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Headscratchers / Tales of Berseria

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Incomprehensible language

  • The ancient language as Grimiohr describes it makes no sense from an anthropological point of view. Cultures develop to written word in order to be able to convey ideas to others, preferably as concisely and clearly as possible. Yet what we're shown is a language where we're explicitly told taking flying leaps of logic, restructuring sentences at random, and making mad guesses at what mood the author was in at the time are necessary steps to reading a given text. This means two things: all communication in the ancient culture was as context-sensitive as this, which meant misunderstandings and Poor Communication Kills would have been more common than actually getting one's point across, or the written language was intentionally designed to be byzantine, unclear, and time-consuming to read, neither of which makes any sense whatsoever.
    • Just a guess but what if they had a comprehensible language that got lost or evolved to the modern language they have while the unclear language of Ancient Avarost that they found was stuff that was intended to keep secret like military codes? After all comprehensible languages evolve while the incomprehensible stuff tend to be reserved for more secretive stuff and ways to decipher them will get lost.
      • There are two points against that idea: first, that's even worse, as it means information that has even greater need to be clear is being obscured in a way that makes a misunderstanding more likely than correct interpretation - unless there's some sort of decryption key, but if a scholar as old and experienced with the subject as Grim doesn't know of such a thing, it's exceedingly unlikely. Secondly, Grim says that the tale of Innominat present in the book is a children's counting song, basically a nursery rhyme, which has no earthly reason to be classified.
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    • Another possible way to think about this is that what Grimoihr is describing is not the language itself, but the necessary steps to be able to translate it into the current, modern language. Even in the real world, translating between two languages that have a completely different root language is incredibly difficult. Japanese to English, for example is an exceptionally tricky one, as there are Japanese words that have several different meanings when translated to English, which can vary wildly depending on the surrounding words and context, and there are even words that can't even BE translated into English, as there is no english equivalent to the word. This actually leads this to be potential fridge brilliance, as later we learn that the world is in a cycle where humanity and its history gets almost completely reset ever few millenia or so, thus each cycle would develop slightly differently, including their languages. To the ancient Avarost people, it would be the MODERN language that is incomprehensible from an anthropological point of view, for almost the exact same reason.
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    • It was mentioned somewhere that malakhim were visible in Avarost era, and that it was very magically advanced. Maybe conversations in these days included partial telepathy/empathy, to better convey meaning, with language specifically suited, and these skills were taught even to children? In that case it foreshadowes true power of Phi, since he can grasp in intuitively. Or shows his connection with Innominat, who definitely knows Avarostic.

Velvet's allergy

  • If Velvet is allergic to cats, then how come her sneezing never comes up until the party actually visits Katz Korner? The party encounters katz throughout the game, and the katz that sends the party to Katz Korner is in a town that is packed with real cats. Yet still no sneezing. Perhaps Rule of Funny, but still...
    • As most people with cat allergies will tell you, being withing speaking range one cat/Katz in the open air is very different to being stuck in a room perputally occupied by them. As for Taliesin, those cats were illusory, and don't upset her allergies for the same reason Velvet can taste fake food - the experience is idealized.
      • Not quite - if you visit at the very end of the game, after beating it and playing on post-game content, you find that the cat ban has been lifted and the village is now filled with real cats. Also, if a village packed with illusory cats doesn't trigger the sneezing, but if they were real it would (though apparently not), then shouldn't this have been Velvet's first clue that something very odd was going on?
      • It's likely not a very strong allergy considering she's fine hanging around Bienfu and single cats/Katz and can talk to the cat-loving Loegres priest (who is surrounded by them) and wander through Taliesin without it acting up, but once she's in a place that is concentrated cat like Katz Korner it starts going crazy. It's also possible that, being a daemon, she's simply more resilient in general and it takes more than usual to trigger her allergies, much like how she doesn't get cold easily but still gets the sniffles when running around the polar icecaps in patchwork Stripperiffic clothing.

Why does Velvet warrant a special title?

