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Alternative Character Interpretation / Tales of Berseria

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Tales of Berseria utilizes Black-and-Grey Morality, as opposed to the usual fare of the series. It also examines the likes of a Byronic Hero, a Villain with Good Publicity, and The Needs of the Many through its usual Deconstructor Fleet tropes. This ends up leading to a lot of interpretations of the Anti-Hero Team that make up the Player Characters.

  • Velvet Crowe:
    • Is the main character Velvet Crowe justified in her single-minded yet incredibly selfish passion for vengeance, or do her actions make her no better than her target? Velvet herself would lean more toward the latter viewpoint, in a Then Let Me Be Evil sense, but just about everyone else in her party, including her former rival Eleanor, see her as the former.
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    • While Velvet has been hinted at having a crush on Arthur early on in the game, did part of Velvet unknowingly have a crush on her childhood friend Niko? In a dream version of Aball, Velvet's vision of a perfect world included a Niko that was very affectionate towards her. An affection that Velvet seemed to respond positively to.
    • When Velvet and the others entered the dream Aball and saw the different villagers, were they based off of accurate memories from Velvet? Or was it simply the errors of human memory and wistful longing for how things once were that distorted her memories of how Niko and the other villagers once were?
    • Was Velvet's initial hostility and distrust towards Eleanor only because she was their enemy, or was it due to how Velvet saw some of her old self in her, or was it due to Eleanor's willingness to commit suicide after Velvet defeated her? Could it be a mixture? Certain skits where they lampshade certain similarities and a scene with Velvet helping Eleanor prevent a man from committing suicide add credibility to the latter two interpretations.
      • Additionally, when Velvet either comforts or asks others regarding Eleanor's condition during certain parts of the game, she denies caring about her or doing anything for her sake. Did Velvet try to maintain a sense of hostility towards Eleanor to prevent herself from becoming friends with her and avoid any additional attachments?
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    • When Velvet and Eleanor were enemies, Velvet opted to punch Eleanor to subdue her rather than trying to kill or maim her like she did to other Exorcists and targets. Did Velvet decide to spare Eleanor because she saw the exorcist legitimately wanted to do good and was unaware of some underhanded things regarding the Exorcists or did she enjoy having Eleanor as an enemy?
  • Eleanor Hume:
    • For a time, Eleanor noticeably refers to Velvet as 'deamon' when talking to her directly. Was this done simply to keep herself in denial about the possibility that Velvet might be telling her the truth about some of Artorius's deeds? Was calling Velvet 'deamon' her way of thinking Velvet had no credibility?
    • After Velvet spared Kamoana's life, Eleanor starts calling Velvet by name. Was this because Eleanor could see that Velvet truly wasn't a complete monster or was it because she finally saw for herself that some of Velvet's accusations were right along? Was it a mixture of both? Certain scenes do seem to indicate the latter.
  • Magilou:
    • Is Magilou a fun light-hearted Troll whose moments of humor provide some much needed comic relief, or is she a selfish Jerkass who makes things harder than they have to be? Also, Magilou's characterization as a Sad Clown is explored after learning her Dark and Troubled Past from being abandoned and left to rot in prison by Melchior, which also serves as a form of Parental Abandonment, since he raised her for a time. Does that mean her interactions with the party are really just because she has nothing better to do, or is she intentionally keeping her distance to avoid having her heart broken again?
    • At the end of the game, did Magilou decide to record history on her own terms because she saw how skewed history can be or did she simply decided it was better than doing nothing? If episode 18 for Tales of Zestiria the X is any indication, she wanted at least a few people to know the real story of Velvet's adventures for her own reasons.
    • Magilou appeared to be recording Eleanor at the end of the game. Was Magilou recording information as an example of what she'd want future Shepherds to aspire to or was this simply another thing that amused her?
  • Similar to Magilou, was Rokurou really tagging along because of his debt, or did he consider it paid early on but was having such a ball he stuck around? Additionally, did he see being on Velvet's side as his best chance of becoming strong enough to defeat his brother?
  • Was Melchior telling Artorius the truth when he told him the village sold him and his family out? Given how a few of the villagers seemed to view him and to a lesser extent Velvet's family as outsiders it seems very plausible. However, given Melchior's status as a Manipulative Bastard along with him conveniently appearing when Artorius is reaching his darkest hour following the death of his wife and unborn child along with losing use of his right arm, there might be more to the story.
    • Melchior in general. Is he the mastermind behind the Abbey's goals, a Manipulative Bastard par excellence setting plans in motion across centuries? OR is he addled by his old age, suffering Motive Decay, losing sight of Claudin's goals and values and no longer able to see the forest for the trees? The game heavily hints he was scheming behind Claudin, and shows he either misremembered or completely missed the point of one of Claudin's biggest motive speeches.
  • How much of Innominat's behavior is due to the influence of Laphicet? Does L Innominant see Velvet as his sister? Or is he simply being using his vessel as a cruel way of driving Velvet to despair? Could Innominat simply have Laphicet's appearance and memories while generally suppressing the real Laphicet with certain moments where the real Laphicet briefly emerges?
    • Similarly, how sympathetic Laphicet is to begin with depends on how you view his behavior prior to becoming the sacrifice. He never told Velvet the nature of his own Twelve-Year Sickness - was he trying to spare his sister grief, or manipulating her with false hope? He claims he didn't completely understand the ritual he was volunteering for, despite having had to have read the whole book to transcribe it - he trusted Arthur implicitly, but he knew the scope of what would happen, so was it hugely irresponsible of him not to understand the implications of something he was setting in motion? He chose not to tell Velvet he was going to be sacrificed - again, sparing her pain, or absolute selfishness in not wanting to have to justify himself? It's possible to see him as the sweet, sickly kid Velvet does - but it's also possible he was just as selfish and manipulative as Innominat would be, more concerned with his own legacy than the emotional and physical wellbeing of his sister and the entire world. Heck, he could be seen in the middle if you look at both angles: a kind hearted boy who was desperate to give the world, and his sister, some amount of future that he decided to be selfish and ask Artorius to use him as a sacrifice, a form of Cruel to Be Kind.
  • Oscar and Teresa's relationship. Is it simply two siblings who see each other as the only important thing left to cherish, and thus care for each other above all else? Is it a case of Brother–Sister Incest? Is it both at the same time depending on which sibling you look at? Looking at how both treat each other, you could honestly interpret both siblings as having one or the other. For example, Oscar telling Teresa to keep the earring that is supposed to go to whoever he falls in love with: was it because, in his mind, Teresa was the person he cares for most and perhaps never intended to marry, or did he have romantic feelings for her?
  • Artorius's tone in the ending makes it sound like he hates himself for thinking Velvet and Laphicet should have died. Additionally, he struggled for years to keep himself from becoming a daemon out of despair. It's possible part of his reason for taking away the world's free will is because he was afraid of people ending up like himself.


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