Follow TV Tropes

Following

Video Game / Tales of Zestiria

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/995d72fed9543ee597c3dd499a1f00a7.jpg

"The legends are no mere fairy tales!"
Advertisement:

The 15th Tales Mothership Title, released for the Playstation 3, Playstation 4 and PC. It marks the franchise's 20th Anniversary. The word "zest" in the title means "passion" or "zeal."

Legends tell of a race of divine beings known as Seraphim, whose unseen influence is felt throughout the world. Those humans with the ability to commune with the Seraphim became known as "Shepherds", the most pure-hearted of which could even be granted a Seraph's power. While some would praise these empowered Shepherds as living paragons, others would fear their strength and call them demons.

Sorey is a young human who has spent his entire life in the village of Elysia, a holy place where he lives in harmony with many Seraphim. Enraptured by the legends within an ancient tome, he makes daily excursions into a nearby ruin with his childhood friend Mikleo, a seraph himself, in the hope of learning more about the Seraphim and their history.

Advertisement:

One day, the two boys encounter a human knight named Alisha, who is investigating a series of natural disasters which have been plaguing the world. Upon hearing her tales of the outside world, and her belief in the legend of a Shepherd who will save it, Sorey becomes interested in leaving Elysia to see for himself. However shortly after Alisha begins her journey home, an Ax-Crazy Hellion attacks Elysia and reveals his intentions to devour Alisha before heading after her. Sorey and Mikleo decide to leave Elysia so they can warn Alisha, while also experiencing the world for themselves and pursuing their dream of a future where Seraphim and humans can walk hand-in-hand once again.

The game was released in Japan for the PS3 in January 2015, and later in the NA and PAL regions for the PS3, PS4, and PC in October 2015. An anime special covering the beginning of the story was made to promote the game, with a full (but very loose) anime adaptation (Tales of Zestiria the X [cross]) later greenlit. It is followed by Tales of Berseria, a Prequel which takes place in the distant past of Zestiria's world.

Advertisement:
    open/close all folders 
     Tropes associated with both the game and anime 

  • Aborted Arc: In Alisha's Story, the plot with the anti-peace Hyland nationalists is completely dropped once Symmone enters the plot. At best, it's implied that they weren't really an organic movement and that Lunarre and Symmone intended to use them to infect Camlann with Malevolence again, much like how Heldalf lured Bartlow and the Hyland Soldiers into Elysia.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Beast was just another arte in other games. Lion's Howl, as it's known here, however, is a legendary arte learned only by knights, is the Sword of Plot Advancement, is the basis of the Limit Break used by the Big Bad, and finishes said Big Bad off.
    • Alisha was a Decoy Protagonist in the game. In the anime, she gets a bigger role, and, despite the game saying it's beyond her abilities, can Armatize.
  • Aerith and Bob: Sorey, Mikleo, Dezel, Zaveid, Maltran. These guys have bizarre names, whereas Alisha, Rose, Lailah, and Edna are pretty normal names.
  • All Myths Are True: The only notable exception being local legends that lead people to sacrifice themselves to the seraphim at the wind temple.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Thanks to her mother being a commoner and her status of being the youngest child of the royal family, Alisha has been a victim of classism all of her life. Just about everyone she knew, except for her mentor Maltran, severely mistreated her throughout her childhood. Averted in the anime adaptation; while Alisha has her political adversaries, she has several Canon Foreigner soldiers who are very loyal to her.
  • Alternate Continuity: The game has four adaptations of its story, to varying degrees of faithfulness: the original Dawn of the Shepherd OVA, which is not to be confused with the 2016 anime, as well as a four-volume manga adaptation, and a set of light novels.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Sort of. The English version of the game has White Light's vocals removed and replaced with an electric guitar.
  • An Economy Is You: Not only do shops stock equipment for Improbable Weapon Users, players can increase the range of a shop's stock by selling them equipment that they don't already carry, causing them to randomly sell more copies of that equipment. However, the shops' random pool will eventually reset and stop stocking the new equipment until the player sells them another one.
  • Animal Motif:
    • Lunarre is based on the mystical kitsune/foxes of Japanese folklore, having facial markings reminiscent of one, and a tail-like hairstyle. He also wields blue flames to further go with the theme.
    • Heldalf is heavily based around lions.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Both justified and subverted through the game's partner mechanic. Seraph characters need to be linked to a human vessel in order to participate (otherwise, they're literally all in Sorey's head). Each of the human characters can switch between Seraphim to best suit the current situation. Essentially, every party member can be used in the same battle, though how many actually fight at once depends on how many human characters are in the current party.
  • Ascended Fanboy: Sorey (and Alisha) both grew up reading the Celestial Record, a book that tells the story of the Shepherd. Early on, Sorey and Alisha bond over a passage he spontaneously quotes that she identifies.
  • As You Know: Happens frequently between the seraphim in a way obviously intended to inform the player. For instance, there is one skit where Edna and Lailah discuss whether to tell Sorey about how the Lords of The Land work, and in the process tell each other exactly that despite there being no logical reason for the two them to tell each other what they already know the other knows. Basically, they say "It sure would be great if Sorey and Rose knew [this] and [this] and [this]".
  • Background Music Override:
    • Following the battle with the dragon Tiamat, "Rising Up (Reprise)" is continuous in Glaivend Basin once you're able to return there. If you do the sidequest for fighting the Medusa hellions, then it switches to just being the location theme, with the normal battle and victory music playing during battles, but it returns to continuous status if you complete that sidequest.
    • The background music for the four trial shrines continues playing during battles instead of the usual battle music.
    • Several costumes will do this, too, including all of the DLC ones.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • Sorey and Mikleo, in the opening.
    • Alisha and Rose get one in the anime's opening and in Episode 11.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Sorey manages to Mercy Kill Heldalf and is protected from becoming the next Lord of Calamity by the four Seraphim. However, in order to heal Maotelus and restore balance to the world, Sorey becomes the vessel for Maotelus and falls into a deep slumber. The healing process takes centuries, meaning that he never sees his human friends again and wakes up in a vastly-changed world, but he is eventually reunited with Mikleo.
  • Blade on a Stick: Alisha's chosen weapon, along with her mentor Lady Maltran.
  • Blinding Bangs: Dezel's bangs cover his eyes, but Subverted in that he's actually blind anyway.
  • Blush Sticker: One of the attachments is basically this.
  • Bookends:
    • One of the first scenes of the game has Mikleo falling down a trap hole in the ruins and Sorey saving him. The second epilogue, and final scene of the game, has an older Mikleo falling down a trap hole while exploring ruins and a newly-awakened Sorey saving him.
    • To reach the Final Dungeon you have to go through the game's first dungeon.
    • The first enemy in the Alisha DLC is defeated by Rose cutting him down while dashing past him. The final boss of the DLC is defeated by Rose and Alisha doing the same thing.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Earth Armatus's Grand Shaker spell is this. The spell has a very low cast time, can hit the entire field, and causes a knockdown effect which give you enough time to cast the spell again, rinse and repeat.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In Rolance, Rose was asked as to whether the Sparrowfeathers should get mabo buns or curry buns. She suggests mabo curry buns.
    • One post-battle skit between Sorey, Mikleo, and Rose:
    Sorey: Piece of cake!
    Mikleo: Hey, it wasn't that easy!
