Who are the people you surround yourself with? Are they the friends of who you are now, or the enemies of who you once were?
Beneath a foreign sky, the mighty Sensus general Asura leads a charge against the armies of Ratio. His goal is to acquire the Manifest, an incredibly powerful artifact that can unite the heavenly domain of Devaloka and the earthly plane of Naraka into one paradise... or destroy both.Finally, the battle comes down to a duel between Asura and the Ratio general, "Reaper" Hypnos. Asura uses his trusty blade, the intelligent Holy Sword Durandal, to slay his opponent, and with his last breath Hypnos swears to evaluate the results of Asura's campaign in another life.This is the recurring dream that a timid young schoolboy called Luca Milda has been having, a dream where he is Asura leading his armies against Ratio. He lives an ordinary life in the kingdom of Regnum, preparing to one day inherit his father's merchant business. The city is abuzz with talk of the government tracking down and arresting "Avatars": humans who have begun to suddenly develop supernatural powers.As Luca is walking to school one day, he runs into a girl called Iria Animi, an Avatar being chased by Regnum soldiers. She implores Luca to help her, and although Luca is not a fighter, when he picks up a weapon his own Avatar powers awaken, allowing him to destroy the soldiers with frightening ease. The name of "Asura" echoes in his mind...The story is an exploration of identity. Each party member must grapple with their true nature: is it the person they grew up as, or the heavenly being whose memories they possess? Should Luca trust his allies as the friends he knows now, or should he remember them as enemies of Asura? What forgotten events transpired after the battle between Asura and Hypnos, and what happened to the Manifest?Amidst all of this, chaos erupts as people across the world awaken to their "true" nature as warriors of Sensus or Ratio, threatening to reignite the ancient war. Then there's the cult of Arca, led by a mysterious masked woman called Mathias who seemingly wants to destroy the world, and the rebirth of a sinister figure known only as "Overlord".Other characters include Spada Belforma, a Hot-Blooded swordsman and reincarnation of Durandal; Hermana Larmo, a young girl who runs a shelter for runaway Avatars, and reincarnation of Asura's steed Vrtra; Ange Serena, a kind but quirky nun from the city of Naos, and reincarnation of Ratio tactician Orifiel; and Ricardo Soldato, a cold mercenary who is the reincarnation of Hypnos himself.Tales of Innocence is a 2007 video game, the second game in the Tales Series to be released for the DS, developed by Bandai Namco and Alfa System. The game is short and regrettably lacking in puzzles, or indeed interesting stages at all. However, it's clear that love did go into the game, and was merely concentrated into the combat system. The so-called Dimension Stride LMBS is a fusion of Tales of Destiny Remake and Tales of the Abyss, and focuses on fast-paced action and nigh-endless comboing. The engine uses the same plane-of-motion control as Tales of Symphonia, but with the added option of free-run, making the fighting intuitive and versatile.The title received a Video Game Remake for the PlayStation Vita called Tales Of Innocence R. It featured a revised script (which included more insight into the events of Asura's era), updated graphics, a new opening song, a redesigned battle system and two brand new characters: "QQ Selezneva", a spirited archaeologist, and "Kongwai Tao," a quiet spellcaster who dislikes disputes. Yet again, Baba stated they are not exporting this version outside Japan.
Berserk Button: DO NOT tell Ange she put on weight. Just...don't. Lampshaded by Iria when Hermana accidentally pushes this in Kelm Volcano in the following line. Also, R manages to take it even further by making it a Running Gag, usually accompanied with an eerie smile.
Iria: Hot damn! She just stepped on a land mine!!
Big Eater: Coda and Hermana. Ange is a more subtle example - she loves to eat, but doesn't show that as...vividly as Coda and Her. Although judging from what Ricardo said in a skit in Lemures Marsh, this may apply to all of the girls in the party.
Ricardo: Goodness, our gluttonous female members never cease to amaze me.
BFS: Luca's signature weapon, totally at odds with his personality, as well as Durandal himself.
Butt Monkey: Luca is treated pretty badly by his friends at home, as well as by Iria and Spada. They genuinely care for him, though, and both Iria and Spada actually feel bad for making Luca cry in one skit.
Captain Obvious: Played straight and lampshaded at the end of Regnum Cavern.
Ricardo: We can see that. There are two of them.
