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Video Game / Tales of Rebirth

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"Life doesn't have any one colour."
Doctor Barrs

Tales of Rebirth is the sixth mainline entry in the Tales Series. The game was released on December 16th, 2004 in Japan on the PlayStation 2.

It tells the story of a world where humans (Huma) and beastmen (Gajuma) co-exist in relative peace, having co-created the kingdom of Callegea long ago. Gajuma have the ability to use a magical power known as Force, which takes the form of a specific element or power depending on its host.

Our hero, Veigue Lungberg, was just a country boy living in the backwater village Sulz with his sweetheart Claire. That is, until the day that the Gajuma king of Callegea dies, triggering an event that causes Huma worldwide to suddenly develop the power of Force. Veigue gains the Force of Ice, which immediately goes berserk and freezes Claire in a tomb of ice.

One year later, he is visited by two travellers: Mao, a Huma with the Force of Fire and Eugene Gallardo, a Panther Gajuma with the Force of Steel. Mao manages to free Claire using his Force, but before they can get too comfortable she is kidnapped by a group of Kingdom soldiers. Veigue joins Mao and Eugene on a quest to rescue her and unravel the mystery behind the Force event. The plot later expands to involve Fantastic Racism and a good amount of Body Surfing.

Veigue later receives help from other characters: Annie Barrs, a girl with the Force of Rain and a vengeful grudge against Eugene; Tytree Crowe, a Hot-Blooded labourer with a sister complex and the Force of Wood; and Hilda Rhambling, a mysterious fortune teller using the Force of Lightning.

The game received an Updated Re Release on the PlayStation Portable, released March 19th, 2008 in Japan.

Unfortunately, even after the PSP port, this game has never seen the light of day outside of Japan. But at least Eugene is playable in Tales of The World: Radiant Mythology, and Annie is an NPC. And with the localization of Tales of Graces F, Veigue will also see a localized appearance. But hey, at least a Fan Translation project for this game is finally coming along, for the PS2 version (and possibly the PSP version, although there are a few technical difficulties on its side)!

This game provides examples of:

