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"If it's a choice between this or going back to being a slave... then I choose to fight."
Alphen
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Tales of Arise is the seventeenth mainline entry in the Tales Series, released worldwide on September 10, 2021 (and a day earlier on the 9th for Japan) for PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X, and Steam. It was originally announced at E3 2019 as the first installment to be primarily developed on the eighth generation of consoles, as the previous game was also developed for the PlayStation 3, but since then it has become a cross-generation game with versions for the ninth generation consoles.

The inhabitants of the planet Dahna have always revered Rena, the planet in the sky, as a land of the righteous and divine. At least until the advanced Renans came down and conquered Dahna with sheer force. For three hundred years Rena has ruled over Dahna, pillaging the world beneath of its resources and its people of their dignity and freedom.

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The game focuses on Alphen, a Dahnan man who has no memories and has lost the ability to feel pain, and Shionne, a Renan noblewoman whose Curse of Thorns brings pain to whoever touches her. Along the way they are joined by: Rinwell, a Dahnan mage able to use spells despite it supposedly being something only Renans could do; Law, a Dahnan who is a member of the "Snake Eyes" police organization; Dohalim il Qaras, a Renan Lord who espouses equality; and Kisara, Dohalim's Dahnan bodyguard with a motherly streak.


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Tales of Arise contains examples of:

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    Tropes A-C 
  • Action Girl: Shionne, Rinwell, and Kisara are all this. Shionne is proactive and fires a rifle at enemies, Rinwell is talented with magic, and Kisara is a knight who jumps into the fray with her mace and shield.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Perhaps appropriately enough because Dahna is under Renan occupation - or just recently freed from it, as the party travels through places - but supplies and Gald are extremely hard to come by, and trying to buy anything rapidly gets quite expensive. For most of the game, you're not even capable of buying useful recovery items like Orange Gels for Cure Points (and thus, healing or buffs), and even then, you're often without enough money to buy more than a handful of them. In addition, enemies don't drop Gald outright and you have to figure out what drops to sell, and even then, they don't sell for very much. The situation is mitigated somewhat once you unlock the Fishing game and access to the lucrative fishing spots, but you'll still be hurting for money until very late into the endgame.
  • Alien Invasion: While Renans are human, they pretty much did this 300 years ago to Dahna—and very successfully. It's eventually revealed the Renans are not so much aliens as much as they are Dahnans capable of Astral Artes, kidnapped by the Helganquil, modified, and made to live in Lenegis; as such, the invasion could be said to be an alien invasion by proxy for the benefit of the Helganquil after the first Spirit Channeling ceremony failed.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: See here.
  • Anti-Grinding: As per usual in later Tales entries the game does not want the player to be too high up in level in relation to the area the party find themselves in, you can only be around three levels above the highest-leveled creature in the area before the EXP and SP earned are massively decreased along with the required EXP for the next level shooting up; that will usually force the player to hardly ever be leveled above the main boss of an arc.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • Alphen's Difficult, but Awesome playstyle is all about risk and reward, but his default AI is actually quite competent at not blowing his health away with it, and can actually pull off a few of his blazing sword abilities without actually getting interrupted.
    • The AI is also quite good at using Mystic Artes and Overlimit. Instead of just blowing Overlimit immediately or wasting it, the AI will always attempt to use a mystic arte, often timing it way faster than a player could.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • Despite the AI being fairly competent, it has a few hiccups. Dohalim, Rinwell, and Shionne often will cast spells in melee range, requiring the player to turn off their melee abilities in order to keep them from running in and getting interrupted. The AI simply doesn't recognize how competent Rinwell and Dohalim can be if they spam spells at range.
    • The AI also has trouble handling elemental weaknesses and resistances. The AI will often attack the enemy with any arte enabled, even if the enemy resists it, and will also struggle to use artes that have an advantage against the enemy too. The only way to avoid this is to deactivate any Artes that would cause issues so the character uses the right element, but if the player leaves any non-elemental artes on, expect the AI to almost entirely use them.
    • The AI will also NEVER jump, and by proxy will never use aerial artes unless they use a ground art that launches them into the air first. Alphen, Law and Dohalim have these kinds of artes but Shionne, and Rinwell do not. Kisara has one but the AI doesn't use it a lot.
  • Asleep for Days: Alphen sleeps for a whole week after you defeat the first boss and he absorbs the power of the fire astral monster that was accompanying him into the Blazing Sword. If not for the healing artes of Shionne, he would have been burnt to ash.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: The five Renan Lords compete once every ten years in the Crown Contest, which is where the five of them fight. The last one left standing becomes the Sovereign, who is the de facto ruler of the world until the next Crown Contest. To this end, the Lords all gather astral energy in master cores, which is obtained by implanting spirit cores into the Dahnan slaves and working them until they drop dead. Deconstructed, in that even beyond furthering a slave system and hideous treatment of Dahnans, it leads to a complete lack of trust in Renan society, and the Lords are near-uniformly terrible people who all had to commit terrible things (willingly or not) to get there.
  • After the End: In the opening cinematic, we can see that Dhana once had thriving cities and lush landscapes. Their civilization was destroyed almost overnight when the Renans invaded, and over the next three hundred years, separating the planet into five realms based on astral affinity permanently altered the planet's ecosystems, with wild zeugles further wreaking havoc on local flora and fauna. Special note goes to Calaglia, which is a hellscape of ruined buildings and flaming hot deserts. Rena, on the other hand, has been a hollowed wasteland for who knows how long...
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Both before and after the party faces Almeidrea, they try to dissuade Rinwell from killing her but leave the decision in their hands. After careful thought, they decide against killing "with hatred in their heart", and the party again decides to abide by that decision. However, Vholran shows up moments later, neatly ending any questions of how Almeidrea would actually be punished or incarcerated.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Invoked in a skit where Dohalim discusses with Alphen how even a Hate Sink like Almeidrea could be considered a victim of the Crown Contest and Renan society in general. Renans have it drilled into them from birth to death that gaining power is the most valuable goal in life, the single all-important aspect of one's worth, and that becoming a lord is something every sane Renan should want. Thus, many can't conceive of how anything else but power could truly matter, and those that do care about other things have strong motivation to never admit or express these thoughts. Renans live with the constant burden to be or become superior, and it leads to an overall miserable life for many of them.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Vholran functions as the main physical threat throughout the story, being the leader of the despotic Renan Lords, but he's also a pawn for the Helganquil, who have their own separate agenda. In the end, Vholran ends up as the sole Big Bad of the story and Final Boss after he rebels against the Helganquil's designs and takes the power of the Great Astral Spirit for himself, deciding to put it to far more maliciously destructive ends than either the Helganquil or the Great Spirit itself had in mind.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Cyslodia runs on this. The people are actively encouraged to rat out anyone who talks negatively about the system, and Dahnans are often pushed into joining in order to gain some degree of protection and power in the system.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Shionne and Alphen, already quite aware of each other's feelings, waste no time at all having their first kiss once the Curse of Thorns leaves her, even as Rena dissolves around them.
