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In my heart is a flame I could not extinguish even if I wanted to.
To live as you are, and to be true to yourself.
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Tales of Berseria is the sixteenth title in the Tales Series, and a Prequel set in the distant past of Tales of Zestiria. The game was released in 2016 for the PS3, PS4, and PC. A Western localization was released for January 2017, though the PS3 version was not released outside of Japan due to the waning popularity of the format outside of the Japanese market. It is the first Mothership Tales title to have a female protagonist (who is not sharing the position with a male protagonist).

Many hundreds of years before the events of Zestiria, the continent of Midgand suffered under a terrible curse called "Daemonblight". Ordinary humans and animals became possessed by evil spirits and were transformed into bloodthirsty monsters that preyed upon the living. That was until the day a saviour named Artorius Colbrande appeared and united the world against the bestial hordes that threatened to destroy it. Wielding a holy sword and a philosophy of "reason over emotion", Artorius causes the Advent of angelic malakhim into the world, and leads the Exorcists of "The Abbey" in a crusade to eradicate Daemonblight once and for all.

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Yet in a dark prison cell far from human contact lies a woman named Velvet Crowe, whose peaceful life was shattered three years ago in one of the "Scarlet Nights" that used to inspire terror the world over - the same night the rest of the world knows as the Advent. Velvet knows the terrible truth of how Artorius gained his divine strength during that Scarlet Night, an incident that twisted her left arm with daemonic power, left dark scars upon her former kindness... and left her bereaved of her little brother. One night, a mysterious woman, who Velvet suspects she knows, visits her cell. The woman has a proposal: if Velvet can escape from the prison, the woman will help her take revenge upon Artorius. With burning hatred in her heart, Velvet embarks on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that threatens to uproot and revolutionize the world order.

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Gameplay contains most Tales staples like cooking, percentage-based healing items, skits and a real-time combat system with shades of Stylish Action mechanics. However, several variations have been introduced, particularly in combat. While most former Tales games had one button for physical attacks and another for "Artes," Berseria borrows from the Tales of Graces and Tales of Zestiria combat system, where all attacks are technically Artes, divided between "Martial" Artes (the replacement for physical attacks) and Arcane Artes (magic). There are some changes from the previous games' system, however; players may bring sixteen of these attacks into battle, assigning them to a grid which deploys a different skill depending on which button you press, which can be chained for up to four inputs. Combos are limited by the "Soul Gauge," which by default has three souls in it. Souls are temporarily consumed when attacking, but regenerate quickly. The three-Soul Cap can be raised by stunning or slaying foes, to a maximum of five — but note that enemies can do this to you as well, potentially leaving you Cherry Tapping away with only one Soul's worth of Artes to use. Finally, the cap can be lowered by one to use a Limit Break called a "Break Soul," which are special attacks and abilities unique to each party member. For example, Velvet's Break Soul grants her a Super Mode which increases her damage output, allows her to perform combo finishers called Break Artes, and makes her immune to staggering, but causes her HP to gradually drop overtime through continued use. Break Souls cannot be used if the character has less than 3 Souls, but can help increase the length of combos. The game brings back the Blast Gauge mechanic from Zestiria, but adds a second element called a "Switch Blast," a Switch-Out Move that consumes one Soul but can also be used to continue combos.


This game provides examples of:

  • Abandoned Mine: Vester Tunnels.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Barona Catacombs beneath Loegres.
  • Action Girl: Velvet, Magilou, and Eleanor. Obviously, all three of them are members of your party, and all kick ass in their way. Though Magilou stays out of the fray until she gets her Malak back. Velvet is the most obvious example of the three, but all of them can be quite dangerous.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Laphicet, aka Malak Number Two, once he's allowed to break out of his shell and emote, is quite curious about the natural phenomenon of the world. The kid risks his life for a compass!
  • Advanced Ancient Humans: The Avarost civilization was more technologically advanced than anything found in Berseria or even Zestiria. The Temperance of Avarost is the time mentioned to be when their nation fell, leaving behind books written in their language. Their culture also formed a language that emphasised emotion when speaking and writing, making the same words have different meaning depending on the emotion of the writer.
  • The Alcatraz: Titania - The Island Prison.
  • A Lighter Shade of Grey: A first for a Tales game. While Velvet's group are undeniably the "good guys" and the Abbey the "bad guys", the game blurs the line a bit as every (barring Laphicet and Eleanor) party member has some self-serving motive and not all of them are entirely heroic in nature, while also going around destroying anything that gets in their way. Besides that however, they're pretty decent people. Meanwhile, the Abbey appear to be good as they suppress the daemon attacks and supply many towns with protection from them and their goals are certainly good-natured, but they resort to a lot of questionable actions in the process, including using children, enslaving Malaks and treating them as tools, and their ultimate plan is get rid of the free will of everybody on the planet to permanently get rid of Malevolence. Ultimately, the conflict of the game is less "Good vs. Evil" and more "Emotion vs. Reason" and the actions the characters take as a result of it.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Velvet can give off this vibe. If it doesn't involve her vengeance, it doesn't concern her.
  • And Then What?: Discussed. Velvet freely admits to her few allies that her goal is "kill Artorius," and that's it; there's no long term goal beyond that. Character development throughout the story mitigates this somewhat, but towards the end, she's still focused just on killing her target, even if it's for a more noble reason.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: A majority of the rewards you gain from opening Katz Boxes, trading in Tales Coins, as well as completing sidequest chains are often extra costumes and attachments for your characters.
  • Animated Armor:
    • The Antique Armor boss fought in Titania.
    • Kurogane as well
    • There's also Lancelot, the Bonus Boss fought in Vortigern.
  • Animals Lack Attributes: The werewolf enemies are frequently seen wearing nothing, yet the females look the exact same as males... aside from one in the temple of Palimedes, which has rather visible breasts. Turns out? That's a hint - that werewolf is Kamoana's mother.
  • Anti-Hero: Velvet, and indeed at least half of the party, are portrayed by the game's marketing as being unconventionally heroic, with only a couple Token Good Teammates (Laphicet and Eleanor) to leaven them out. The execution of this intent had a bit of a mixed reception.
  • Anti-Villain: Meanwhile, the bad guys represent a Corrupt Church and are thus clothed in the trappings of piety. However, most of the recurring mini-boss characters are Punch Clock Villains who joined the Abbey out of a genuine desire to do good; they get Alas, Poor Villain moments. Additionally, it's a Plot Point that they must possess Incorruptible Pure Pureness (their souls could not have been used to power up the Four Elemental Empyreans otherwise, nor could Teresa have become a "pure" therion).
  • Arc Words: "Do you know why it is that birds fly?" Artorius asks this question of various characters throughout the game. His personal answer is: because it is inherently within their nature. Just before the final boss, Velvet gives him her answer: because they want to.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • The Twelve Year Sickness. A rare ailment that induces gradually worsening fevers in children every twelve days, until their twelfth year of age, in which they finally succumb to their illness. They all die exactly on their twelfth birthdays. This is the reason why Velvet's younger brother willingly offered himself as the sacrifice to Innominat. A cure does in fact exist known as the cure-all Omega Elixir. The book containing it was taken to Videl, whom Laphicet cures.
    • The Corsair's Scourge is a fatal disease caught upon the seas, where the body first undergoes a high fever and eventually falls apart like sand in the later and final stages. Drinking water helps to stall the symptoms from spreading. The cure made from the flower Sale'tomah requires larger doses in the later stages and is known for its disgusting taste.
    • The absurdity of both these illnesses is pointed out. Magilou even notes the 12 Year sickness sounds more like a curse than a disease.
  • Artistic License – Geology: The continents that form the setting of Tales of Berseria will eventually merge together to form the supercontinent of Glenwood, the setting of Tales of Zestiria, over a span of 1000 years. Not millions of years, one-thousand years. However, this is justified and hand waved by Eizen, who claims that plate tectonics will be accelerated when the Four Elemental Empyreans awaken from their slumber.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: "Velvet Crowe." Magilou also has an elaborately flowery long name of more than ten words, but shortens it for convenience.
  • Awful Truth:
    • The truth behind the daemonblight is known to malakhim but not to humans, since knowing it would cause chaos. The truth is that "daemonblight" doesn't even exist, and daemons are caused by malevolence in the hearts of men. Though if you played Zestiria then that's not as much of a twist for you as it is for the cast.
    • Exploited by Artorius. He's got an ace up his sleeve to deal with Velvet, and waits until just the right moment to reveal it: Velvet's brother Laphicet wasn't a random victim; he was a willing sacrifice to the ritual, and became Innominat's vessel freely. Artorius reveals this right when it would hurt Velvet the most because he wants Velvet to become the malevolence of despair.