Iria: We can see that, too!
Chivalrous Pervert: Spada, Spada, Spada. There's probably no one who's as fixated on Ange as himself. R seems to downplay this trait a bit, although at the same time he has a title lampshading his perversion: Perverted Noblenote JP: Sukebe Kizoku.
Et Tu, Brute?: Inanna and Durandal, to Asura. Both Spada and Iria do not take this revelation well.
In the original, Luca also gives a particularly insane one the first time he really gets the feel for actual battle. Fortunately his friends quickly snap him out of it.
Signature Laugh: "Ishishishishishi~" and "Ihihihihihi~" for Iria. "Hyahahahahahaha~!" for Spada.
Fantastic Racism: Some humans toward Avatars, also citizens of Ratio toward humans. Also Grigori towards Avatars.
Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Almost every place you visit if a counterpart of something. The most obvious are Ashihara and Galpos, for Japan and Hawaii respectively. Regnum may be The United States, considering their industrial nature, colonies, and large military, and Tenos may be Russia, but if so it isn't as blatant.
Fetish Fuel: In-universe; one skit has Luca wondering about things that might happen to Ange while kidnapped. Spada gets a little too enthusiastic about the descriptions...
Final Boss: Actually a bit of an inversion for a Tales Series game. While it still does have a final boss, said final boss is actually a large demonic monster instead of the standard human or humanoid. R gives the additional humanoid forms, though.
Gods Need Prayer Badly: A direct case. The Devaloka needs the prayer and faith of people from the Naraka to sustain itself. When the people's faith started to wane, they had to resort to taking human souls to fortify it.
During the first meeting with Chien, he is referred to as "Dog Boy" by Hermana. Ange tells her it's not nice to call him like that and proceeds to ask Chien his name. While calling him "Dog Boy". The scene is apparently altered in R, though, losing the Hypocritical Humor part.
Iria and Spada both have hilariously creepy signature laugh. When they do it together, each of them will sometimes note how creepy the other's laugh is.
Informed Flaw: Ange being overweight. It isn't even mentioned at all until she's been with your party a while. Though her clothes are much baggier than anyone else's (which she lampshades during one skit), and she does enjoy food.
Kid Hero: Boy does Ruca certainly fit this! He's 15, and looks even younger.
It actually becomes a Double Subversion according to additional info in subsequent playthroughsnote Talk to Chien in Sania after the Sky Castle.. It's not that Cerberus looks like a cute critter forever; when he dies, he's reborn as the same being in the same place, and the flashback cutscenes showing him throughout the game happen to be around the time when he was just a puppy.
Knife Nut: Surprisingly, the token healer, Ange, is quite adept with knives.
Level Grinding: Or rather, a lot of things except the levels, which grow quite reasonably: Relationship Values, Arte proficiency, Style levels (or SP in R), and especially Grades. Levels come naturally through grinding other things.
Ironically, Namco Bandai Games America has trademarked Tales of Innocencetwice now (once in 2007, and again in 2011), for reasons continually unknown. May lead to a late-hour localization, but it's good to keep in mind that the same happened to Tales of Rebirth and Tales of VS., neither of which have been localized.
Noodle People: The character models can get a bit noodley at times.
Reincarnation Romance: And how. Interesting to note is the fact that said romance is botched since half of the couple (Inanna) literally backstabbed the other half (Asura), thus ending their tale in tragedy. Luca and his friends decided not to have their past control them, however, so it's still all good.
Relationship Values: Of the highly visible sort. And not just with Luca. You can view and have direct influence over all 15 relationships between the characters of the party (although Luca's are the only ones that affect the plot).
Saintly Church: In contrast to Arca, the Church of Naos doesn't do a whole lot during the game but is largely described and portrayed as good.
Saving the World: A given, but rather than winning fame and adoration, the heroes stay pretty anonymous. They don't consult world leaders, they don't lead military battalions, they just do their hero jobs completely under the radar of everybody but the Big Bad. This is commented on at the end. "We changed the world, and nobody will ever know it was us." They then all go on to lead fairly normal lives.
Scare Chord: A well-placed one hits at various moments, like when an Avatar transforms into a Ratio.
Surprisingly western ones, mostly with minor NPCs. For example, there is an old man (who is a bit of a poet) who tells the party about Chien's backstory. His name is Edguar Allen Pwo.