  • Bigger on the Inside: When the party decides to advance towards the Lenegis Colony, they find the ship Alphen was transported in by Naori when she saved him. While the ship itself is not small, upon entering, the player will see the interior to be way bigger than its outside suggested, the cockpit being the most obvious discrepancy to notice.
  • Bioweapon Beast: Monsters in the world of Arise are called Zeugles. Initially only used to perform heavy labor on Lenegis, they later became essentially weapons to be used as tools in battle or other means such as torture. Made from the flora and fauna native to Rena and Dahna and changed/enhanced via various means, escaped individuals have established populations and all but replaced most natural wildlife save for some animals like fish, birds, and livestock. It's noted that at this point more Zeugles exist in the wild than are controlled by Renans.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Zigzagged with Kisara's mace. For some odd reason, the inventory UI keeps erroneously referring to it as a "hammer" even though in-game dialogues have no trouble using the correct name.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Goes hand in hand with having a protagonist who can't feel pain; Alphen starts the game taking a blow for a child that draws blood, and even his main weapon, the Blazing Sword, literally burns his skin to the bone every time he uses it.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Despite being Bloodier and Gorier, the game seems a bit arbitrary as to where it visually depicts this. After taking down the Gates of Fire, Alphen is stated to have been horribly burned over much of his body. Yet no damage is seen aside from his arms and hands. Shionne is pierced in the chest twice (by an arrow and sword respectively), but neither leave any mark on her at any point. This is justified with the reveal that the Thorns won't let her die, but her applying healing arts to the (not seen) wound implies that there is supposed to still be visible damage done.
  • Body Horror: The Hollowing effect is quite terrifying as it turns a person into translucent sludge at varying rates of decay.
  • The Caligula: With the exception of Dohalim, the Renan Lords are horrifically abusive towards their Dahnan subjects, treating them no better than cattle. It ends up being a deconstruction, as their warped ideologies keep them from assisting each other when their subjects finally gain the means to fight back. They were also deliberately raised this way by the true rulers of Rena in order to sow chaos for the Spirit Summoning Ritual.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You:
    • Played with. Spirit cores embedded into slaves only give off astral energy if a slave is worked very hard, but survives. Thus, Renan overseers are pressured to work slaves and punish them if they don't keep up, but not kill them without a reason they can justify (and indeed are harshly punished themselves if too many slaves die). It's speculated on how the the Fruit of Helgan's development could change this. It allows the harvesting of huge amounts of astral energy from a person in a short span of time as their body both produces more and releases it all as the Dahnan dies, but Dohalim implies that even for the most brutal lord, relying on it would be counterproductive to keeping a realm's population stable or growing and being able to work them for years. However, if a lord were desperate for an edge near the end of a Crown Contest, the fruit could give them it.
    • Zephyr invokes this trope almost by name when he points out that the mere fact the Renans didn't simply wipe out the Dahnans with their superior technology when they invaded (and that the things the slaves work to produce would be more cheeply and easily gained via said technology) shows that the Renans need them in some way, and that this fact means the Dahnans have a chance at the negotiating table if they can reach that point.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: The constant Calling Your Attacks of the previous installment, Tales of Berseria is replaced by the characters being downright chatty with each other during battle. Characters will comment on the types of enemies they're fighting ("Stop flying around so much!") or ask why another character just healed them ("Because I need you alive!")
  • Central Theme:
    • Hierarchies are oppressive to a people and society, and who is at the top of it is arbitrary. Rena is basically a Magocracy where those with the strongest astral artes have a higher status than those with weak ones, but Dohalim notes that having a strong ruler isn't the same as having a competent ruler. Furthermore, such a system makes it a lottery which is determined by birth or by destiny, inevitably causing unjust discrimination. A lost Dahnan castle, and Alphen describing his time as a soldier further reveals that Dahnans also practiced a strict hierarchy even before they were invaded, and Dedyme proves that it can very well happen again. Finally, the end of the story reveals that unquestioning and blind deference to authority leads to a very shallow system where people are unprepared to handle things if the authority breaks down. Even the extraterrestrial Helganquil obeyed their Great Spirit without question, and the only result was the complete ruin of their planet and the inevitable extinction of their race.
    • While The Power of Hate is an excellent motivator, you have to give it up eventually. Making decisions through a mind clouded with hate will only ruin you in the end, either by blinding you to the obvious or leading to your own destruction. This is best viewed at the final battle versus Vholran and Alphen. Vholran has stewed in his hatred for years, letting it get to the point where he disregards the lives of everyone around him and is willing to destroy both Dahna and Rena in order to exact his vengeance. Alphen realizes that though the Renans are not innocent, they too are victims of the real threat, and forgiving them for what they've done is the only way for both peoples to ever move forward.
  • The Conspiracy: The plotline in Elde Menancia revolves around one. The conspiracy in question is from some higher up Renans who disagree with Dohalim's efforts to bring peace to the area and make the Dahnans equal to the Renans. To do so, they use a fruit called the Fruit of Helgan to force the working Dahnans to slowly lose their Astral Energy by having them eat it, causing them to go through the Hollowing and die. Dohalim has no idea of this and does not take it well when he learns about it.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Discussed. Shionne notes that the sheer coincidence of herself (a woman who causes anyone who touches her pain) immediately running into a man who feels no pain after arriving on Dahna, followed by meeting the last remaining Dahnan mage and Zephyr's long lost son not long after - it's so unlikely that she wonders if someone deliberately set it up. Later in the game they suggest it might actually be destiny or possibly even the will of Dahna itself, but no definitive explanation is provided.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Fire Avatar that appears during Balseph's boss fight is an example of astral energy gaining sentience. This foreshadows the existence of Rena's Great Spirit and the formation of Dahna's will, which the party uses to defeat the former once and for all.
  • Combination Attack: Boost Strikes, performed between two characters as a finisher when an enemy's health is low enough. There's a unique Boost Strike for every character pairing.
  • Company Cross References: The artifiacts you obtain throughout the game are all references to other Namco properties, including Pac-Man, Soulcalibur, and The Tower of Druaga.
  • Crossover: The Sword Art Online collaboration DLC brings Kirito and Asuna as an Optional Boss, new outfits, Kirito's weapons and an exclusive Mystic Arte.

    Tropes D-F 
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Every boss (Even on "Story" difficulty) is a verifiable wall of health - even "Mini bosses" have about as much health as full-fledged late-game bosses in previous Tales games!
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise here.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: As per Tales tradition, this game takes a look at several tropes from a typical fantasy setting and examines them closely. In the case of Arise, it looks at tropes surrounding The Empire. While many other games simply use that trope as a motivating force for the heroes to fight against, Arise digs into the nitty-gritty of running a totalitarian state in all its ugliness.
    • Being Fascist, but Inefficient isn't just a bad way to run a civilization—it's downright stupid. Early in the game Zephyr points out that, with the technology available to them, the way Renans run things makes no sense. Simply keeping their civilization going wouldn't work under such a system, and this means there must be more to the Crown Contest. Dahnans being slowly worked to death for the sake of harvesting more astral energy for said contest means that they aren't used for other, equally productive jobs such as agriculture and metallurgy. In Calaglia in particular, everything the slaves mine is simply set aside and burned rather than used to power anything. Elde Menancia even demonstrates that one can harvest a considerable amount of astral energy without enslavement, calling into question why anyone would ever decide to construct a culture built on such radically bad work practices. Instead of the Renans just being evil, their entire civilization was created by the Helganquil, the true natives of Rena, to harvest as much astral energy as they could to fulfill the desires of the Great Spirit of Rena (and the creation of a means to transfer all of said energy to Rena). The Renan Empire is inefficient because what it was made to accomplish has nothing to do with making an efficient society.
