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YMMV / Tales of Zestiria

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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

  • Angst? What Angst?: Sorey and Mikleo seem to be pretty okay with the knowledge that they're both from the doomed down of Camlann, with Mikleo in particular not only having once been human, but the fact that he was outright murdered by his uncle Michael as a means to curse Heldalf to a life of misery, basically being the Chekhov's Gunman responsible for every single bad thing that happened in the entire story by proxy.
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  • Anticlimax Boss: The final form of Heldalf, where he fuses of Maotelus, is laughably easy compared to the form before. In his normal form Heldalf was a Lightning Bruiser who could tear through a character quickly and had several dangerous attacks, and his Mystic Arte was a One-Hit KO. However, his final form is a giant immovable hitbox that only has a few attacks, none of which are super strong and dangerous. Making this worse is that it's entirely possible to hide right next to his arms or far enough back and completely avoid all of his attacks. He doesn't even have a Mystic Arte! Thankfully the Duel Boss against him with Sorey made up for it.
  • Ass Pull:
    • The plot point of Sorey going blind because of Alisha being his squire. Depending on how you view the scenario, the foreshadowing for the scene can be subtle. Part of the plot says that Alisha doesn't have enough power to be Sorey's Squire, while Rose has enough, because of the years Dezel spent possessing her body. This point is discussed later in the story in order to bring the scenario of Sorey needing to block his senses in order to purify Maotelus, and consequently making humanity see Seraphim again. However, several players found the explanation for this early subplot lazy and it really doesn't help that when playing Alisha's DLC, the plot point is never brought up despite Alisha becoming Rose's squire. The only justification for that comes from Sorey who speculates that just starting the process of purifying Maotelus could make things less power intensive for Rose. However, this idea is mentioned almost in passing in the final dungeon and never discussed further.
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    • In the Alisha DLC Lunarre is revealed to somehow be alive and plotting to kill Sorey. The problem with this is that the last time Lunarre was on screen, he had just been defeated by the party and was being purified only to blow himself up in defiance of Rose. It's never explained how he could still be alive after and because the characters don't learn he survived, the player is left wondering how.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Alisha. She's a side character in the grand scheme of the game. There are people who either pitied her for "losing the heroine position to Rose", those who are neutral to her, those who don't like her, and those that like her. The fact that the anime adaptation gave her a significantly bigger role and more screentime at the expense of the actual main plot and Sorey and the seraphim companions' story while also not contributing anything to story and characterization of main characters has become a point of contention. It has also shifted the way people view her, people no longer pity her but now the view of her character has split between those who like her and enjoy the anime because it has more of her, those who are neutral towards her, those who think that the she's been given too much attention for a side character, those who liked her but are sick of seeing her, and those who don't like her at all. With the latter two attitudes transferring over to the mobile spin off game as some of her additions in those have not been well received.
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    • Dezel has become this in more recent times as there are those who like him regardless, those who like him but admit that some aspects of him are poorly written such as his actions towards Rose, and people who out right hate him because of his actions before he gets replaced.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Episodes 5 and 6 of Zestiria the X suddenly switch to the opening stages of the plot of Tales of Berseria. Velvet's story bears no direct influence on Zestiria's plot, and her plotline receives no closure in the anime.
  • Breather Level: If you do the Earth Shrine after the Water Shrine then then you'll be pleased by how easy it is by comparison. The boss is easy and the gimmick of tracking him down is easy to do. The layout might take a moment to figure out but once you do the dungeon is very easy, requiring you to simply destroy some boxes to lower walls. The dungeon itself has a comedic tone to it save for when you beat the Minotaur.
    • The tests of spirit in the water and earth shrines are both fairly simple and straightforward compared to the trial at the fire shrine, where Sorey was given a flaming sword and told to use it to brand either Lailah or himself.
  • Cargo Ship: Sorey/Ruins, Sorey/Celestial Record, or Sorey/Goblin Cart are pretty accepted among the fandom. Well enough that there are affectionate memes on them.
  • Contested Sequel: Every fan is likely to have a strong opinion on Zestiria. Some love it, and those who do spend a great bit of time defending it from those who hate it or at the very least consider it inferior to previous Tales games due to many glitches and a very badly paced story that does little to improve on the Tales formula.
