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Alternative Character Interpretation / Tales Series

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The Tales series has plenty of that.


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    Tales of Destiny (and its sequel) 

Tales of Destiny

  • Is Marian oblivious to Leon's feelings towards her, or does she see them as purely platonic? Or alternately, is she not interested?
  • Leon Magnus in the PS1 version of Tales of Destiny: Arrogant sadistic nihilist perpetrating the cycle of abuse, or a traumatized kid forced to grow up much too soon who lashes out at everyone and anyone so they'll leave him alone? The original game only hinted at much of the abuse Leon was shown to have gone through in the remake, which took the second view and ran with it.
    • Leon's death itself in the PSX version can either be interpreted as him arrogantly believing he wouldn't lost against a bunch of untrained swordsmen or as Suicide by Cop, seeing as he deliberately antagonizes the party and makes no effort to swim away from the flooding cave unlike the rest of the party members.

Tales of Destiny 2

  • Did Elraine truly believe free will to be so evil that it needed to be eliminated for humanity to be happy, or was she just Drunk with Power? As Reala points out several times, the people under Elraine's rule in the Bad Future were truly happy, even though they'd been Conditioned to Accept Horror in many ways.
  • Fortuna. Was she crazy all along, or did being abandoned by her creation right when she was finally able to come back to life drive her over the edge of despair? Was her priority really ruling over humanity, or making them happy, as she claimed?
  • The degree of Harold's insanity is up for debate. Is she really off her rocker all the time, or is it a ruse to mess with people or gain attention?
  • Judas in the manga is more emotive than his game counterpart and more prone to outbursts of anger, flat out attacking Elraine when she attempts to expose his identity.
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    Tales of Symphonia 

Tales of Symphonia

  • Is Yuan a cold-hearted Manipulative Bastard who couldn't care less how many regular people he has to run over in order to sprout the Great Seed? Is he madly driven by hatred for the Big Bad? Or is he genuinely making the best of a very bad situation, regretting the necessity of spilling innocent blood, but seeing it as the most likely path to succeed in saving the world, while at the same time sacrificing everything that ever mattered to him personally along the way?
  • Some people think Mithos and Martel's relationship has incestuous undertones. The logic behind this is, how much can one person change the world, just to revive their sister if they aren't loving her that way?? Especially when her real lover is so much more sane and understanding of her real wishes.
  • Did George really force Regal and Alicia apart because it was for Regal's own good, or did he just want Regal to himself?
  • Is Lloyd an idealistic young man who thinks everyone deserves to live, but has to fight others despite wanting to protect them? Or is he a filthy hypocrite who says everyone deserves to live while also killing half-elves left, right and center? Or is the game just really bad about separating out incapacitating sentient beings versus killing them in the battle engine, something later games seemed to try to address?
  • In the minor character column, Zelos' mother falls into this, especially those enigmatic last words of hers. Was she full of bitter resentment that Zelos was even born, thus leading to her murder? Was she instead overwhelmed by sadness due to what she knew he would continue to face after her death, and thus honestly wished he hadn't been born into a life destined for constant pain? Did she maybe not get the entire sentence out - maybe she meant "born as a Chosen"? Zelos assumes the first interpretation, but he's not the most reliable judge. And throwing fire on all this, secondary sources can't even seem to agree - some of the guidebooks and whatnot seem to agree with Zelos' assessment, but the manga version strongly suggests the second interpretation due to a noted-in-text lack of malice in the line's delivery, along with how she seemed to deliberately take the metaphorical bullet for him.
  • Why couldn't we let Richter have his way when his plot wouldn't have any consequences for the human world. Then again, it would have caused him to burn in hell for all eternity, so maybe it was for the better.

    Tales of Rebirth 

Tales of Rebirth

  • How much of Tytree's antics are Stepfordism? Some texts in Eephon's trial imply that he's bottling his own frustrations over the racism issues, but it never come out often.
  • Agarte: did she get successfully persuaded by Zilva entirely because of her love for Milhaust, or did the loss of her father and the responsibilities that she has to bear in his place contribute significantly to her decision?
  • In the scene after all Gajumas are cleansed from Geyorkias' impression, Mao seems hesitant to answer Tytree's question about whether it's alright to let Annie hug Eugene before him. Is Mao jealous of Annie because she rushed to Eugene first, jealous of Eugene because Annie shows affection towards him, or is he just surprised at this unexpected turn of events that the question flew over his head?
  • Is Veigue's distant personality and obsession of Claire a form of autism?