    • Might Makes Right as a dogma is all well and good for the purposes of exploitation. But what is it actually like to run a society that way? The Crown Contest is meant to reward only the most capable of Lords with the right to the throne. But all it really does is stir up infighting and treachery amongst the different factions. Moreover, friction between the Lords prevents them from cooperating in the face of mutual threats, such as Alphen and his allies, instead seeing one fallen Lord as one less competitor.
    • Arise also criticizes many of the common tropes when fighting and overthrowing dictatorships. Rebellions and resistance cells can be honorable like the Crimson Crows... or they could be infiltrated by the enemy to use for their own purposes, such as the Silver Swords being led by their lord Ganabelt in disguise (while a fake held up public appearances). Then there's rebellious groups who go too far in the name of freedom, employing various means without any regard for collateral damage whatsoever, causing as much-or-more destruction than the people they're trying to fight (as the Dark Wings did with Niez through reckless use of explosives) - in that regard, the party all agreed that Dedyme was little different from the worse lords they've fought, with his extreme methods and unbridled hatred for Renans making him/the people of Niez easy prey for Almeidrea's machinations.
      • Then there's the matter of what comes after liberation: three centuries' worth of collective suffering and resentment cannot be ameliorated in one fell swoop, especially when being a slave has become so ingrained since birth that, when the perpetuating institutions collapse, the newly-liberated has little idea as to what to do next, and may struggle to build anew over the smoking ruins. The worst cases don't even know how to think for themselves anymore, such as in Ganath Haros, and therefore obey anyone who tells them what to do without question, and in the absence of such revert back to past behavior simply because it's all they know.
      • Speaking of slavery being a state of mind, as Zephyr puts it, it also gets deconstructed further when it is revealed that the Renans are slaves to the Helganquil, who in turn are literally brainwashed to follow the will of the Great Astral Spirit.
    • The Token Heroic Orc and Benevolent Boss tropes are discussed. Yes, Dohalim really is a great man (only slightly less great than the image he presents) who is doing everything he can to make the lives of the people of Elde Menancia better. But he is just part of a culture that has been built on slavery and exploitation. Many of his nobles are exploiting Dahnans behind his back, and even putting that aside, like any other Lord he's going to eventually be replaced, with little assurance that his successor would be just as benevolent. And while the Dahnans of his realm are paid fairly for their work and are given equal rights, they're still technically slaves, which means to outside observers such as the party the society is easily mistaken for Happiness in Slavery. The game also points out how Dohalim's general motivations for running his city are born of guilt for personally killing a friend he was forced to fight to become a Lord, rather than any moral compulsions towards Dahnans specifically. Essentially, Dohalim is a good person constrained by the values of his system, and can only act as a decent man in spite of it rather than because of it.
    • Outside of specific example relating to The Empire archetype, the story also takes a more serious perspective on traditional JRPG tropes.
      • Feel No Pain is deconstructed left, right, and center. Yes, Alphen's inability to feel pain allows him to wield the Blazing Sword. Yes, it also keeps him in the fight a lot longer than usual. And yes, it can be used in a variety of circumstances to push the advantage in the fight against the Renans. It's also not a Disability Superpower, since the realistic consequences of being unable to feel pain are explored. Alphen can't feel things like his skin being pierced, sure, but he also can't detect changes in temperature or even realize he's been hurt in the first place, and Shionne brings up how this means that Alphen could realistically bleed to death without ever realizing he's been wounded. The only reason Alphen can even wield the Blazing Sword is because Shionne immediately heals him after using it; without her, he'd die in minutes. In the third realm, Alphen takes a serious hit to his right shoulder and only gradually becomes aware that it was a much worse injury than it seemed at the time when the next night, he still has trouble moving his arm and Shionne has to give him another round of healing. It's entirely possible his shoulder was dislocated or broken, and he couldn't even tell.
      • The Cast from Hit Points aspect of the Blazing Sword is played for more realistic consequences than usual for this trope. In most JRPGs, the Dangerous Forbidden Technique doesn't have any visual indication as to what damage it does to the individual, with the narrative often stating that it's taking "years off the user's lifespan" as a way to build consequences for using said technique. In Arise, Alphen risks his life every time he uses the Blazing Sword in a way that's impossible to ignore. Whenever he uses it in cutscenes or in gameplay, one can see Alphen's arms up to his elbows are scorched bare, with his burnt flesh coming off in patches. It's made clear that even though he can't feel pain, he still runs the risk of getting an infection and dying from his injuries as mentioned above, and the story brings up the unpleasant suggestion that using the Blazing Sword too much could legitimately burn him to death. Even worse, Alphen's overreliance on the Blazing Sword makes him vulnerable when he begins to regain his ability to feel pain.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Compared to the demo version, there are Boost Strikes for every single pair of characters, which means you can do them no matter what your party composition is. And similar to all party members' Boost Attacks being available in a fight, the Boost Strike that activates is chosen randomly from all available combinations, rather than being limited to just your main party.
    • If you satisfy the completion of a quest from the get-go (either by killing the Giant Zeugle or having the materials ready), the characters will specifically mention that they've already done that or have the requested items, leaving you to complete the quest immediately.
    • If you decide to do a Skit in an area that isn't the location where the game first has it available, the background during the skit will change to reflect that, such as having a darker background if the skit is performed at camp rather than in a city.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: There are several incredibly rewarding, fun, and impressive-to-watch techniques that are extremely difficult to pull off consistently, especially in the chaos of a late game battlefield.
    • Boost Arte Switch Combos. Once you reach the end of your currently controlled character's combo potential, activate the Boost Arte of a different character, switch to them, and keep the counter going. This requires knowledge of at least two characters, how to use their Artes, and the situations and enemy types that would best work in tandem with each other.
    • Law's playstyle, in a nutshell. His "Awakening" mechanic gives him vastly improved attack speed and damage after dealing enough consecutive attacks to an enemy but deactivates the moment he gets hit and not to mention, Law himself can barely take many hits before he dies. If you can master dodging, the timing of casting Artes to ensure you don't leave yourself open, and more importantly, how to keep that combo counter going high, you can easily destroy regular enemies or knock huge chunks off a boss's health bar with just Law.
      • Even having him controlled by the AI can be amazing. If the player is able to deal with Law's weakness of being a Glass Cannon via accessories such as decreasing his aggro (while increasing the aggro towards someone else, namely Kisara) or buffing his defence, he can melt through Elite Mooks.
    • Alphen's full potential is all about risk-reward, sacrificing health and thus your margin of errors for massive damage. All of the Blazing Sword's Artes are extremely powerful and wide-reaching, devastating scores of enemies and boss health bars, at the cost of Alphen's, too. You will need to get very good at dodging to ensure you can keep fighting, keep your combo up, and ensure you don't burn through all your supplies with Alphen alone.