    Sorey: That was a cinch!
    Rose: It was easier than that!
    Sorey: (frustrated) Then what was it?
    Mikleo and Rose: (Beat) A piece of cinch?
  • Broken Bridge: In addition to the mundane sort, there's a more creative twist on it. Later in the game, if you try to head into an area you don't belong in yet, you might find it blanketed in miasma so dense that Sorey can barely keep himself walking straight, accompanied by some extremely ominous music. Aside from slowing your movement speed to a crawl outside of battle, it cripples you in battle to the point of practically ensuring your demise. If that's not enough to deter you, and you somehow to manage to sneak past/defeat any normal enemies you encounter, you'll eventually find your path completely blocked by extremely overpowered monsters you'll never realistically be able to defeat. Alternatively, you might even end up running into Heldalf instead, with obvious results if you're foolish enough to try to get past him in your weakened state. But if, against all odds, you actually manage to win? You unlock a Bad Ending.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": The Hyland Goats don't exactly look like goats.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Several DLC skits fall into this. One of the DLC skits has both Zaveid and Dezel together. The reasons why this is impossible to see is because: one, they are never together in the party at any point in the game; two, Dezel pulls off a Heroic Sacrifice right before Zaveid resolves to join the party; and lastly, Zaveid's skit portraits has him sporting Dezel's Nice Hat as a way of respect to his death.
  • Can't Drop the Hero: No matter what, due to the game's partner system, you will have two spots reserved for Sorey and Alisha/Rose no matter what party combination you have.
  • The Cavalry: As Sorey and his party are pushed into a corner by Tiamat, a group of soldiers, along with Alisha, Lucas, and Sergei, aid in their battle.
  • Chest Monster: Depending on the level of the highest level character in your party, if you open a treasure chest that's had its contents restored after enough time has passed, there's a chance it might end up being a Mimic instead (starts out as Mimic Spiders, becomes Mimic Treants at level 26, Mimic Zombies at 46 and finally Mimic Giants at 76). This is by no means a bad thing, as they're not very threatening due to how slow their attacks are, and you're guaranteed an item drop (Often of high quality) and a hefty sum of gald and experience once it's defeated.
  • Chekhov's Gun: A literal case. The gun Zaveid carries with him when the party first encounters him essentially converts Seraphim into pure energy. When fired at a hellion or anyone, it allows the fired Seraph to sever the direct connection between the person and the malevolence at the cost of the Seraph's life. When Zaveid gives it to Sorey later in the story, almost immediately it's used for Dezel's Heroic Sacrifice, and plays a pivotal role when you have to use it against Heldalf.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: When you first get to the Hunting Grounds, you can find two Seraphim sitting near the Earth Temple minding their own business. After Heldalf visits the area at a certain point in the game and leaves, the pair are nowhere to be found. It doesn't look like a significant detail until you return to Glaivend Basin and find one of the two Seraph and they mention a being that matches Heldalf's description taking his friend. Turns out Heldalf was at the Hunting Grounds for a reason and had the kidnapped Seraph corrupted into the dragon Tiamat.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: The source of much of Sorey's internal conflict. He's naturally inclined to this, and it's how he views the role of the Shepherd, but Lailah and Mikleo are very quick to caution him against acting on it, as it could lead to people taking advantage of his generosity or create expectations among the people that he can't live up to thus turning them against him, and either one would likely make him susceptible to Malevolence.
  • Combat Medic: All of seraphim are effective at fighting and have access to some manner of healing, though Mikleo and Edna are the better of the four, due to having a strong single target and area heal respectively. They also grant a powerful heal to Sorey and Rose while they're being used for Armatization.
  • Combat Stilettos: Lailah has these to go with her dress, and Sorey, Rose, and Alisha all gain them when armatized.
  • Convection Schmonvection: The fire trial ruins are filled with lava. The party has no problems running around in it.
  • Corrupt Church: The Church of Rolance, whose Cardinal has become a powerful hellion.
  • The Corruption: The malevolence that permeates the world is capable of transforming individuals harboring dark emotions into Hellions. The power of a Shepherd can cleanse them and return them to normal provided their hearts aren't too corrupted.
  • Cry into Chest: Alisha cries into Sorey's chest after Maltran reveals her true self to Alisha and dies. And later in Alisha's DLC episode, Alisha cries in to Rose's chest.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: During a cutscene, late in the game, Edna comes to visit Zaveid to ask him why he was killing hellions. "Well, well, Edna coming to see me. Should I be scanning the skies for pigs?"
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Downplayed. The game will automatically set Mikleo as Sorey's partnered seraph when you're ready to shoot Heldalf with Siegfried, and Zaveid and Sorey's voice lines are distinctly more desperate than the others, but you can sacrifice the seraphim in whatever order you like. However, the CG from Tales Of The Rays and the novelization both indicate that Zaveid is the final seraph, and the novelization places the order of sacrifice as Mikleo, Lailah, Edna, and Zaveid.
  • Cypher Language: The Ancient Tongue, found in true names and spell sigils, as well as the Modern Glenwood Language, used for text within the world are both substitution ciphers. Both decode to mostly comprehensible English. (For instance, Mikleo's true name in English is "Luzrov Rulay", an English localization of the Japanese approximation of "Ujulosiw Relwei", which decodes into "Executor Micrio".) The Ancient Tongue is shared with Tales of Berseria.
  • Dark Is Evil: Malevolence appears in the form of a dark mist hanging in the air, and particularly strong hellions, including Heldalf, emit a dark purple miasma, and many hellions have darker colour palettes. Symmone, the seraph aligned with the Lord of Calamity, is also the only seraph with dark hair.
  • Death of a Child:
    • Several children are shown to be killed throughout the game and Mikleo was killed as a baby for a sacrifice.
    • Margaret from the Lastonbell Lord of the Land sidequest is an especially tragic example, as the bullying she endured reached a breaking point, transforming both her and her dog into Hellions who went on a murderous rampage throughout the town. Naturally, the party is forced to kill them, and didn't realize it was them until it was too late.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • Go too far into areas you shouldn't, you might actually encounter Heldalf long before you are equipped for fighting them. If you manage to win the battle that should be a Hopeless Boss Fight, you will receive a special alternate ending (See Downer Ending).
    • Dezel has a few lines in one of Zaveid's boss battles if you repeatedly switch him in and out.
    • Normally, Edna has to be talked into given Eizen a Mercy Kill. If you go into battle with Eizen before the plot calls for it, Edna will be angry that Sorey didn't tell her what the plan was, and refuse to fight her brother.
    • If you somehow fall out of bounds, either through a glitch or hacking, the game will respawn you with the message "Protected by the blessing of the seraphim".
  • Devious Daggers: Rose, alongside the rest of the Scattered Bones, all wield knives, befitting their roles as assassins.
  • Double Entendre: The section under "Records" for water Armatization.
    The armatized bow gives you good piercing capabilities - just the thing for a tight hallway. Weaknesses? Well, it can be hard to to cope with attacks from behind. But the first step towards dealing with this drawback is acknowledging it.
  • Downer Ending: If you manage to defeat Heldalf before Zaveid is recruited, then the party never finds out about the infected Maotelus until he becomes too powerful to be stopped.
