The cast clockwise from bottom-right: Raven, Flynn, Yuri, Karol, Estelle, Patty, Judith, Rita, Repede
"Brave Vesperia. The brightest star in the sky."
In the world of Terca Lumireis, Blastia are a part of everyday life. From drawing water to animating robots, the purposes of Blastia are plentiful and its utility is vital. One of the most important uses of Blastia is to project gigantic barriers that protect towns from the armies of wild monsters roaming the world. Only two factions are permitted to leave the protection of these barriers: the Imperial Knights of the Empire that regulates Blastia use, and the Guilds who reject Imperial rule. As a result, most people never experience the vast and undiscovered world that lies outside their homes.Yuri Lowell is a former Imperial Knight who lives in the lower quarter of a metropolis called Zaphias, capital of the Empire. Yuri often witnesses the injustices that the people living in poverty experience at the hands of the ruling class, and because of government inaction he often ends up taking justice into his own hands. But he realises that this is not enough, and wishes to change the world so that such injustices never occur in the first place.One day, a thief steals a fountain Blastia vital to the people of the lower quarter and Yuri lands in jail while attempting to catch him. While making his escape he runs into Estelle (Estellise Sidos Heurassein), an intelligent but naive noble curious about the outside world and desperate to reach Yuri's childhood friend and Imperial Knight, Flynn Scifo. After escaping from the clutches of The Empire, they decide to venture past the barrier, catch the thief, track down Flynn, and see the world for themselves.On their journey, they acquire an eclectic party: Repede, Yuri's faithful hound; Rita Mordio, a spunky and anti-socialgenius mage; Karol Capel, a boisterous young boy trying to prove himself to his Guild; Judith, a busty and enigmatic Krityan woman who is destroying Blastia for secretive reasons; and Raven, the middle-agedconfidant of a high-ranking Guild leader. The PS3Updated Re-release adds Patty Fleur, a young pirate searching for the treasure of the legendary pirate Aifread.Tales of Vesperia is the first HD game of the Tales Series. It was first released in 2008 as an "exclusive" for the Xbox 360, which led to the system selling out... in Japan. In April 2011, to address the rather low amount of physical copies of the game in circulation, it was released on the Xbox Live Marketplace as a Game on Demand for only $20.00. It later received an Updated Re-release for the Playstation 3, which never left Japan.There is also a prequel movie — Tales Of Vesperia: The First Strike — which focuses on the brief period of time that both Yuri and Flynn were members of the same Imperial Knights brigade, the Nylen Corps.Yuri, Estelle, and Flynn are also playable Characters in the crossover game Project × Zone
This game provides examples of:
Adam Smith Hates Your Guts - During the attack on Zaphias, the shopkeeper apologizes for still having to charge you money for items, even though you're liberating them. Also on the Ghost Ship, which Kaufman herself lampshades: "What, you expect me to give you supplies for free? You're kidding! You're gonna have to pay up!
All Your Powers Combined: A rare villainous example. The Radiant Winged One's second Mystic Arte, Brave Vesperia, combines parts of all the party's Mystic Artes into something that can cause a total party wipe instead of just HP to One like Big Bang. However, Flynn and Patty are not included.
Aristocrats Are Evil - Most nobles in general, but truly exemplified in Cumore. Subverted with Duke.
Armor-Piercing Question: Played straight and then it backfires. Flynn asks Yuri "Would you kill me too?". Yuri answers back "If you became a villain I would have to." Pretty much Yuri is telling Flynn not to lose himself.
Artificial Brilliance - Estelle has an arte that gathers most enemies into an area. Combine this with Rita or Raven who have spells that affect certain areas, and you can really clean up.
Back Story - Unusual for a Team Symphonia Tales game, Raven is the only one with a past that is significantly fleshed out. The other party members do have backstories, it's just that they're not that important to the plot and you have to go out of your way to find out about them. And even then, you have to piece a lot of it together yourself. For more information on Raven`s past, check the novel and drama CDs.
Phaeroh, Belius, Khroma and Gusios come back from death as Elemental Spirits.
Raven and Yeager fall under this as well, given the blastia heart backstory.
Back-to-Back Badasses: This seems to be Yuri and Flynn's favorite thing to do together. See: the page image (PS3 cover) above, The First Strike cover, The First Strike promotional images, the logo for Tales of the Heroes: Twin Brave, not to mention various instances within the story. Even the theme song gets in it.