    • Rinwell's fighting style is a lot slower and methodical than the other more straightforward fighters like Alphen, Shionne, and Law. Her Artes almost always have a lengthy cast time, need to be cast at the right time lest the enemy waltz right out of the stationary area-of-effect, and through most of the game, you're bereft of instant access to higher tier spells, needing to store and upgrade them. These problems are only exacerbated by her fragility and the charge time being interruptable by even a low-damage poke from an enemy. Once you get to Tier 3 spells like "Divine Saber" and get the upgrades that decrease Arte charging time when used in a combo, however, you can have Rinwell casting devastating Arte after devastating Arte, using Boost Artes to refill her Arte Gauge to keep the assault going and enjoying watching your enemy's health bars melt beyond all the particle effects flooding the battlefield.
  • Disability Immunity: Both Shionne and Alphen suffer from body conditions that prove complementary to each other as an effective team. Alphen's inability to feel pain allows him to interact with Shionne despite her Curse Of Thorns making the mere act of touching her incredibly painful, and that same inability to process pain allowing him to wield the Blazing Sword Shionne creates (something she herself expresses frustration that she's incapable of doing, despite its immense power being beneficial to her goals), while Shionne's Healing Hands allow her to fix Alphen back up afterwards to ensure the damage the sword does to him isn't permanent. Zephyr lampshades how well they both work together.
    Zephyr: A sword that sears the hand of he who wields it, and a healing arte to mend. A man numb to pain, and a woman whose very touch deals nothing but.
  • Disc-One Final Dungeon: Big Bad Vholran's castle is built up to be this, especially since he is the last of the five lords, the obvious main antagonist and Arch-Enemy of Alphen. It ends with an initial fight against another boss, followed by a two-phase fight against Vholran himself. Afterwards though, several reveals make it clear that the game is far from over and there are more journeys to come.
  • Double Entendre: During Shionne's final camp bonding skit, she asks Alphen to "make something" with her, which turned out to be cooking the first meal they had together. However, Alphen's embarrassed reaction more than implies that he assumed something more "intimate", so to speak. Luckily for him, Shionne never catches on.
  • Double Unlock: Abilities gained from titles work this way. You first have to unlock the title itself. This activates one ability right away, but then you have to spend various amounts of SP to obtain the various other abilities the title gives access to.
  • Down the Drain: Alphen, Shionne and Rinwell have to traverse the sewer in Cysloden to escape the Snake Eyes.
  • Dragon Ascendant: What happens to every resistance group the party encounter, their respective leader either dies (Zephyr, Migal, Dedyme) or defects (Meneck, although the party later kills him, so dies technically still applies) and their Number Two, or at least a higher-up, (Nayth, Bregon, Lagill, and Baephon) replacing them.
  • Early Game Hell: Very much so here - even though Shionne is the main healer and the first person to join, the game is very stingy with experience and SP (required for unlocking skills and artes) until you reach Elde Menancia when you can chain battles together for larger rewards, and have larger areas that hold more enemies. What also doesn't help is that most bosses are absolute walls of health. This doesn't even get into the game's economy, where especially on "Hard", you barely have any Gald to your name, most useful recovery items are not sold by merchants and are of extremely limited supply when found in the farthest nooks and crannies, and you don't even have access to the extremely lucrative, very useful Fishing minigame until several hours in, after Elde Menancia's plot is done and you're headed to Niez.
    • Even the Fishing Minigame is somewhat difficult at first due to just how long you'll have Migal's fishing rod. It's alright for the first few fishing spots, but after that, the fish get very difficult fast, and it's nigh-impossible to catch boss fish with it.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: For a rather dark game, Arise surprisingly has one of the most unambiguously happy endings in the series, particularly after the last couple ended on a bittersweet note at best. Alphen and Shionne succeed in merging Dahna and Rena, after having neutralized the Great Astral Spirit of Rena and preventing it from unnecessarily sucking any more life from Dahna than it already has, as well as stopped Vholran's rampage, without the need to sacrifice themselves. The people of both planets begin to slowly settle down in their new, unified world, and the last shot of the game is Alphen and Shionne's wedding.
  • Enemy Civil War: While they are not in open warfare with one another, the Renan Lords are actively competing against each other in the Crown Contest for the right to be named Sovereign of Rena. As a result, none of them are willing to help any of their fellow Lords deal with local resistance groups, seeing the rebellions as an opportunity to eliminate a potential rival to the throne. When Ganabelt does check in on Balseph following reports of Shionne escaping captivity and offers his "assistance", Balseph immediately shoots him down, both to protect his own ego and because he does not trust the motives of any of the other Lords.
  • Evil Virtues: While they of course don't see themselves as evil, there are various virtues even the antagonistic Renan Lords are expected to embody insofar as relates to other Renans. Namely they are responsible, loyal, and full of valor. They are expected to work for the betterment of other Renans and to act as their guardians, and to not flee from a fight or abandon their realm even under threat of death. The two Lords that plainly defy at least some of these tropes, namely Almeidrea and Vholran, thus earn the ire not just of the heroes but many other Renans too.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Upon meeting Alphen, Dedyme, the leader of the Dark Wings says that he thought he'd be bigger and that the armor beefs him up a bit.
  • Family of Choice: This is a common trope in the Tales Series, but it’s especially relevant to this game. Alphen has no known family since he’s from 300 years ago. Shionne is implied to live alone because of her thorns. Law's mother died of illness when he was young, leaving him with only one remaining relative: his father Zephyr, who is poisoned to death by Ganabelt. Kisara is an orphan who grew up with her older brother Migal, who sacrifices himself to warn Dohalim of the conspiracy in Elde Menancia. Rinwell is also an orphan, the last surviving member of her mage clan. Dohalim is likely the only party member whose entire family is still in tact, but we don’t learn much about them. So, with few, if any, ties to living relatives, these six become each other’s new family. In one skit, Rinwell even assigns roles to each of them: Alphen as the big brother, Shionne the big sister, Kisara the mom, Dohalim the uncle (or grandfather in the Japanese version), herself as the little sister, Hootle as the little brother, and Law as the pet dog.
  • Fantastic Livestock: The player can raise rappigs — basically pigs with rabbit ears — on the farm.