  • Background Music Override: Once you get to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, the same track, "The way of the embodied dragon," is used for everything except bosses. (Fortunately, it's a great track.)
  • Bad Moon Rising: The moon turns blood red during the Advent, also known as the Scarlet Night, where innocents become Daemons and Malaks descend upon the world. Velvet was transformed into a Daemon on this night.
  • Be Yourself: Although never stated this way directly, this idea lies at the heart of the creed followed by the characters and they are fighting against a force that would turn everyone into unthinking creatures without any personality. "In my heart is a flame I could not extinguish even if I wanted to. To live as you are, and to be true to yourself."
  • BFS: Rokurou and Shigure both have them. They're actually properly-sized Nodachi and the Japanese script calls them such (the dub settles for "great sword"). In a nice bit of Truth in Television, the weapon is acknowledged to be rather situational, and Rangetsu Style practitioners also train to use a pair of daggers if the area is too cramped or the enemy too close for a very long blade to be practical; Rokurou, in fact, specializes in that half of the style.
  • Big Bad: Artorius Colbrande, who causes Velvet's Roaring Rampage of Revenge after causing both her Red Right Hand, and death of her brother. Turns out that's not quite right, but Artorius is still the main antagonist.
    • Velvet herself is this in-universe, becoming seen as the dreaded Lord of Calamity by the people of the world both for her more reckless and selfish choices and her opposition to Artorius and the Exorcists.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Velvet and the rest of the party arrive just in time to save Magilou from being killed by Melchior.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Artorius and the Exorcist order are defeated and the world is saved from Innominat turning people into emotionless husks... but Laphicet (who is now called Maotelus) chooses to become an Empyrean alongside Teresa, Oscar, Shigure, and Melchior (now the four elemental Empyreans Musiphe, Hyanoa, Eumacia, and Amenoch, respectively) to stop the spread of malevolence while Velvet seals away Innominat to stop him and be with the little brother she still loves. Eleanor becomes a Shepherd to lead the people, while Magilou and Rokurou are left Walking the Earth. Humans lose the ability to naturally see malakhim (who are subsequently called seraphim) and the two races come to distance themselves from each other, with Eizen remaining with Aifread's pirates despite them no longer being able to see him. Malevolence and its threat still exists, however, and the world must continue to battle with the emotions that reside in people's hearts lest they be corrupted. In addition, those who played Tales of Zestiria know that the tragic fate of Van Aifread and the death of Zaveid's girlfriend-turned-dragon transforms Zaveid from a Wide-Eyed Idealist and Technical Pacifist to the cynical murderer he was before meeting Sorey; Eizen is doomed to become a Dragon that is ultimately Mercy Killed by Edna and Zaveid; and Laphicet/Maotelus is doomed to be corrupted by Michael until Sorey purifies him.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Averted, which is unusual for a Tales Series main title. Velvet is shown killing a daemon, and the blood splatter splashes onto her cheek during the Scarlet Night. Several other characters who are close to death also have Blood from the Mouth or bloody noses at times, and characters who die from slashing or stabbing injuries show visible cuts and gashes.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • Several, which can be fought in most sidequests. The two most common types of Bonus Bosses though are the Code Red Daemonsnote  and the Dire Foesnote , both of which are just really powerful versions of regular mooks.
    • As per Tales tradition, previous Tales characters can also be fought. This time, it's Jude and Milla, first being fought individually, and then together as a Dual Boss.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The EX Dungeon is called the Heavenly Steppes. It's got the toughest enemies, but also has the best loot, and the enemies give a ton of experience points.
  • Boring, but Practical: Because of the emphasis on Item Crafting, Titles which increase item drop rates are incredibly useful — especially because you don't find many crafting reagents out in the world; your main source of them is breaking down extra pieces of equipment.
  • Boss Bonanza: The final dungeon has upgraded copies of plot-critical bosses to fight (the other six therions) in addition to the Final Boss. They're entirely optional, but choosing to defeat them will unlock each party member's level 3 Mystic Artes.
  • Boss Rush: The final Class 4 Administrative Zone, the Elite Quarter, has you fight against upgraded versions of previous bosses you've defeated, in addition to some new bosses that are exclusive to this arena.
  • Bowdlerize: In the original Japanese version game, Artorius kills Laphicet by running him through the chest with a longsword. The North American and European versions had to censor this scene due to content ratings, changing it to Artorius casting a complex spell that runs twin swords made of light through Laphicet's chest instead.
  • Break Them by Talking: This is the last step in Inominat's scheme to make Velvet cross the Despair Event Horizon. Inominat reveals that Velvet's quest has been All for Nothing since he sacrificed himself of his own free will, causing Velvet to agree that she's a monster. Luckily, her allies help her snap out of it.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: In the Heavenly Steppes bonus dungeon, it's possible to pay Katz in katz spirits to make the "extinguish the fires of malevolence" requirements easier. Paying can reduce time-consuming black thorns, increase the amount of time you have, or show the location of the mini-fires on the map. The most expensive option, in true "bribe your way to victory" fashion, outright skips the entire thing and allows you to proceed without clearing the dungeon floor.
  • Broken Bird: As a result of the "incident", Velvet turned from a happy and kind girl into a bitter loner.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: The Heavenly Steppes, the game's Bonus Dungeon. There are enemies up to level 120, in a game where the final boss can be beaten at level 70. The dungeon's gimmick requires purifying a black flame of malevolence full of a gauntlet of enemies. After clearing it, a player has to find other similar, smaller flames under a time limit. If the timer runs out, the player has to clear the large flame all over again for another try. The dungeon requires a player to clear six different levels of this, each one getting progressively harder with tougher enemies, and each level has its own boss. On top of all this, there are no save points. If a player dies, they have to start the entire dungeon all over again.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Fens of Nog and Baird Marsh.
  • Call-Forward: The game features numerous examples since it's a prequel to Tales of Zestiria. Hell, Arma Dylan is even mentioned by name!
    • The first "enemies" Velvet has are prickleboars, which she hunts. The first enemies Sorey ever had to deal with (implied - the first battle in game is with a hellion) are prickleboars, which he also hunts in a similar fashion. Their reasons are different; Velvet hunts mainly to sell the prickleboars for money, while Sorey hunts them for food and their hides for himself.
    • It's repeatedly mentioned that the world is getting cooler (which plays havoc on the weather). Also, some exploration and talk with NPCs will reveal that the lands are drifting towards each other. A discovery skit in Zestiria has Sorey, Mikleo, and Dezel discuss how a dead tree's rings are close together because of it going through a cold time period; meanwhile, the mention of the lands moving together explains the different geography of Zestiria compared to Berseria. There's even a small comment in Zestiria that suggests part of the reason Glenwood looks as it does is because powerful earth malakim/seraphim moved the land for whatever reason. And in Berseria it's mentioned that changes to the land will take only a few hundred years thanks to the Empyreans having been awoken by Velvet.
    • Eizen's Draconic Drive and gives him a dark appearance with wings, which foreshadows his fate before Tales of Zestiria.
    • The Undead Dragon on Hexen Island is revealed to be another Malak like Laphicet who the party took with them, but was forcibly turned into a dragon by Innominat to stop them. They defeat it and when they do the skeleton is all that remains, and gets revived by malevolence during Zestiria.
    • Laphicet's third Mystic Arte is the series' main staple Indignation. Which is the same Indignation Heldalf uses in Zestiria because Laphicet goes on to become Maotelus.
    • The Empyrean's Throne is identical to Artorius's Throne, only not ruined. It also has the symbol of Innominat on it just like in Zestiria. That's because Innominat is the second Big Bad of the game.
    • Another area in Zestiria is called "Aifread's Hunting Grounds". It is a coastal area with a broken landscape, cliffs, and ruins. It is very similar to where you finally defeat Aifread in Berseria.
    • There are several references made in Zestiria to an "Era of Asgard". In this game, Asgard is the name of the royal family.
      • This is further played with if you visit the church in Taliesin; an NPC there will mention an even older civilization during an Era of Asgard, and will even namedrop a Holy Kingdom of Hyland that sank beneath a lake. Another character in Taliesin talks about wanting to build a new town at the lake using the old city as a foundation and attract ladies—hence, Zestiria's Ladylake, capital of Hyland.
    • The crests of the four elemental Empyreans are the same symbols of the weapons that Sorey and Rose use while armatized: fire is a sword, water is a bow, and so on.
    • Armatization returns in this game, except the Awful Truth is revealed that it was an experimental arte formed by Melchior to fuse human and malak, and it had unfortunate consequences because the users were not truly synchronized. You can also find two malaks near the Empyrean's throne, one carrying Mikleo's bow, discussing the possibility of perfecting it in the case of troublesome future crises.