Badass - Yuri. Lowell. How badass is he? He's the first main character of the Tales Series to come in first in Namco's popularity polls, and has over fourteenBadass tropes applied to him on his Characters listing.
Yuri holds the record for most 1st place poll rankings (even beating out Leon) and he won all three consecutivelynote To compare, Leon won the first poll and the third, but not the second. So that makes Yuri the only one so far to win consecutive polls.. After the third time, Namco decided to just retire him (and Leon), probably because it looked like he wasn't leaving that spot anytime soon. And seeing how the third place and below tends to shuffle around every year, his record is unlikely to be surpassed.
And what about Judith? We can't forget about her badassery!
Badass in Distress: Yuri and Flynn each suffer it at least once. One example for each: Yuri needed Raven's help in the beginning of the game. Flynn needed Yuri's help when he was put in jail because of a fake letter. Though, the Don planned to relase him anyway for specific reasons.
Badass Mustache - Yuri and Karol (and in the PS3 version, everyone) can obtain and wear attachments that highly enhance the manliness of the game with the power of the 'stache.
Karol's sword and hammer weapons are pretty gigantic considering he's like... twelve. One of Yuri's weapons - the False Dein Nomos, aka Alexei's sword - is awkwardly large. Clint also uses a gigantic axe/sword thing. And then there's the gigantic spirit-powered energy blade used in the ending, which is large enough to be seen from orbit.
In the PS3 version, Yuri's new Mystic Arte Tenshou Kouyokuken is this. Seems like he's trying to cover all his bases; his original Mystic Arte was a Spam Attack and he and Flynn can do one hell of a Sword Beam in the form of Bushin Soutenha.
That spirit powered blade from the ending? Yeah, that's Tenshou Kouyokuken
Cameo battles, Giganto Monsters, Gauche/Droite, and, if you collect all of the Infinity Plus One Swords, Duke's new final form.
The PS3 version adds two more Giganto Monsters, three fights against the Sword Dancer, Clint, and the Spiral Draco which is level 200 and arguably the most difficult boss ever to appear in the Tales Series.
Bonus Dungeon - the Labyrinth Of Memories, and in the PS3 version, the Necropolis of Nostalgia and Abyssal Hollow.
Button Mashing - A few characters get skills that reward this. Yuri gets one that adds more hits during his Mystic Arte the faster you mash the attack button, and Rita similarly gets one that shortens casting time.
In typical Tales Series fashion, though this time characters say different lines sometimes. For example, Yuri will only say one word sometimes when doing attacks. Yet he`s got pretty long lines during Mystic Artes.
Combos - If you ever aren't comboing the enemy, you're probably getting hurt pretty badly. This is even more prevalent on Unknown difficulty. If you stop your combo and give them an opportunity to attack you, you'll die in a few hits. When they go into Overlimit, they can kill you in the blink of an eye.
Using a mystic arte requires the player to first hit the enemy with an unblocked mid-level arte. Bosses can use them from standstill. They can also break free of your combo very easily unless you manage to stun them partway through.
It gets driven to even greater proportions in Yuri's final duel with Flynn, when the latter is able to actually block your mystic arte and counter with his own.
Alexei is able to pull his own mystic arte without even going into overlimit or after you stunned him!
Comically Missing the Point - There's that one part where you can use Estelle to seduce a guard to get him away from his post. After Yuri knocks him out, he points out that it may have been bad for Estelle if he hadn't jumped in just then. Estelle agrees, but she thought Yuri was talking about how the guard almost recognized her as the princess. That's not quite it...
If you select Judith to do the seducing, she will make a comment to the guard about 'doing something fun'. Afterwards, Estelle asks what the 'fun thing' was that Judith was talking about. The look on Yuri's face at this is priceless.
The North American version shows Flynn and Yuri on the front cover with Flynn slightly in front, which gives the slight impression that he is The Hero and Yuri is the Deuteragonist. That it is actually the other way around is not the misleading part, but rather the fact that Flynn is not even playable for most of the game, while the rest of the Player Party are nowhere to be seen on the front cover.
Death by Origin Story - Two in The First Strike: Repede's father, Lambert, is turned into a monster and Yuri is forced to literally Shoot the Dog; Yuri takes in Repede out of guilt afterward. Captain Nylen is also forced to sacrifice himself, arguably due to the fact that Alexei refused to send reinforcements to save the town, inspiring Yuri and Flynn to walk the paths they walk.
