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Player Punch / Tales Series

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Any seasoned Tales Of player knows to expect at least one of these to occur in any Tales game, current or future one.

  • Tales of Phantasia
    • The beginning gives the player the chance to hand Chester's little sister Amy an apple, before leaving town to go hunt boars. The town gets attacked and Amy does not survive.
    • The ending reveals to the player that Dhaos was actually a Tragic Villain, who merely wanted to save his own world and the player has now doomed that planet to extinction. Even Martel is so full of remorse, that she gives up her own life to create enough mana to save Dhaos' planet.
  • Tales of Destiny 2
    • Prequel hero Stahn Aileron is presented as 'being on a journey, but not having come back yet'. And then you find out that Stahn was killed by Barbatos a few years ago and Kyle's travel-story was his delusional coping-mechanism. (And instead of being hated, this has caused Barbatos to EXPLODE into a fan-favorite villain. WOW)
    • At the end of the game, the final boss is defeated, the timeline is fixed and some events have been annulled, like Stahn's death. But this also included the revival of your party member Judas, a.k.a. Leon Magnus, since this was originally done by the Big Bad. Yes. Leon Magnus is dead again, will not come back and his deeds of saving the world are forgotten, meaning he is still marked a traitor in history.
  • Tales of Symphonia
    • The second boss battle of the game counts as one. After the battle, it turns out that it's Marble, a friendly old lady that Genis and Lloyd had befriended, turned into a monster. And you just beat the crap out of her. She then pulls a Heroic Sacrifice and injures Forcysteus enough for him to retreat.
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    • The first visit to the Tower of Salvation, where Colette is about to complete her journey and save Sylvarant, revealing that she has to die for it to happen. And an extra punch, in the revelation that Remiel was evil all along, mocking Colette and the rest of the party, which causes Lloyd to fly into a fit of rage and kick the angel's ass.
      • There's another punch immediately after defeating Remiel, revealing that Kratos is a traitor and has been working for the Big Bad the entire time. It gets worse when one learns that Kratos is Lloyd's father.
    • In the Temple of Lightning, Volt attacks the party and ends up killing Corrine, which causes a miniature Heroic BSoD for Sheena.
    • With the game's Relationship Values, this can cause a player punch in the last third. If one has done the optional scenes of bonding with Kratos, prior to his betrayal, and attempts to patch things up after, the party is then faced by Zelos' betrayal and has to kill him. Yes, the player has forced the game into making you kill your own teammate. And in this route, you don't get to learn his full motivation for things, whereas other routes give you a chance to see them.
      • Made particularly bad when one notices the slight dialogue differences when talking to Zelos, just before his betrayal happens, which is often considered the point of decision. If the player has followed Kratos' route, Lloyd asks Zelos if he can actually trust him. Any other route, Lloyd simply tells Zelos that he trusts him.
      • And to drive that punch in even further, there's a skit that only unlocks, if the player has killed Zelos. In it, Sheena and Lloyd lament the fact that they didn't really know Zelos' reason for his actions. The fact that the player has basically ignored Zelos' potential behind his stepford smile and Butt-Monkey tendencies has resulted in Zelos refusing any friendship and getting alienated by the party. You Bastard!.
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    • Shortly after the above player punch, the party is rushing towards Yggdrasill and trying to save Colette, but every other room has a trap or mechanism set. And every one of your party members pulls a Heroic Sacrifice, so that Lloyd can make it to Colette in time. Even if it's foreshadowed by a skit between Raine and Regal just before, it still doesn't lessen the impact. Even if it turns out that they are all fine and alive.
    • The sequel, Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World has one in the form of an Alas, Poor Villain with Alice and Decus. Alice treats Decus like dirt yet Decus is still in love with her regardless. When Emil and Marta finally rearrange their faces, Decus jumps in the way of Emil's sword and gets impaled for Alice. Alice then bursts out into Unstoppable Rage, only for Marta to then take her down. After all they put you through in the game, their death scene really makes them sad.
  • Tales of the Abyss
    • The first player punch is Akzeriuth. In its entirety. The people are suffering and Luke wants to get to Van, in order to follow his orders, which Van says will save everyone. Instead, Van manipulates Luke, betrays him and forces him into using his powers which, unknowingly to him, actually cause the entire destruction of the town. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people die because of Luke's mistake and Van throws Luke, who idolized him immensely, away like a piece of trash. The party only manages to survive, because Tear used a hymn to keep them safe during the fall.
      • There's also the scene after the destruction. The party is on a small piece of land, surrounded by poisonous muck and a little boy is floating on a crate, stuck under his father's corpse. The boy cannot be saved and the player has to watch as the boy sinks and begs for help. The player can, if they poke around enough, make this even worse when they can encounter the boy's mother who doesn't know just what happened.
    • General Frings' death. It happens after the month of peace and proves that the world isn't as saved as they thought. He was a good, decent general and died fighting for prolonged peace. And it hits particularly hard, if the player had gone through the trouble of doing the long sidequest of getting him and General Cecille engaged, with their romance being a symbol of hope for the two nations to finally get along.