    Tales of the Abyss 

Tales of the Abyss

  • Luke:
    • In the first half of the game: Wangsty loser who just does not shut up, or literal child betrayed by both sets of parental figures and treated as a scapegoat by his "friends" who to varying degrees may or may not know they're picking on someone who is, in many ways, a developmental grade-schooler?
    • In the second half of the game: Sympathetic individual who is trying to atone for what he's done and come to terms with being a replica even if he doesn't know how, or wangsty, guilt-driven and suicidal? Or wangsty and a bit fatalistic, yes, but understandable not only due to fundamentally still being a child and having to "grow up" very quickly, but being a child with a seemingly-terminal illness on top of that?
  • Luke's friends. Are they scapegoating someone who really couldn't have known better in order to hide from what they could have done while not trusting in him more, or are they correct in that Luke's lack of thought renders him easily manipulable? And should some of them who were more in-the-know have had a bit more respect for the fact that he's a literal Manchild with the knowledge and emotional development to match? Tear at least gets points for twigging to this earlier and subtly altering her treatment of Luke to match, but should she, Jade and maybe Guy have pulled the others to the side to explain? Or for that matter, should Guy have been more proactive in trying to guide Luke once it was getting obvious Van wasn't doing a great job?
  • Tear: Decent person or a self-righteous hypocrite?
  • Jade Curtiss: a genuine sociopath incapable of normal human emotion, or just a man so completely out of touch with his own feelings that he can't identify them when he has them, combined with a logical mind that simply sees the world differently? The game seems to point toward both explanations at different times.
  • Anise: Jerkass Woobie or Designated Hero Karma Houdini? Or flat-out Woobie because she was set up to never win from the start and gets to watch someone she cares deeply about die horribly?
  • Mohs: A good man who put too much faith in a benevolent but powerless god or is he only out for his own power?
  • Asch. He's either a tragic victim, or an emotionaly simple villain who murdered scores of people and who can't deal with complex situations.
  • Van Grants: Manipulator that rivals the minds of Mengele and Hitler or extremist that will avoid the extinction of humanity at any cost? Or Psychopathic Manchild throwing a tantrum over bad things that happened to him because the Score said so?

    Tales of Vesperia 

Tales of Vesperia

  • Eagle-eyed fans of the game might note that Yuri Lowell's character has been under debate on numerous other pages, in a very polarizing way. Indeed, what may be a likable, snarky Robin Hood type to some may be a self-righteous, immature asshole to others.
  • Zagi from the same game deserves mention. Homicidal creepily evil dude with a thirst for blood and an unhealthy obsession with fighting Yuri Lowell; a young assassin who is the best at what he does, but has not seen enough challenge in life until he meets Yuri, which fuels him with passion and a desire to continuously battle to the death with a worthy rival; or perhaps a troubled soul who is isolated because of his profession, and in finding someone who could best him, finally has someone he can call a friend but doesn't know how to express it?
  • Some people believe Flynn to be a straight example of a Lawful Stupid Fake Ultimate Hero, while others believe he's just making the best of his circumstances and trying not to waste all the progress he's made in rising in the Imperial Knights' rank.
  • Rita. Funny Deadpan Snarker who calls people out on their stupidity, or unrepentant violent Karma Houdini who needs to be knocked down a peg?
  • Are Raven and Schwann the same person using Obfuscating Stupidity, or are they two separate personalities entirely?
  • Is Karol The Heart binding the group together and with a solid Cowardly Lion character arc, or does his cowardice and reliable tendency to run away when things get serious bad indicate he has no business going on a dangerous journey and make him a liability for the others? Is his drive to overcome his fears and emulate the Don's strength admirable, or a sign he's trying to force himself into a role that really doesn't suit him when he'd do better to look for another dream?

    Tales of Graces 

Tales of Graces

  • Pascal. Is she just Obfuscating Stupidity, in love with Sophie (in a creepy way), or is she just Autistic?
  • Cheria, from the same game: Is she a genuinely nice person with a habit of scolding pushed over the edge at times by frustration at her Love Interest, or is she a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing whom Asbel needs a restraining order against?
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    Tales of Zestiria 

Tales of Zestiria

  • Did Maltran hate Alisha or did she genuinely love Alisha and kill herself because she was ashamed of what she had become? The party speculates the former and believes she did genuinely love Alisha. A case can be made that Maltran killed herself to make Alisha realize she needed to "wake up" if she wanted to make changes.
  • Were the Shattered Bones opposing Sorey during the "repair the bridge" arc because they genuinely thought he was pretending to be the Shepherd in order to cause deliberate panic, or was it a Secret Test of Character in order to see if he was the real deal? Though Symmone claims it was the former in her introduction scene in an attempt to mentally break Rose, the latter has a large amount of evidence, such as the Male Assassin's bestiary entry heavily implying that he was purposefully holding back, to Rose and Dezel's Armor-Piercing Question to Sorey as to why he won't take advantage of Marlind's good will towards him, and the fact that the guild as a whole helped him escape from Hyland's Evil Chancellor and later saved his life during Heldalf's first appearance.

    Tales of Berseria 

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