    • After a good deal of debauchery, Velvet eventually comes to news from locals that she is referred to as the Lord of Calamity, Heldalf's title in Zestiria.
    • To get past the guards at the capital, improvisation and Bad "Bad Acting" is used when The Protagonist is called out for being suspicious.
    • Hexen Island is visited during the main plot resulting in the set up for the Bonus Boss of Zestiria.
    • Talking with a blue Normin on Normin Island has him wishing for nice master, preferably a very pretty girl who will pamper him. He goes on to say that if she meets his standards, he won't mind if she liked making terrible puns. Anyone who played Zestiria will know that this is a reference to Lailah.
    • On Normin Island, you can find Atakk, who says that he was jealous of Bienfu's and Grimoire's hats, and that he was going to go find a nice shiny gold one.
    • When the party starts seeing visions of the past, Eizen says he's heard of it and calls it the Earthen Historia. The same Earthen Historia was used in Zestiria to see Heldalf's backstory.
    • At the end the World-Healing Wave fails to purify Rokurou. This exact same problem with the silver flame and purifying hellions pops up in the latter parts of Zestiria.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Zigzagged. Every attack does have its own callout, but it's not necessarily the attack's name. Some characters call our their artes' name when they use them, but sometimes they instead either give shouts like "Hi-YAH!", or taunts like "too slow!" and "no escape!". Velvet and Eizen are notable for going in and out of this.
  • Cannibalism Super Power: Venomization is said to be a dark ritual that forces demons to devour one another to make more powerful demons. Therions are naturally occurring daemon eaters, although only a small number may exist at a given time, and as a general rule appear to be more powerful than products of venomization.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: Downplayed. Velvet is the viewpoint character, and will always be in the party because the perspective follows her, but there's nothing forcing you to control her in battle or even keep her in the front lines. Your backup can be hot-swapped into the party during battle, and you can switch which character you're controlling at any time. So while Velvet is always in the party, she doesn't have to fight if a player doesn't want her to.
  • Capital City: Loegres, the capital of The Empire.
  • Checkpoint Starvation: The EX Dungeon has no save points, so you have to clear the entire dungeon in one go. While losing a battle won't result in a game over in this dungeon, it will send you all the way back to the entrance portal, meaning you will have to redo all of your progress from scratch again.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Laphicet copied one of Arthur's books at the beginning, and sold it to buy a comb for Velvet. Turns out this book is the key to understand Artorius' true intents.
    • The comb Laphicet buys Velvet in the beginning of the game? Velvet uses it as a feint against Innominat in the final battle. Really hits home given that her brother is Innominat's vessel.
  • Collective Identity: Of a sort. While Velvet is the primary character associated with the Red Baron moniker "Lord of Calamity", the rumors of her exploits grow to take on some of Magilou's traits as well.
  • Cool Board: Midway through the game, you can obtain the geoboard which allows Velvet to travel much faster, and kills lower-leveled enemies if it runs into them.
  • Cool Ship: The Van Eltia, the ship sailed by Aifread's pirate crew. It's said to be the fastest ship in the world.
  • Corrupt Church: Subverted. The church was a benign religion that existed before Artorius and the Abbey placed their deity Empyrean Innominat as the new being of worship at its center. Plus, most people in the Abbey aren't all that bad; some are actively shown trying to help the citizens of the world.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: The root of Velvet's problems lies with a malevolent, godlike being that acts as a Barrier Maiden in exchange for Human Sacrifices, who's constantly keeping the Daemonblight at bay is subject to Eternal Recurrence. What makes it this instead of Lovecraft Lite is that the only way to defeat said malevolent, godlike being, and to stop said Eternal Recurrence, is for Velvet to become a Barrier Maiden for it while her reincarnated nephew replaces it as a global Barrier Maiden (with said nephew not requiring sacrifices).
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Some of the controls have swapped buttons compared to the previous games:
    • Guard/Sidestep has been moved from the Square button to the L1 button.
    • Skits are now triggered with the Triangle button instead of the Select/Touchpad button.
    • The menu is opened by pressing the Touchpad instead of the Triangle button.
    • Of course, things are different in the Japan-only PlayStation 3 version, since there is no Touchpad.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The earliest iteration of the armatization feature from Zestiria is formally introduced in Berseria as a highly unstable, untested arte used by the Abbey in the latter half of the game.
  • Darker and Edgier: The game is confirmed to have a darker tone than its predecessor, Tales of Zestiria. The game is the most mature and dark entry in the series so far, being a tale of revenge rather than a quest to save the world. Magilou, at one point, even calls the party "a group of villains." Many have called this game the darkest Tales game yet, after Abyss.
  • Deconstruction: In several ways, the whole game deconstructs many aspects of Zestiria.
    • Berseria takes the trope of What Is One Man's Life in Comparison? from the opposing end. To Velvet, the ends did not justify the means, and is a massive source of heartache and rage.
    • It deconstructs the Byronic Hero by showing how violent and merciless such a person might actually be if they focused only on their passions. Velvet certainly is passionate about her revenge, but she won't ever stop talking about it, and commits several atrocities in the name of it.
    • The Villain with Good Publicity trope is examined for the "publicity" part especially. In spite of saving the world, Velvet is remembered as a monster, and Artorious is remembered as a hero. Velvet doesn't get a happy ending as the result of the Abbey rewriting history to remember her only as the Lord of Calamity. It's helped along by the fact Velvet really did several terrible things in order to kill Artorious, like destroying an entire town's livelihood and killing innocent people.
    • More generally, it also deconstructs The Needs of the Many, showing it's a dehumanizing philosophy that suppresses even the smallest freedoms and results in poor quality of life for the individual person because said philosophy only focuses on the masses. Being willing and able to enforce such a system inherently means a leader has No Sympathy and sees people as numbers, not living things. The Abbey's good PR isn't a natural result of their efforts, but a necessary façade to stop the people realizing how abhorrent these laws actually are.
    • Incorruptible Pure Pureness is given this as well. Being pure of heart is a nice virtue, but the world is not exactly kind enough to just bend over to those who seek such a path. Being pure of heart doesn't make you immune to committing evil acts either, the Abbey is pure in intentions, but commit evil for the greater good at many times. As demonstrated with Eleanor in her personal quest later, a pure hearted person is not immune to falling into evil either, the party actively has to do their best to keep Eleanor from being an Anti-Hero as well because she is Laphicet's vessel.
    • The concept of emotions being bad and reason being good is deconstructed as well. The villains want to create a world without emotion since Malovlence is caused by intense negative emotions, and push this belief as the only way to improve mankind. However, as the party point out several times, mankind cannot function without their emotions, and become husks with no reason to live. Later on in the game, the party briefly sees what the ideal world of the Abbey would be, and are horrified at seeing people willing commit suicide once they lose their emotions, as in a world of reason, those who had bad intentions would be expected to die for their sins. The party ends up making it clear later on that sacrificing emotions is just as bad as being blinded by ones emotions, since mankind needs both reason and emotions to operate.
    • Fallen Hero is deconstructed by Artorius. Artorius crossed the Despair Event Horizon when Celica died and stepped into the role of a villain from a story perspective, but unlike most examples of this trope where the Fallen Hero becomes the complete antithesis to what they believed in, Artorius decided to try and save the world at any cost, even if it meant suppressing the free will of mankind. As a result, Artorius lost many of his humanizing elements and became a cold Villain with Good Publicity, but one who still held onto his heroic aspirations. Essentially, he became a Fallen Hero who strengthened his ideals, but to the extreme.
  • Death Mountain: Brigid Ravine.
  • Difficulty Spike: West Laban Tunnel has the first one, the Morgana Woods the second. The boss fights against Therion Theresa and Armatized Oscar are another one of a different variety- the enemies themselves don't get particularly harder, but they have more skills that can stun your party, which wears down their soul gauges.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Normally, you need to be at the end of the game to be able to combo well in a Tales game. That said, using Velvet's Consume Soul as a combo linker can get your combo counts into the 50s relatively early (and using it as a linker helps with it's main weakness, that your health slowly drains while Velvet's in her Super Mode).
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: During one Inn skit, Eleanor has been shut out of her and Velvet's room with Velvet refusing her entry for an extended period of time. When the others come to investigate, Eleanor says that she doesn't know what Velvet is up to all by herself, but she can hear heavy breathing and moaning. It turns out that Velvet's just cleaning the room, the breathing coming from her breathing on the windows while cleaning them, and the moaning being her disgust at the room's unkempt demeanor.
  • Doomed Hometown: Aball, Velvet's hometown, suffers from Daemonblight on the Scarlet Night and everyone succumbs to it. Later, the party visits the town to find that it has recovered and everyone survived, but it turns out it was just one of Melchior's illusions, and the town remained uninhabited for three years.