  • Crazy Awesome: Zaveid can be seen as this. He starts off every boss fight by shooting himself in the head as a means of powering up, has casually chased hellions as powerful as the Dullahan down the walls of a very tall tower, and is generally bombastic while doing it. The awesome part is that he is kicking ass while doing these acts and is implied to have been doing this shtick for a very long time.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • The fairy/magic type enemies, They usually come in large group while casting a magic (Which deal a lot of damage no less) at the same time.
    • Undead Magicians can be this when you first encounter them. Not only do they cast (unsurprisingly), they also have a pillar-like arte that inflicts Slow, and are one of the first monsters to show up that can inflict status ailments frequently. Ailments are pretty deadly in the game due to that they block all healing on the affected character, but what makes it really bad in this case is that the party cannot buy Panacea Bottles yet and Edna almost definitely doesn't have Healing Circle, so the only way you can deal with it is to use Elixir Vitae (costs 1 BG to use), or stack Earth element-3 (which is pretty difficult at this stage of the game).
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Mason, an Elysian villager that gets eaten by Lunarre at the beginning of the game. See Memetic Mutation below.
    • Sergei, for being a Badass Normal Reasonable Authority Figure that can parry what he can't see because he's just that good. He's also voiced by Xander Mobus in the dub.
    • Zaveid has proven quite popular for being a badass hellion hunter who gets his own theme song and for the various memes associated with him, with his popularity only increasing once it was revealed that players could play as him and he had some Hidden Depths beneath a Handsome Lech comic relief personality. To further prove his popularity, he is the only playable character from Zestiria to show up in its Prequel Berseria as more than a cameo, with a significant role in the plot to flesh out his character and backstory.
    • Edna for her story with her brother and her deadpan teasing of the other characters, has actually made her the most popular female in Zestiria.
    • To a degree Muse, Mikleo's mother likely due to her being The Woobie and fans wanting her to live happily with her son has her being featured in quite a bit of fanworks. In fact almost every High School A.U. or most other Alternate Universe fan fiction for Zestiria will feature her to some degree with varying levels of importance. She is almost always alive by the end of said fan fiction.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Zaveid acts like this at least for the first half, mostly because of his lack of a shirt and toned body.
    • Played straight with Maltran.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot: The Tainted AU, or the AU exploring what would happen if Sorey succumbed to Malevolence ... even though it's typically used as an excuse for porn. It is sometimes done to Mikleo with most Tainted AU works would either have him dead or a dragon that sometimes is able to change between forms but it is very rare for this AU to feature other characters also corrupted. Though this AU often coincides with Rose being the Shepherd instead of Sorey.
    • What happens after the game specifically Sorey becoming a seraph and either trying to regain his memories or trying to adjust to a different world.
    • Sometimes you'd get fics of what would happen if Alisha played a more proactive role in the game's story. Though this has died off a bit with the anime portraying the concept with varying levels of success. The same happened to fics where Alisha armatizes as it happened to the same degree of success.
    • Although super rare a few fans have written in Sergei's brother, Boris trying to explore his personality.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Tends to have this with Yuri!!! on Ice, and Seraph of the End as many Zestiria fans tend to be in those two fandoms, as all three have a male main lead that is Gay or at least perceived to be by a decent chunk of the fan base.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Sorey and Mikleo make a few literature and historical references throughout the game, such as to Julius Caesar and Ancient Rome.
    • The Arthurian references. They are everywhere, and they're not necessarily the obvious ones most people will know from cultural osmosis. Almost every location is named after something from the legends, and more pop up in random places. The forest right after leaving Elysia, for example, is named after Lancelot's sword. Or in Marlind (Merlin), you meet a woman carrying two books: "A History of Monmath Culture," and "The Works of Sir Jeffrey" - a reference to Geoffrey of Monmouth, who wrote one of the first "modern" versions of the King Arthur legend, the Historia Regum Britanniae.
    • And as an extension to the above, the Alisha DLC has some blatant references to The Lady of Shalott, about a princess of Arthurian legend Elaine of Astolat (referenced in the Stolat Mountains and the Elaine Ruins dungeons) who died of a curse and unrequited love for Lancelot. Except in Alisha's case, she overcomes her doom and finds purpose in herself rather than someone else.