  • There's no in-universe justification for why townsfolk and the Abbey begin referring to Velvet as "Daemon Lord"; much less, the "Lord of Calamity". We're even told that she isn't the first daemon to devour other daemons, nor is she the first person to leave villages in ruin. So why the special title?
    • It's likely a title the church somewhat made up based on old legends, meant to try and make Velvet out to be public enemy number one. The "Lord of Calamity" idea seems to run along the lines of Then Let Me Be Evil, in that somebody who's treated as the Lord of Calamity (and has at least something going on with them whereby malevolence is significantly influenced by them) will end up being the "true" Lord of Calamity. It was a similar case with Heldalf, as he was cursed to be one. Velvet being a Therion allows her to be one, as well, due to holding far more malevolence in her than an ordinary person ever should.
    • It's something that got made up by the rumour mill. Artorius presented himself as "a sword of reason against calamity", so Velvet who opposes him came to be called "the calamity" due to her opposing him which, due to information on Velvet, such as her being a woman, being scarce, mutated into "The Lord of Calamity".
    • There's also the sheer scale of what she's done. She's not the first daemon to eat daemons, nor is she the first to destroy villages, but by the time she picks up the title she has done so many ridiculous things and caused so much damage that she's essentially become a supervillain. Her gaining a title is no different from the way other legendary criminals whose real names aren't known eventually get titles, and since so little was known about her (a running gag) and she's done such a wide variety of crimes the title winds up being pretty generic.

The escape from Hellawse

  • This one's a two parter:
    • First: During the escape at the port, Velevet grabs Laphicet and orders him to attack Teresa and Eleanor. Laphicet complies, despite still being under Teresa's control. But why? The threat of being devoured shouldn't have been enough to override it; especially given he'd been willing to self-destruct at Teresa's command only seconds prior to Velvet ordering him to attack her and Eleanor.
      • Number Two had been showing signs of rebellion prior to this: we later find out that wandering far enough out to find the party after a boat crash, stealing their compass, visiting the library, and speaking out of line adds up to far more autonomy than most Abbey malakhim. Presumably his cry of "An order!" when pinned by Velvet is him playing Rules Lawyer - he's compelled to follow instructions, he manages to ignore the fact they didn't come from Teresa.
      • Laphicet wasn't making a statement, he asks Velvet: 'An... order?" then fires on Teresa and Eleanor. And if was that simple to get him to obey someone else, then anyone could've taken Laphicet from Teresa. It worked for Velvet and she wasn't even an exorcist. It's likely just something nobody had ever thought to try before - Regular people respect or fear Exorcists too much, daemons are too busy fighting them, and other Exorcists are allies.
    • Second: why didn't Teresa and Eleanor defend themselves? They're both Praetor level exorcists and had more than enough time to see the attack coming. Yet, they just stood there and took it. At the very least, you'd think Teresa would've had No.1 counter Laphicet.
      • They were caught off guard by Laphicet actually doing what Velvet told them and didn't have time to do anything as a result.
      • No they weren't. Teresa and Eleanor stood and watched as Velvet ordered Laphicet to turn on them, and continued to watch as he charged up his fire spell, then suicide bombed them with it. Teresa and Eleanor had ample time to respond, even if it was just moving out of the way.
    • Its not unplausable that they were startled by it. Keep in mind that just before, Teresa ordered Laphicet to blow himself up. Right before he fires, its logical to assume they aren't sure what is going on, and avoid going in because he could very well be about to blow himself up. Its when they realize he is aiming at them that they have an Oh, Crap! moment.

Velvet being a therion suddenly a mystery?