  • Downloadable Content
    • The PSN offers small additions that make the battles easier by allowing the player to purchase extra HP, some parameter-enhancing herbs, and even some Grade Shop bonuses early like Double Grade or Gald drops. There is also the Adventure Superpack that contains all of those items at once.
    • There are also several costumes that the player can obtain via catalogues, which include some extra skits to be viewed on the title screen. The costumes include a pirate and maid set; swimwear; and the standard, referential Tales Of costumes of Rutee, Richard, Natalia, Arche, Hubert and Ludger.
  • Driving Question: Artorius' question towards Velvet at the beginning of the game, "why do birds fly?" Which is then repeated throughout the entire game at various points. In the end, Velvet's answer is "because they want to fly."
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Velvet appears Episodes 5 and 6 (or 6 and 7 if you include the prologue episode) of Tales of Zestiria the X, which aired before the game's Japanese release. The latter episode even ends with the opening sequence of the game.
  • Easy Level Trick: A rare instance in the Tales series. There's a Code Red Daemon in the Gaiburk Ice Field called the Spectral Crystal, which is Nigh Invulnerable because of its absurdly-high defense stats and being resistant to all damage types. Figuring out how to damage it properly is a case of Guide Dang It!. Unless, you set the battle difficulty to simple (easy), which removes all of its resistances. By that point, the boss becomes rather painfully easy to beat, given its very low HP.
  • Either "World Domination", or Something About Bananas: The ancient Avarost language has a grammar which is nothing like the current language and often requires a keen sense of intuition and unusual leaps of logic in order to truly understand the meaning, as well as sometimes reordering the words. When Laphicet and Grimoirh are trying to figure out the Avarost in an ancient book, Grimoirh finds herself particularly stumped by a line which, if translated literally, states "The parent hates tomatoes, the child eggplants."
    Laphicet: I... doubt those have much to do with Innominant, yeah.
  • Emotions Versus Stoicism: The main conflict of the game is between the main party, who all act on their emotions while the Abbey are on the side of "reasoning".
  • Endless Winter: Northgand, especially the town of Meirchio. An NPC mentions that Northgand used to have a short spring, summer, and fall, but hasn't in a few years due to the world's climate getting colder. Southgand, by contrast, is a tropical island with an eternal summer.
  • The Evils of Free Will: The villains' plan is to remove all emotion from people so they will purely act logically.
  • Expy: Velvet so far appears to be heavily based on Zero. Both are powerful women on a quest for revenge, wear Stripperific clothing, have some sort of unusual demonic curse attached to a body part, and are paired up with someone that's a Adorably Precocious Child. And just like Zero, she ends up using her power to seal away an evil god alongside herself and leaving her dragon friend behind. Similarities to Guts have been made as well.
    • Velvet's design has also been compared to Milla's. Made Hilarious in Hindsight when Milla shows up as a Cameo Character!
    • An exorcist from Abbey that's shown up frequently in the trailers and other pre-release materials has been noted to look fairly similar to Flynn thus giving him his two most popular nicknames, Flynn 2.0 and Knighty. His actual name is Oscar Dragonia and he's a member of Artorius' group.
    • Artorius Collbrande looks a lot like Utsuro, but he's also not too much unlike previous Tales Big Bad Van, as both seek to save humanity by destroying it, creating a world of blank slates. There's even a little resemblance between the two physically.
      • Artorius' outfit as the Shepherd and when he armitizes with Inomminat bring to mind Yggdrasil from Tales of Symphonia.
    • Inomminat/Laphicet Crowe is one to Mithos Yggrasil from Tales of Symphonia. Both are pre-teen boys with older sisters with whom they share a close bond, become godlike figures, seek to turn everyone in the world into soulless drones, opposed by their older sisters (in one way or another), and are ultimately replaced as God-figure.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry:
    • Velvet, especially on her legs, where she has one armored boot and the other leg completely exposed. One of her arms is also covered in bandages to cover her demonic arm and they come off when she fights with it.
    • Rokurou, Magilou, and Eizen to some degree. Rokurou's right side is all purple armor, the left side of Magilou's outfit is a pallet swap of the right side of said outfit and the left side of her hat appears to have a checker pattern on it, and Eizen has a dagger looking thing on the left side of his jacket and the top part of his right boot is sticking up.
  • Final Boss Preview: The first battle against Artorius is this, taking place about eight hours into the story, but it's a Hopeless Boss Fight that shows how completely outclassed the party is.
  • First Town: Aball, up until the Scarlet Night.
  • Five-Man Band: Interestingly the main party doesn't cleanly fall into this, but the various non-party allies the party picks up wind up forming one.
    • The Leader: Dyle. A headstrong individual who always takes charge of the situation and tends to handle the organization and upkeep of the team's base when they're not around.
    • The Lancer: Kurogane. Calm, contemplative, never far from Dyle, and generally the one who snarks at him when he says something dumb.
    • The Big Guy: Medissa. A Mama Bear who is incredibly protective of Kamoana and, eventually, the others. She's also the most powerful of the bunch, willing to stand up to Velvet and even get away with threatening her.
    • The Smart Guy: Percival. The weakest member of the group because he's the only non-daemon, but he's extremely well-educated and intelligent.
    • The Chick: Kamoana. A young child who doesn't do much, but really brings the group together. Everyone is protective of her.
    • Team Pet: Orthie and Russ. They're dogs.
  • Fond Memories That Could Have Been: The credits sequence contains a clipshow of images detailing Velvet's and Laphicet's lives if the scarlet night that changed Arthur and Laphicet's twelve year sickness never happened, showing them fullfilling his dream of traveling the world.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Humans will somehow lose the ability to see Malakhim (who will become known as Seraphim), and the malevolence caused by the Daemonblight will spread without a cure (eventually becoming an epidemic come Zestiria's Age of Chaos).
    • Edna's brother Eizen appears as a party member. Again, those who played Zestiria will know what happens to him before Zestiria begins.
    • Artorius, regardless of his status as the Big Bad, eventually becomes worshiped as a Seraph regardless of what happens in game and his shrine is used by Maotelus and many other power Seraphs.
    • Laphicet as Maotelus eventually becomes corrupted by Malevolence thanks to the Shepherd Michael regardless of what the party tries to do to help him.
  • Forest of Perpetual Autumn: The Morgana Woods around Velvet's hometown of Aball is covered in trees that are perpetually locked in an autumn state all year round. According to the in-game lore, this is due to Eastgand's climate becoming cooler as global temperatures continue to drop overtime. If Velvet hadn't awakened the Four Elemental Empyreans from their slumber, then Eastgand would've likely became a frozen wasteland much like Northgand.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: In the bathhouse event after clearing the Heavenly Steppes, the boys swap bodies with the girls; Laphicet/Velvet, Rokurou/Eleanor, and Eizen/Magilou. Afterwards, Eleanor demands that everyone forgets what just happened.
  • Friend to All Children: To limited definitions of "all," to be sure, as there are really only two children involved with the main party (Laphicet, AKA Malak Number Two, and Kamoana). However, everyone goes out of their way to be supportive to them. For parental substitutes, those kids end up with things like half-daemons on Roaring Rampages of Revenge, a trollish witch, pirates, abdicated royalty and a man-lizard with no tail... but all of them do their best at the job, and even succeed to a respectable extent. This is one of the ways the Anti-Hero main characters are characterized as being, well, not so evil.
  • Fun with Homophones: The Malak are called 聖隷 (seirei) in the Japanese version of the game. This means Holy Servant. It's also pronounced exactly the same as 精霊 (seirei), the term past tales have used to describe spirits.
  • Gainax Ending: A minor one, but the appearance of Laphicet in Velvet's dream raises questions as to the nature of this dream and whether he had any role in creating it, or whether it is even a dream at all and not an Alternate Universe.
  • Gameplay Grading: GRADE returns, as always. In this game, though, it has an additional function. Just like in Tales of Graces, GRADE forms AP, which can be used to power up equipment in various ways.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Some of the games more easier late-game bosses consist of someone who is not used to their new abilities, and two of which are essentially putting them out of their misery.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation
    • Regardless of how modest, prim and proper whatever costume you choose to dress Velvet up in might be, certain NPCs will comment on the scandalous nature of Velvet's clothing as if she's wearing her default outfit.
    • Flamestone is said to be increasingly rare due to the global cooling and therefore increasingly valuable. Despite this, the Flamestone Chips you can find lying around as a random treasure specks on the ground sell for only a pittance and always for the same amount.