Iria's brothers and sister, mentioned in an easy-to-miss NPC line by Iria's father, are called Ross, Monica and Gunther.
From the original, how about the guild mission where you gather 1UP shrooms?
From Hasta: "Hasta la vista, baby", which is said upon his death in the original and early in the game in R.
Again from the original, the Hayabusa Sword is meant to be the Falcon Sword from the Dragon Quest series that allows the player to attack twice per turn. The description of the Hi-Tech Swords reads "P-pottery?!", a reference to the Ceramic Knives from the Phantasy Star games.
Recent scans for Tales of Innocence R show new Mystic Artes for Luca, Iria, and Spada. Iria's is called Absolute Zero. Wait a second, that sounds familiar...
The Soulless: The Avatars who have lost control over themselves can be seen as this.
Spell My Name with an S: Absolute Zero's translation on the original version follows official localizations' footsteps - that includes re-romanizing some names to their probable original intent (Namco has a reputation for choosing foreign-sounding names that are actually pretty gibberish-y). Therefore, some differences between the translation and the "official" romanizations - Ruca/Luca, Asras/Asura, Sian/Chien, Matias/Mathias, Latio/Ratio etc. While Ruca/Luca tends to get some flame, the other "changes" (note quotations) are generally agreed to be for the better.
Let's just say Ricardo (and by extension, the entire party) is not happy when Oswald uses Gardel's corpse to empower the Gigantess Omega. This is somewhat subverted in R since Gardel turns out to be Not Quite Dead, but the effect remains.
Also in R, Himmel's execution is apparently this for Orifiel, which caused him to go on a (rather chilling) Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the four Ratio elders.
Ange usually descends into this when her Berserk Button is pushed. Most notably toward Hermana in Kelm Volcano.
In R, Kongwai is a subtler example of this. Men who hit on him always end up not appearing until the end of the scene after he takes them off-screen. The key is that Kongwai does not seem ticked in the slightest beforehand.
Unlikely Hero: All 6 (or 8 in R) playable characters embody this trope pretty well. The only connection any of them have to the evil plot du jor is their past lives (and even the two new characters in R don't seem to have connection at all), which they start to distance themselves from as the story goes on and they decide that they'd rather define themselves by who they are now than who they once were. They manage to fly under the radar of all the villains but the Big Bad (they're noticed but never really singled out, except by Matthias), they're quite happy to have saved the world completely anonymously, and after the end they go their separate ways and go back to their normal lives.
Urban Fantasy: Although there's plenty of magic in the setting, it's unusual to see a Tales game open with a vista of a turn-of-the-century industrialized city and a character busting out regular, honest-to-God handguns to fight with instead of Magitek.
The character designs, aside from bizarre hair colors, are also noticeably plainer and more realistic than in other Tales games, which works very well with the setting.
Verbal Tic: Coda, you knownote "Shikashi", something along the lines of "But (you know)..."..
Cerberus, the adorable little dog thing that guards the Manifest, with "~wan".
In R, QQ's "QQ!"
Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Ange is afraid of dogs, although this is revealed very late in the game during the skit with Chien. Also, Ricardo is terrified of heights, as seen after the party gets the Global Airship.
A World Half Full: Naraka was implied to be rather crappy in the first place with the wars, but it became much worse after the Fall with disasters and unnatural phenomena began to occur. Doesn't mean it cannot be changed, though, and some people are seen living normally.
Wutai: Ashihara. A skit that unlocks immediately after the team first lands on the island confirms it: honorable warriors, raw fish, rice...
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Every playable character except Ricardo is a blatant offender of this. He gets piercing blue eyes instead.
Most notably Ange, considering her hair is actually blue.
If the characters have high enough friendship points, a skit is unlocked where Ange, Spada and Hermana discuss this.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Ignoring Coda's tutorial skits in the beginning of the game, Tales of Innocence takes itself seriously enough to not break the wall. So it comes as a bit of a surprise when Ricardo (of all people) does it in a certain skit. Luca and Iria are commenting on how much stronger they've become ever since their adventure began, leading Ricardo to scold them for being too cocky. He then proceeds to say that Luca and Iria can still become stronger, and cannot let overconfidence stop them from doing so. Luca then asks if he really means it. His answer? Of course he means it; the game's maximum character level is 250.