    • Ion's death. You'd think that you'd make it just in time, but you ultimately aren't. Ion reads the Planet Score and, while it helps the party in giving them a goal and he manages to cure Tear's disease, he dies in Luke's arms. And it's extra annoying, because the scene doesn't even allow you to smack Mohs, who was responsible for this. (And by the time the player is allowed to punch him, Mohs is no longer himself.)
    • Asch's death, which comes after he and Luke dueled one last time and after Luke had made Asch promise him that he'll survive. The music during this event makes it worse.
  • Tales of Xillia 2
    • Alternate Milla's death in the final third of the game. It's made clear early on that the Alternate and Prime Dimension version of the same thing cannot be in the same place, at the same time. But that doesn't make her death any less tragic. Knowing that she'll have to die, Alternate Milla begins to question herself and this is even reflected in her post-battle lines. And then there is her death itself. The ritual to summon Maxwell is performed, which requires a sacrifice and Milla is about to fall into the abyss and die, but Ludger grabs her hand and is the only thing keeping her safe. Then Rideaux is about to attack Elle and there is a choice. Let Milla's hand go and she will fall, staring at Ludger (and the player) with a horribly hurt expression, with it being implied that Alternate Milla might have had a crush on Ludger... or decide to hold on, at which point Milla will let go herself, so that Ludger can go save Elle.
    • Most of the fractured dimensions visited during the game are a player punch, generally because they show how, due to minor changes, things could have gone differently and better, even in the previous game. Special mention goes to the fractured dimension, in which King Nachtigal is a benevolent ruler and not a tyrant, because of a memento of his deceased sister. The memento is a hairpin of hers and it reminds him of her words to 'always remain true to himself', which he takes to heart. The fact that such a small thing could have prevented the tragedy of Rashugal hits pretty hard, as it shows just how close Nachtigal was to being a good person.
    • Chapter 12 is one long player punch in itself. In this fractured dimension, Jude's spyrite technology is a complete success, but the revelations of the rest of the dimension are one player punch after another. Some of the most noteworthy...
      • Majority of the Xillia cast is dead, killed a few years ago. So, even with the spyrite success, Jude is dead. The only surviving members are Milla and Muzét, who are implied to only have survived because they returned to the Spirit Realm a long time ago, and Gaius, who is permanently crippled and had to abdicate the throne. And it's implied that the current ruler of Rieze Maxia is not doing as good of a job as Gaius was.
      • Elle originally comes from this dimension. She is part of a fractured dimension, leading her to having similar issues as Alternate Milla did and considers herself a fake for the rest of the game. And the party's wish of causing all fractured dimensions to disappear means that she will die, too, when this happens.
      • Victor is Elle's father, but also this fracture dimension's version of Ludger and he is the one who killed majority of the cast. His fully-aware knowledge of living in a fractured dimension has caused him and the cast to go insane. And when the cast wanted to use Elle's power to travel to other dimensions, Victor snapped and killed Bisley, Julius and the rest of the party, just so he could keep Elle safe. Then it got worse, with him manipulating Elle into bringing Ludger into this dimension, so that Victor could kill him and take his prime dimension self's place, so that Victor could wish to redo his life and live happily with his daughter.
    • Chapter 15, when Ludger needs to decide whether he will kill Julius or won't. Both options are player punches: If Ludger decides that he cannot kill his brother, the party will go behind his back and try to kill Julius themselves, to use his death to create the soul bridge into the Land of Canaan. When Ludger finds this out, he snaps and kills the entire party. And if Ludger decides that he will kill his brother, the ensuing duel is a player punch in itself.
      • Worse is the fractured dimension Ludger is transported to, after the battle. In this dimension, everyone is alive and happy. Spyrite technology is flourishing, Leia is a successful reporter, Alvin and Yurgen have a good trading company going, Rieze Maxia and Elympios are perfectly at peace and Ludger and Julius are living just fine, with this dimension's Ludger rushing off to his job, where he's a well-known cook. But this dimension needs to be destroyed. And Julius is the divergence crystal, who knows what Ludger has come for. And Ludger is forced to kill his brother a second time.
  • Tales of Berseria
    • Even if it was shown in the second trailer, the betrayal of Arthur and sacrifice of Laphicet during the second Scarlet Night. The player has controlled and seen Velvet care for her little brother and worry about his illness. And seeing her brother getting killed by her brother-in-law is what sets up her revenge.
    • When the party heads into the villa via the sewer-system and ends up in the library, the player can check the bookshelves for some minor reading. It's only a small thing and might not register immediately, but one of the books mentions three deadly diseases. One of them is the 12 Year Disease, where the afflicted person suffers from reccuring fevers that increase in severity and length, before they die on their twelfth birthday. And you recall that Laphicet kept having fevers... even if Arthur hadn't sacrificed him, he would have died within a year.
    • The deaths of Oscar and Teresa. Both of them wanted to do right by the world and came across more as anti-villains, with Oscar being seen as more sympathetic and not much of a fighter. And Teresa was beginning to see the error of her ways and change. When both are killed, Velvet is close to breaking down because she realizes that she has killed a younger brother in front of his sister, something that she hates Artorius for doing.
    • The Reveal. Laphicet, Velvet's deceased beloved brother who she dirtied her hands to avenge, actually willingly sacrificed himself to merge with Innominat. He then delivers "The Reason You Suck" Speech and causes her to dive into a Heroic BSoD.

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