Deconstructor Fleet: Vesperia takes aim at Protagonist-Centered Morality. What gives a hero the right to completely and utterly change the world based on their own individual view of morality, completely discarding the opinions of the millions that also live in their world?
Defictionalization: The "overdrive dolls", plush versions of each party member that can be equipped to Repede so that they ride on his back. Yuri's, Flynn's, and Rita's have been released as actual plushies.
They also seem to have predicted people to exploit the Game Breaker in Yuri's skills that let's him spam his Mystic Arte. If you try do it on a Bonus Boss that is made of multiple parts in the PS3 version, it will drain away not only your current Overlimit, but also the overlimit you have saved up. If it wasn't for this ability, it would have been quite possibly the easiest super boss in video game history.
The difficulty gap between Duke rounds 2 and 3 is simply staggering.
After sweeping all the bosses in the game in the Bonus Dungeon and making it to the end, it's slightly surprising to find that the final boss at the end is more difficult than any other before him. Only slightly because, well, this is KratosAurion, and the difficulty may be ameliorated by the possibility that the player had to run through the dungeon several times and level up a ton in the process.
The boss fights in this game are, on average, a tad harder than other Tales Series games, at least when it comes to difficulty spikes. Zagi, for example, hits 60,000 HP when he's a Mid-game boss...whereas in other Tales Series games, 60,000 HP for a boss at that level is something you usually only find on the harder difficulties. (This is on standard)
The first of the Tales Series to offer it. A unique and surprising approach: it's in the form of buying giftboxes that contain item sets, skills, costumes, level-up bonuses, and gald - nothing you couldn't get ingame, just a quick way to obtain them for impatient people. Inevitably led to Internet Backdraft about people "paying to cheat."
Recently there was also a new set of DLC costumes for the PS3 version, called the "Strongest" armor. Any character who is wearing their best customized armor will have special costumes showing off said gear.
Dual Boss - Adecor and Boccos, Belius and her double, Tison and Nan, Gauche and Droite.
At first, a lot of people confused Yuri for a woman before playing the game. Also, if you enter the Inn in Zaphias and talk to an male NPC, Yuri gets offered a drink.
In Nam Cobanda Isle, you can find two NPCs that comment on your party top's costumes. The guild warrior NPC wonders if Yuri is secretly a woman, and the female NPC drops a line about his feminine features for almost all of Yuri's costumes, going as far as mentioning that his face looks prettier than the girls'. Developers were obviously having fun.
Yuri fights Flynn and Estelle. Not at the same time, thankfully.
He also challenges Don Whitehorse to a duel in the PS3 version. At that early point, though, he's a Hopeless Boss Fight, and you get a rather piddly reward (a Diamond) if you do beat him (usually only possible with overleveling or on a New Game+).
Elite Mooks: There's an army of them, the Royal Guard. They can take much more damage, dish out far more damage, and come in numbers far greater than the standard mooks. In short, they are easily the strongest non-boss human enemies in the game.
Everybody Knew Already: No-one is surprised (except Karol) when Estelle is revealed to be a princess, since Yuri and Rita had already pretty much figured it out by then.
Everything's Better with Spinning - Nan's Mystic Arte has her spinning around a lot. Yuri also spins his sword around for no reason sometimes. Indeed, Yuri's most popular artes appear to be Shining Fang (he spins his sword vertically) and Dragon Swarm (he spins himself around slashing and kicking).
Evil Smells Bad - Ragou's basement isn't exactly known for its minty freshness.
Subverted with Duke, who in the English dub, has one of the deepest voices. Although he's the Final Boss, he's an Anti-Villain. Generally, the higher voice an antagonist has, the more evil he's likely to be — case in point, Cumore, whose VA is downright squeaky.
This is, however, played straight with Alexei, who has a voice deeper than just about everyone in the game.
Flynn◊ looks a lot like Guy◊ and Cless, from the original Tales of Phantasia. Even their armor is the same. In the PS3 version, he gets Cless's armor and even the Jigenzan. In Radiant Mythology 3 a skit showing them exchanging clothes results in Tear and Estelle`s confusion about their true identities.
Jade Curtiss, possibly due to his massive popularity, gets two Expies (three if you count Yuri), both based on different aspects of him: Rita represents his intellectual, magic-studying and snarky side, while Raven represents his savvy, 35-year old and military side.