  • All of the Other Reindeer:
    • Halves, since Interspecies Romance is taboo. It's a major point in both Militsa's and Hilda's stories.
    • Ninon, the young girl with the Force of Feather. She was ostracized from her village because her inability to control her Force made everything float.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: Yuris, the personification of racism.
  • Apologises a Lot: The aforementioned Ninon always ends her sentences with an apology. If you complete her sidequest, she finally starts saying "thank you" instead of constant apologies.
  • Auction of Evil: Wan Gin's auction in Kyogen, where he attempts to barter both Agarte and Claire after promising to help Veigue and co. Passing it up is a pretty bad idea, since it offers a lot of rare items and is needed in a rather big sidequest, but Wan Gin eventually gets his comeuppance.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • In Arabic, Saleh is a proper name, and means "the pure". As for Tohma (literally "accusation/suspicion"), not so much...
    • "Mesechina" means "moonlight" in a number of languages in the Balcans. Mesechina Cavern is where the stone tablet with the backstory on the Divine King and the sages is written. If you talk to Hack later, he reveals that Geyorkias's will was sealed into a stone called "The Moon of Goldoba", which belonged to the royal family.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Saleh is evil, has a huge ego, but he really cannot back his claims up and instead gets his ass kicked all the time.
  • Broken Bridge: A literal example at the beginning of the game when the Dark Wings blow up Etoray Bridge. The party is then forced to hike through the mountain dungeon which is used to introduce a few gameplay elements like Force jumping puzzles and the equipment enhancement system.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Cyglorg's Chambers, available only after the final dungeon opens. It is composed of sixty levels of mazes where you have to overcome certain trials (ranging from simply finding the next warp point to clearing the level with a penalty), within a short time limit. Apart from the new enemies and the Bonus Bosses, older foes also appear with enhanced stats. If you fail the challenge/trial, you're back to square one, and you can't go past floor 40 on your first playthrough.
  • Bromance: Veigue and Tytree
  • Catchphrase:
    • Tytree: "That's worth *insert number from 1 to 5* stars!"
    • There's also Eugene's "I'm not surprised that you answered my question with a question". Tytree even hangs a lampshade on it.
  • Cool Old Guy: Eugene.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Essentially everyone is recruited in this way.
  • Defrosting Ice... Country Boy: Veigue is cold, antisocial, but he eventually warms up in the end.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Freeze Lancer is one of the first arcane artes Hilda will get. It has a lot of range and if the enemies are close to Hilda, they will take more hits. However, it also happens to be the arte with the highest damage multiplier (800) on the first hit. Combined with a weapon which has the ability to deal double, triple or quadruple damage (which is fairly easy to get), Hilda can potentially have the most powerful attack in the game from the moment she joins.
  • Distressed Dude: The archaeologist Hack needs to be rescued by the party multiple times.
  • Dual Boss: The Four Stars love pulling you into these. In their final battle, you fight all four at once.
  • Early Game Hell: The game is quite difficult before you unlock the Enhance and Inheritance systems.
  • Elemental Powers:
    • Most Forces represent typical elemental powers like Fire and Lightning.
    • The Sacred Beasts represent and oversee an element of the physical world: darkness, fire, wind, water, light and earth.
  • Eviler than Thou: Saleh and Tohma both kill each other as their dying "fuck you" to the other.
  • Evolving Weapon: The Enhance and Inheritance system. Weapons and armor gain Enhance Points during fights, which can then be spent on raising the individual equipment's stats or awakening latent abilities. Enhanced equipment can then be fused into non-enhanced equipment, granting the latter boost to its stats. Occasionally, an "Irregular" happens, and the equipment may change form or awaken very powerful and rare abilities.
  • Fantastic Racism: The main theme of the game is whether Gajuma and Huma can co-exist.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Even though it is one of the Tales games that entirely lacks a traitor in your party, Rebirth loves pitting you against your party members, especially at your first meeting. To the point that Rebirth is the only game in the series where you canonically fight all of your party members at some point (even Veigue).
  • Final Solution: The main goal of Zilva is to eradicate all Huma.
  • For the Evulz: Saleh, a type of guy who for no better reasons... just LOVES doing evil things and trampling on hope and love.
  • Four Is Death: The Four Stars of Callegea.
  • Fun with Homophones: Solving the "Mystery of the Iron Factory" sidequest nets Annie and Veigue the "Great Detective"note  title, while Tytree gets "Sloppy Detective"note . The words used are pronounced exactly the same, even though their meanings are entirely opposite.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: When Veigue almost lost it, Tytree took him to a beach... and then incites a fistfight with him so he got better. Veigue later repeats it on Reid in the Viva Tales bonus DVD. Note that Reid had done nothing to actually deserve this, it was merely Veigue blowing things way out of proportion.
  • Get on the Boat: The first half of the game takes place in the Kingdom of Callegea on the Western Continent. Starting with the second half, you will start needing things that are on the Eastern Continent...and all the important characters head that way too for some reason! By the time you need to return to the Western Continent, you have your own free ship provided by the army.
  • Global Airship: Once again, your means of transport in Rebirth is sentient. However, this game's global airship is Shaorune, one of the game's Sacred Beasts that embody elements of nature.