    • Katz souls are supposedly the souls of actual katz. In gameplay terms, it's possible to collect an infinite amount if you played infinitely, as they are regenerated each time you visit an area and the bonus dungeon has randomly generated rooms that grant you huge amounts of them.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Magilou at one point tricks Laphicet into saying "I want to get to know you better" after he stares at her book-skirt... and she opens up the one right in front of her. Right in front of Laphicet. She essentially flashed a ten year old boy.
  • Ghost Town: Aball becomes devoid of inhabitants once everyone in the town succumbs to Daemonblight. The same thing happens to Haria, but people will resettle back in the town if you chose to do the sidequest to get Kamoana's medicine and defeat the troll boss.
  • God Is Evil: Empyrean Innominat, the Nameless Empyrean, who removes free will to impose reason upon all things, sadistically killing, transforming, brainwashing, and torturing anyone who tries to defy him. The Avarost knew him as a disaster. Though his role is meant to stop the world from being destroyed, Innominat cares little for anyone beyond his beloved new world order of mindless slaves. Even the Elemental Empyreans have only ever suppressed him as his power keeps their own in check, with the resulting rampage of their own power would devastate the planet for millenia..
    • This is explained in that Innominat exists to prevent malevolence from fully consuming the world. By removing free will, he also removed all malevolence for a time, and once it was gone, he had nothing to feed from and would return to sleep, giving the elemental Empyreans control again. However, Melchior and Artorius exploited this by creating dragons out of some malaks, and then caging them in Hexen Isle. Since dragons supply immense malevolence, Innominat would be able to rob the world of its free will indefinitely because the dragons would eternally supply it for him.
  • God Is Good: The four elemental Empyreans, who act to keep Innominat from harming the world when they have vessels. At the end Laphicet becomes the sixth Empyrean of Light, Maotelus, to replace Innominat and ensure balance in the world.
  • The Goomba: Prickleboars are the first enemies you face in the game and are relatively easy to beat with solo Velvet. By the time the party returns to Aball, the Prickleboars are still at their same level that any attack from your party members is essentially a One-Hit Kill, given how powerful your party has become by that point.
    • The same is true of Gaiburk Ice Field north of Hellawes, the third area you visit; it has a late-game dungeon attached to it via by Broken Bridges (and one of the final dungeons attached to that), so you'll definitely have a chance to compare and contrast.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The game doesn't show Artorious cutting off Velvet's arm during the Scarlet Night. Artorius swings his sword, and the camera cuts to Velvet screaming and falling without showing her arm. The camera stays away from Velvet's stump until she becomes a daemon and grows a new arm. Even in a wide shot, Velvet's arm is concealed by magic swirling around her.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: This is the plot of the second act. (The things being collected, which the Abbey has taken pains to hide, are therions, because Innominat needs them for his Ritual of Surpression.)
  • Great Escape: What happens in the first part of the game, where Velvet, Rokurou, and Magilou escape Titania after Velvet causes a prison riot and escapes from Oscar, the highest ranked praetor at the island.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Seraphs of the Heavenly Realm (as revealed in the EX dungeon), who created the daemon curse in order to destroy any chance of humans (whose malevolence is toxic to seraphs) and malakhim (seraphs who left the Heavenly Realm to prove that living together with humans is possible) peacefully coexisting by turning them into daemons and dragons respectively.
  • Green Hill Zone: Danann Highway, Burnack Plateau, and Aldina Plains.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Healing spells are affected by SG quantity and other effects that are neither intuitive nor explained. Under the wrong circumstances, it's totally possible for spells like Healing Circle to only restore about 600 HP. Total. To your Lv.60 characters who have 4,000 HP. Against bosses who are doing 1,200 at a time.
    • One of the Code Red Daemons you can fight, called the Spectral Crystal, is rather notorious for this. The boss is Nigh Invulnerable, sporting an absurdly-high defense stat number that is well-beyond your attack capabilities, even at higher levels, in addition to being resistant to all damage types. The only way to damage it properly without the Easy Level Trick is to have the proper equipment worn by a specific party member, and nowhere does the game even tell you this at any point.
  • Headless Horseman: Dullahan appears as a boss in Titania, where the Abbey created him through Venomization.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Almost every party member and allied NPC will fight off against Velvet before they join her. In order: Seres, Rokurou, Dyle, Laphicet, Eizen, Eleanor and, of course, the therions square off against her before they join her / Magilou's Menagerie / the crew of the Van Eltia. Magilou herself is the only person Velvet never fights. (Maybe that's why she's recruited last?)
  • Hellhole Prison: The Daemon Prison, Titania, where Velvet, Magilou, and Rokurou are being kept. Velvet is kept in a hole in the ground and is never properly clothed or bathed. Everyone else is kept in proper cells till they are fed to her.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Played With. The playable characters in Berseria are officially Anti Heroes and Affably Evil. Therefore, none of them use swords, a first for a Tales Mothership title. Velvet gets the closest, wielding a long blade hidden in her bracer in conjunction with her legs and daemonic arm; Rokurou also has a BFS, but wields it only in cut scenes, preferring instead to stick to Dual Wielding long knives.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Subverted. When it comes time to awaken the Elemental Empyreans, the party learns that only people who possess Incorruptible Pure Pureness may suffice. Eleanor, who qualifies due to her rank in the Abbey, starts to volunteer... but is cut off, before she can finish the sentence, by someone who has a different solution, one that doesn't reduce the number of Playable Characters in the party. (In fact, there's actually no canon indication that anyone even noticed what Eleanor had started to say!)
  • Hidden Elf Village: Katz Corner and Terror Island aka Normin Island are islands hidden away from the rest of the world. Their locations are unknown due to Katz teleporting people to Katz Corner and Terror Island moving around.
  • Home Base: Titania is made into one for Velvet's crew and their allies as their infamy grows throughout Midgand. Later, when the Abbey and Innominat force them out of Titania, they make Meirchio, a town located north of Hellawes, into their new home base after Velvet scares everyone out of the town in an elaborate attempt to draw out the remaining Legates.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: As per Tales Series tradition. The first fight against Artorius is one of these, both gameplay-wise and storywise. At a time when your party members might be around level 20 if you played your cards right, he's level 66, and your attacks only do Scratch Damage to Artorius, if that. Eventually, Artorius unleashes his Mystic Arte on Velvet, causing a long cutscene to trigger where Velvet can't so much as hit him. It also serves as a Final Boss Preview, since Artorius returns as the last boss, but this time without holding back.
  • Hover Board: The Geoboard, ancient tech built by Normins, that hovers over earthpulses after getting data on the earthpulse from a geotree. It drains energy from Normins to function. Lower-levelled enemies will die instantly if run into while riding the geoboard.
  • Human Sacrifice: The reason Velvet is so pissed at Artorius. He sacrificed her brother during the Scarlet Night. What Velvet doesn't know is that Laphicet was a willing sacrifice, not an innocent victim. Innominat also needed two souls with great resonance in order to be resurrected; one was Celica's unborn son, and the other being Laphicet himself. The elemental Empyreans play with this, as they need a soul to be a vessel, but the vessel only needs no malevolence in them when they offer themselves on a Scarlet Night.
  • Impostor Forgot One Detail:
    • The second time a player goes to Aball, Velvet takes some pudding off of Laphicet's cheek and remarks how sweet it is. This immediately clues Velvet in that it's all an illusion, since she shouldn't be able to taste anything except blood.
    • When the party rushes into Lothringen to rescue Aifread, Eizen starts talking to him and mentions his sibling. Aifread goes on to talk about Eizen's brother... except Eizen doesn't have a brother; he has a sister.
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • Laphicet uses paper sheets like Laliah in Zestiria.
    • Magilou uses dolls of various sorts to cast her spells, causing them to spin as she's concentrating.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Jokingly done in the beginning, when Velvet and Niko jokingly suggest to each that "if you were a boy, I'd be in love."
  • Informed Ability: Justified. The way Eizen and other pirates hype him up, Aifread must be a truly awesome opponent, yet when you fight him, it's pretty clear he's nowhere near full strength after being turned into a monster, and you're basically giving him a Mercy Kill.
  • Interface Spoiler: When you first get Malak Number Two in your party, do not attempt to change his Costume unless you want to know what given name is eventually bestowed on him; they're all marked with it. (This can mean avoiding his Costume options for more than an hour.)
  • Ironic Echo: In the opening cutscene, Artorius tells a young Velvet, "Don't despair... no matter what!" just before he leaves her and Laphicet to find Celica. In the final battle, Velvet tells Artorius the same thing just as she delivers the death blow, reminding him that it was something he once told her long ago.