    • Inside the Cambria Caverns, a fossil can be found that is described as some kind of strange shrimp. People versed in paleontology will quickly pick up that this is a reference to the Anomalocaris, a creature that lived in the Cambrian period that the caves get their name from, and whose name mean Abnormal Shrimp.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • In its native Japan, the game suffered from major backlash. In the west, it sold a ton of copies by JRPG standards on Steam alone (though, helped by the free preorder copies of Tales of Symphonia), and has an overall rating of Very Positive when it comes to Steam user reviews. While the game still gets its fair share of criticism in the West regarding plot and characters, it is nowhere near as harsh as the Japanese reaction was.
    • It's less love, and more hate less, but, as opposed to being The Scrappy in Japan, Rose is more of a Base-Breaking Character in western territories.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • The DLC skit where Sorey and Mikleo are discussing what to do with an apple gel they find in the toilet.
    Sorey: It seems like a real waste! A single gel can make the difference between life and death...
    Dezel: Don't even THINK of using that on me!
    • One of the more hilarious victory quotes involves Sorey being chastised by the ladies for not knowing what a barrette is. Specifically, Rose asks if Sorey was born in a barn and Edna wonders whether or not Sorey was living under a rock this whole time. However, it starts to become less funny once you find out about Sorey's backstory, what with being born in the Doomed Hometown of Camlann right before it was destroyed and living an isolated life with the seraphs for the majority of his life. If anything, Sorey has legitimate excuses for not being familiar with girls' hair ornaments.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • When asked if he could use the memory orbs to look at anything that occurred, Sorey answers that he would want to look at all of the history of the world. Mikleo comments that Sorey wouldn't live long enough for that to dream happen. Come the game's epilogue, and Sorey is heavily hinted to have become a seraph.
    • Compared to the game, the anime has plenty and makes it a perfect world. Rose isn't exactly given too much special treatment as a Squire and is shown to struggle with the Seraph stuff and becomes a very likable character with her own personal grudges, Alisha's development greatly expands upon her character, Maltran is one hundred percent behind her pupil's back, both Alisha and Rose do start with a rocky first meeting but both quickly grow to respect each other AND become best friends, Sorey does have the ability to purify dragons, and for once the whole important cast gets to be together unlike being arbitrarily separated by plot points especially in regards to Alisha who does join the journey for the final fight. And Alisha gets two loyal soldiers both of them badass on their own.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The inclusion of the God Eater DLC in the western version becomes ironic after it was revealed Robbie Daymond, who plays Sorey, would play the protagonist of the God Eater anime, Lenka.
    • In the game, the seraphim take time bonding with Alisha but are quick to warm up to Rose. In the anime, they do like Alisha quickly, but they are too wary of Rose for being what she is. It doesn't help she had Dezel following her around.
  • Ho Yay: Between Mikleo and Sorey.
    • The anime special is full of this, complete with a small blush from an embarrassed Mikleo.
    • Sorey and Mikleo probably have the most amount of Ho Yay in the entire franchise, and that's saying something. It's up to the point they can be considered as the main pairing of the game. Supplementary materials and the Alisha DLC add even more fuel to the fire. See the Tales HoYay page for a rather long list of evidence.
    • And of course there's this blatant bit of Rose/Lailah.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: Sort of... Soymilk is a popular name for Sorey/Mikleo, though it likely was derived from a misreading of SorMik.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: One of the game's main criticisms. Most Tales games can be completed in fifty to sixty hours depending on how completionist the player is. Zestiria can be completed in about forty hours by a completionist player. This makes the game's pace feel very rushed overall, and many players feel that those extra ten-twenty hours could have gone a long way in bringing it up to the same level as other games in the series in terms of world-building, character development, and deconstructions.
    • It and Berseria also lack the usual end-of-act/arc markers and fakeout ending that most-if-not-all past Tales games have had, which makes the pair feel shorter. Most games have a kind of three-arc structure with clear ends and beginnings, but with Zestiria and Berseria, the end goal and final boss are laid out from very early on. Skits are also only available in certain spots (on save spots, resting at inns, or looking at examination points), meaning you likely skipped more than you saw.
