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YMMV / Tales of Phantasia

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Alternative Character Interpretation | And The Fandom Rejoiced | Awesome Bosses | Broken Base | Complete Monster | Die For Our Ship | Fan Preferred Couple | Game Breaker | Narm | Player Punch | Rescued From The Scrappy Heap | Scrappy Mechanic | That One Achievement | That One Attack | That One Boss | That One Level | That One Sidequest | The Scrappy | What An Idiot | The Woobie

  • Anti-Climax Boss: After defeating Past Dhaos, in a battle that could possibly be That One Boss because of how fast Dhaos can kill Cress, Dhaos just escapes to the future. Past Dhaos doesn't have to be such a hard fight, either, since — as the intro to the game shows you — he is critically weak against Indignation. Also, it's a Foregone Conclusion that Dhaos will escape into the future — otherwise, you get a paradox, since why did you go back in time in the first place?
  • Awesome Music: Starting a series tradition, there are a few songs in particular that stands out.
    • Take Up the Cross, the regular battle theme. It gives a sense of awareness that the party is in danger.
    • Fighting of the Spirit, which plays on certain boss fights. It was that popular that it reappears in some subsequent Tales series.
    • Yume-wa Owaranai, the opening theme. All variants of it. But the SNES version takes special mention for being the first SNES game ever to have a fully voiced opening theme, which was unheard of at that time.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Rondoline, full stop. Fans are divided whether her (or rather, Derris Elysion) addition to Phantasia's story is necessary or not and whether she essentially rendered one part of Katararezaru Rekishi moot thanks to her being Dhaos' Morality Pet instead of the novel's version of Winona. Some also don't like her fanservice-y design which clashes heavily with the original Phantasia cast, though she doesn't look out of place when she's put alongside Dio and Mel.
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The wild goose chase across Freyland for Edward.
  • Breather Boss:
    • Pluto, a secret summon set up as a Bonus Boss at the end of an incredibly difficult Bonus Dungeon, is supposed to be incredibly tough. Which, sadly, he's not. Due to programmer oversight, he flinches and is pushed back nigh constantly when hit with Demon Fang, Cress's first move. The entire battle ends up being Cress sending endless arcs of Demon Fangs at Pluto and the rest of the party nuking the crap out of him, all while he sits ineffectually off in the corner, presumably crying about Cherry Tapping bastards.
    • Wyvern in the SNES version. He appears at the end of an extremely brutal and long Bonus Dungeon, but his only attacks were a physical attack that was strong but could be quickly healed by your cleric and creating a pair of stationary fireballs in front of him that would kill Cress in seconds upon contact, but could be absorbed by the armor found earlier in the dungeon and was harmless if you didn't try to jump at Wyvern while the fireballs were active. In the PSX-version, he Took a Level in Badass and took one Up to Eleven. His fireballs are no longer stationary but were shot across the entire field and could penetrate your meatshield to hit the characters behind him.
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  • Cliché Storm: This game features a time-travel journey to save the world, starting with a Doomed Hometown scenario. Doesn't stop it from being extremely well regarded by its fans, however.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Snakemen, who have a chance of petrifying anyone they hit. And one of them usually spawns right behind your party.
    • Iron Men have insane defense and HP, regularly block physical attacks and will easily slaughter anyone in range in just a few hits. And sometimes they're backed up by Druids, who can cast barrier and almost fully heal any enemy at will, and still beat the crap out of you if you get too close, and charons, who are healed by any magic spell except the non-elemental Maxwell summon.
    • If two Ekim appear in battle during the party's trek in the game's ice dungeon, you better hope one of them doesn't cast Judgment. If it does, you're looking at a Total Party Kill.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Ninjas and Assassins have an annoying tendency to use the Ninja Log technique when hit, then reappear right over your head to counterattack. A ninja teleporting right in the middle of your party can either be a blessing or a curse; either you manage to pin him down with melee attacks and beat him to death, or he uses the Ninja Log move repeatedly to carve huge chunks of health out of your entire party.
    • The Bigfoots in lower Moria were Demonic Spiders in the Super Famicom version who had quick and powerful kicks, could summon a magical hailstorm and could adopt an (almost) invulnerable defensive position by crouching down and extruding icy spikes from their body...killing Cless in seconds if he got too close. In the PSX version, their attacks have been nerfed, they've lost their hailstorm ability, but they respond to every attack (or even a character being in semi-close proximity) by taking his defensive position for several seconds. They have a lot of HP and you usually have time to hit them once before you have to wait out their defensive crouch. If Arche isn't in your party to break through their defense, be prepared for an EXTREMELY drawn-out fight.