  • Kill on Sight: Daemons are considered Always Chaotic Evil creatures that kill humans on sight. For this reason, Exorcists recruited by the Abbey have a standing decree to kill them on sight. The events of the game, however, reveal that daemons are not universally evil and, when a high-ranking Exorcist learns that the Abbey sometimes takes daemons captive, it comes as a shock and makes several characters question their motives.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A heartwarming example in a sidequest while looking for the ingredients to the Omega Elixir for Videl, Laphicet's pleas has an exorcist who found the third ingredient not only give the only one he found but tells him the final one in hopes he can save his friend. Said exorcist is Videl's father and Laphicet does save him.
  • Lazy Bum:
    • Normin Island makes everyone who arrives become easily lazy, giving in to the peaceful bliss-filled island where Normins treat their guests.
    • Katz Corner is known for being such a pleasurable place with big feasts and the Katz Pajamaz that people lose themselves to it. The Katz themselves had such a huge feast their souls left their bodies and they were trapped in chests.
  • Lethal Chef: Eizen is this game's. While nowhere near Raine Sage's level, Eizen surely isn't the best in the party. Because of the Reaper's Curse, he is unable to flip meat or else it will land back on the already-cooked side, pancakes will always be burnt on one side and perfect on the other, he states that eggs are impossible, and mini pizzas will end up face down on the floor if he isn't careful about how he holds them. Velvet suggests using a spatula, but Eizen states he still has pride.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Mt. Killaraus. Since the volcano is located in the frozen wastes of Northgand, it also counts as Hailfire Peaks.
  • Level Ate: Terror Island, aka, Normin Island, is entirely made of sweets.
  • Ley Line: The Earthpulse are rivers where natures life energy gather. Malaks born of nature like Eizan come from these places.
  • List of Transgressions: Humorously inverted when Velvet lays out a list of her own dark deeds...
    Priest: Come, sinner, and repent your wicked deeds!
    Velvet: Empyreans, hear my confession. When I was in prison, I instigated a riot and used it to break myself out.
    Priest: Huh...?!
    Velvet: Then I set fire to some warehouses in town and stole a ship to make my getaway. Then I teamed up with some pirates to destroy a military fortress. I killed anyone who got in my way.
    Priest: What?!
    Velvet: What do you think, Father? Will the Empyreans will forgive me?
    Priest: I, er... ah... I think you should turn yourself in to the Abbey, and let them help you repent...
    Velvet: That's convenient! I'm already planning on going to the Abbey. You see, I'm going to kill their boss, Artorius.
    Priest: I-I need an exorcist over here, quick! Somebody! Anybody!
    Velvet: That's... about how I figured it'd go.
  • The Lost Woods: Tranquil Woods, Warg Forest, Morgana Woods, and Davahl Forest.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine:
    • Melchior is said to have an arte capable of doing this on a very wide level. Such an arte traps Velvet and crew in an idealised vision of her home village of Aball that hasn't been destroyed. Despite recognizing it's a trap, Velvet gets so caught up in wanting it to be real that she briefly resorts to her old self.
    • After the final boss fight, when Velvet seals herself with Innominat, she creates for herself and her brother a happy realm of what could be instead, where Laphicet is cured and embarks on great journey with Velvet, meeting all named characters, who are alive and well.
  • Mars-and-Venus Gender Contrast: Many of the skits revolve around a battle-of-the-sexes type of scenario, such as one skit where the male character warn the younger Laphicet that women are nothing but trouble (sometimes the girls agreeing), and other skits where the guys want to do something cool, manly or awesome but the gals veto it. Further, many "girl talk" skits revolve around sex, housewife skills like cleaning or sewing, and/or finding a husband, while many of the "guy talk" skits revolve around combat, exploring the world, and other such things.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Velvet's group, Eizen, and Zaveid square off against each other when the party first meets the latter.
  • Mini-Game: The game comes with a large variety of minigames to sink time into, from the classic waiter minigame, to water-skipping with Bienfu, geoboard time attack challenges, sliding puzzles, and even a Tales version of the Japanese card game hanafuda.
  • Monster Arena: The Class 4 Administrative Zones are arenas where you fight large waves of enemies of the same class. They're scattered all over the world map, and are usually unlocked by talking to Aifread's pirates at various points in the story. Taken Up to Eleven with the Elite Quarter, which has a Boss Rush instead of regular enemies.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Velvet in accompanied by a number of fan-servicey design choices, perhaps most notably underboobs in her barely-there outfit.
    • Magilou's skits often revolve around sexual innuendo, and she likes making people feel sexually uncomfortable. Her swimsuits are, likewise, the absolute skimpiest in the game.
  • Mythology Gag: As the final part of the 20th anniversary for the Tales series, there are plenty to go around.
    • One of Zestiria's bonus bosses, Dark Turtlez, returns in this game and brings the spirit of Xillia 2 with him, only this time things are a bit different. Instead of reenacting the fight against Julius as he did in Zestiria, he instead reenacts the fight with Victor, complete with this playing in the background.
    • Zestiria's other bonus boss, Phoenix the Normin, also appears in this game.
    • One skit has Laphicet and Eizen talking about a battle of Ragnarok from the Age of Myths between Demon King Dhaos and Goddess Martel in the land of Kharlan. They are also said to be the faces on Eizen's coin.
    • Another skit talks about the recurring portrayal of the lead characters in wanted posters. With his infamous status as Aifread's first mate, Eizen already has been portrayed in wanted posters multiple times...as both an evil guy and a Bishounen, and he loves the attention (he's a pirate, after all).
    • There's a certain drink in the game called the sale'tohma.
    • The whole Expedition mechanic is technically this, as the seas and islands discovered are named after characters or objects from previous Tales games and Radiant Mythology, and you can recover rare treasures from them that are either important or iconic items from the referenced game or pieces of artwork depicting its characters or setting. The recipes you get from each also often reference the game in some way, such as the Symphonia location's recipe being "Dwarven Sailsbury Surprise."
    • The name of Aifread's ship, the Van Eltia, shares its name with the Van Eltia of Tales of Eternia. Furthermore, there is a shop run by one of the pirates called "Chat and Patty's Student Store", a reference to Pirate Girls Chat and Patty from Tales of Eternia and Tales of Vesperia, respectively.
    • Eleanor's second Mystic Arte is named for Luke fon Fabre's "Lost Fon Drive" ("Lostfon Drive" in Berseria), while Artorius uses Yuri Lowell's Savage Wolf Fury. Eleanor also participates in the conversation about the Key of Lorelei in the Treasures section of Expeditions. Additionally, Laphicet's third mystic arte is the series staple Indignation, and when Armatized, Melchior gains Rowen's Grand Finale, though this time under the name Absolute Prison.
    • When Artorius Armatizes with Innominat, his clothing resembles Mithos Yggdrasil's white suit.
    • The whole plot bares some resemblance to the backstoy of Tales of Symphonia except in reverse. That is, the younger brother dies instead of the elder sister, but both act as a Plot-Triggering Death that turn the once kind other sibling into a villain who causes grief and tragedy across the world in search of their goal. The difference is that Velvet is The Protagonist while Mithos is the Big Bad.
    • Magilou claims that the True Name she gave Bienfu (Fuschie Cass) means "Thing" (though it actually means "Cute Hat"), which is what Luke unkindly called Mieu throughout his Jerkass phase in Tales of the Abyss.
    • Shops are named after previous Tales party members.
    • Laphicet's bag is made of a rare material called Maurits silk, which is woven from threads produced by a type of spider called a dandarantula. Later, referencing the same game, the party finds an antique pot that Eizen deduces was made by a legendary artisan named Grune using a long-lost technique called Oresoren glaze.
    • The leader of the Bloodwing Butterflies gang often offers the party a nice peach pie when they visit her tavern.
    • The first ingredient needed for the Omega Elixir is Long Dau Dust. The second is a Unicorn Horn.
    • The royal family of Midgand traditionally wears perfume made from a fragrant tree called a Phandaria Pine.
    • Eizen owns a fishing pole made by an artisan named Fujibayashi, and Eleanor talks about holding her hometown's record for catching Treit Loaches.
    • A winemaker in Stonebury talks about a rare wine called Sleeping Princess that changes color as it ages and is finished aging when it turns a deep emerald green. In the Stonebury inn, Zaveid is drinking another emerald green wine called Thorny Forest. Both are references to the poem from Tales of Hearts, and the bottle of Thorny Forest has a simple illustration of Lithia Spodumene on the label.
    • After becoming demons, Velvet and Rokurou lost their sensitivity to temperatures, and Velvet lost her sense of taste, two things Colette lost due to her angel transformations.
    • While attempting to translate the book on Innominat with Grimoirh, Laphicet comes across a phrase that he says if read as "lonikyle" it means "midriff" and if read as "muzetmilla" it means "poranges are nummy." The two agree that both readings are probably wrong.