  • Fantastic Slur: Renans refer to Dahnans as "embedded" due to them having spirit stones placed in their bodies to siphon Astral Energy from them. Dahnans in turn refer to Renans as "bright eyes" due to them gaining Glowing Eyes of Doom whenever they cast Astral Artes.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: The Renan occupation is more interested in causing Dahnan suffering than production or efficiency. Part of this is justified by the fact that more suffering means the spirit stones produce more energy, but Dohalim's benevolent rule in Elde Menancia proves that one can produce a reasonable amount of astral energy without cruelty, and while it stands little chance of winning the Crown Contest this round, their production of mundane goods nevertheless skyrocketed. The stated point of the Crown Contest is also a complete lie, as there has never actually been a Renan ruling Lenegis as Sovereign, the past winners of the Crown Contest likely all being killed by the Helganquil soon after being named "Sovereign" (it's also noted that no one in Lenegis ever sees the winner in person again after they are crowned and supposedly sent to Rena, the only contact being holographic recordings and messages). The role of the actual Sovereign is merely a mechanical role in transferring astral energy, and until recently Alphen had been the only one in 300 years of attempts to make one. Vholran, holder of the water Master Core, is the second Sovereign in history, and has the corresponding power to go along with it. Just about the only reason he hasn't already revealed this is that he's filled with hatred and disgust towards both Rena and Dahna, and sees nothing wrong with watching them bleed each other to death and make them as miserable as he was. That, and he is still unwillingly beholden to some extent to the true master of Rena (who has him hooked up to an organic machine to try to force him to perform his true purpose later in the game). The true point of the Crown Contest is to harvest energy to recreate the Renas Alma that was destroyed 300 years ago, but with no Sovereign available to perform the ritual, the Helganquil had to wait, continue to gather energy, and continue to try to make a new Sovereign.
  • Force and Finesse: Discussed in the skit "Shionne the Sharpshooter," where Alphen compliments Shionne on how precise of a shot she is with her gun, while he just throws himself wildly into the fight.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The first time Alphen (aka "Iron Mask") wields the Blazing Sword, the cracks on the right side of his mask begin to glow. When the mask fully comes off before reaching Ganeth Haros, it's revealed that his right eye has the mark of the Sovereign, and is the reason why he was able to wield the sword in the first place.
    • When most of the Lords are first seen, they are accompanied by a small woman in red in the background, who never speaks or does anything, and is never seen, mentioned or addressed again after said Lord is defeated. It's revealed that these Red Women are the true manipulators of everything that's been happening, and that they have a Perception Filter that makes it impossible for Renans to realize they're there (unless they do something to draw attention to themselves). In fact, the second opening even shows multiple Red Women bunching together.
    • When fighting the first Renan Lord, the energy in the collection core turns into a giant, aggressive spirit that attacks both sides during the boss fight. This is noted as odd and unexplained but not dwelt on or mentioned again as all 5 realms are liberated. That large amounts of Astral Energy can become sentient is crucial to the main plot, both forming the reason for the maiden/sovereign system of spirit channeling, and the existence of the Great Spirits of Dahna and Rena.
    • When chasing after Almeidrea on a boat over the ocean, Alphen and Shionne discuss the former's Loss of Identity, with Alphen commenting that sometimes it feels like he can almost recover his lost memories, but then his mask gets in the way of that. That's the entire purpose of the mask. It's really a sedative mask put on him to help him deal with the mental trauma of having killed thousands of people during the failed Spirit Channeling ceremony 300 years before the game, with the neurological side effects of pain and memory loss aggravated by the three-hundred year hibernation he spent wearing it. When Alphen loses the rest of the shattered remnants that cling to his face, he regains all his memories— at the cost of also being able to feel pain again, alienating Shionne from the one person in the world she was able to actually interact with.
    • A plot point is the "Fruit of Helgan". Much later in the game you hear about a species called the Helganquil. This is not a coincidence.
    • Not long after joining the party, Dohalim notes that his interest in Dahnan antiques stems in part from how Renans have even less knowledge of their people's past than Dahnans do (events from a mere 300 years ago being regarded as Renan "scriptures" more than official history). This is despite the Renans not having had most of their history wiped out from invasion and slavery like the Dahnans did. This makes sense given Renans have no actual ancient history on Rena, since they did not come from Rena at all but rather are the descendants of captured Dahnans who never lived on Rena itself, except as experimental subjects.
    • At several points during the story, Shionne sustains injuries that would be debilitating at best, and fatal at worst, yet seems to be fine despite it all. The first example being where she jumps off a cliff and lands on the same train that Alphen is working on, which should've broken her legs. Then there's the two times she was point-blank struck in the chest: once by an arrow early on (resulting in a massive stream of fire from her master core, which Alphen then unearths the Blazing Sword from), and then taking a sword stab from Vholran to protect Alphen. This is because of her Thorns; as a manifestation of Rena's Great Astral Spirit, it protects itself by harming anyone who tries to touch Shionne, and refuses to let her die because that would result in the same thing for it.

    Tropes G-M 
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Despite having a Master Core, Dohalim refuses to use it because of the cost that came with powering it. The one time he does use it though is him being emotionally compromised, and he displays not only a few of the artes he uses as a playable unit, but also uses several powerful artes unique to his boss fight.
    • When the party first meets Dohalim, Shionne, still seeing him as another Renan Lord to be taken out like their prior targets, launches an attack on him whilst his back is turned, only for Dohalim to dodge the shots, disarm Shionne with a single blow, and unleash a counterattack that is only stopped from taking her out by Alphen taking the blow instead. Even after getting the wound healed, Alphen later comments that his shoulder's been feeling funny and not moving right afterwards, requiring further healing to truly fix it up, indicating the blow was massively more stronger than the usual damage he endures with his body. In gameplay, Dohalim possesses a special focus on perfect dodging and counterattacking, granting an increase to his penetration if he successfully dodges an opponent's attack.
    • The fact that money is hard to come by actually makes sense - the characters are working from slavery and an oppressed class. Thus there is little chance to obtain any money until Menancia.
    • After Kisara joins up Rinwell jokes that she can take a hit, unlike Law. Law shoots back that Rinwell is the last person who should be making fun of not being able to take a hit. Both characters in gameplay depend heavily on avoiding damage whenever possible, as Law loses his attack boost if he is hit and Rinwell has the lowest defense of the party.
    • After Shionne is taken by Vholran, Alphen is unable to use the Blazing Sword. Gameplay wise, this means he cannot use his Blazing Sword artes, nor his Boost Strikes with Rinwell or Kisara because they involve using the Blazing Sword. At the same time, his Boost Attack reverts to the standard one he initially had at the beginning of the game.
    • When Alphen first awakens on the beach with his memory and sense of pain restored, he's in a great deal of physical and emotional shock, visibly staggering about. Once the player gets control of him again, for some time his damaged state gets reflected in him being unable to dash or jump. When he gets into a fight with two crabs after, the fight is notably hard, reflecting his confused situation.
    • After being shipwrecked in Vholran's realm, it becomes a plot point that the party have no way to get to the other realms as they lack a boat that can make the journey and climbing over the mountains is not feasible. Thus until a tunnel through the mountains is found, the player can only fast travel within this one realm.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Shionne's Curse of Thorns is given a ton of focus in the story, but in battle Shionne can be near enemies or allies without the thorns appearing to hurt them. This can be semi-justified in that Shionne's weapon by default puts her at a distance to others, and the curse only really reacts if the offending party gets physical contact with Shionne (or close enough, as her power works through gloves, armor and clothes), so for the most part, she'll be far enough away from what she's fighting that her curse wouldn't react. It's also possible said curse doesn't work at all on Zeugles, otherwise she would have weaponized it instead of fighting from a distance.
    • Dohalim is Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense. A few skits mention that he had spent a lot of money on something that is considered a worthless trinket. This doesn't come out of the party's money.