"Facing the Bullets" One-Liner - Yuri, after passing out in the Sands of Kogorh and believing he is about to be eaten: "Heh...go ahead. Hope you choke...on my bones..."
Fantastic Racism - Humans and the Entelexeia, best exemplified by the Hunting Blades Guild and their attitude towards all monsters. It also works both ways: the Entelexeia considered humans to be too foolish to control their use of Blastia, and that's why they fired the first shot in the Great War.
Estelle, when she is being controlled by Alexei. Also, Raven, as Schwann.
Yuri fights Flynn at several points during the game, but they're never actually trying to kill each other — just play out their roles or work things out between them.
Karol fighting Nan also counts.
The PS3 version adds a few such fights to the coliseum: notably, Yuri and Flynn are the 100th man in the other's 100/200-man melees, and a team battle mode is added in which a helmeted Karol fights alongside the Hunting Blades, Raven as Schwann fights alongside Leblanc, Adecor, and Boccos, and the rest of your party fights the four you chose!
Foreshadowing: There's a cheesy, jazzy little theme associated with Raven that plays whenever he shows up early in the game. It also plays during a scene in Heliord that he's not present for...but it's the scene where Alexei asks Schwann to follow Yuri, Estelle and Rita, which hints that they're the same person.
There's another, more blatant one. When getting past the blockade of Nordopolica, Raven distracts the Schwann Brigade by calling them to attention. This just seems like a funny gag at the time, with them being the usual, bumbling guards they are... Of course, they had a very good reason for reacting the way they did. Raven is their commanding officer.
Freudian Excuse: Discussed and defied. There is a part where Raven and Yuri are having a conversation about Alexei before taking him on. When it looks like Raven is going to slip into Freudian Excuse territory, Yuri cuts him off, telling him that he doesn't want to make things needlessly complicated when they fight.
Gambit Roulette: Alexei is the one (along with Yeager) who orchestrated the Hunting Blades betraying the Union by attacking Nordipolica so that the Guild Union would fall into civil war.
Get on the Boat - Get on the boat, they said... Fight some mermen, they said...
Genius Book Club - Rita and Estelle, but mostly Rita. Her unique secondary items are books, her reading of books is mentioned in a few skits, and her level up animation shows her reading a book. If and when Estelle sees something in the real world that she had only read about in a book, she'll point it out. In a skit while leaving a crystallized cavern, Estelle says that the cave looks like something out of a fantasy novel.
Genre Savvy - Yuri; he notes Estelle's princess status (even using the word "textbook"), comments on how he's cursed when they keep running into trouble, and rarely, if ever, loses his cool because he tends to know what he's up against. May be a side-effect of being the oldest Tales Series protagonist so far-and the preference from staff.
Raven. As Raven, the good guy, he's the dumb pervert whom everyone loves. As Schwann, the bad guy, he's the extremely suave knight with a much cooler fighting style.
Also played with any party member you fight during the course of the game - notably, there is a very small length of time between the one battle Flynn is in your party and his duel with Yuri, and he's much stronger in the latter, Brainwashed and Crazy Estelle is able to take on the entire party, and the team battle mode in the PS3 version's coliseum concludes with a fight against the rest of your party, who have been boosted in strength. Whew.
Good Colors, Evil Colors - The Imperial Knights. Generally, those in blue are good (most of the time), those in red are bad, and those in brown are general mooks.
Green Aesop - Blastia, aer, and the Adephagos are a straightforward metaphor for technology and pollution. The final battle of the game is over the hotly-debated-in-real-life issue of Geo-Engineering to solve environmental problems vs. Preservation of Earth as it was before humans altered it.
Happy Fun Ball - Estelle and Judith's joke weapons, which are capable of infinitely comboing bosses.
Harder Than Hard - Unknown. Prepare to die a lot. Even some normal enemies can instantly kill you with multihit attacks and some bosses can potentially kill your entire party with a single Mystic Arte, e.g. Schwann, Alexei, Zagi 5, Radiant Winged One, Kratos.
Hold the Line - The safest option to take in the first round of the fight against the Baitojoh. Attacking it can potentially end the fight faster, but offers no additional reward.
Honor Before Reason - The party, especially Estelle, has elements of this. This is also evident in the guilds, culminating in the scene where Don Whitehorse commits seppuku to atone for Belius's death.
