishy Wizard with no moves at his disposal aside from two spell, and it's trivially easy to surround and stun-lock him to death with Reid and Farah such that he can't complete a spell charge-up.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Ras who? Oh, right! The Guest Star Party Member...
- What Measure Is a Non-Human? And What Measure Is a Mook?: Early on, Reid and Keele casually bring down an Egg Bear. Reid is put through a guilt trip for this later, when he experiences the event through the Egg Bear's eyes. Even you are probably going to feel at least a little sorry for the thing.
- Yin-Yang Bomb Figures prominently in the ending
- Actually, the general idea of Inferia and Celestia (essentially, light and dark) coming together is notable through the whole game; the team is exactly half Inferian and Celestian, provided you pick up Max and Chat, Meredy is technically a half breed, but considers herself Celestian, the number of Craymels you obtain is evenly split between the two worlds in number, And the Inferian and Celestian technology together pierces the shield over Shizel's castle.