  • Downloadable Content: For the first time, cameo Mystic Artes can be unlocked either through DLC or as a pre-order bonus:
  • Dragons Are Demonic: The dragons in Tales of Zestiria are particularly powerful Hellions, and thus are evil by definition. Only a few are encountered during the game, and they are all extremely dangerous foes. Maotelus is both this and an inversion of it, as he is a dragon in both Hellion and Seraph forms.
  • Dub Name Change: Many terms have been changed for the localized version:
    • Hyouma is Hellion.
    • Izuchi is Elysia.
    • Divines are Seraphim (Seraph as a singular nouns).
    • Seraph Records is now called Celestial Records.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: Going into an area you're not supposed to covers the area in miasma. It's possible to fight Heldalf in this situation, and he's at Final Boss level on top of having resistance to everything except Neutral, making this his second strongest iteration after his Despot form. If you somehow manage to win (probably through massive amounts of level grinding and E-Union 7 farming), you unlock the game's worst ending. Alternatively, you can fight him shortly after the miasma is lifted in New Game+, but he's still quite strong — close to end game strong.
  • Eating Optional: Applies to all of the Seraphim. They don't need to eat, but the inhabitants of Elysia, including Mikleo, do to help make Sorey feel normal.
  • Eldritch Location: The Very Definite Final Dungeon, Artorius Throne. The sky is bright red with lightning shooting across it frequently, the moon is pure black and the malevolence is so thick that Zaveid outright states if not for Sorey, all four Seraph's would be Dragons. Not only that but the majority of the shrine is floating in the sky. The Hellions here are, excluding Hexen Isle and the Alisha DLC, the strongest in the game, and the area is filled with powerful bosses.
  • Elemental Hair Colors: The tips of Seraphs' hair. Mikleo's is blue, Lailah's red, Edna's yellow, Dezel and Zaveid's are green, Symmone's is purple, and Zenrus's yellow. For most nonplayable seraphim, all of their hair is the color representing their element, not just the tips.
  • Elemental Powers: Each seraph is aligned with a particular element. Dezel and Zaveid are wind based, Edna is Earth-based, Mikleo is water-based, Lailah is fire-based, Zenrus (Gramps) is lightning-based. Symonne's element is never actually specified, but she's got a lot of shadow-related stuff.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: The weakness circle goes fire over wind, wind over earth, earth over water, and water over fire.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Sorey finishes off Heldalf with his own rendition of Heldalf's True Lion's Howl.
  • Equipment Spoiler: One town has a new type of spear for sale, spoiling that Alisha will rejoin the party (and, by extension, Rose will have to leave for some reason).
  • Eye Color Change: Armatization causes the human character to change eye colors to match the element of the seraph. In the anime adaptation, the Ultimate Armatus gives Sorey gold eyes.
  • Fake Difficulty:
    • There have been complaints about this, because of Empty Levels (leveling up is essentially useless, as all buffs come from armour and weapons), nerfed healing (if you have a status effect, you cannot increase your HP by any means), and worse than usual AI stupidity from allies. The wonky camera in the PS3 version and lag don't help.
    • When an enemy attempts to cast a powerful Seraphic Arte, you're supposed to interrupt the casting time with a Martial Arte. Unfortunately, most bosses will have a skill called Iron Stance which prevents casting interruption for a certain number of hits, and an accelerated casting speed which makes interruption near-impossible to accomplish. To make matters worse, your AI party members are not smart enough to not use Hidden Artes on a casting enemy, which accelerates the casting speed even further.
    • The AI in general often can't handle the the Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors mechanic (see the entry below).
    • Armitizing reduces your attacks to either Arcane or Hidden Artes, meaning if an enemy is a spell caster, Armitizing will actually make it worse.
    • In addition to most of the buffs coming from equipment, equipment has a set of bonuses. The problem is you can't set any of these bonuses (except when you find a Normin for the first time) and they come randomly with each time you get a piece of equipment. As the item fusion system Graces is back, this makes it hard to take advantage of bonus stacking. Also annoying is that bonuses are often locked after you fuse items. While this isn't too bad by itself, some bosses, like the Gorgon sisters, are balanced with the expectation that the player is using specific skills.
  • Fallen Hero: Though some Shepherds succeeded in their goals, others fell and became what they once fought against. The Water Shrine's trial of strength involves learning what drove a Shepherd to become the hellion Asura and then quelling him, and the previous Shepherd, Mikleo's uncle Michael, gives in to vengeance and kills his own nephew in a sacrificial curse that inflicts eternal loneliness upon Heldalf and binds the cursed Maotelus to him, which eventually transforms Heldalf into the Lord of Calamity.
  • Female Gaze:
    • This title certainly gives it more consideration than previous games. Instead of a Ms. Fanservice, we have Zaveid, who is constantly shirtless and clad in tight leather trousers. He only wears a shirt if you put one on him, and one of those is a tight black shirt that highlights his abs. There's also a skit scene in the sauna that has Sorey, Mikleo and Zaveid wearing nothing but a thin towel over their crotches. Finally, Sorey's idea of babe-hunting is checking out a sweaty Mikleo, rather than any of the girls.
    • The obligatory hot springs event also has the guys showing more skin compared to the girls. On the girl's side, Edna is almost completely underwater, Rose is wearing her towel like a shirt, and Lailah is shown at an angle where her body is completely covered, save for her arm and face. On the guys' side, Sorey and Mikleo's towels looks as if they could fall off at any second, and Zaveid shows...as much skin as you'd expect.
  • Final Battle-Induced Shirt Loss: A downplayed example occurs in the manga adaptation: Sorey's signature Shepherd's garb is destroyed in the final fight with Heldalf, signifying both his departure from the role as Shepherd and creating a Bookend where he ends the story in his original casual adventurer outfit.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: The armies of Hyland and Rolance become unofficial comrades after the boss fight against Tiamat (unofficial because both kingdoms are still technically at war).
  • Fisher King: In keeping with the Arthurian theme, Domains basically function like this. The most powerful being in a given area reflects the general state of said area. For instance, Gramps/Zenrus' benevolence allows Elysia to remain a peaceful, idyllic mountain village despite the state of the rest of the world. Likewise, the Lord of Calamity's/ Heldalf's domain is covered in a smothering darkness that is also strong enough to cut off Sorey's connection to his Seraphim companions. Naturally, this effect is more prominent to those who possess powerful Resonance, but normal humans can feel it as well, especially if the Domain is particularly strong.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water:
    • Sorey is a human who lived with Seraphim all his life. Where he was born is unknown until much later in the story but he has never been out of Elysia until after his encounter with Lunarre who seems to be after Alisha.
    • This will also occur at the end, because Sorey goes into temporal hibernation while he nurtures people's latent resonance and purifies Maotelus.
  • Flaming Sword: Sorey gets one when fused with Lailah.
  • Flechette Storm: Sorey's and Rose's wind armatized mystic arte, Sylphestia.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • A lot of NPC chatter/gossip you "listen" to as you traverse towns actually end up true to some extent or another.
    • When you first meet Maltran after Sorey has become the Shepherd, the camera briefly turns to the "empty" spot where Lailah is. Maltran also walks away in such a fashion to avoid Lailah (who apparently notices). Turns out she's a hellion and thus able to see Lailah and the other Seraphim the entire time.
