Shirley Fennes. In Japan she is a Base-Breaking Character, with some fans who like her and some who hate her. In the West, she's mostly hated, seen as a uselessDamsel Scrappy during the main quest, and for having an annoying voice. She also gets blamed for having Yandere tendencies, (which isn't entirely accurate).
The Rival Walter Delques has fans in Japan, but in the west he is hated for being a jerkass racist that belittles the party at every moment he can.
Anti-Climax Boss: A lot in the beginning where the difficulty is barely challenging. Then Stingle pops out as a suddenly challenging boss while Vaclav doesn't pose much of a threat.
Arc Fatigue: Arc Stall example. The game is particularly bad about its pacing in the Character Quests section. Not only do you do nothing but retread the same dungeons you've already cleared (until the last one), but there's no voice acting, which makes it seem like even more of a drag.
Awesome Music: Go Shiina's soundtrack was pure awesome. Every. Single. Track. of it.
The tracks of the two, brief cutscenes when the cannon is first fired. And they're really brief.
What really helped was the motif of the game, the sea, as well as the general atmosphere just plain FIT with the soundtrack. The usual composer(s) of the Tales Series and their adrenaline-rush type music (much of which is done by series veteran Motoi Sakuraba, who was absent for this installment) really wouldn't have worked, just as Go Shiina's serene soundtrack wouldn't have worked in the pumping games.
Base-Breaking Character: Depending on who you ask, Shirley is either the most beloved or the most hated character in the game. Or both.Some love her as a villain and hate her as a hero, and vice versa.
Breather Level: The Sixth Chapter note Quiet Lands and the four Monuments is much easier than the previous ones for having short and repetitive levels, no puzzle booths and even it bosses are repetitive (Gaet monsters). The Earth Monument don't even have random encounters for the most part.
The melees are top tier because of how the melee works; it's overpowered. However; they are much more likely to run out of TP if they spam Eres. It certainly doesn't help that melee fighters can use the Extreme Symbol, which skyrockets physical attack power in exchange for cutting defense in half. The trade-off is so very worth it; the character equipped with the symbol will deal absolutely absurd damage. For example, Senel using the symbol and wielding a elemental weapon that an enemy is weak to can easily break 10,000 damage with a single throw move. Spells tend to top off at about 2000-3000 damage, and take a lot of time to cast.
A funny thing about that downside. With the Persian Boots, all damage is cut in half, effectively canceling out the major downside of the Extreme Symbol. Your evasion is still loss, but you tend to flinch to everything anyway.
Casters in general are Overshadowed by Awesome in this game; they're mostly used for utility of comboing and playing to elemental weaknesses. The melee fighters deal way more damage, but you need at least Norma (And possibly Will or Shirley) for healing.
Shirley, a hybrid between caster and ranged fighter ends up as a Master of None. Most of her spells are already known by Will, Norma, and Grune, and the few unique spells that Shirley gets aren't acquired until very late in the Character Quests.
"Common Knowledge": Contrary to the popular belief, there is no dub in the Character Quests part of the game because the localization team run out of funds, not because they trough it was optional.
Complete Monster: Vaclav Bolud, the Evil Prince of the Crusand Empire, ultimately wants to Take Over the World. Vaclav first sends out Senel Coolidge to capture the Merines that control Legacy, a small continent that acts as a ship, in order to seize Legacy for himself. When Senel befriends the Merines instead of capturing them, Vaclav launches an all-out assault on the Village of the Ferines. Though Vaclav doesn't capture his targets, he does kill many of the Ferines and kidnaps Stella Telmes, the Merines sister, because he views her as useful. Trapping her in suspended animation, Vaclav turned Stella into a proto-Merines and used her to control the Legacy, with the ultimate goal of using Legacy's Nerifes Cannon to destroy the Holy Rexalian Empire. Vaclav also committed genocide against the Orerines people and performed vicious experiments on them in special camps.
Contested Sequel: Those who have played Legendia either love it due to the cast's cohesion and interesting story, or hate it for the drastic change in gameplay. There is no in-between.
Fan-Preferred Couple: Senel/Chloe, mainly in the West. In Japan, it's more of a Broken Base thing (one actual spin-off, Tales of the World, supported Senel/Shirley, then Tales of the World 2 leaned toward Senel/Chloe, then Viva Tales Of went back toward Senel/Shirley, and back to Senel/Chloe in Tales of Heroes: Twin Braves, and then in Tales of the World 3... IT NEVER ENDS!)
Harsher in Hindsight: The theme song, already a massiveTear Jerker about friends parting ways and specifically Grune having to leave the party in the end, was on the very last single the band Do As Infinity produced before one of their members left and they broke up. (The other two members did reform the band in 2009, happily.)
Moses and Jay. Their relationship, however, is questionable to the point in which it can be taken in several ways.
Elsa and Chloe. Elsa gets very excited about Chloe, and once insisted that she and Chloe were out on a date when they were talking a walk ("because we're living under the same roof!") Chloe does not return Elsa's feelings, but doesn't seem to be too weirded out...
Shirley and Fenimore:
Fenimore: So, I have to teach you what friends are like. You'll like it. I just acted like you... Ahh... That isn't like me at all...
Norma and Grune also seem to have this air about them, as do Norma/Shirley and Norma/Chloe to a lesser extent.
While she has her flaws as a character, a lot of Shirley's criticism comes from people thinking that she willingly set out to destroy the world and Senel due to him rejecting her. In truth, she had lost the memory of what becoming the Merines would mean, and she becomes it to bring people happiness; only during the transformation, where it's too late to do anything about it, that she remembers that Nerifes wants humanity wiped out.
Shirley: I see...so that was it. I remember now, Fenimore...why I failed the Rite before. I realized what would happen if I completed the Rite of Accession. So I refused. I failed on purpose. If I completed the Rite...If I awakened as the Merines, it would mean... That I would kill my brother.
Maurits crossed it with his plan to wipe out all the Orerines in an oceanic cataclysm, and his manipulation of Shirley in order to make this work, including allowing Fenimore, a close friend of hers, to die.
Also, Solon just keeps crossing it in Jay's character quest.
Narm Charm: The reprise of "my tales" at the end of the character quests, when the party is confronting Schwartz.
Nightmare Fuel: The final, final dungeon of the game has the party go through a realm of distorted time to put a stop to Schwartz. The nightmare-inducing part is the music for the area: it's "The Legendary Sorcerer", but horribly warped and mangled nearly beyond recognition, to the point that it almost sounds like the track is possessed. Compared to the rest of the soundtrack, the dissonance is downright disturbing (albeit fitting, given the situation).
Ron the Death Eater: Shirley (surprise) and Senel get this the most, both often from angry Chloe fans.
Part of the criticisms for the game when it came out in North America in 2006 can be attributed to this. Its battle system also didn't even do much to innovate itself, essentially being Tales of Eternia's No-pause LMBS with 3D models instead of sprites. The game even lacked Mysticartes, a staple in the Tales Series even at the time.
The Character Quests also got this. Had the first half of the game not been voiced, people probably wouldn't have had a problem with it.
Moses's Character Quest; especially the ending, as well as the game's end. Many others.
Visual Effects of Awesome: Tidal Wave. Sure, the effect is more of a fountain than a wave, but it follows one of the best incantations in the game and, against late-game enemies, is pretty effective. Either it sends enemies flying, or if they get trapped in the center, will take a bunch of damage they're weak to.