HP to One - Lampshaded by Duke after every Big Bang: "You still stand?!". More ridiculous is his true final form when the player has obtained the Fell Arms, because a single Big Bang does over 12,000 damage to EACH party member. If you're playing the PS3 version on Hard or Unknown, that Last Chance Hit Point safety net gets removed. Hope you enjoy Total Party Kills!
I Did What I Had to Do - Judith's reasoning for crippling the party's ship; she's actually right. Not to mention Yuri's explanation for killing Ragou and Cumore, especially since he knew no one else would punish them.
Estelle, however, plays this dangerously straight. Sure, she has a lot of book smarts but the thing is that she has no common sense whatsoever. As well as running into the thick of danger without any plan beyond "accomplish some vague goal and figure it out along the way"... and this is without getting into how her Chronic Hero Syndrome keeps causing her to use the power that is rapidly devouring the earth's aer supply.
Improbable Weapon User - Rita attacks with scrolls and books. Some subweapons are pretty weird as well, like Karol's bag.
Inexplicable Treasure Chests - In one area your party comments that the continent has never been explored before, yet there's still chests in the local dungeon...
Infinity+1 Sword - A couple of varieties: each character gets a most powerful normal weapon in a sidequest, and then there are the Fell Arms (Devil's Arms), as usual. Storywise, in the PS3 version, Yuri gets a sword called Vesperia No. 2 that, while not his most powerful weapon, does grant him access to his second Mystic Arte.
Informed Poverty - The Lower Quarter in general. Buildings are rough around the edges but mostly well-maintained and the people appear for the most part clean, well-fed and happy. Aside from the plumbing issues that kickstart the plot, it gives off more of an air of a quaint, humble community than a rough urban slum.
Lampshade Hanging: Plenty of the skits, but one that stands out is after the cooking duel - everyone on the team starts questioning what the Wonder Chef is and how he turns into inanimate objects, which is never explained in canon.
Large Ham - Zagi and Barbos are no strangers to scenery chewing.
Not to mention he shows off his shiny angel wings during his Mystic Arte.
Leaning on the Fourth Wall: One of Karol's costumes is nothing but a towel. Leaving it on for long enough starts a skit where all the girls avoid him. At one point he says "You're mean! You made me wear this because you thought it would be funny!" and the other party members deny making him do anything, much to Karol's confusion.'
Mad Science - It seems that after the blastia are gone all the Mages switched to this. In the ending credits you see Rita nearly blow her face off with chemistry. She also invents a Steam Punk propeller backpack so she can visit Estelle.
The Magic Went Away: Played with. If you do not pursue a side-quest, it's easy to think that the end of the story, which ends with Dein Nomos being used to destroy every Blastia core on the planet to eliminate the Adephagos once and for all, results in all magic going away. The end cinematics kind of reinforce this, with the Lower Quarter of Zaphias' Aquae Blastia being replaced with a traditional well. A side quest, however, reveals that Rita's already figuring out how to activate at least some Blastia without cores using Mana, even before there's a lot of it available, turning this into an Averted Trope.
Magical Incantation - Required for most magical artes, and get longer for more powerful spells. Subverted by Rita in Overlimit, when all she says is "blah blah blah."
Gauche and Droite mean left and right in French. The guild's name is also important, as it's Brave Vesperia. Also, Raven/Schwann, whose two personalities are both named after birds.
Regaey is Yeager backwards.
Mega Corp.: The Guilds. However; they're actually a rather rare benign/benevolent portrayal of the trope. Most of the guilds are headed by nice people despite some moments where the guilds are on the antagonistic side. Despite Barbos, the Hunting Blades at times, and Yeager, the rest are pretty good. And even Yeager has his moments, but this is a Tales Series game so you should have probably expected the latter two.
Marshmallow Hell: A light example in First Strike where Chastel accidentally (but persistently) pulls Flynn's face into her assets as she's trying to heal him. Chastel doesn't notice, but Flynn does.
Mind Screw: In-game: After the illusion of Yormgen falls you can later visit the ruins. If you do so in Act 3 you find a journal belonging to the girl who you gave the Clear Ciel Crystal to. You find out that she gave up waiting for the Ghost Ships Captain and moved on. The party debates whether the town was an illusion or if it actually exists since they actually interacted with it.
My God, What Have I Done?: A variety of characters experience this at one point or another. Examples are Estelle when she was the cause of Belius' death, Flynn after he realized everything he did for Alexei resulted in negative consequences and that he was being used, Patty after she kills Seifer, even though he asked her to, Alexei after bringing the Adephagos back into the world, and Sodia after she stabs Yuri, causing him to fall from the edge of Zaude.