    • In Pendrago late-game, an NPC says "In the time of my grandfather's grandfather's grandfather, they had to take to the sea in boats to do their trading." Cue the prequel Tales of Berseria, where the environment appears to take on an Ocean Punk theme and the party travels by boat.
    • Artorius's Throne is the location of the final battle with the Big Bad, who wants to end all pain by overrunning the world with Malevolence. Berseria reveals that Artorius himself had similar goals to create a world free of suffering, though his extreme methods went in the opposite direction by trying to take away everyone's free will to end Malevolence.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • One is just after Lailah drops a pun. Sorey engages in a serious conversation about current events. Meanwhile, Dezel is chuckling away in the background, and we hear snatches of Rose and Edna trying to make him admit why he's laughing.
    • In the other, Sorey and Mikleo are guilty. After discovering that humans can become seraphim, they start discussing 'Turtlez seraphim' in the background, while Lailah talks seriously to the shrine guardian.
  • Fusion Dance: Sorey and Rose both have the ability to fuse with their partnered Seraphim, combining their stats and also changing their fighting style and weapon.
    • Lailah provides a flaming BFS.
    • Mikleo grants a water-elemental bow that allows for long-range assaults.
    • Edna gives them a massive pair of gauntlets that can shake the earth.
    • Dezel/Zaveid equips them with a multitude of sword-shaped Razor Wings.
  • Genki Girl: Rose is described to be the mood maker in the party.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: For a Seraph to become a Lord of the Land, blessing a region and making its inhabitants less susceptible to Malevolence, they need a vessel to inhabit (usually an object, like a tree or a basin of holy water), and someone to worship them.
  • Grey-and-Grey Morality: Hyland initially seems like the traditional peace loving kingdom and this is reinforced when Rolance attacks, but the Senators are shown to be corrupt and that's not even getting into Maltran. Rolance initially introduced starting the war making them seem like the Evil Empire but many good people in it like Sergei seek peace and don't want to fight. When war does resume later, both kingdoms are shown wanting realistic results making it clear neither one is good or bad.
  • Guide Dangit:
    • Skits, Support skills, item skills, titles, Normins. There's hardly a single aspect of this game that isn't, at best, vaguely described, and obtaining them is a matter of trial and error at the best of times. And getting them all without a guide? Not gonna happen.
    • The damage readout that persists on the enemy is, in fact, the total damage inflicted on that enemy within the current combo. (Another number that reads the individual hit's damage exists, but it fades in like half a second.) It also resets under a number of situations (like when a Mystic Arte is initiated or when the enemy is stunned). This can be slightly off-putting to people trying to extract information from it.
    • Zigzagged with how to finish off the Final Boss. While most people wouldn't object to using their Mystic Arte in battle, they may want to save it for later.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Zig-Zagged. The human characters are melee fighters, but Rose has a few artes where she throws her knives at a distance. The seraphim are all spell casters, but Edna and Mikleo can use their Parasol of Pain and Magic Staff respectively to hit enemies at close range. But, while the Armatus also use magic, it's the female seraphim whose Weapons of Choice are a giant sword and oversized gauntlets, while the male seraphim have a bow and utilise Flechette Storms. However, the equipment system allows players to build characters in whatever stat distributions they want, provided they're willing to farm both lower level and higher level gear.
  • Hair of Gold: Edna is blonde but lacks the traits. Alisha is a darker blonde and has these traits.
  • Hammerspace:
    • Justified with seraphim, who use magic, demonstrating Mikleo manifesting his Simple Staff from nowhere in one of the very first cutscenes of the game. Conversely, his human friend Sorey needs to holster his sword on his belt, and the other human party member Rose is also shown with visible holsters for her knives.
    • However, the third human character Alisha plays this straight with her lances, which simply disappear when she isn't fighting. This actually causes a problem in the Anime of the Game where she's ambushed in situations where she shouldn't reasonably be carrying a giant weapon, so she's instead armed with a backup dagger and steals a soldier's standard issue sword.
  • Hard Mode Perks: In addition to the usual higher grade, harder difficulties increase gald drops, increase enemy levels for the equipment drop table, and increase the weakness damage multiplier during armatization.
  • Harder Than Hard: The game actually offers six different difficulty modes. Normal is default, but there is also Simple for those that want things really easy. Moderate is the next step up and Hard is actually the fourth hardest. The hardest are Intense and Chaos. Both of these can actually be accessed in a regular playthrough, but you have to fight a number of Battles on Hard to unlock Intense and a number on Intense to unlock Chaos. In a New Game Plus, Intense and Chaos are available by default, but aren't nearly as challenging necessarily because you can unlock a number of boosts, including as much as 6X EXP per battle.
  • Hate Plague: Malevolence sort-of works like this. It can be generated by an impure person, but can also spread to normal people, amplifying their negative emotions and thus increasing the chance they will start generating it too. Heldalf uses this property to forcefully create a dragon by kidnapping a seraph and exposing them to the incredible amount of malevolence generated by the war between Hyland and Rolance.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits:
    • Monoliths scattered around the world with text in the ancient language turn out to be... battle hints.
    • There is a series of skits where Lailah and Edna give advice about various mechanics such as item fusion, weapon skills, and Normins.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Sorey carries one. His fighting style seems reminiscent of Asbel's, which makes sense as the battle system is said to draw heavily from Tales of Graces.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Many Seraphim feel this way, though Edna in particular makes no attempt to sugarcoat it.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Eguille is this to Rose. She is the boss of the Sparrowfeathers/ Scattered Bones, and makes final decisions on things. He seems to handle all of the organisation and general running of the operation.
  • I Know Your True Name: Every seraph has a true name that is invoked upon making a pact with a Shepherd, and when armatizing with them. Squires are also given a true name by their Shepherd as a sign of their position. Knowing a seraphim's true name gives a person power over them, so they aren't given out lightly. The fact that Sorey already knows Mikleo's true name long before forming a pact shows just just how much two of them trust each other.
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • Edna fights with a parasol, Dezel and Zaveid fight with pendulums, and Lailah fights with pieces of paper that she scatters around and then sets on fire.
    • In-universe, Dezel and Edna see Mikleo as this for utilizing his Magic Staff as a club and for not following the Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors like the other seraphim.
  • Interface Spoiler: There are only six spots for party members in the menu, but the opening video shows more than that. Immediately you know something is going to happen to one or more characters.
    • The title screen itself is one: It is a bas-relief mural depicting Sorey's Heroic Sacrifice, sleeping entwined with Maotelus to purify the entire continent. It also serves as Bookends, as the first thing Sorey does in the game is look at a bas-relief of a previous Shepherd.
  • Invisible to Normals: Under normal circumstances, the Seraphim cannot be seen by regular humans. However, humans can certainly see the effect that particularly strong Seraphim have on their surroundings: for example, they might perceive a powerful Wind-element Seraphim as a raging tornado. Any human with sufficient magical power and purity of heart can see and interact with the Seraphim as they truly are. If lacking this, a human can also gain this ability by pledging themselves to either a Shepherd or a Seraph. A number of Hellions are also invisible to the human eye, with lesser ones like Hellhounds or powerful ones like Dragons being some of the exceptions.
  • Jiggle Physics: Most noticeable on some of the female monster types, but it's also subtly present on Lailah and Rose, especially if the latter (or Alisha) are wearing Milla's Xillia 2 DLC costume.