  • So at a certain point in the game the group is looking specifically for therion demons for plot reasons. They return to Titania, and they need to go all the way back to the cell she was imprisoned in to figure out that she's the therion. When Artorius called her that as soon as she became one and she's been referring to herself as a therion the entire game. How did none of them already know this, when some of them had even asked her specifically 'what's it like being a therion?'?
    • At that time, they were mostly looking for Earthpulse Points, and not therions themselves. If recalling correctly, the party returned to Titania for reasons that had nothing to do with therions or Earthpulse Points, and Laphicet merely noticed there was a such a point nearby. When the party went to the point and wondered about the corresponding therion, Velvet points out that this was her old cell and that she had been used by Artorius. So, them not making the connection fits because the revelation of Titania having an Earthpulse Point came seconds before they wondered about the therion for the island — nobody but Velvet knew in what part of the jail she used to be imprisoned in, so Rokurou (and Magilou) may not have made the connection.
    • At that point in the game Velvet is also very unwilling to open up about herself and her past, and when she does she tends to spin the facts to make herself look like a worse person, so while she certainly knew she was a therion she wasn't comfortable enough with anyone to share that bit of information until it became necessary both because it was personal and because it made her important and sympathetic.

Velvet thinking Laphicet was murdered

  • Why does Velvet think Laphicet was murdered by Artorius? She stumbles upon the area where Artorius and Laphicet are and Laphicet yells at her to run away, but does nothing himself. Even with the lighting of the area, it's clear to see that Laphi did not look terrified or unknowing. He knew what was happening, even closing his eyes and being prepared to die for the sake of the ritual. Yes, Velvet doesn't know this, but the imagery should give her an idea that this wasn't a murder. But a willing sacrifice on Laphi's part.
    • Velvet wasn't exactly thinking rationally, between the stress of fleeing the deamons and her desperation to stop it she probably wasn't thinking about anything other than "No no no" or "Stop Stop Stop".

Extent of malakhim invisibility

  • So, at the end of the game Eizen goes back to sailing the seas with his pirate crew, even though they can no longer see him. How far does that actually go in intercepting communication, though? Surely, they still know he's there? Presumably, they'd notice when in battle, some random mook is suddenly sent flying for no discernible reason. Besides that, can he interact with them through objects? Pick up a random rock and throw it in the air once for "yes" and twice for "no" (maybe not a good idea given the Reaper's Curse, but still)? Write letters? Hold up signs?
    • Essentially he can't be seen or heard by the crew, but he's still very much able to interact with objects and people.

So why is the Empyrean Throne renamed Artorius Throne by the time of Tales of Zestiria?

  • Artorius might be a well-intentioned extremist but did it in the wrong way but he still almost lead the human race to a sad and terrible existence, you would think people like Prince Pervical would make it clear to reveal the truth about what happened or at least make sure he is not as honored. Also I read somewhere that apparently Prince Pervical when he ascended to the throne apparently made sure that the history of Shepherds and exorcists are purged from the historical record so there is less reason that Artorius would have a place name after him.
    • Doesn't this make a plothole? How would they even know of the Shepherd by the time Zestiria takes place?
    • The history of Shepherds wasn't quite purged, seeing as Sorey assumes the title of Shepherd in Zestiria. Most of the people who knew the truth about the conflict between Velvet and Artorius are either dead (the Legates and Artorius himself), outcasts from society (Rokurou, Magilou, Dyle, and the crew of the Van Eltia), unable to communicate with humans (Eizen), busy with their new job as an Empyrean (Laphicet/Maotelus and the reincarnated Legates), sealed away for eternity (Velvet herself and Inominat), or simply not influential enough to be believed over a popular public figure such as Artorius (Medissa, Kamoana, and Grimoirh). As for Prince Percival and Shepherd Eleanor, the only explanation I can think of is that they simply let Artorius' version of events go down in history so that the masses would have a hero to rally behind instead of turning him into a Broken Pedestal, which could cause innocent people to succumb to malevolence and turn into daemons.
      • It's likely a case of grand-scale cognitive dissonance combined with historical revisionism. Few want to believe that the first Shepherd was an irredeemable tyrant because most of the world supported him and because future Shepherds were forces for good, so they took surviving historical records and interpreted them in a more favorable light as to not taint future Shepherds and conveniently dismiss the fact that, for a while, the whole world got duped.

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