  • LGBT Fanbase: The game has a pretty decent sized LGBT fanbase likely due to the fact of Sorey having a lack of interest in girls and seemingly attracted to Mikleo and Rose also seemingly interested in men and women with the latter being treated much less harshly among Lesbians and Bi/Pan women as opposed to the rest of the fandom where she is a Base-Breaking Character at best and The Scrappy at worst. Also quite a bit of LGBT fans tend to have a strong preference for shipping both Sorey/Mikleo and Rose/Alisha or Rose and Alisha with any girl.
  • Memetic Mutation: "He ate Mason!"Explanation 
    • Alisha costs 1300 yen.Explanation 
    • Alisha with E-rank Luck. Explanation 
    • Mikleo is the heroine.Explanation 
    • Many have noticed that Zaveid using his Siegfried gun to power himself up resembles the Evoker from the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series. Thus, it's not uncommon to see people talk about Zaveid and his "inability to summon a Persona".
    • "Is that a monolith!?!"Explanation 
    • "Zaveid, put on a shirt."
    • Mikleo being compared to or depicted with Alola Vulpix and Ninetales popped up soon after the Pokemon were announced with a few people joking with "Welp, Mikleo's a Pokemon now."
    • Mikleo is a grill! Explanation 
  • Moe: One thing that most players can agree on is that Sorey is absolutely adorable.
    • Lailah has her moments as well, thanks to her cheerful and sometimes flighty personality
  • Periphery Demographic: A minor example since Tales games have always been fairly popular with both genders, but the manga adaptations have always been in shounen magazines. In comparison, Zestiria's official manga is published in Comic Zero Sum, a joseiExplanation  magazine.
  • Polished Port: The PS4 and PC versions cut out the infamous slowdown issues (mostly because of superior tech to its native PS3 hardware). On top of that, while it's locked to 30 FPS (which was fixed by a badass group of modders with this fix), the PC version promises greater draw distances than the PS4 version (as well as support for 4K resolutions).
  • Portmanteau Couple Name
    • Sorey/Mikleo: Sormik, Suremiku, Mikurey
    • Rose/Dezel: Rozel, Dezerose
    • Rose/Alisha: Rosali, Rolisha
    • Sorey/Alisha: Sorali
    • Zaveid/Lailah: Laivied
  • So Okay, It's Average: After the controversies surrounding the game died down, from the excessive hype the game and anime got to Alisha's Advertised Extra status, it seems to be seen as an enjoyable JRPG that's held back flaws that really either pull you out of the experience, or hurt the game's direction.
  • Surprise Difficulty: You DO have to upgrade and play with your stats a lot in this game, so there's another level of thinking involved, removing the simplicity of an endless bash-and-go gameplay.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: A general complaint about Zestiria is that some ideas for characters never get used properly. Since Tales of Berseria was planned since the beginning to be related to the game, this was probably on purpose.
    • Maotelus. Set up and mentioned frequently as the Big Good, he's a no-show for 99% of the game. There're two characters in the game with any sort of information on him beyond "He's the Big Good": Lailah, who is bound by an oath to never speak of him, and Heldalf, the Big Bad. When he finally does put in an appearance, it's in the final boss battle, on Heldalf's side. No explanation is given for how Heldalf acquired his assistance, whether Maotelus is intentionally aiding him or was imprisoned or anything. Heldalf even manages to perform a pseudo-armatization with him which is also left unexplained.
    • As little information is present about Maotelus, his four compatriots, Musiphe, Amenoch, Hyanoa and Eumacia are even less discussed beyond having their servants give out the Armatized Mystic Artes.
    • Mayvin is a recurring NPC who shares his fascination with ruins like Sorey. Later, it's revealed he's a badass immortal who is suppose to chronicle events without getting involved. Almost immediately after, you fight him as a boss, and he dies.
    • Much of Lailah's character revolves around her being a Secret Keeper, and since the major twists aren't revealed until 75% of the game is completed, we don't get to explore the aspects of her relationship with Shepherd Michael. Also, many of her conversations involve her purposely diverting conversations to tangential threads, so she doesn't get as much characterization as the rest of cast.