And he does that again in the skit "Ricard, Hermana and I"note Raise all three's friendships to 500. What do they talk about? Starting with the fact that it's one of the most difficult skits to gain, and now that the skit is unlocked, it's mostly pointless, and the player has accomplished nothing. The whole skit is undoubtedly a CMoF.
Competitive Balance: Through a brilliant design decision, all members can be assigned to various combat Styles as desired, which affects the stats through various multipliers.
Advance Style: Purelyoffense oriented. Unlocks abilities which allow powerful and relentless attack chains, such as Combo Plus and Critical Focus.
Wisdom Style: For the spellcasters. Learns skills associated with spells and TP, such as TP Up and Fast Magic.
Guardian Style: Focuses on HP, DEF and M.DEF; in short, taking a lot of hits. Shapes the user into a wall with its Status-guard and defensive abilities such as Lure and Blow Resistor.
Technical Style: Very much speed oriented, but not very defensive. Specializes solely on maneuverability in the battlefield, and some item-related skills. Learns skills such as Dash and Backstep.
Versus Style: For those looking for an ungodly challenge. Not only does it grant no stat bonuses, its abilities focuses strictly on crippling the user. It unlocks skills such as Handicap 4, which gives an extra 25% EXP for 90% reduction in stats.
However, after leveling it up enough, it unlocks abilities which gives bonuses for Gald, EXP or just stat. Nothing gamebreaking, but still worth the effort to an extent.
Innocent Stylenote Obtained by getting three of one character's styles to level 15 or higher after recruiting Hermana, resting at an inn triggers a scene and unlocks Innocent Style; and it has to be done for each character separately.: Like Versus, grants no stat bonuses whatsoever, but unlocks abilities related to Awakening Mode, as well as unlocking each character's Hi-Ougi/Mystic Artes.
Disc One Nuke: Guild Dungeons' chests give randomly generated loot. However, some of the items in the tables are very, very good. Therefore, it is possible, in a rank 2 dungeon, to obtain a "Mythril" Sword with 110 attack and a casting speed bonus at a time where the normal swords you can buy in shops and/or loot in dungeons have maybe 18 attack.
Escort Mission: They hardly offer any Grade, Gald, or Guild Points! Who in their right mind would— you mean all I have to do is escort them to the entrance? And I don't actually have to defend them on the way there? And you're going to pay me for this?
Handicapped Badass: Gameplaywise, the Versus Style is literally made for this; (almost) all of its unlockable abilities are made to utterly cripple the characters' stats. Since there aren't a lot of bonuses to gain, it's probably meant to be used as a challenge. A real, hardcore challenge.
Lampshaded by Iria. "Once was enough, you cocky tutorial rat!"
Idiot Ball: Luca holds one after the first battle with Hasta. Yes kid, the crazed psychopath who is about to be offed wants to whisper something in your ear; of COURSE it's a good idea to get closer to him. Surely he's not going to stab you and run away. That'd be just crazy... OH WAIT.
Jump Cut: In the edit of "Follow the Nightingale" that plays during the game's intro, about 55 seconds in.
Magikarp Power: As mentioned above, the Versus style provides no bonuses and all its abilities cripple your stats, effectively making it a Self-Imposed Challenge difficulty level...until you level it up to level 45 or so, at which point you get large boosts to stats and post-battle rewards. This is mostly useful for playing on a New Game+, however, as leveling a style to 45 generally takes a full playthrough of concentrating entirely on that style.
Although much less than Luca, Spada now has his moments.
He has plenty of ruined attempts to look cool in victory poses, usually courtesy of Iria and Hermana (and Luca, at times). Also, one victory pose has Iria mocks him for making Luca worried about himnote Have Spada finish a battle with low HP.
He is the only one whose name QQ doesn't remember. She calls her "weird guy" instead, even after she officially accepted him as her friend (by hugging him).
His attempts at peeking on women in the hot springs always ends badly, be it getting beaten by the girl's elder brother or accidentally hitting on Kongwai.
Ricardo doesn't seem to have it any better.
He falls flat to Ange and Hermana's pranks at least twice. The latter (done by Hermana) manages to ruin his victorypose.
The party apparently took notice of his fear of heights and mercilessly teases him for this.