Mythology Gag: Tons of them, mostly in the form of cosplay outfits and accessories.
The Pop Quiz in Nam Cobanda tests your knowledge of the Tales Series. In a nice touch, the American and European releases removed questions on games that had not been released in their respective regions.
The "Gentlemieu", "Gentlereplica", and "Gentlesinger" monsters are clear references to Tales of the Abyss. They are also the only monsters that drop Cheagle Fur, Fragments of Hyper-Resonance and Fonstones, respectively.
There's also Judassey, a large frog-type enemy...with the color scheme and mask of, you guessed it, Judas.
Perhaps even more subtle is Tison from the Hunting Blade's attack, Rising Dragon: Ratatosk. It's hard to catch, since it only flicks up on screen for half a second.
Alexei talks about destiny and rebirth during the battle and the scene preceding it.
A particularly memorable callback, especially to Tales of Eternia and Tales of Phantasia, in the PS3 version: Rita unlocks her second Mystic Arte (Indignation) by re-enacting the opening to Tales of Phantasia in the 200-Man Melee against Dhaos. If she gets Dhaos to under half his HP and casts Thunder Blade in Overlimit 4 or higher, she'll cast Indignation instead. Dhaos will utter "Sonna...sonna bakana!!", and the spell will instantly kill him.
The PS3 version adds a ton of bonus cosplay outfits. Not only do Yuri, Flynn and Estelle get to cosplay from Tales of the Abyss as a pre-order bonus, but every party member gets a cosplay outfit (and associated skill) from a previous Tales Series character as a reward for completing the 200-Man Melee. If every party member puts on their cosplay outfit, there's even a skit where they start acting like their "characters" against their will.
Name's the Same: Yuri Lowell. Every voice actor in the industry thought that Yuri Lowenthal would definitely get the role (to quote Troy Baker, "Well if they're just naming characters after us...") but missed out because he had voiced the main character of Tales of the Abyss, and the producers didn't want each game to start sounding the same.
Nerf Arm: Estelle gets a duster, Judith gets a broom, and Repede gets Grilled Chicken. Estelle and Judith's gag weapons allow them to perform new attacks such as cleaning the enemy off or sweeping them up, but they're a lot more painful than they sound.
New Game+: In which you can use all that Grade you earned in your previous playthrough to buy various rewards to spice up your new one.
Inverted from the standard heroic version, as indicated. Alexei's plan has the unintended side-effect of releasing the monster and Sealed Evil in a Can.
The heroic version is also played straight, when Estelle's healing artes drive Belius mad and the party's forced to kill her, leading to tension among the major guilds and more unwanted deaths.
The game also uses another variation: Nice Job Breaking It, Player. If you collect all the Fell Arms, the final boss will absorb their power and gain an extra form that is one of the most powerful enemies in the game.
Alexei makes this argument about himself and Flynn.
In a skit after beating Zagi for the final time at Tarqaron, Rita muses about herself and Zagi being this.
Now, Where Was I Going Again? - The synopsis, done in the style of the Wonder Reporter writing articles about Yuri's recent activities. It does however, lie about the location of at least one dungeon: the Manor of the Wicked.
One-Man Army: The optional 100- and 200-Man Melees pits one of your characters against, well, one hundred and two hundred enemies. Gameplay-wise, Yuri is also one of the most broken playable characters in Tales Series history, boasting a well-known infinite combo.
The Other Darrin: The dub of The First Strike keeps the actors for the main duo but replaces the ones for everyone else that appears in the game.
The Kritya race, of which party member Judith is a member. They are pointy-eared, long-lived, intelligent, and share a psychic connection with Entelexeia. They are also very pacifistic and have Cloudcuckoolander tendencies, which makes Judith a definite Black Sheep. Uniquely, the Kritya race are not shown to be innately any better or worse than normal humans, being just as prone to abusing blastia without regard for the environment. For example, Hermes, the inventor of the aer-guzzling blastia of the same name, was a Krityan.
The twin knight sisters in The First Strike, Hisca and Chastel, are this way as well in terms of personalities, although they're physically identical...aside from Chastel being much more busty.
Preexisting Encounters - Both types are present in this game. You can run around, freeze, or stun most encounters, but there will be an occasional tight path with a monster conveniently placed in the middle of it. You can get past some of the monsters in tight paths by using a Holy Bottle, though.
