These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
After defeating Past Dhaos, in a battle that could possibly be That One Boss because of how fast Dhaos can kill Cress, Dhaos just escapes to the future. Past Dhaos doesn't have to be such a hard fight, either, since — as the intro to the game shows you — he is critically weak against Indignation. Also, it's a Foregone Conclusion that Dhaos will escape into the future — otherwise, you get a paradox, since why did you go back in time in the first place?
Pluto, a secret summon set up as a Bonus Boss at the end of an incredibly difficult Bonus Dungeon, is supposed to be incredibly tough. Which, sadly, he's not. Due to programmer oversight, he flinches and is pushed back nigh constantly when hit with Demon Fang, Cress's first move. The entire battle ends up being Cress sending endless arcs of Demon Fangs at Pluto and the rest of the party nuking the crap out of him, all while he sits ineffectually off in the corner, presumably crying about Cherry Tapping bastards.
Wyvern in the SNES version. He appears at the end of an extremely brutal and long Bonus Dungeon, but his only attacks were a physical attack that was strong but could be quickly healed by your cleric and creating a pair of stationary fireballs in front of him that would kill Cress in seconds upon contact, but could be absorbed by the armor found earlier in the dungeon and was harmless if you didn't try to jump at Wyvern while the fireballs were active. In the PSX-version, he Took a Level in Badass and took one Up to Eleven. His fireballs are no longer stationary but were shot across the entire field and could penetrate your meatshield to hit the characters behind him.
Yume-wa Owaranai, the opening theme. All variants of it. But the SNES version takes special mention for being the first SNES game ever to have a fully voiced opening theme, which was unheard of at that time.
In the Japanese versions of the game, Mint earns the Boing-chan title (basically named after the comical sound effect of breasts bouncing) from the same sidequest. In Phantasia's prequel, Tales of Symphonia, the character who can earn the same title is ... Sheena. 'nuff said.
Demonic Spider: Snakemen, who have a chance of petrifying anyone they hit. And one of them usually spawns right behind your party.
Iron Men have insane defense and HP, regularly block physical attacks and will easily slaughter anyone in range in just a few hits. And sometimes they're backed up by Druids, who can cast barrier and almost fully heal any enemy at will, and still beat the crap out of you if you get too close, and charons, who are healed by any magic spell except the non-elemental Maxwell summon.
Goddamn Bats: Ninjas and Assassins have an annoying tendency to use the Ninja Log technique when hit, then reappear right over your head to counterattack. A ninja teleporting right in the middle of your party can either be a blessing or a curse; either you manage to pin him down with melee attacks and beat him to death, or he uses the Ninja Log move repeatedly to carve huge chunks of health out of your entire party.
The Bigfoots in lower Moria were Demonic Spiders in the Super Famicom version who had quick and powerful kicks, could summon a magical hailstorm and could adopt an (almost) invulnerable defensive position by crouching down and extruding icy spikes from their body...killing Cless in seconds if he got too close. In the PSX version, their attacks have been nerfed, they've lost their hailstorm ability, but they respond to every attack (or even a character being in semi-close proximity) by taking his defensive position for several seconds. They have a lot of HP and you usually have time to hit them once before you have to wait out their defensive crouch. If Arche isn't in your party to break through their defense, be prepared for an EXTREMELY drawn-out fight.
Thanks to the So BadIt's Fantastic voice acting of the English release, "WHAT the HECK is THAT?!?!?!" and "This ends HE-YAHHHH! IN-DIG-NAY-SHUN!"note (mis)spellings may vary are popular in certain circles.
Mis-blamed - the official translation is often bashed for such things as "removing" adult humor that was never in the original. The only things that were the translations fault, however, was "Kangaroo" instead of "Ragnarok" and some inconsistencies with Tales of Symphonia.
Rated M for Money: DeJap thought the script was dull, and since they didn't actually know Japanese that well, they thought that they would spice it up by putting in a bunch of swear words and adult humour.
It'd be more accurate to say that the entire opening scene with Cress, Mint, and Morrison's ancestors fighting Past Dhaos is just one big case of Narm. Yes, even in Japanese it's hilariously overacted (although Japanese Dhaos does manage to sound Badass at least).