  • Just the First Citizen: Alisha is a princess, but insists she's just a knight like any other.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery:
    • When armatized, Sorey and Rose both gain Combat Stilettos, fancy flowing outfits, and long hair; the latter two which easily reach the ground in length. None of these details impede their ability to fight.
    • Lailah herself wears a ornate and almost floor-length dress and heels, but is never hindered by them in battle.
  • Lethal Chef:
    • Both Alisha and Rose try to prepare food using their bladed weapons.
    • Rose's success quotes when cooking are all along the lines of "I think it's edible?" or "this probably doesn't suck!"
  • Light Is Good:
    • Deconstructed. Shepherds are supposed to be pure-hearted humans who use the power of purification to save people and Seraphim from malevolence. However, Shepherds themselves can also fall into malevolence if their emotions become too much for them, which happened to the previous Shepherd.
    • A Seraph's blessing is typically a good thing, as it helps the people and the land, but a Seraph can unknowingly use their blessing to make a wish that has terrible consequences. Dezel remembers this the hard way when Symonne reveals what really happened to his friends.
  • Lip Lock:
    • Due to the fact that the Final Boss involves a Beast-centric Punch Parry, Beast (a series staple arte) was renamed Lion's Howl because it more closely resembles its Japanese name, Shishisenkou, in syllable count.
    • Curiously, in the skits in both Japanese AND English, there are many times when the audio of the dialogue finishes, but the mouth keeps moving for a full second or so.
  • Locked into Strangeness: Since all seraphim possess unnaturally coloured hair that matches their element (except for Earth seraphim, who have a very saturated blond), humans who are reincarnated into seraphim lose their natural hair colours upon rebirth. Mikleo is a water seraph with white-blue hair, but it's revealed that his human mother and uncle both had light brown hair, meaning he likely had the same hair colour before he died.
  • Magic Staff: Mikleo uses one, allegedly so he could match Sorey's reach, as the other is taller than him. Coincidentally, his mother used one too, which she leaves behind and becomes equippable after she sacrifices herself.
  • Mark of the Supernatural: All seraphim have unnatural hair colors denoting their element, with the exception of Earth seraphim like Edna, who has a full head of gold hair that becomes orange at the tips. The playable seraphim and notable NPCs tend to have Mystical White Hair or very light hair with colored gradient tips: Fire seraph Lailah has red tips, Water seraph Mikleo has blue, Wind seraphim Dezel and Zaveid have green, and Lightning seraph Zenrus has yellow. Villainous seraph Symonne has black hair with purple tips, and generic seraphim have solid elemental colors without gradients.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Zest" means "passion" or "zeal."
    • "Alisha" means "Nobility" which fits her status as a princess and a knight.
    • "Edna" means "Rejuvenation" in Hebrew.
    • "Lailah means "Born at Night" or "Night" or "Sweetheart" in Arabic.
    • The Dub Name Change of Divines to Seraphim, as Seraph have been depicted as fiery serpents and related to dragons in some legends. They also come in many shapes from animals, the Normins, and even former humans.
    • All Seraphim have a unique name called a "true" name. Shepherds also give their Squires true names as well. These names all reflect something about the character. For example Mikleo's is Luzrov Rulay, which means Mikleo the Enforcer. Fitting since Mikleo is The Lancer to Sorey's The Hero and in general tends to be the Only Sane Man. Hilariously, Rose's is Wilkis Wilk which means "Rose is Rose" because Sorey was in a hurry and didn't have time to come up with anything better. Alisha's DLC shows that true names need not stay the same - Alisha is given a different true name, Isylvia Amekia, when she becomes Squire under Rose.
  • Mercy Kill: Zestiria argues that some people are beyond redemption, so it's better to just kill them either as a kindness or so they won't hurt anyone else. Deconstructed with the Lord of Calamity, who believes that wiping out all life is the only way to spare them the pain of Malevolence.
  • Meta Twist:
    • Every Tales game has a "traitor" character, so of course everyone was wondering who it was going to be. Technically it's Dezel, but he is completely upfront about his revenge plan, stating that he will betray the party when the opportunity to kill his sworn enemy presents itself. The only real "twist" is that he goes ahead with it instead of having second thoughts.
    • The entire way the world works tends to also change dramatically by the end in Tales games. The audience doesn't get to see the change here though; Sorey only sets that change in motion at the end by acting as Maotelus's vessel and sleeping for centuries to increase the resonance of everyone living in Glenwood so humans and Seraphim can co-exist.
  • Metroidvania: Sorey can gain access to a number of actions that use the power of the seraph party members (pyromancy, teleportation, etc.) that he can use to solve puzzles, progress through the story, or use in earlier areas for goodies.
  • Mind Hive: The seraphim traveling with Sorey use his body as a vessel. Occasionally they get into arguments while inside him. He doesn't enjoy it.
  • Monster Arena:
    • Malevolent Crucibles are structures that contain a large amount of Hellions. They were originally made to imprison the Hellions, but Heldalf repurposed them to force the Hellions to kill each other and get stronger. Gameplay-wise, they are functionally similar to other Tales arenas in that the player is required to use one or two characters against a gauntlet of enemies, requiring them to know how to play every character decently.
    • The Aragami DLC allows the player to use the full party in a gauntlet of enemies based on the Aragami. The enemies get stronger each round, but the player is given the choice to retreat before starting another round.
  • Moral Sociopathy: As part of the game's theme that pure-heartedness isn't always good, certain kinds of sociopaths are incapable of generating Malevolence, thus preventing them from becoming Hellions. Some villains in particular follow their own twisted moral codes without feeling any kind of negative emotion.
    • Father Amethor of the Pendrago clergy never becomes a Hellion due to his unwavering devotion to the Seraphim, but he's a Serial Killer who feels no guilt over murdering those who are discontent, since he believes he's preventing them from generating Malevolence and making the Age of Chaos worse. At the same time, his moral code also causes him to respect people who try to better society without generating Malevolence, like Captain Sergei, but he's incapable of empathizing with how horrified the latter is over the serial murders.
    • Romano seems like a typical Loan Shark at first, but like Amethor, he turns out to be both self-righteous and devoid of empathy. This is because he believes art shouldn't have their worth sullied by having monetary value, and those who buy art are guilty of tarnishing these works. Thus, he traps people in debt so he can claim their art without buying them. He feels no guilt over anyone he sacrifices for the sake of "protecting" art, including the child bandits that he regularly hires and disposes of.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Zaveid. Considering he's really good-looking and always shirtless, the game developers must have at least given this trope some thought.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • The seraphim use their elemental powers for everyday use too. Lailah and Mikleo use it to cook. Mikleo uses his to transport some water as ice at one point. Edna uses it to physically eject herself from a conversation early on. Zaveid and Dezel use theirs to spy on people in the sauna, and Dezel also uses his to see in general.
    • Dezel chastises Rose in a DLC skit when she tries to use armatization to gain his cooking skills.
  • Murder, Inc.: The Scattered Bones take assassination jobs, though only if they believe the victims deserve it or that their deaths would be beneficial.
  • Mystical White Hair: Mikleo, Dezel, and Zaveid, all members of the Seraphim race. The concept art drawn by Lailah's character designer also portrays her with (mostly) white hair, but her in-game model and the 2D artwork drawn by Ufotable uses light green hair instead. The only playable Seraph to avert this trait is Edna.