Ragtag Band of Misfits: And how. May be the most prominent example in Tales history. Each of the party members came from such different backgrounds that none of them knew each other prior to the beginning of the story (unless you count Repede and/or Flynn).
Retcon - The PS3 version does this to a few events of the 360 version, mostly to account for things like Patty's or Flynn's presence. Notably, two fights against a monster called the Wandering Skeleton are added, Sodia takes Flynn's place in several cutscenes, and Flynn doesn't get shot until after the battle with Alexei, which he takes part in.
Ring Out - One of the Secret Missions requires this.
Meta example: Repede being mostly obscured or barely in-frame during cutscenes.
Sad Battle Music: A slow melancholic rendition of the game's theme song, "Ring a Bell", plays during Yuri's battle with Estelle; during which, she pleads with him to kill her to save himself and the others.
Samus Is a Girl - Done twice. First time with Rita Mordio. Later on with Judith. Amazingly enough, they do not get chickified. Done a third time in the PS3 version with Aifreed, who Patty calls grandfather, who is actually Patty herself.
Say My Name - As is contractually required for Tales protagonists.
Scratch Damage - Fortunately, they don't allow those 1-point hits to interrupt you.
Ship Tease - Rare for a Tales game, Vesperia doesn't focus much on any romance, barring a line of dialogue here or there that hints one character may like another. Despite the two main characters being male and female, they don't very much resemble an Official Couple.
Rita's Indignation attack, in the English version, has her turn her back to the camera and say "You're already dead".
There's a set of 3 toy dioramas in Nam Cobanda Island, which start moving and playing sounds when you examine them. The one on the left displays the gameplay of Bravoman, an old Namco game with a Salaryman as the hero who's transformed into a cyborg with stretching limbs by an alien. The middle one is Metro-Cross, which is a timed obstacle-course platformer and the one on the right is the first Klonoa game.
You can also collect various capsule toys from vending machines placed around the game: these display characters from Rally X, Mappy, Klonoa, Valkyrie's Adventure and various other games.
Yuri's Lethal Joke Weapon teaches him a downward stab attack called Dragon Buster, a reference to the signature attack of the hero of a similiarily named old Namco game.
Sprint Shoes - You can synthesize an item that increases your running speed early in the game; it will save you a lot of time.
The Starscream - Barbos, Ragou, Cumore and Yeager are all working for Alexei, but are all seeking to overthrow him. He uses the party to kill them to save himself the trouble of killing them himself.
Start My Own - After being kicked out by the Hunting Blades, Karol decides to make his own guild.
Succession Crisis - Forms the main plot for Act One. As the previous Emperor had no direct heir, Estelle and Ioder are the top candidates for the currently-empty throne of the Empire. They are supported by the Council and the Knights, respectively, driving a wedge between the two ruling force of the government. Ioder is supported for his political expertise and ambassadorial work, and Estelle for her powers as a Child of the Full Moon; vanishingly rare even in the royal family. It is all resolved rather abruptly when Alexei's insurrection and the Adephagos crisis catapult Ioder into the role of acting Emperor. His performance nets him the support of both the Council and the Knights, making him as-good-as-permanent Emperor. Estelle seems rather relieved at this turn of events, as it allows her to continue her travels and pursue her dreams of being a writer.
Flynn shoves Yuri out of the way of a laser beam fired by Alexei. In the 360 version, it happens before the fight; in the PS3 version, it happens afterwards with slow motion. In both versions, it's the motivation for Sodia to stab Yuri.
Also applies gameplay-wise, curiously enough. In the PS3 version Flynn possesses a skill that allows him to take half of the damage dealt to nearby allies.
Estelle christens the newborn guild Brave Vesperia, one of the few times the Tales Series has pulled this trope.
Also, although it isn't in English (or any other discernable language), the book that Estelle is writing during the end credits has a title composed of 3 words, each of which look suspiciously similar in length and shape to the words "Tales," "of," and "Vesperia" in english. Since the book is likely a story about their own adventures, it makes perfect sense that it would be titled as such.
Repede gets the Sinful Sidekick title after Yuri kills Ragou. It actually means something like he who knows of the sin.
Judith gets the title Trophy Wife after taking care of the party's overlooked needs in Mantaic, while in the Japanese version the title means something along the lines of "Perceptive Woman." See the YMMV page for details.