The inclusion of voice clips during cutscenes is very narmful, especially in the SFC version.
Mint: I'll create a barrier around the tree. BARRY-YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!
The Magitech Cannon. Aside from nearly killing the World Tree, it has enough destruction force to cause it's victims to decompose instantly after they die. Imagine how much getting hit by it must hurt...
Arsia the woodcutter. Actually a powerful sorceress, she has gone bonkers since the Elves have banned Half-Elves from their village, meaning that she can't visit her Elven lover anymore. So, when the party asks for help, she turns Cute Witch Arche into a statue to force you to bring her lover to her. When he refuses to stay with her now that she's all psycho, she turns him into rock too. But at least Arche gets freed. Oh, the kicker? When they first arrive at Arsia's manor, the party notices a whole lot of "really realistic and detailed statues". AAAUGGGHHHH!!!
Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Needless to say; this game is still playable today but it's shown its age. A lot of the stuff that made this game stand out were later done better by later Tales Series games or became commonplace. (Tales of Phantasia was called "The game that sings" originally because it had a theme song. This is standard routine for the Tales Series game; but a lot of other games have theme songs, too.) The Linear Motion battle system was also really cool and innovative for its time; but compared to the other Linear Motion Battle systems (Especially the 3D and pseudo-3D ones) it is pretty much Bare-Bones. Even compared to Tales of Eternia's LMBS, this game's LMBS can frustrate people with how chuggy it is. Also, this game's major twist was that Dhaos wasn't a Complete Monster antagonist - he was just a Well-Intentioned Extremist. (However; Dhaos is still one of the most memorable Tales Series Villainous Blondes)
Stoic Woobie - Mint is fully aware that her mother is dead for most of the game, but stays strong regardless.
Tear Jerker - This is a Tales games. Expect it. This one's particularly nasty because it slams one in your face within the first 5-10 minutes of the game.
That One Boss - The Fen Beast is notorious for being extremely challenging. The only reliable form of damage is fire-based attacks (sans Maxwell), he has an attack that does sizable damage to Cress and moves himself ever closer to your cleric, summoner, and witch, and his ice lance attack, which allows Fen Beast to jump in the air so it's even harder to interrupt him, is essentially a guaranteed instant-kill against your MeatShield Cress. The only reassuring aspect of the fight is that Fen Beast has only 30K HP.
Demitel can also wipe out your party pretty fast with his Summon: Lich attack, unless you can interrupt his casting. Considering he starts with several monsters between him and our team, doing so can be a nightmare. Not to mention that there are MORE monsters BEHIND your team, which will quickly make mincemeat out of your casters while you're trying to kill Demitel and his guards.
In the PSX version, Dhaos's earlier forms definitely have this potential, especially on higher difficulty levels. Unlike the SFC version he starts in the present with full HP and still hits like a truck. Probably the point in the game where abusing interrupts will become a way of life during boss fights for most players - bonus points since this boss himself demonstrates the power of this technique by chain interrupting you with weak spells before hitting you with a nuke that will nearly wipe you out.
Dark Eye is immune to all magic save the costly Origin summon, takes piddling damage from physical attacks, and if you stay too close for too long it'll shred you to pieces in seconds with a spinning blade attack.
That One Level: Dhaos' Castle in the past, a long, sprawling dungeon full of Demonic Spiders. If you didn't already hate golems, you definitely will afterwards.
Troperiffic: Despite some obvious Narm, the typical RPG cliches have some of their best examples here. There's a reason Mint is the picture for White Magician Girl.
What an Idiot - Mankind is finally re-emerging from the Dark Ages, and is re-rediscovering magitechnology. One of the first things they build is the Mana Cannon, a device that is ultimately responsible for thrusting mankind into the dark ages twice in the past 8,000 years. And failed to accomplish anything useful for anyone the one time it failed to wipe out all civilization.
Note that this only applies to the OVA. In the actual game itself, the Mana Cannon was created so the humans could have a chance to defeat Dhaos, who, incidentally, was attacking them because they were capable of creating such a thing. In the OVA however, it was built by a half-elf to prove half-elves were useful.