    • The story treats Shionne as the only healer. For example, while the party is on their way to Ganath Haros to rescue her from Vholran, Alphen comments on his injuries since he can feel pain again and laments that she isn’t there to heal him. He never thinks to ask Dohalim, who can also cast healing artes. Even Kisara has an arte called Guardian Field that heals everyone inside it. However, any other character’s healing abilities are ignored or downplayed outside of battle. The game handwaves this while the party is on Lenegis. After watching Shionne heal an old woman, Dohalim says his healing abilities pale in comparison to Shionne’s, even though he likely could have done the same thing with Heal or Regenerate. This inconsistency becomes noticeable again when he asks her to heal his friend Fahria after the battle against the zeugle she summoned.
    • In Elde Menancia, your party is instructed to stay at the inn, something that they're wary of for fear of it possibly being a trap. Alphen points out that it's too late in the evening for them to just go outside the town and camp. However, once the segment is over, the game allows you to do precisely this, though you still can't proceed with the story until you actually stay at the inn.
    • Following the one month time skip after defeating Vholran, the game resumes with giving you playable control of Alphen in the area where you defeated the boss, even though there's no stated reason for him to just be standing around there.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The core cast of playable characters is comprised of three males (Alphen, Law, Dohalim) and three females (Shionne, Rinwell, Kisara).
  • Genre Shift: What starts as an High Fantasy adventure typical for the Tales series segues into a borderline Lovecraft Lite Space Opera with the reveal of the Great Astral Spirit, the sentient life force of the planet Rena itself which exerted its influence on the native Helganquil in an effort to consume Dahna's entire supply of astral energy and unify both worlds.
  • God Is Evil: The Great Astral Spirit is the sentient soul of Rena - and is seemingly a total megalomaniac that enslaved its native species in a long-term plan to devour the life force of Dahna and conquer the universe. Even the free Helganquil you meet tells you to kill it for the sake of the cosmos. Averted with the spirit of Dahna, who is a kind and motherly figure, not to mention of a far weaker nature. The trope in general is fully subverted when the real reason for Rena's conquest is revealed: the two worlds were supposed to be born as one, but something went wrong and it got divided into Rena and Dahna. With escalating issues due to this, Rena's Spirit started panicking and eating too much life force to survive, and is now attempting to devour Dahna in order to reunite the twin worlds. As said by Dohalim, it's basically acting on pure instinct.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Lords are all competing to be the successor to the Sovereign, the Renan ruler of Dahna. In reality, there has never been a Renan Sovereign - the true master of the Renan empire is the Great Astral Spirit, who drove the Helganquil to experiment on the Dahnans because of the threat it poses to both Rena and Dahna. Unlike most examples of this trope, the Great Spirit is a Non-Malicious Monster whose destructive actions are driven by a confused attempt to unify Rena and Dahna. Its role as the greater threat is ultimately subverted outright when its human agent, Vholran, turns out to be The Starscream and steals the Spirit's power for the Final Boss fight.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot:
    • The second example between the main characters after Tales of Innocence. Alphen uses a sword, while Shionne wields a rifle. Also applies to the next pair of party members, Rinwell and Law, who are a female Squishy Wizard and a male Bare-Fisted Monk respectively.
    • Lampshaded by the two girls respectively in battle dialogue:
      Shionne: You fight better at a distance.
      Rinwell: The further away the better.
      Shionne: You and I both.
    • Subverted with the third pair: Dohalim is a Magic Knight who can use both offensive Earth and Dark magic, heal and attack with staff-based martial artes, while Kisara is a full-blown tank with a massive shield and mace.
  • Hammerspace: Renans have developed "transferal technology" which can materialize and dematerialize their weapons at will. This means that Dahnans like Kisara can use it as well.
  • Heaven: In the opening narration, Zephyr states that ancient Dahnans believed that Rena was a paradise inhabited by the souls of the departed. That myth was completely shattered when the Renans invaded them 300 years before the present.
  • Hot Springs Episode: As per Tales Series tradition, the party gets to visit one, where the appropriate hijinks ensue:
  • Human Aliens: Renans are a Mage Species, but apart from their eye glow, are completely human biologically. Deconstructed and subverted. As shown under Human Subspecies, the reason Renans seem so much like Dahnans is that they are descended from transplanted and biologically engineered abductees from Dahna. The actual native species to Rena, the Helganquil, are shapeshifting Humanoid Aliens.
  • Human Subspecies: Renans are not actually Human Aliens; they are a universally magic-capable derivative of Dahnans created by the true native species of Rena, the Helganquil, as an unknowing tool of conquest.
  • Interface Spoiler: Considering the menu shows art of the characters when they have a status menu, the fact that Rinwell is paired with Law as well as Zephyr isn't there pretty much tells players how a few story events will play out.
  • Invading Refugees: The Helganquil and the Great Astral Spirit are trying to absorb Dahna's astral energy to keep Rena alive. Notably, they are treated with more sympathy than the human villains, Renan and Dahnan alike, who have a choice in the matter.
  • La Résistance: Each of the provinces on Dahna, save Ganath Haros, has some form of a Dahnan rebel organization seeking to overthrow their Renan rulers and save their people. Specifically:
    • Calaglia has the Crimson Crows, lead by Zephyr. They want to push the Renans out by liberating small groups of Dahnan people to join their cause, and fight by primarily attacking through guerrilla methods.
    • Cyslodia has the Silver Swords, lead by Meneck. They operate in secret, using hideouts and secret tunnels to avoid the Snake Eyes, and prefer to have their members infiltrate key spots in order to pass along information.
    • Viscint has the Gold Dust Cats, lead by Migal. They are a collection of people who want to protect the peace Dohalim has created from his more abusive direct subordinates, as well as expose The Conspiracy to oust him. They operate out of a hidden mine in the forest near the capital.
    • Mahag Saar has the Dark Wings, lead by Dedyme. Unlike the others, they have already successfully fought back their Renan rulers and claimed back the area, but their brutal methods have made things worse.
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: The Renas Alma that the heroes spend the majority of the story killing lords to try and create is snatched away from them by the Helganquil who had intended to use it for 300 years.
  • Made a Slave: Every Dahnan is a slave to the Renans, embedded with spirit stones in their hands. This is to siphon off the astral energy from their bodies.
  • Mage Species: Renans can all use magic by channeling Astral Energy, and their eyes light up when doing so. Dahnans once had their own population of mages, but now they are only known in rumor and legend. This is because the Renans are in fact the descendants of magic-capable Dahnans that were abducted and experimented on by the Helganquil in order to take over the work of the declining Helganquil and to find candidates capable of conducting the Spirit Channeling Ceremony necessary to siphon and send the entirety of Dahna's astral energy to Rena in one fell swoop. Back on Dahna small numbers of mages survived in hiding for centuries, but after a recent massacre Rinwell is the only one known to still live.
  • Magikarp Power: While nobody is considered "bad" by any means, Rinwell and Law end up getting significantly stronger as the game goes on due to skills and accessories that either flat out increase damage (Rinwell) or reduce weaknesses (Law). This means that they can deal quite a bit of damage against difficult enemies and single bosses, while early on they easily get knocked out. Dohalim as well - at first it seems as if he is a Master of None and will be hard to use early on, but in the hands of a player and with plenty of practice, he can run circles around enemies using his Simple Staff - while losing none of his spellcasting or healing power.