Played with in the sidequest where Repede marks his territory. Whenever Repede meets his rival, they exchange a few harsh perfectly understandable words which are rendered (in parenthesis, like this), and the player believes it's this trope coming into play. A comment made by Raven later in the side quest, however - something akin to "Why do I always gotta be the voice of the evil dog?" - suggests that the party themselves are roleplaying out the confrontations between the two non-human-speaking dogs.
Rita plays the cat.
The spoilered fact is unfortunately revealed at the beginning of the sidequest in the PS3 version, but it's been supplemented by the "actor" standing next to the animal they're roleplaying, complete with violent gesticulations, so it's well worth it anyway.
True Companions - Notably moreso than a lot of JRPGs, actually; in addition to the Japanese version beating you over the head with the trope's original title (nakama), this appears to be the main reason Yuri's so determined to save Estelle in the second part, rather than any romantic feelings towards her:
Yuri: She may be a bumbling, sheltered excuse for a princess, but she's one of ours!
Overlimit is not an ability that is exclusive to your party; bosses can use it too. This prevents attack interruption, and allows instant casting and infinite combos. They also get access to their powerful Mystic Artes. Running away is strongly encouraged.
Yeager has a more traditional Turns Red moment when he reveals his heart blastia.
Unexpected Gameplay Change - During the party's first attempt to use an apetheia to condense an aer krene, you randomly have to play a rhythm game to help Rita and Estelle "concentrate." None of the other attempts require this, which makes it all the more jarring.
The Unfought - Raise your hand if you thought "Oh crap, am I going to fight THAT?" when the Adephagos appeared.
The Unreveal: Unlike previous Tales games, the goal of Vesperia's Big Bad is never revealed. Alexei makes many a grandiose statement about how he intends to change the world and save it from the empire but how unsealing Zaude is supposed to assist him in this is never actually explained, nor is it explained how Yuri killing Ragou and Cumore was able to help him work without any interruptions, nor is it explained why he's doing any of this beyond a vague "The empire is corrupt" motivation, nor is it ever explained why, if he thinks the empire is so corrupt, he didn't just removed the negative elements from it with his power and authority: being the Commandant and all.
Up to Eleven - You thought being able to use 8 artes and party level 4 Overlimit was cool? Try 16 artes and a party level 8 Overlimit in the PS3 version (allowing multiple party members to go level 4 Overlimit!).
Violence is the Only Option - After Ragou and Cumore reduce their punishments using their positions in the government, Yuri takes it into his own hands and murders them. Also Duke, who resorts to sacrificing humanity in order to destroy the Adephagos.
Played for laughs in a scene where either Judith, Estelle, or Karol attempt to seduce a guard and lure him away from his post as an alternative to simply attacking him...only for Yuri to knock him out when his guard his dropped. Karol is not amused.
Wham Episode - Ragou's death sets a major tone-change, setting Yuri as a figure willing to be his world's equivalent of The Punisher, brutally murdering the corrupt Councilor. He then provides Cumore with a Family-Unfriendly Death by quicksand, getting chewed out by Flynn just afterwards. That is the setup. The Wham Episode is in the middle of the Hunting Blades attacking Nordopolica to murder Belius, Estelle trying to heal Belius, only to drive her berserk, forcing the party to put her down. Then the Knights' entire blockade trying to capture Estelle and the crystal that represented Belius' remains - including Flynn personally, and LOUDLY, confronting Yuri on both murders, and asking if Yuri would kill him, too, shocking the entire party. And if that wasn't painful enough, Judith, OUT OF NOWHERE, goes back to destroying blastia, leaving the party adrift in the ocean after they had only BARELY escaped. All of this in about fifteen minutes of cutscenes, only one fight in the middle.
Flynn does this when he confronts Yuri about him murdering Ragou and Cumore. Yuri throws it right back in his face when Alexei reveals his true colors, calling Flynn out for blindly following orders without question - the very thing the two hoped to avoid when they joined the Knights.
Rita, as mentioned above, chewing out Judith for not being completely honest about her problem.
Yuri: It'll be a hundred years before you can beat me! >Estelle: Because you're a lot older, right? >Yuri: ...Not exactly.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Most characters have natural hair colors, but Estelle has pink hair and Judith has indigo hair. However, Judith isn't human, and Estelle's pink hair is implied in the PS3 version to be common with Children of the Full Moon. Which leads to the party's own Fridge Horror at what that implied about Zagi...