  • Grand Theft Me: Agarte manages to switch bodies with Claire at the fake ending, and much of the remaining plot is spent trying to switch them back once Veigue figures it out. In the past, Zilva also pulled this on Doctor Barrs in order to poison the king and get Eugene exiled.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: "Half"s, who are half-Huma, half-Gajuma and universally discriminated against. Militsa of the Four Stars is a Half, as is Hilda.
  • Hate Plague: The influence of Yuris in the second half of the game causes all Gajuma to irrationally develop prejudice against Huma, sometimes to murderous extremes.
  • Health/Damage Asymmetry: Rebirth is generally not very charitable with character HP values, with Hilda's being painfully low at level 99. However, you have a lot of ways to reduce damage, heal and shave off tons of HP from the enemies thanks to the Enhancement latent abilities and powerful arcane spells.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: The best weapons are straightforward to obtain: you simply buy them from the weapon shop in Balka after the final dungeon becomes available. However, in order to turn them into the ultimate weapons, you need to get an Irregular Awakening so that they change forms. Even if you optimise the unseen factors that determine this using Save Scumming, you still only have a chance to get them to work the way you wanted. And let's not get started with the possibility that you wanted a specific latent ability...
  • Informed Equipment: The only piece of equipment with visible changes are weapons and only during battles. You will only ever see armour artwork on the equipment menu and only the default weapons appear in cutscenes.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • Early in game, Mao pretended that Eugene is his servant. Late in game, Eugene pretended that the whole team are his retainers. For situational uses. There's also a skit detailing this.
    • When the party calls out Hilda on deceiving them, she shrugs them off by saying they're to blame for believing her claims. Right afterwards, when Tohma reveals he's been lying to her about fulfilling her wish, he throws the same line back in her face.
  • Law of Cartographical Elegance: The game has a very straightforward world map with both continents being on the edges and stretching south while the ocean occupies the centre. Interestingly, while the edges are just seas you can fly over to loop the map, the ship has no access to those waters.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: In the most annoying way possible, this is what happens on certain levels in the bonus dungeon. You will start the floor only with Veigue and must find the other 5 party members within a time limit. Whether you get this condition is randomly decided upon opening the door to a floor and the mobs (or fake chests) are not easy. The worst part? Failing the bonus dungeon at any point gets you kicked out. You cannot save at any point in those 60 floors.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: A lot. This game is one of the few Tales games in which you can canonically fight every member of your party.
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: A couple of puzzles in Mao and Hilda's trials require reflecting their respective forces on walls and fans.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: Your first few spells can be somewhat disappointing since they have a small range and average damage potential. However, spellcasters get much more powerful arcane artes compared to the melee characters with considerable areas of effect and greater potential to inflict status ailments due to the elemental system. Additionally, Misty accessories that decrease casting times make a more marked difference compared to anything melee can equip. Magic is a nuke in this game.
  • Little Bit Beastly: "Half"s are like this, looking pretty much like humans but with minor animal characteristics.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!
  • Mass Super-Empowering Event: The Dusk of Ladras, granting Huma the powers of Force for the first time and several more Gajuma the ability.
  • Match Maker Quest: The first sidequest available, which extends to the endgame has Veigue act as a mediator between Monica and Steve in Sulz. Completing it nets Veigue the "Love Cupid" title.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: The Dark Wings only ever manage to be Butt Monkeys who fall flat at all attempts to stop the heroes until they decide to leave the Royal Shield and become their own group instead.
  • New Skill as Reward: Everyone's final arcane arte is story-gated and can only be accessed after the character has overcome their Sacred Beast trial, all of which place a lot of pressure on the characters but usually result in Character Development. The exception to this is Annie who actually gains nothing from her trial. Reconciling with Eugene is what allows her to perform the Mystic Arte Light Blast.
  • No Experience Points for Medic: A variation that has to do with Smash Points instead of EXP. In order to learn new artes, characters have to upgrade existing ones and gain Smash Points that are then spent on gaining arcane artes derived from the two artes that had enough Smash Points. Smash Points are gained by performing Technical Smashes and killing enemies with that particular arte. Obviously, it's almost impossible for Annie to destroy enemies herself so the developers gave her a different requirement: a circle must be active when an enemy is vanquished for her to gain Smash Points...and she can only have one circle active at a time. She also requires a loooooot more points than other characters.
  • Now, Where Was I Going Again?: As a staple of Team Destiny, the game does its best to avert this by having navigation skits that can be played repeatedly, telling you where to go next. They can be hilarious when you have 5 variations of "Let's go to ______!" but you can always be sure you won't get lost as you could in Abyss.
  • Only Shop in Town: The vast majority of towns have all the equipment vendors in one building. Marked exceptions include Nolzen and Balka.
  • Opening the Sandbox: Most of the sidequests become fully available after getting the Global Airship but the game clunkily cuts them all off after the final dungeon appears...which is when the best weapons and the EX dungeon appear.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: Hilariously, the AI can be exploited by using these.