  • Mythology Gag: There's plenty of them, as per usual:
    • The inns throughout the game are named after the sacred beasts from Tales of Rebirth.
    • Dark Turtlez from Tales of Graces is back as a bonus boss, and the fight with him is one big homage to Tales of Xillia 2, from the Hymn of Proof being hummed to this playing throughout the fight to the reenactment of part of the duel between Ludger and Julius with one of his fellows (complete with Chromatus special effects!) before the fight begins. He also seems to have gotten combat lessons from the aforementioned two...
    • There's also a minor reference to Kohaku in his mystic arte if you know who voices him.
    • Sorey and Mikleo find a book titled "Mad Screams of Love" in a skit, which fans will know was written by Rowen from Tales of Xillia.
    • A DLC skit called "Inside the toilet" has Sorey, Mikleo and Dezel find an Apple Gel in the toilet and discuss what to do with it disgusted. This is a reference to earlier games where you could find items and gels by examining toilets like it was natural.
    • Another DLC skit "Zesty Zestiria" has the characters take on traits and lines from the characters from whom their Cameo costume originated from. This kind of skit first originated from the PS3 release of Tales of Vesperia.
    • The bust in the Dumnonia Museum that had Mikleo and Sorey debate on who it was of? They were both wrong, because it was Gaius.
    • The city of Mariland is a direct Expy of Halure. Like Halure its barrier is down at the start and the heroes have to fix that problem.
    • Sorey and Alisha hunting for prickleboars early in the game is an allusion to the beginning of Tales of Phantasia, where Cress and Chester hunt for boars.
    • A girl in Marlind wants her father to buy her a Quickie doll.
    • When war breaks out between Hyland and Rolance a second time, the party has to run to both kingdom's and try to stop the war on both angles. In Tales of the Abyss the party does the exact same thing.
    • To defeat the final boss of Alisha's DLC, both Rose and Alisha perform a attack that heavily resembles the Impact Cross arte.
  • Newer Than They Think: In-Universe the system of only one Shepherd at a time is a recent development. In the past, the Shepherds were The Chosen Many, but that changed when Maotelus disappeared. This is why Rose has abilities that everyone thought should be exclusive to Sorey.
  • Nice Guy: Sorey is described to be so.
  • Nice Hat:
    • Dezel's hat is very spiffy. It probably rivals Leia's Xillia 2 hat and Spada's hat.
    • Alisha also gets one in her DLC, and it becomes equippable by everyone as an attachment after that.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Hexen Isle postgame dungeon ends with the party defeating a powerful undead dragon. Said dragon actually weakened the Earthpulse, and now that it's dead, Heldalf and Maotelus can take advantage of the strengthened Earthpulse to become stronger, unlocking the True Final Boss of the base game.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Heldalf's plan to corrupt a Seraph into a dragon and wipe out both Rolance's and Hyland's forces to create more chaos ended up being this because of the dragon being visible unlike the other hellions. As a result, both sides to band together and help Sorey.
  • Noodle Incident: Sorey is not allowed to trim Mikleo's hair. Not after the incident.
  • NPC Random Encounter Immunity:
    • Justified; malevolence, seraphim, and hellions are Invisible to Normals and appear to NPCs as normal humans, plants, or gusts of wind. Sorey and Mikleo also hazard a guess that Sorey's resonance is drawing hellions towards them, but a normal human wouldn't have that.
    • That said, particularly dangerous and aggressive Hellions (particularly those that were originally seraphim) can threaten normal people. There's a few sidequests where you have to defeat a powerful Hellion to make things safer for the ordinary folk.
  • Oathbound Power: Oaths take this form, for instance, Lailah is given the powers of purification, but as a result cannot discuss anything about Maotelus, who gave her those powers. Symmone also gains her powerful illusion artes as a result of swearing an oath that doesn't let her kill anyone directly.
  • Off the Rails: Can be invoked by seeking out and defeating Heldalf well before the plot requires it, earning you an alternate ending.
  • Older Than They Look:
    • All seraphim are particularly long-lived and incapable of dying by old age. Edna and Zaveid are both old enough to have been alive during Tales of Berseria set a thousand years ago, and they still look like a little girl and young adult man respectively. Lailah is said to be just as old, and while Dezel's age is unknown, he'd been with the Windriders long enough to see Rose grow up. Both still look like young adults. The seraphim of Elysia have been alive for at least hundreds of years, and Zenrus himself looks like an old man and is even older, as one of the original seraphim who descended from the Heavenly Realm, making him tens of thousands of years old.
    • Averted with Mikleo, who's explicitly stated to have grown up with Sorey, but qualifies along with Sorey by the epilogue.
  • Only One Name: Unusually for a Tales title, most of the party do not have last names. Only Alisha has a full name, as a princess of Hyland and member of the royal family. Justified, however, as the seraphim do not adhere to human norms, and Sorey was raised by them with no connection to any human relatives. Rose is also revealed to be an orphan, and considering the way she was raised, no one probably saw any reason to give her a last name.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Dragons are Seraphim who were transformed by the world's corruption. Once they've been fully corrupted it's impossible to restore them to their previous state and requires a Mercy Kill. Unlike most Hellions that are Invisible to Normals a complete dragon is visible, while their lesser forms like Drake and Dragonewt are not. The lesser forms are also capable of being purified without killing the Seraphim.
  • Party in My Pocket: One of the super rare justified examples that isn't a Pokemon-like rpg. In fact, the one party member that can't go in your pocket will always be visible on the field with Sorey (though they will inexplicably disappear and reappear whenever Sorey crosses a gap without them).
  • Perpetual Frowner: Edna and Dezel.
  • Pet the Dog: As the Team Mom, Lailah gets quite a few of these moments. She often tries to make the withdrawn members of the group feel valued. When Zaveid worries that the rest of the group dislikes him, she convinces him to pick a card so she can read his fortune. According to Lailah, the card says 'Zaveid is our friend.'
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: Alisha dresses in a pink variant of the normally blue Hyland uniform, and Rose wears a darker red-pink, and Lailah wears a red accented dress, while Sorey and Mikleo both have blue in their clothing.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Both Alisha and Edna. Alisha's only 5'3" and Edna is 4'9", but they're both combat-ready party members and Alisha's a knight to boot.
  • Power Perversion Potential: In a couple of skits, Zaveid uses the power of the wind to try and spy on the girls in the sauna. Fortunately for them, Lailah counters it with her fire. In a DLC skit, Dezel does it too, though he claims to have more wholesome, protective, motivations.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: Jade Curtiss and Sophie appear as the game's obligatory cameo characters.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Alisha, whose uniform is mostly pink. May or may not be custom.
  • Punch Parry: The Final Boss ends with a truly epic, Beast-centric one between Sorey and Heldalf.
  • Pure Is Not Good: There are people who are unaffected by malevolence due to not feeling pain or guilt for their actions. Thus a villain can commit terrible crimes against innocent people without turning into a Hellion. The same also works for people who are able to kill others for what they feel is just, like Rose.
  • Restraining Bolt: The Seraphim can make special "vows" that give them extraordinary abilities as long as they adhere to specific restrictions. Lailah gained the power of purification from a vow, but is not allowed to talk about anything related to Maotelus. The party later speculates that Symmone gained her incredible illusionary powers from a vow which forbids her from directly killing someone.