  • The Needs of the Many: Artorius preaches the idea of "the many outweigh the individual" to the public, who eat it right up. Velvet points out to some of his fans that they shouldn't automatically assume they aren't part of the individuals whose interests are outweighed.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: In the prologue, Laphicet worries in his journal that Velvet's athletic prowess could make it difficult for her to land a husband.
    • Averted with Laphicet the malak. The skits have the characters toy with him and reveal he's not unfazed at liking older women.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: This is one of the few Tales games without any form of romantic subplot amongst the main characters. While there is some flirting between Velvet and Rokurou in the animation, and a few skits where Velvet watches Rokurou practice swordplay with his shirt off, it never goes anywhere beyond that. Most of the love is depicted as familial love.
  • Noob Cave: Tranquil Woods is where the player learns the battle system.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Subverted. Early in the game, Velvet jumps off a cliff to escape the prison she's being held in, using her demonic arm as a brake. The subversion comes from her holding her arm afterwards and visibly and audibly shoves it back into place, using the cliffside as leverage.
  • Ocean Punk: The emphasis on small island navigation and people being incredibly reliant on ships and shipbuilding.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Velvet beings acting incredibly cheerful and happy when the party enters the fake Aball village. Eleanor comments that she didn't even know Velvet had the ability to smile.
  • Our Angels Are Different:
    • The malakhim retain many of the traits they had from Zestiria, but now most have been stripped of their free will and degraded into Slave Mook Slave Race of the Abbey. They also vary more widely in appearance than just humans, animals, and normins. Now some appear looking very similar to monsters, with the only difference being the dragon mask they all wear. Zui Fuu, from the EX Dungeon, is a blue/white winged rappig.
      • The more monstrous appearing Malakhim all belong to the Abbey and in the late game a sidequest reveals that the Abbey is running experiments on Malakhim, even combining them into one which would certainly explain why there are rather monstrous Malakhim here.
    • Katz are said to be a type of malakhim. Unlike normal malaks they have physical bodies and their souls can leave them, which Velvet can collect as Katz spirits.
  • Our Demons Are Different:
    • Daemons are created through the disease daemonblight, but unlike Zestiria where Hellions tend to go insane or turn evil when transformed, numerous people from Velvet, Rokurou, and their allies retain or regain their sanity. Only dragons being mindless beasts.
    • Therions are Daemons that feed on other Daemons. Therions are the eight heads of Innominat, who feed on the malevolence of people at earthpulse points and embody different malevolence. They consume it through physical means such as eating those with malevolence or by existing in the area. They all suffer from Horror Hunger and a new therion is born when one dies, ensuring there is no end to them.
  • Painting the Medium: The first phase of the Abbey's plans to remove free will kicks in has bright and joyful colors replaced with dull ones as the world becomes emotionless and empty.
  • Palmtree Panic: Maclir Beach.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Due to the encounter link system this trope can happen at just about any point in the game after it's unlocked. Getting two enemies next to each other on the field and then engaging them will cause both groups to attack the party at once, in greater numbers than they would alone. This provides a bonus to experience, gald, grade and drop rates, which allows each fight to give much greater rewards than fighting either group alone. Limiting fighting to these link battles makes it extremely easy to be several levels above any given boss for most of the game.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: The whole story only happens because Velvet's little brother Laphicet is killed as a Human Sacrifice by the Big Bad during the Advent, setting up for her quest for Revenge. It ultimately turns out the real Plot-Triggering Death is Celica Crowe dying in the Opening, aka Artorius Collbrande's wife back when he was "Arthur". Since she was pregnant at the time, her and Arthur's unborn son was used as the first Human Sacrifice to unlock part of the seal on Innominat. And then Melchior showed up and encouraged Artorius to take the first steps to his vision of "order" and "reason".
  • Pluto Is Expendable: Laphicet can equip bags as his particular type of protective equipment unique to him, some of which are named after planets. The description for the Pluto Satchel reads "A bag unfairly cast out of bag society, causing it to be slowly forgotten."
  • Poor Communication Kills: The entire plot of the game is caused by the failure to explain that Laphicet volunteered to be the sacrifice to Innominat because he knew his days were numbered anyway. Best case: Velvet accepts Laphicet's decision and that's one less problem for Artorious to worry about. Worst case: Velvet goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge anyway, but she will almost certainly have to take into account the fact that her brother was not a helpless victim, slowing her down.
  • Port Town: Hellawes, Port Zekson, Port Cadnix, Reneed, Yseult, and Taliesin.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child:
    • As Innominat needs malevolence to remain active once their goal is achieved, malakhim are forcefully turned into dragons and sealed so that he may eternally feed off them.
    • A cure for the Reaper's curse is mentioned in a sidequest. Said cure requires a malak to eat the heart of a malak turned dragon that has a white horn. Though even the ones who wrote it believe it is still inconclusive.
  • Power Walk: The pre-order bonus theme features the main cast doing this.
  • Prequel: Berseria is set in the past of Tales of Zestiria during a time when humans could see seraphim (called malakhim in this game), and malevolence and Hellions were the product of a disease called daemonblight.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Tales of Xillia co-protagonists Jude and Milla return as cameo bosses, fought first by themselves and then later as a pair. Also, Jude has turned into a penguin. Because... reasons.
  • Pull Yourself Down the Spear: Done multiple times by the heroes. It never works, though Rokurou was nearly able to kill Shigure with it, Shigure himself admitting that, had he been a second slower in noticing the ruse, Rokurou would have killed him.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Downplayed. During the tutorial level, Laphicet sells a book to a local vendor and uses the money on a gift for Velvet. Three years later, the party spy this book (which turns out to be a plot-critical item) sitting, open and on its back, on a porch... apparently none the worse for wear.
  • Rare Random Drop: In addition to the usual items and common equipment, every enemy in the game has a unique equipment drop. In addition to being worth more materials when broken down for Item Crafting, they're an additional source for the permanent passive boosts characters can learn, so hunting them down can be worth it.
  • Red Baron:
    • The title Lord of Calamity was created by the Abbey, who dubbed Velvet with the name. Historians would later give the same title to Daemons of similar power that existed before her.
    • Artorius bears the title of the Shepherd, and like the above history gives the title to other figures before him that served a similar role. Including his mentor King Claudin.
  • Remilitarized Zone: Vortigern.
  • Reused Character Design: There are plenty of jokes about Velvet being related to the Gilchrists/Katreas or to Milla.
    • Laphicet bears a strong resemblance with Emil Castagnier appearance wise, but also bears a resemblance towards Edna in terms of hairstyle due to Edna and Laphicet having the same character designer.
  • The Reveal: The EX dungeon reveals numerous facts about the world unknown to even the Malaks.
    • The Heavenly Realm where malakhim and the Empyreans once resided existed before the mortal world did and is thus the "true" world. Seraphim, the original name for malakhim, are those who remained in the Heavenly Realm. Likewise the Empyreans were formerly known as the Prime Lords.
    • Seraphim sought to destroy humanity when the species came into existence, as their malevolence was poisonous to them. Other seraphim disagreed and sought coexistence with humanity. A bet was made between both sides that it was possible to overcome malevolence and coexist. The Heavenly Gate between heaven and earth will remain shut until said promised time comes, where the two realms will be as one forevermore. The merciful seraphim descended to become the malakhim and Empyreans.
    • The seraphim, however, plotted the destruction of both malakhim and humanity, creating the rule/curse of daemons. A curse that makes it so that humans will become daemons that consume the human loving malakhim, while the malakhim become dragons to devour the humans that trusted them. The initial success between both races fell apart due to this curse. The malak distanced themselves from humanity, while humans with resonance were nearly wiped out and humanity nearly forgot about the malakhim. The cycle of Innominat suppressing the world to reset the balance began in order to stop the malevolence from wiping out the planet. The pact keeper has the power to change things for the better, but Artorius has instead used his pact with Innominat to enslave malaks and change human/malak natures.
  • The Right Hand of Doom: Velvet's left arm is usually covered in straps. If she releases it the arm turns into an enormous spiky hand like it belonged to a giant werewolf.
  • The Rival: Oscar Dragonia, the male exorcist, to Velvet since he is the one who consistently fights against her. Rokurou has his own as well with his brother Shigure.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: A few of the late-game sidequests have errors in their subtitles. For instance, Eleanor's description of when trolls "descended on our home" is written as "that send at our home."
  • Rummage Sale Reject
    • Velvet, what with her very raggedy, torn-up clothing, plenty of belts, and lack of coverage. Turns out her outfit really was just composed of whatever she could find at the time.
    • Magilou is wearing a skirt made of books. She insists that the books have a use in a skit with Laphicet, though.