  • The Magocracy: One of the reasons Renans see themselves as the Superior Species over Dahnans is their abilities to use Astral Artes. Renan society is also heavily based on Astral Arts capabilities with families that produce fine line of strong Arts Users being near the top of society and where the Lord Candidates are selected from. It's noted that were it not for her curse, Shionne's Astral Arte skills would have given her a high rank among Renan nobility. High rank is not without its downsides though: those with the potential to become a Lord, for instance, do not have the luxury of refusing the grueling competitions that result nor the position itself should they win.
  • Mana Meter:
    • Every character has Arte Points, which regenerate fairly rapidly between combos. Every technique not a basic attack draws from them, making them a limiter on combo length.
    • Cure Points are a resource shared among the party which are consumed to use healing artes. They don't regenerate by themselves, putting an effective limit on the party's longevity while in the field. Field actions also draw from this (as they involve things like weilding the Blazing Sword or healing NPCs).
  • Multi-Mook Melee: When first using the elevator on Rena, you fight a continuous stream of zeugles. Your characters even complain about the fact that more and more just seem to keep showing up.
  • Mythology Gag: Shares a page with the rest of the franchise here.
  • The Night That Never Ends: Cyslodia is stick in a perpetual state of nighttime, regardless of the time of day it is. This is because the Renan Lord of the in the area is harvesting Light Astral energy for the Crown Competition, which, due to the elemental balance in play, leaves only Dark astral energy in the area, resulting in it always being overcast with dark clouds and resulting in said clouds producing heavy snowfall that leaves the land in a state of near-perpetual winter. Defeating him allows the sun to come back.

    Tropes N-Z 
  • Nostalgia Level: A post-game sub-quest delivers one long trip to seven different worlds, where the party travels through key locations of past Tales entries such as Destiny, Symphonia, Abyss, Zestiria, Xillia 2, and Berseria, and their respective map and battle themes also make a comeback. However, the only guest characters that appear in this area are Edna from Zestiria, Eizen from Berseria, and Chronos from Xillia 2.
  • Only One Name: Dahnans, as a rule, do not have surnames. This is a clue that Shionne is a Renan early in the game; as soon as the Crimson Crows find out that she has more than one name, she's immediately found out.
  • Pillar of Light: In the second half of the game, a "Wedge" is shot down from Lenegis to sap Dahna's astral energy and feed it to Rena. It happens twice even, after the heroes manage to stop it temporarily the first time. Further revelations unveil the full sinister nature of the 300 year plan in effect behind the phenomenon, and the danger it poses to all life on Dahna.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Spirit Cores give off more astral energy through physical exertion and effort. Thus, embedded slaves are put to grueling work in whatever manner the current Lord finds most efficient to maximize their exertion. They have to strike a careful balance between making each slave work as hard as possible while also keeping them alive, as dead slaves are useless. That is, until the Fruit of Helgan is developed...
  • Ragnarök Proofing: When the party decides they have to go to Lenegis to investigate why the Wedge was launched down to Dahna, the only starship around is the same one that Naori sent Alphen down in 300 years ago. To everyone's amazement, the starship is still in fine condition and ready to fly after Dohalim gives its system an inspection. The only thing three centuries of disuse have done to it is have a bunch of foliage and vines growing over it and the ship taking the better part of a day to power up for takeoff.
  • Released to Elsewhere:
    • There's a "medical facility" in the Elde Menencia quarry that is kept off-limits even to high-ranking personnel. This is not because of any biosafety concerns, as originally stated, but because it's actually a dumping ground for hollowed-out Dahnans. Migal personally leads Dohalim there and commits a Heroic Suicide on the spot to show him the horrific atrocities that have been carried out right under his nose for some time.
    • The winner of the Crown Contest is named Sovereign, goes to Rena, supposedly to rule over Lenegis and Dahna from afar, and never leaves the planet or appears in person again. In reality, the victors are killed by the Helganquil. When the party goes to Rena, they fight a monster with several human faces that Dohalim suspects was made from the corpses of the Renan Sovereigns.
  • Replay Mode: The game allows the player to rewatch both cutscenes, highlights and the many, many dialogue "skits" which occur throughout the game. Usually, they will also list any skits the character missed, preventing them from becoming Permanently Missable Content.
  • Required Secondary Powers: Double subverted. The Blazing Sword does not come with innate protection against fire for its wielder, and it's as damaging to hold the blade as it is to be hit by it. However, Alphen's inability to feel pain means he can still hold and use the sword as a weapon (though not for extended periods of time), and Shionne's Healing Hands allow her to fix the damage afterwards. So Alphen and Shionne technically both have the required necessary abilities to use the sword, but just by circumstance.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: In full force in Mahag Saar, the fourth region of the game. When the group arrives, the Lord has (supposedly) already been overthrown and the rest of the Renans chased out by the local rebel group, the Dark Wings. Problem is, the entire city has been bombed to hell and back with smoldering ruins everywhere, the Dark Wings are run by a psychopathic dictator who gleefully says the cost of all those civilian casualties and ruining of their home was worth driving out the Renans, and as the group discusses, even if the Dark Wings succeeded, Mahag Saar would just be trading one brutal dictator for another, rendering the revolution ultimately pointless.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Villified: With the exception of Mahag Saar, which intentionally points out how a slave rebellion can be just as destructive, brutal, and senseless as an authoritarian occupation, the various rebel groups of the Dahnans are portrayed in positive lights and the entire point of the game is to rebel against and overthrow the Renan lords and anyone who wishes to continue the 300 years of slavery. It is noted repeatedly though how it takes a lot of effort and good leadership to keep the rebellions from degenerating into chaos and revenge killing. In one camp conversation, Law even wonders aloud at one point if they were simply lucky that the other liberated realms didn't end up like Mahag Saar.
  • Romance Arc: After several main entries in the franchise not being particularly focused on romance among the protagonists, or it isn’t shown in depth when there is some romance going on, Arise brings the love with a vengeance, it joins the gallery of main couples being deeply explored and completely tied by the end: kiss, marriage and all.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: At least in English, the subtitles for the whole game are generally riddled with typos and simple grammar mistakes (common errors include misusing "your" vs. "you're" and misspelling "Renans" as "Renas"). There are also instances where what is written in the text box is fine spelling and grammar wise but doesn't match what the English voice actors are saying.
  • Running Both Sides: Ganabelt, the Lord of Cyslodia, was also the leader of the local resistance group Silver Swords, keeping the latter alive as controlled opposition.
  • Science Fantasy: While still a fantasy RPG at its core, Arise features greater usage of sci-fi elements compared to other Tales games. The Renan occupation of Dahna is essentially an Alien Invasion complete with a fleet of starships as shown in the intro. Magitek such as the transferral technology Shionne uses to store her rifle outside of combat are commonplace. Then there is the origin of the Renan race themselves being the product of a eugenics experiment by the explicitly alien Helganquil race.
