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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? In the original game, Marian describes her care for Leon as just her job, but the PS2 version changes things so that Marian seems more genuinely attached to Leon and even agrees to spend time with him off the clock.
  • 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? She herself describes her insanity as "deliberate".
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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. Furthermore, the fact that Mithos refuses to accept Martel herself telling him to stop leads to the idea that he has a set vision of who she is in his head, instead of simply trying to revive his sister because he misses her.
  • 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.
  • Is Colette's constant apologizing and refusal to tell the party about her various sicknesses because of Heroic Self-Deprecation, or does she do it because of the weight she feels from her responsibility as The Chosen One, thus having her act like she's fine because she doesn't want to break the image of what she thinks she is supposed to represent for the world?

    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?

    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?
    • Is he in love with Tear, or is it platonic? He is a literal Manchild at seven with a seventeen year old body.
  • 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 Grants: is she a big sister to Luke or has romantic feelings for him? Tear also gets a 'Big Sister' title and teaches Luke about the world like a sister would. Luke also happens to be seven years old. At the same time, she gets flustered by Luke's kindness and honesty. Towards the end of the game whispers 'Luke, I love you' to herself at end before Luke's final sacrifice. This can come across as sweet, creepy, or a bit of both.
  • 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.
  • Guy Cecil: Does he genuinely care for Luke as his friend, or is he a Morality Pet? Originally he wanted to kill Luke as revenge for the destruction of Hod and his family. Having personally raised Luke for seven years, he becomes less resentful and grows out of revenge. After Akzeriuth, he takes responsibility to teach Luke better after seeing how his misguidance can lead to more hatred and destruction. Does he stay with Luke as a true friend, a form of atonement, or both?
  • Anise: Is she truly hostile to Arietta or is it simply a facade? Arietta used to be Ion's Fon Master Guardian and also in love with him, so she gives Anise a lot of grief for 'stealing' Ion away. What Arietta doesn't know is the she was the original Ion's guardian who passed away and is replaced with the current Ion. Throughout the game, Anise has nothing nice to say about 'Gloomietta' but she shows a degree of respect and pity when she faces her to the death.
  • Natalia: Does she love Asch or Luke more? Most of the game, she seems to gravitate towards Asch. However she has spent plenty of time with Luke as well. She clearly has strong feelings towards both, but by the end she does not choose either of them.
  • Fon Master Ion: Does he genuinely care for the world and his friend or only acting on what he has been taught? Being very young, two years old in fact, most of his time is dedicated to fulfill the role as Fon Master without much room for real life experiences. He also acts on impulse to prove the Cheagle's innocence, being a symbol of the Order of Lorelei, with no regard to his own safety. His original however, outright hates everything in the world. If the current Ion lived longer, would he be just like him?
  • Mohs: A good man who put too much faith in a benevolent but powerless god or is he only out for his own power? The party come to see him as being a mix of both ironically; a power hungry man, but one who was too loyal to the Score and thus unable to see beyond it to the point of extremism.
  • Van Grants and his motivations have spurred a lot of debate on his actions. Either he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist trying to save the world from the Score at any costs, or a man simply trying to destroy the world out of anger for all the negative things that happened to him in the past, and thus using the Score as a justification to get rid of it? The game supports both ideas, and the party even offer their own perspective that Van is a misguided man trying to free the world, but out of selfish reasons without realizing he's following the Score.
  • Largo: Does he truly intend to kill his biological daughter, Natalia, or is he a Death Seeker? He has always been holding back whenever they face each other. At that point, hates still the Score and the world for dictating that his daughter will be stolen and wife committing suicide. Despite Natalia calling him father, he insists that he's not, until the end when she delivers the final blow. Does he really hate Score so much that he is willing to kill her, or has he come too far to start over? His intentions has been discussed in a skit after his final battle, it remains inconclusive.
  • Lorelei. Is it a separate non-physical entity or he is Luke and Asch in human form?

    Tales of Vesperia 

Tales of Vesperia

  • Yuri. Is he a nice guy who takes the law into his own hands out of a desire to protect people, or is he a Blood Knight who likes fighting enough that he'll use the law to justify killing people who break it? While the game pretty much states the former, various moments in game to indicate that Yuri doesn't feel any remorse for his actions, and almost seems to enjoy doing it at times.
  • Zagi. 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?

    Tales of Zestiria 

Tales of Zestiria

  • Did Maltran really hate Alisha like she claimed, or did she genuinely love/care for Alisha and killed herself because she was ashamed of what she had become? The party speculates the former and believes she did genuinely love Alisha, noting she must have cared at least enough to have helped train her. A case can be made that Maltran killed herself to make Alisha realize she needed to "wake up" if she wanted to make changes, as after she does, Alisha steps up as a leader.
  • 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.
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    Tales of Berseria 

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