  • Running Gag:
    • The party members confessing their sins, or at least one perverted priest trying to get them to, inside various churches throughout the game. Since it's the same guy (same voice and aware of the others' confessions), one must assume he's fleeing from sanctuary to sanctuary to avoid them.
    • Throughout the game, tales of Velvet and the party's deeds keep spreading. As she gets more infamous, the descriptions of her appearance and deeds as "the Lord of Calamity" get more and more exaggerated... and as a result, more and more incorrect.
  • Saved by Canon: Laphicet, Eizen, and Zaveid all appear in Zestiria and thus are safe from dying in game. Of course only Zaveid is actually really safe considering Laphicet, as Maotelus, is corrupted, and Eizen becomes a dragon.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Once Innominat is forced into space after Melchior's defeat and the awakening of the Four Empyreans, all Malakhim in the Abbey regain their emotions and ditch the Exorcists who abused and mistreated them.
  • Selfless Wish: The Harbinger of the End pits Velvet and the others against Jude and Milla in a battle of fates. If Jude and Milla win, then they go back to their world and the world of Velvet and the others is destroyed. If Velvet and the others win, they get one wish, or more specifically, Velvet does, as she's asked to speak for the group as the leader. She wishes for Jude and Milla to go back to their world. "You said you have things to do back home, right? That's why." The Harbinger asks if she's certain, noting he can grant anything her heart desires, including the power to turn back time. She replies that she won't run away. At this point, he says that he senses no malice in her answer, so their world won't be destroyed.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: Compared to Tales of Zestiria, the game removes the armatization mechanic, simplifies itemization, and makes it much easier to game the level mechanic.
  • Ship Tease: The Jude and Milla cameo sidequest is swimming in romantic subtext.
  • Shirtless Scene: This skit scene of Rokurou's sweaty, muscular body appears at least three times over the course of the game.
  • Skill Gate Character: Velvet herself. Consuming Claw is incredibly potent during most battles; it renders her invulnerable to staggering, interferes with enemies inflicting status ailments on her (because, technically, it is a status ailment), increases the odds of staggering them (which increases your Soul Gauge), and comes with a finishing move that is likely to kill at least one of them and restore some of Velvet's HP. All this for the relatively negligible cost of being Cast from Hit Points until you hit that finishing move (which you can do quickly). The downside is that its impact on bosses are extremely reduced. Players who rely on it instead of developing skill may find themselves quickly out of their depth.
  • Slave Mook: The malakhim are enslaved and treated as disposable emotionless tools by the Exorcists. They will even be corrupted into dragons by Exorcists if it makes them more useful in fighting Velvet.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Figahl Icecaps and Gaiburk Ice Field.
  • Space Zone: The final dungeon, Innominat, is located in outer space high above the world's atmosphere, and several sections inside resemble space in what is called a Cosmic Earthpulse.
  • Spoiler Opening: The opening shows Eleanor with the party, but also depicts her and Velvet fighting, making it clear that she'll fall under the Defeat Means Friendship trope. It also shows Van Aifread's daemon form, spoiling the character's fate, and that Eizen will have to fight them.
  • Stripperific: Velvet's outfit, which is comprised of a long cape and Too Many Belts. Justified because she had to throw it together from what she could find in an armor storage room, and her previous clothing had been torn to shreds by three years of constant abuse.
  • Temple of Doom: The Empyrean's Throne, Yvolg Ruins, Palamides Temple, and Faldies Ruins.
  • Timed Mission: In certain floors of the EX Dungeon, you will have to extinguish all of the black embers of malevolence within a time limit. To do so, all you need to do is touch each ember and defeat all of the spawned enemies. The difficulty increases for each area, but certain Katz helpers can help make the task a bit easier if you exchange them some Katz Spirits.
  • Too Many Belts: Velvet, again. She has four on her left leg alone. Based on how she had to put her outfit together, some of these belts might be necessary.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: The game is intentionally vague at how long naval journeys actually take, which holds up well enough. At least until one scene, where's implied that traveling from the extreme east end of the map to the extreme west - a route that involves three ports of call and a sizable detour around an entire landmass - took less than three days. Either the game world is tiny or ships in the world of Berseria travel several orders of magnitude faster than in the real world.
  • True Final Boss: If a player clears the Brutal Bonus Level, the final boss of the game uses the same attacks and looks the same, but gets a massive boost to all of their stats and a jump of several dozen levels, making the battle much more difficult.
  • Underboobs: Velvet's outfit bares quite a bit of cleavage beneath her outfit.
  • Underground Level: Quite a couple. There's Hadlow Hollow in Northgand, the Laban Tunnels in Westgand, Vester Tunnels in Islegand, and Zamahl Grotto in Midgand.
  • Underwater Ruins: Palamides Temple.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Velvet used to be a perfectly sweet and happy person, but the trauma of watching her younger brother die at Artorius' hands on the Scarlet Night left her in a very bad place.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Artorius and the Exorcists under him seek to make a world free of suffering. They'll do anything to stop it, even downright horrible extremes to do so.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Innominat's Domain, which is a huge palace floating in the sky.
  • Villain Ball: Towards the end of the game, the party enacts a plan to lure the final two praetors to her location so that she can kill them and offer their souls to resurrect the four Empyreans. For some reason Melchior still decides to go. Even after being aware what the party is planning, decides to stick around and give them a chance anyway, instead of simply leaving, because they already had their victory secured, and Velvet needed every part of her plan to go perfectly in order to stand a chance of stopping Innominat.
  • Villain Protagonist: The basic plot conceit of the game, at least initially - Velvet far more resembles the villains of previous titles, both in appearance and in ability, than she does previous heroes, and her initial motivation is literal murder for revenge, rather than any kind of higher, noble calling. Likewise, many of her comrades are far less (outwardly) noble and well-intentioned than previous parties were. Naturally, as the game progresses, the truth of it all becomes somewhat more complicated. Ultimately, Velvet will still be remembered as the first Lord of Calamity, but in the end she ensures that those who follow after will have the free will to make that judgment for themselves.
  • The Virus: Daemonblight is a common disease that spreads and turns people into Daemons. Subverted. As Eizen reveals when he breaks the Malak taboo, Daemons are the product of malevolence inside people.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: Kamoana is pretty much when the game takes the gloves off and lets you know that some bosses really won't show mercy if your health is low. If you haven't been tinkering with your equipment by then, you really should start by then.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Exorcists order wants to purge the world of monsters and create peace and will do anything to do so.
    • Artorius Collbrande's quote from Jump Magazine reeks of this: "I swear to you all that I shall put an end to all the pain in this world!".
    • Velvet's intentions to destroy Artorius strengthen after learning his plans, making her this considering how she'll kill anyone who gets in her way with no hesitation and use those she needs.
  • Wham Episode: Wouldn't be a Tales Series game without one. And considering how dark this game already is, this one reaches or even exceeds Akzeriuth levels. Velvet learns the Awful Truth that not only is her brother Laphicet not dead, but he's become Innominat of his own free will to suppress all emotion in the world; Artorious 'killing' him was Laphicet's own wish, and the first step in this plan. Then, after being dragged into an earth pulse, Velvet is shown image after image of the past, as well as coming to the realization that she's done a lot of terrible things, and it's been All for Nothing. Velvet does not take this well.
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech: Velvet gets a couple.
    • Before the first fight with Melchior:
      "I know why sadness fills the world, and I know how deep are the burdens of sin. I tried to abandon my memories of Arthur and Laphi, to cut myself off from it all, and end this tragedy. It's... it's what they would have wanted... But that's exactly why I can't forgive them. Not Artorius..., not Innominat. I know my heart is ugly, and full of contradictions, but those days we spent together in familial warmth... they're proof that I... that all of us... were truly alive. That's why, no matter how hard, no matter how sad it gets... I will take my vengeance to the very end!... You take my family, turn me into a monster, and you want my soul, too? Now who's being the fool? Remember this well: the Lord of Calamity never gives up, not even in the face of death!"
    • Her answer to the Arc Words:
      "Birds fly because they want to fly. They don't need a reason. Even if their wings may snap and doom them to die. They don't fly for anyone's benefit. They don't fly because they were ordered to. Birds fly because they want to fly and for no other reason!"
  • You All Look Familiar: Velvet looks a little too much like a black-haired Milla. Some have joked she's the daughter of Milla and Jude.
    • Eleanor looks so similar to Rose that it has lead to speculation that she might be her ancestor. She also looks very similar to Rommy, another character working for a Corrupt Church.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: Before he dies, Artorius tells Velvet that he wished she and Laphicet had died instead of Celica. Unusually, Velvet acknowledges that this might have been better overall.
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