    • Similarly, Mayvin is revealed to have made such a vow himself, vowing to remain neutral in the world's conflicts in exchange for Complete Immortality.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Normins, a race of small, hat-wearing, teddy bear -like Seraphim. Edna has a doll of one hanging from her parasol. Which turns out to be an actual normin, and a Bonus Boss at that!
  • Ruins for Ruins' Sake: Despite Sorey's passion for archeology, ruins are rarely presented as anything more than underground passages with treasures and monsters in them.
  • Sacred Flames: The Flames of Purification are flames created by powerful seraphim in order to purify Malevolence, and humans can use them via pacts.
  • Sadistic Choice:
  • Schmuck Bait:
    • The Angel boss found in the Mabiongo Ruins late in the game is weak to Non-Elemental and is resistant to all four of the other elements. Obvious choice right? Wrong, because it also has a very high chance of reflecting Non-Elemental attacks so if you try to use one on her you'll likely end up dead for your troubles.
    • An In-Universe example occurs later in the game. Heldalf goads Sorey into killing him, citing that since he's The Lord Of Calamity and Sorey isThe Shepherd, they are destined to clash. Turns out killing Heldalf is makes everything worse since doing so released the corrupted Maotelus.
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • The game is full of these for Sorey and to a lesser degree the party. All four of the Elemental Shrines are designed to test the Shepherd and to see how they react. For example in the Water Shrine the party learns of a previous Shepherd who became so obsessed with making the perfect weapon to battle Hellions that he ended up becoming a Hellion. The test is for Sorey to understand why negative emotions can be a burden, which he does by rejecting the weapon.
    • A straightforward example happens in Mariland early in the game. Sorey and Alisha meet a mercenary group lead by a man named Lucas and wants to ask his assistance in protecting the city while they go quell the Hellions Domain affecting the town. After pressuring Sorey to get him money to do so, Sorey pays him and Lucas makes a condition that he can do whatever he wants to the town. Sorey agrees on the basis that "someone who values contracts so much wouldn't do anything sleazy". Lucas even outright say's "he's passed the test" before tossing back a portion of the money to do the job.
  • Sequel Hook: The end to the Alisha DLC has Lunarre preparing to succeed Heldalf as the Big Bad. Might end up Left Hanging though, considering how badly the game was received in Japan.
  • Shirtless Scene: The boys get one at a hot spring.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The first time you encounter the Brutaur monster, Sorey will shout "Et tu, Brutaur?"
    • Lailah's initial art chain will end with her shouting out "The bird is the word!" in the English dub.
    • Zaveid's gun Siegfried doesn't just kill hellions; it also gives him a power buff that makes him more dangerous in battle. This is initiated by shooting the gun directly to his head, not unlike an Evoker.
    • When you trigger the sidequest to fight the Legendary Wyvern, Rose refers to it as a son of a submariner.
    • The Ganesh, an elephant hellion, is said to be able to fly, though the party isn't sure at first.
  • Simplified Spellcasting:
    • Higher difficulties shorten enemy casting time.
    • Every character gets to perform a set amount of actions per combo. The later a spell is used in a combo, the shorter its casting time will be.
    • Player characters can also shorten their casting time by setting up the Mistiq bonus skill, which reduces the time by 40% per stack.
  • Situational Sword: The Banish Blast action is fairly powerful, but it has a long wind-up time that makes it Awesome, but Impractical. However, there's a party passive that shortens the wind-up time if a stunned enemy is being targeted. It also does more damage the lower the target's health.
  • Sliding Scale of Gameplay and Story Integration: If you are fighting human opponents and the only characters alive are Seraphim, the human enemy won't attack any of them since they can't see them.
  • The Smart Guy: Mikleo's profile mentions him as a smart, level headed guy.
  • Spoiler Opening: Rose being able to Armatize like Sorey is learned before you even start the game.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Dezel grabs Rose here when the seraphim reappear, after being dispelled by Forton.
  • Statuesque Stunner:
    • Lailah is 172 cm/5'8" tall and is very pretty. Her official height makes her the third tallest female in the Tales series behind Grune and Judith.
    • Maltran is the same height as Lailah and also is easy on the eyes (to say in the least).
  • The Stinger: Two of them:
    • Sorey's Seraph companions, the now-elderly Scattered Bones twins, the new Shepherd, and the new Shepherd's Seraph companions gather at what is implied to be Rose's grave.
    • An older Mikleo is saved from falling to his death by a reawakened Sorey while exploring ruins.
  • Supreme Chef:
    • In the anime special, Sorey is shown to be a great cook as Alisha appears to enjoy the food he made.
    • In-game, Mikleo starts off with the highest dessert-making skills. He's been making food for Sorey for years since he forgets to eat once he gets really absorbed in something.
    • Edna isn't good at making sweets (she has the highest failure rates for the snack preparation support skill), but she's extremely knowledgeable about stews.
    • Dezel is great at making sweets, and is the only character who has no failure rate with the snack preparation support skill.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement:
    • Beast/Lion's Howl is an arte learned through a story event, and is used to finish off the Final Boss.
    • In a more literal sense is Lailah's Relic which is pulled from the stone and begins Sorey's journey as the Shepherd.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: A new battle mechanic. There are three types of Artes: Martial Artes (normal attacks), Hidden Artes (special attacks), and Seraphic Artes (magic with a long casting time). Martial Artes beat Seraphic Artes (by interrupting casting), Seraphic Artes beats Hidden Artes (being hit by a Hidden Arte while casting makes the caster take greatly reduced damage and actually cast faster), and Hidden Artes beat Martial Artes (By making the user Immune to Flinching against them). There are three types of characters, each only having access to two types of Artes: humans use Martial and Hidden Artes, Seraphs use Martial and Seraphic Artes, and Armatized characters use Hidden and Seraphic Artes.
  • Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack: All three non-DLC battle themes incorporate Sorey's theme "Purity". The only time this isn't the case is when he isn't in the party.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Gododdin is a small, isolated town located in the depths of the rugged Biroclef Ridge, not along any major trade routes and frequently cut off from minor ones by rock slides, with rocky, infertile soil and unsteady terrain not suitable for farming or raising livestock. And yet, the people are well-fed, the town is surprisingly wealthy, and there's very little malevolence despite no guardian seraph blessing the region. Everyone in town is utterly enamored by their new chief and fears that you're going to take him away, and nobody will let you get near a cave at the back of the village that they ominously refer to as the "purelands." The truth turns out to actually not be that dark. The chief is actually Pope Slenge of the Pendrago shrinechurch, who ran away to Gododdin after realizing that being Married to the Job had pushed his family away. He embraced the villagers as his new family, and was financially supporting them by brewing highly addictive fake elixir in the cave behind the village and using his church connections to get it into the cities and sell it to the upper class.
  • Trapped in Another World: Sophie and Jade are taken from their own worlds due to the Zombie Dragons domain. Sorey and the others help them return home by purifying it.
  • Troll:
    • Jade Curtiss seems to retain this aspect of his here, and his new battle animations further this. His guard animation, for instance, seems to just be Jade pushing his glasses up, and he can and will just stand unflappably still while you hit him. Considering how easy it is to get his health low compared to Sophie, even 20 levels lower than he is, there's no explanation but the fact he's toying with you for why he doesn't attack much until he decides to use Mystic Cage and wipe out the entire party.