  • It Was His Sled: We all know Dhaos was just trying to save his own people.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Dhaos, the "Demon King," was once the beloved prince of Derris-Karlan who cultivated a prosperous and peaceful kingdom that prided itself on the value of diplomacy and dialogue. When neighboring kingdoms came to arms, Dhaos kept his land out of the war and organized mass aide toward the ailing when the war seemingly approached a conclusion. With his World Tree destroyed and Derris-Karlan threatened, Dhaos was spirited away to Aselia to find a new World Seed to save his land. Gaining an audience to the King of Migards, Dhaos narrowly convinces him to cease all magitechnologcal advancements through the sheer strength of his rhetoric. Framed and coming into conflict with Migards, Dhaos forged a pact with Daemonium and orchestrated a series of brilliant military campaigns meant to subvert their magitechnology for his own gain. Sealed in the Catacombs of Euclid, Dhaos manipulates Mars Uldole into freeing him and subsequently restarts his attempts to destroy Aselia and its inhabitants. Hardships weathering him in his onerous quest to save Derris-Karlan, Dhaos would later express regret for his actions and christen himself as the series' inaugural but eminent Well-Intentioned Extremist.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • A phrase in the Fan Translation got minor fame on the internet: "I bet Arche fucks like a tiger."
    • Thanks to the So Bad It's Fantastic voice acting of the English release, "WHAT the HECK is THAT?!?!?!" and "This ends HE-YAHHHH! IN-DIG-NAY-SHUN!"note  are popular in certain circles.
    • To a lesser extent, referring to Dhaos's third form, Plume Dhaos as Disco Dhaos - due to his white suit that is similar to Mithos Yggdrasil.
  • Mis-blamed: The official translation is often bashed for such things as "removing" adult humor that was never in the original. The only things that were the translation's fault, however, was "Kangaroo" instead of "Ragnarok" and some inconsistencies with Tales of Symphonia.
  • Mondegreen: What the heck does Gua Toledo mean?note 
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The Magitech Cannon. Aside from nearly killing the World Tree, it has enough destruction force to cause its victims to decompose instantly after they die. Imagine how much getting hit by it must hurt...
      • The OVA steps this up significantly with animated decomposition and the clouds disintegrating around the beam.
    • Arsia the woodcutter. Actually a powerful sorceress, she has gone bonkers since the Elves have banned Half-Elves from their village, meaning that she can't visit her Elven lover anymore. So, when the party asks for help, she turns Cute Witch Arche into a statue to force you to bring her lover to her. When he refuses to stay with her now that she's all psycho, she turns him into rock too. But at least Arche gets freed. Oh, the kicker? When they first arrive at Arsia's manor, the party notices a whole lot of "really realistic and detailed statues". AAAUGGGHHHH!!!
  • Porting Disaster:
    • The GBA port: graphics, music and framerate suffered a downgrade because of the handheld limitations, not helped by the poor voice acting and the "Blind Idiot" Translation of the English version.
    • The 2014 English iOS port, an Allegedly Free Game, managed to be worse than the GBA port: it has an always-online requirement, an in-game purchase system (necessary, as the difficult was increased, and grinding takes more time than in other versions), the controls are overly sensitive (especially on an iPad), and the opening song and all the skits were removed. The final nail in the coffin was Namco pulled the plug on their server only six months after its release, turning every single copy of the game into a virtual paperweight and screwing over anyone who spent time and money with this.
  • Rated M for Money: DeJap thought the script was dull, and since they didn't actually know Japanese that well, they thought that they would spice it up by putting in a bunch of swear words and adult humour. Several of these changes became very popular. This was actually very common practice at the time: a lot of fan translations at the time— not just for video games, but for any Japanese media (regardless of its target audience)— would add in gratuitous mature elements (e.g. swearing, sex jokes, and other adult-oriented embellishments) and pass them off as being aspects of the Japanese script that got bowdlerized in official localizations. Much of this stemmed from a backlash against the conservative mainstream in the 80's and 90's, which led to countless works of imported Japanese media being subject to overreaching localizations that would try to reorient them as family-friendly (most infamously with Nintendo of America's rigid censorship standards prior to the Turn of the Millennium).
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: This game is still playable today but it's shown its age. A lot of the stuff that made this game stand out were later done better by later Tales Series games or became commonplace. (Tales of Phantasia was called "The game that sings" originally because it had a theme song. This is standard routine for the Tales Series game; but a lot of other games have theme songs, too.) The Linear Motion battle system was also really cool and innovative for its time; but compared to the other Linear Motion Battle systems (Especially the 3D and pseudo-3D ones) it is Bare-Bones. Even compared to Tales of Eternia's LMBS, this game's LMBS can frustrate people with how chuggy it is. Also, this game's major twist was that Dhaos was just a Well-Intentioned Extremist. (However; Dhaos is still one of the most memorable Tales Series Villainous Blondes)
  • Stoic Woobie: Mint is fully aware that her mother is dead for most of the game, but stays strong regardless.
  • Tear Jerker: This is a Tales game. Expect it. This one's particularly nasty because it slams one in your face within the first 5-10 minutes of the game.
    • The opening of the second OVA, showing exactly how much damage has been done thanks to Reisen's Mana Cannon... from Reisen's perspective. To say he's experiencing a My God, What Have I Done? moment would be an understatement.
    • Suzu's backstory as a whole.
  • Woolseyism: The localization of the Game Boy Advance version is considered pretty dull (taking the Mis-blamed bit away) but Dhaos delivers a rather humorous line in a completely deadpan way:
    "Do I look like a tree-hugger to you?"
    • The De-Jap translation is also well loved for adding more lewd humour or making lewd subtext text.


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