  • Shattered World: Late in the game, the party discovers that Rena is this, the part facing Lenegis and Dahna only making the planet appear to be whole. They even liken it to a broken egg. This is all but stated to be a result of the Great Spirit sucking out all Astral energy out of the planet, not just from its life forms, but from the soil, rocks and water, leaving little more than a sea of Hollowing. Surprisingly, there's still an atmosphere for the party to breathe.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Aside from the many scenes leading up to the Romance Arc of the two main characters, there are many scenes devoted to heavily implying there is romance developing between the rest of the party as well, namely Law/Rinwell and Dohalim/Kisara.
    • In particular near the end of the game there are two sets of sequences that feature each pairing. The first set involves an intimate talk that heavily teases the feelings of the Dohalim/Kisara and Law/Rinwell pairings, but outright has Shionne stop Alphen from confessing his love then and there, asking that he wait until her thorns are removed. The second set occurs during the final fight against the Great Astral Spirit, and features a mandatory Boost Strike for each pairing where they attack while expressing their devotion and hopes for the future with the other. That their scenes are treated as equals to Shionne and Alphen's are quite telling.
      Rinwell and Law in unison: You and me! From here on out!
      Dohalim: No more dithering!
      Kisara: Our future!
      Dohalim and Kisara: It begins here!
  • Shout-Out: The Collaboration Costumes DLC Crossover outfits allow Rinwell to obtain an idol costume, while Shionne and Kisara get costumes based on Mia Karnstein and Nina Williams.
  • Slave Brand: All Dahnan slaves have these in the form of spirit stones implanted in them at birth, which is what allows the Renan's to drain them of their Astral Energy. It is possible to remove them, something that most of the resistance organizations do in order to show their defiance, but doing so is fairly painful and leaves a scar on the persons body. Kisara is one of the only ones who avoids this is, but only because there was a Renan doctor capable of safely removing it without scaring her. The other Dahnans in the party avoided having spirit stones to begin with due to various special circumstances (Law was born in secret, Rinwell's whole family lived in hiding, and Alphen went into dormancy some years before the Renan invasion even happened).
  • Slave Mooks: In the fifth realm, the Renan soldiers are just as much hapless, mentally destroyed slaves of their lord as the Dahnans are. More of these mindless Renan soldiers are also encountered in Lenegis as the party investigates the Forbidden Zone. And finally, on Rena itself, the few living Helganquil are all enemies but have long ago lost any sense of identity or ability to think and are completely subsumed by the Great Spirit of Rena's will.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Arise is one of the darker Tales games to date, discussing such subject matter as genocide, eugenics, and imperialism. That said, this is also one of the most unambiguously idealistic entries in the series, featuring a cast of noble people who are striving to do good in a world that thrives on suffering. Alphen in particular is a great example of this: he has a stereotypical "edgy" character design and his ability to Feel No Pain means he can brush off some serious hits, but he's also an incredibly kind and righteous young man. He also regularly speaks to the idea of his life being better spent fighting oppression than dying in slavery. Consequently, this entry also has one of the happiest endings in the series, with the entire party alive by the end, all the villains defeated, both planets merging, and Alphen and Shionne marrying.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The Helganquil, the true natives of Rena, are a Science Fantasy version of this.
  • Superboss: Two of them. As usual for the series, they're previous Tales character cameos.
    • The first of these fights is against Edna and Eizen, who must be fought in a Dual Boss battle. Notably, this is the first time that the brother-and-sister duo have ever fought together in a mainline Tales game; all other times were crossover or spinoff titles.
    • The second fight is against Chronos from Tales of Xillia 2, who is faced by himself. Not the first time he's been a particularly difficult boss fight.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity:
    • While you can save anywhere, there are healing points that fully restore your party's HP to full and restore all of your Cure Points. When you see one of these healing points, expect a major boss fight to be just around the corner.
    • Right before Vholran's fight, you'll find two chests containing an Omega Elixir (completely heals all of your allies) and a Gold Gel (completely restores your CP). Surprise, surprise, you have to fight him twice.
  • Take Our Word for It: The plot never fully goes into what methods Vholran uses to completely break the wills of both his Renan and Dahnan underlings, but we're told that it's both unspeakably cruel and amazingly effective, and does not rely on any form of Mind Control or other form of magic. It's vaguely described as "pure force of will", and the researchers within the Forbidden Zone are so impressed with it that they make note to investigate it further.
  • Time Skip: After liberating Ganath Haros, the story skips ahead to a month later, during which time the party helps its residents move on from Vholran's rule.
  • Tomato Surprise: It turns out that Renans as we know them aren't a separate race but rather the descendants of magic-capable Dahnans experimented on by the Helganquil, the true natives of Rena.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: A gameplay mechanic tied to cooking this time. Each character has some dishes they prefer, and, if prepared by them, give them new effects. Specifically:
    • Alphen prefers spicy, or hot food like Curry. Food cooked by him increases the food's effect by 15%.
    • Shionne prefers food that can be made in bulk like Porridge. Food cooked by her uses double the ingredients in exchange for a 90% duration and effectiveness buff.
    • Rinwell prefers sweets like Apple Pie. Food made by her decreases the food's effect but increases its duration.
    • Law prefers meat of any kind like Kebabs. Food made by him decreases the food's effect duration by 25% in exchange for a 50% effect bonus.
    • Kisara prefers fish and vegetables, such as Lohikeitto and Gnocchi. Food made by her increases the duration by 20%.
    • Dohalim prefers food that has lots of ingredients or are a bit out there, such as Beef Stew. Food made by him gains a 30% effect increase when the duration is less than half used up.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: This is very much one of this game's deconstructions. When people have gotten their "Vengeance", sometimes they don't even know what to do with their lives. Law in particular, when he gets his revenge for his father's death, doesn't even mention anything, and says maybe he will just find some ditch to die in somewhere. A major theme of the game is ending the Cycle of Revenge, and the game frames those who give into their desire for vengenance as being no better then the person they were wanting revenge against, as shown with Dedyme.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Del Fharis Castle in Ganath Haros is built up to be the Final Dungeon as it is the residence of Big Bad Vholran, the last Renan lord to be fought against. As per Tales Series tradition though, it is actually but a Disc-One Final Dungeon with the real one taking place in the decimated planet of Rena.
  • Voice Grunting: The game has full voice-acting during story cutscenes. However, during the acceptance and completion of sidequests, dialogue is presented in text-boxes, along with brief lines, i.e. "Right," "Mm-hmm," "I'm not so sure," etc.
  • Wham Line: The Tales Series is known for having its narratives each contain a Plot Twist that manages to turn a commonly-used video game or anime trope on its head, and Arise is no exception.
    • The origins of both Renans and Dahnans is treated with some gravitas by the narrative, since it turns a lot of the oppression and corrupt system into a mystery.
      "Well, in a nutshell, the Renans were originally created from Dahnans by the Helganquil."
  • Wham Shot: Late in the game the party gets teleported to another location in space, and both the party and audience finally get a good look at the whole of Rena, revealing the planet to be almost completely destroyed, save for masses at its poles and core, resembling a chewed up apple. And later on? When you get to the surface of Rena it's covered in an ocean of hollowed life, with the remains of buildings jutting out of it.

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