    • Edna, especially towards Mikleo.
  • Tsundere: Mikleo exhibits classic tsundere traits. Edna is a minor version.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The Scattered Bones attempt to kill Lord Bartlow, but Alisha convinces them to spare him because his death would result in chaos for Hyland. Despite this, Bartlow continues scheming against Alisha.
  • The Unseen: Unusually for a Tales game, the royal families are this. Aside from Alisha (the lowest ranking member), we don't see the Hyland royal family, just the councillors. In Rolance, we only see the knights and clergy, rather than the Emperor, though we do see one of the princes in a flashback.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: The Armatus forms use simpler attack animations than the unarmatized party members and aren't winning any awards for complex martial artistry, but all their artes have more AOE and they get the combined passive skills and stats of the component characters. Additionally, they have the ability to guard against Seraphic Artes.
  • Values Dissonance: A In-Universe example. One of the may reasons why seraphim and humans don't get along very well is due to the difference in opinions of both groups. The party outright Lampshades this following Margret's death in the Lasstonbell side quest and discuss how difficult is is for both groups to work together, even amongst themselves.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Zaveid. He's probably the only character in the series who's more dressed when using his swimsuit costume as a result of this.
  • War Is Hell: Every time war breaks out between Hyland and Rolance, those with the most sense are concerned because they know it's ultimately just going to create a lot of problems for everyone and result in a lot of death. Everybody that can even remotely be considered to be on the player's side is working for peace in some way.
  • Was Once a Man: Several Seraphim were human in their former lives, such as Mikleo, and the four shrine guardians were formerly Shepherds before being reborn. Many hellions were also originally humans.
  • Weirdness Censor: Normal humans can't see or hear the Seraphim and most Hellions, but they can still see the effects they have on the world, just filtered through the weirdness censor as natural phenomena. Lailah also comments in a skit that humans who observe Seraphim eating, which would mean seeing food floating and then vanishing, usually assume they're just seeing things.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: This is what the producers are aiming for: creating large fields to explore.
  • The Worf Barrage: Towards the second half of the game or so, Lailah's purification abilities stop working on pretty much any named character. The Forton sisters, Lunarre and Maltran all shrug off the purification like it's nothing, apparently because they're just that corrupt.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Maotelus, the poor guy couldn't catch a break. Played with concerning Michael and Heldalf. In the first case, seeing his whole village burned and people massacred basically made him cross the Despair Event Horizon and used his newborn nephew to curse the latter, while knowing the consequences. In Heldalf's case, seeing his family murdered drove him into despair, however he admits that it's because he knows that pain that he basically wants to destroy the world and make it anew.
  • Zerg Rush: Higher difficulties increase the number of monsters that can spawn in a random fight.
     Tropes associated only with the anime 

  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime expands greatly upon Alisha and Rose's backstories and character plots, explaining how Alisha fell into the Mabinogio ruins, her facing off with Rose under the assassination order, and generally showing her role in Hyland politics outside of Sorey's involvement. Rose's backstory of growing up orphaned, then adopted by the Windriders before they were murdered due to Prince Konan is shown in more detail than the game, and him being Spared by the Adaptation puts her in conflict with the rest of the party when she tries to kill him. It also ties into Tales of Berseria, with Michael passing on knowledge of Velvet and Artorius' stories.
  • Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole: Two, both concerning Camlann. Muse is not shown sealing the area off like she does in the game, leaving it ambiguous as to what happened to her after Michael killed himself and Mikleo. Similarly, while Sorey does mention in an earlier episode that Zenrus saved him after a fire in his human village, it never confirmed that said village is Camlann, and there is no mention that his mother Selene was one of the casualties, ultimately leaving his backstory open-ended to anyone who hadn't already played the game.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Maltran never turns into a hellion, and genuinely supports Alisha through the story.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: While Lunarre remains a villain in the anime series, by the second half of the story, he has an otherwise peaceful interaction with Alisha, and dies fighting off other hellions.
    "I want my life to mean something!"
  • Adaptational Skill:
    • Sorey is given the ability to purify dragons, something that is explicitly impossible to do in the game.
    • When she doesn't have her lance at hand, Alisha uses a dagger to fight off the Scattered Bones assassins.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: For two episodes in the first season, the anime suddenly breaks from Tales of Zestiria to give viewers the plot and characters of the game's prequel, Tales of Berseria. After these, Berseria is dropped, though the game's main protagonist, Velvet Crowe, is still seen briefly in the intro sequence for the anime's second season.
  • Argument of Contradictions: In the On the Next segment at the end of "Each One's Principles", Dezel tells Rose that he's been with her forever, so she has him prove it, by asking about stuff like where she cut her finger when she was 10. He gets her questions right, but her last question was the first thing she ever cooked. He says it was dog food and she demands he take it back, that it was curry. He insists it was dog food, and they argue back and forth - "Dog food," "Curry," Dog food," "Curry, curry, curry!"
  • Compressed Adaptation: Despite also expanding upon certain plot points, the anime cuts out a large amount of the game story: Sorey armatizes with Lailah right off the bat when he pulls out the Sacred Blade. The Lords of the Land, the four trials of the Shepherd, as well as the search for the Earthen Historia are completely absent. Even details that do make it into the anime get skimmed over with little fanfare, most notably Mikleo never learning that he is the Shepherd Michael's nephew, and was sacrificed to curse Heldalf, and was reborn as a seraph, as only Sorey and Lailah see the flashback in the heat of battle.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation:
    • Prince Konan is only mentioned very briefly in the game as a royal who died five years ago after becoming a hellion due to Dezel's domain. In the anime, he survives to the present day, before being fatally stabbed by Rose and drowned in a lake.
    • Dezel dies purifying a horde of dragons blocking their way to Heldalf.
  • Last Episode Theme Reprise: The final episode features "Innosense" and "Kaze no Uta" (the second ending theme and the first opening theme respectively) playing back-to-back during the final battle against Heldalf.
  • Psychometry: Sorey has this as a nasty side-effect when purifying sentient hellions. The first time he tries to purify a human, he's blindsided by the emotions and memories of what caused that person's corruption and collapses. It's implied that Rose and Alisha experience the same pains when they help him purify a dragon.
  • Related Differently in the Adaptation: While Alisha in the game does belong to a branch of the royal family, she's notably low-ranking. In the anime, her father is the current ruling monarch of Hyland, and upon his death she becomes queen, meaning she's first in line instead of one of the last.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Numerous characters who died in the game are spared in the anime series:
    • Mason, probably just because they didn't have time to dwell on it, but the look of relief on the other villagers' faces as he recovers is an especially touching treat for the fans.
    • Maltran appears to have never turned into a hellion, and so never sides with Heldalf, never betrays Alisha, and never commits suicide.
    • Even Eizen, although remaining in his dragon form, seems to be returning to his pre-hellion senses by the epilogue, and is never given a Mercy Kill.
    • Taken Up to Eleven as even Heldalf is purified in the end and is stated by Sorey to have left to start a new life for himself.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The second season of the anime focuses more on Rose and Alisha compared to...literally everyone else. Yes, this includes Sorey, the main character.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The very first episode is one for Alisha, as one by one, her bodyguards/friends/fellow Valkyries, her horse and the astronomer she trusted are killed by disasters caused by malevolence and a dragon, right before her eyes.
Top