Cypher Language: The Triverse language Kongwai and QQ are using is actually backwards Japanese with slight modification in the spelling, such as when the reversed sentence is supposed to end with consonant. This is noticeable on New Game+.
Discretion Shot: Played for Laughs with whoever manages to push Kongwai's button. We will never know whatever he does to them, and at one point he smiled cheerfully upon being asked what happened (offscreen), the party found it unsettling and chose not to pursue the matter further.
Dude Looks Like a Lady: Kongwai, saved by the virtue of his obviously-male voice. Just don't say that to his face, as some poor NPCs find out in hard(?) way.
Gratuitous English: Hasta now spouts quite a bit of this. Also, NPC Edguar (the old man in Galpos Jungle), to the point half of the party consider him a freak due to how gibberish-sounding his lines become.
If I Can't Have You / Yandere: Chitose now plays this trope straight, to the point she becomes a boss twice (contrasting the original, where she is fought only once and barely mentioned again). And the prelude to the second fight? Have Luca and co taken hostage in a warship she leads (which doesn't last long thanks to QQ), and when Luca refuses to come with her anyway, she sets said ship ablaze while everyone (the Arcan soldiers under her command included) is still abroad, stating that if Luca/Asura refuses to acknowledge her, then she may as well take him and his friends down. Damn...
I Surrender, Suckers: Instead of having his victim picking up Idiot Ball like in the original, this is how Hasta stabbed Luca in this version. To elaborate: he rambles per usual, but this time, he also throws his spear away before proceeding to pick Luca's attention...which doesn't succeed due to Spada's warning. It is all a diversion, however - while the party is distracted with his ramblings, Hasta picks his spear from behind and proceeds to stab Luca while still spouting nonsense.
Magical Girl: This is Luca's unlockable costume in subsequent run.
Money Fetish: Iria apparently fits this trope now, if her Search Gald skill (and a victory quote of hers) to be believed. Of course, considering where she comes from, it may be justified.
New Game+: Almost required, actually. Replaying the game with the clear data will not only unlock the Bonus Level and additional stuffs (such as skits and costumes), but also Style elements only available in subsequent runs. It also gives Translation Convention to QQ and Kongwai's otherworldly dialogues, which reveals that they are actually enemies and only forced to work together for the time being.
QQ wears a Chainmail Bikini. This is hilariously lampshaded if you fight in Tenos region with the girls (minus Ange) and Ricardo in the party, where two of the victory quotes will have them complain about the cold.
One of Iria's unlockable costume? Succubus/bat costume. She is NOT amused, to the point she threatens to shoot the man who gave her said costume.
First, when Spada and his friends raiding the Avatar research facility Luca and Iria are locked in. This sadly gets botched when Mathias kills most of the hostages just so the main trio will awaken their memories, however.
Again with Luca, when he delivers Spada's weapons just in time during the battle against Hasta.
Compressed Adaptation and Pragmatic Adaptation: The manga leaves out significant portion of the story as well as altering many elements of it, especially each characters' role as well as the the events of Asura's era. In addition, the party now merely consists the main trio and the rest (Ange, Hermana, and Ricardo) doesn't join in until very late, and most of their backstories are not mentioned at all.
Darker and Edgier: Despite being much shorter, the manga doesn't joke around at all. For starters, the viewers are given a glance of how horrible the treatment to the Avatars are, and the villains (barring Chitose) are depicted in much less sympathetic way, such as Mathias mercilessly killing the hostage Avatars as well as her own followers, and Hasta's brutal way of killing the higher-ups of Arca.
Distressed Damsel / Hostage Situation: The manga is not kind at all to Ange regarding this matter. To be fair, she could've avoided such situation, but she willingly goes to keep the Avatar children under her care safe.
Good Is Not Soft: Luca loses his hesitation to fight much earlier due to his wish to protect Iria and his friends, but it doesn't mean he always goes head-first for violence, as shown with the remaining of Gardel/Thanatos' spirit and even Mathias.
La Résistance: Spada leads one against the military, with their mission is to rescue the hostage Avatars.
Nice Hat: Sadly, Spada loses his trademark hat during said Avatar jailbreak.
Mama Bear / Parental Substitute: The orphanage that Hermana runs in the game? It is now taken care of by Ange. In fact, this is pretty much the reason she destroys the Naos Church, so the orphanage remain hidden.