      • Despite having a perfectly good chance to appear in Tales of Berseria, Lailah is the only playable Seraph, excluding Mikleo and Dezel for justified reasons, to not make any appearance in the game at all. However, many people believe this is justified because Lailah's voice actress, Miyu Matsuki, died from lymphoma and the production team for Berseria didn't have enough time to find another voice actress. On the other hand there is a chunk of the fanbase who still insists and theorizes that Lailah is somehow Seres or connected to her even if the game shows to the contrary.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: As with the above trope, the game has many plot points and ideas that never truly go anywhere or become completely pointless in the end.
    • Sorey learns that the only way to truly defeat Heldalf involves him using Siegfried, Zaveid's magic gun, to shoot the party Seraphim at Heldalf so they can sever the connection between Heldalf and Maotelus, and then perform a Mercy Kill on Heldalf. While hesitant, Sorey ultimately made up his mind and did so after he and Mikleo were forced to kill Zenrus/Gramps when Heldalf absorbed him. The problem is that when Sorey kills Heldalf, the Seraphim are revealed to be alive. To some, this ruined a otherwise noble sacrifice for both Sorey and the party as a whole.
    • The game implies that something happened to Lunarre that made him become a Hellion before the events of the game, and that whatever it was, it was strongly linked to the Scattered Bones. However, the game never actually goes into why Lunarre fell out with them nor what made him a Hellion. The closest we get is him lashing out at Rose about being a liar of some kind. This could have been resolved when it was revealed Lunarre somehow survived into Alisha's DLC, but the game never does anything about it save for implying Lunarre will become the new Big Bad.
    • The Alisha DLC provides players the chance to play as Alisha following the events of the game. You would think this would open up a ton of ideas, such as traveling the world and seeing the results of Sorey's actions, the impact the party had on cities, and how certain characters are doing. Instead the entire DLC is one big Anvilicious story about how people need to work together and rely on others. Never mind the fact that such a plot point was already handled in the main game but Rose pretty much overshadows Alisha despite the story suppose to be about Alisha.
    • Sorey being a All-Loving Hero, and Rose being the leader of an assassin guild sets itself up easily for a clash of beliefs, especially after the boss fight with Cardinal Forton where Rose kills her over Sorey's objections. However, instead of any discussion on morals between the two, Sorey just feels bad about it and then never brings it up again. Not only does it feel Out of Character for Sorey, but it means Rose is never questioned on her logic of how bad people must die.
    • The fact that Sorey and Mikleo are both from Camlann, with Mikleo not only having been human, but was outright murdered by his uncle Michael as a means to curse Heldalf to eternal solitude. Furthermore, that their adopted grandfather Zenrus basically decided their fates for them by raising them to be the Shepherd and a Sub Lord without considering the implications behind it or even giving them a say in this decision. You'd think that Sorey and Mikleo would have quite a bit of angst about these things, or even that the game would give them an entire arc dedicated to how they cope with these Earth-shattering revelations and have them go through some potentially amazing Character Development that would really flesh them out and make them more three-dimensional. But nope, the whole thing is treated as little more than a footnote, and Sorey and Mikleo barely react at all to it.
  • Too Cool to Live: Dezel sacrifices himself. Depends on how you view the scene, it was all his fault to begin with.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Dezel routinely possesses Rose without her knowledge or consent while she's unconscious. The game treats this as a gesture of affection that Rose should be grateful for and none of the other party members think it's a good idea to tell Rose about what Dezel's been doing to her.

The X anime

  • Author's Saving Throw: To those who felt Alisha was snubbed in the main game, she gets a bigger role here, and even is able to Armatize.
  • Complete Monster: Lord Bartlow of the Ladylake City Council pushes for war with the neighboring nation, Rolance, and tries to assassinate his princess, Alisha, when she advocates for peaceful resolution. With Alisha later sent away, Bartlow has his troops stationed to launch a full-scale assault on Rolance. Branding Alisha and her allies traitors when they stop his plot and killing many of her allies, Bartlow later crucifies her mentor in the hopes of luring out Alisha and her companions. When Alisha instead goes to the palace to warn her father of Bartlow's treachery, Bartlow arrives and mortally wounds the king while trying to kill her, then nonchalantly decides to pin the crime on Alisha.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: It's a ufotable anime, so it's to be expected.


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