    • The Faust dogs in the final dungeon are notorious for only attacking spellcasters after someone begins casting. They are very fast and don't allow much space for magic. One possible strategy in multiplayer is to have the spellcasters sit back and allow the melee characters to destroy them since the dogs aren't particularly aggressive when magic isn't involved. Another strategy involves shoving a mage in a corner with a physical fighter in front of them. The mage begins casting to lure the dogs, who will usually line up and are then held back by the melee. It's then easy for them to be trapped and taken apart by a powerful AOE spell like Grand Dasher.
    • Crownell's puppets in the EX dungeon are very aggressive...except that Mao cannot do anything while in Cool mode. Leaving him alone makes the fight much easier.
    • Looking for ways to stop Saleh from being extremely annoying? Paralysis is your friend.
  • Party of Representatives: Your party includes 3 Huma, a Gajuma, a Half that stands in-between the 2 races, a lifeform created by the Sacred Beasts and a person who is inhabiting a body not their own. The Huma occupy different ends of the racism scale: Annie is very racist, Tytree spits at all kinds of discrimination and Veigue hadn't really thought about it until the events of the game happened. The end result is that we get insights into all walks of life and backgrounds to appreciate the theme of the game. Veigue also uses the fact that they consist of a party of representatives to argue about the potential of people living together.
  • Power Incontinence: A risk Force users run if their emotions start going out of control, and every playable character except Mao goes through it at some point.
  • The Power of Love: A major theme, prevalent in Tytree's speeches and Claire and Veigue's relationships. In the final dungeon, the renewed sentiments of friendship throughout the world fuel the party's waning powers and allow them to defeat Yuris.
  • Puzzle Boss: Eephon has 100% Flash rate, meaning he will take minimum damage and become immune after the first hit if attacked. The only ways to damage him is to force him into Cool mode, making guarding impossible, or counterattack when he performs an action. Attacking while he is in the middle of doing something does not activate his Flash skill and allows for normal damage.
  • Racing Minigame: The Rafting mini-game. It's mandatory to play just once when going from Petnadjanka to Sunnytown, but you can't lose that one time. If you want all of Veigue's titles, you have to complete it with at least 10,000 points.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Tytree delivered one to Saleh. Unfortunately, Saleh is too thick-headed to listen.
    • Veigue also delivers one to the general populace of one of the towns after their racist attitudes cause two children to run away together and one to want to cut her wings off in despair.
  • Royalty Superpower: The Force of the Moon, which is passed down the royal family and is central to the events of the game. Zilva herself has royal blood and can use it, but no one knows this.
  • Running Gag: Hack always lands himself knee-deep into trouble. Monsters, ancient ruins, angry locals—Hack always needs you to rescue him.
  • Say My Name: CLAIIIIIRRREEEE!!!!!! It was used in the Bonus DVD for the PSP release to make a brand new Hi-Ougi for Veigue and Tytree, Mugen Zekkyougin. The only problem was it left their allies' ears bleeding.
  • The Seven Mysteries: The Seven Great Illusions, which Franz is seeking. The "Virus of Illusion" and the "Isle of Illusion" are found during the story, but the "Garden of Illusion" ends up a Red Herring. The real garden is part of a sidequest.
  • Ship Tease: Veigue and Claire. Agarte and Milhaust. Tytree and Hilda. And despite all that, only Agarte and Milhaust reach any resolution, with everyone else in Status Quo, although side material more or less scream the obvious fact that Veigue and Claire are together. Oh, and Agarte dies in the end, so... no Official Couple for you!.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Anyone with a Force risks going into a berserk rage if they lose control of their emotions, requiring a dose of Get A Hold Of Yourself Man. Eugene has the worst case of this, as the influence of Yuris means he is at constant risk of going berserk, even after the party brings him under control the first time.
  • Superpower Lottery: The effectiveness of one's Force varies drastically, with some people getting Mind Control or Elemental Powers while others merely get super strength on par with anyone sufficiently trained.
  • Status Effects: Status effects are caused by attacks with a corresponding element and the Drain Force Cube slot or with a weapon that has the ability to inflict said effect. The elements are: Fire-Poison, Water-Freeze, Earth-Slow, Wind-Weak, Darkness-Panic and Light-Paralysis. Stun/Dizzy is a unique status effect in that it has no element and can only be attached to a weapon via a latent ability.
  • Turtle Island: The Sacred Beast of Earth, Randgriz, was initially big enough to be mistaken for an island while traveling the sea by the legendary pirate, Aifread. When the Sacred Beasts tell Eugene to find the "Isle of Illusion", the party obtains the pirate's map and realize the island is, in fact, Sunnytown. Randgriz's body became the foundation of the city.
  • Unstoppable Rage: You go into this if your Force goes out of control. If your RG hits 100%, you get a few invincibility frames and can break out of combos. Being in constant Rage mode (100% RG) means that the boss will never break out and can be infinitely combo'ed. Tytree, Hilda and Eugene's boss fights are good examples of this.
  • Wutai: Though the eastern continent seems to be a mixture of various cultures, Kyogen is basically Edo period Kyoto.
  • You Can't Get Ye Flask: Some of the answer puzzles can be frustrating if you haven't been paying attention to the clues the story gives you.
  • You Killed My Father: Annie intends to get revenge on Eugene for this. Subverted when it turns out Eugene really DID kill her father, but in self-defense: Annie's father was trying to kill Eugene. Double-subverted when it turns out Annie's father was being possessed by Agarte's Evil Chancellor, Zilva.