DescriptionYoung brothers and heirs to the throne Asbel and Hubert Lhant are exploring the forbidden Lhant Hill when they stumble across a purple-haired girl, lying in a meadow of flowers. She doesn't remember anything about herself, so the boys decide to give her a name: Sophie. Along with their friend Cheria, the children quickly befriend her and a boy named Richard, the future king of Windor. But when the children are attacked by a strange monster, Sophie sacrifices herself for their sake and the group quickly separates. Asbel leaves to become a knight, beginning his training at the Knight Academy. Years later, Asbel is just about ready for knighthood. At the same time, strange otherworldly monsters begin to make appearances all over the planet, and the Sophie who was presumed dead years ago returns once again.
Tales of Graces is the twelfth game in the Tales series, following a format similar to its predecessors. Exploration takes place on a field where items can be collected or side-quests can be initiated; coming into contact with an enemy begins a battle. Battles follow the Style Shift Linear Motion Battle System, in which simple attacks and special skills are executed in real-time. Skills are performed through button combinations which may be mapped in menus beforehand, and are split into two categories: Assault Artes are special attacks done on the spot while Burst Artes are actions which must be charged, such as healing spells. The amount of attacks that can be performed in one combo is regulated by Chain Capacity, more frequently referred to in-game as CC. When CC is used up, it can be replenished by blocking, walking, or simply waiting. The number of CC available for each combo increases as characters level up, allowing for more powerful and intricate combos as more attacks are learned.
New to Graces is the Eleth Mixer. Obtained during adulthood, the Eleth Mixer serves three primary purposes based on the items which can be assigned to it: placing food in the Mixer gives that dish the opportunity to cook during battle, providing the party with its effects. Materials can be placed and duplicated in the Mixer, useful for farming rare materials. Lastly, books assigned to the Mixer give special bonuses to the party in and out of battle. Obtaining the Eleth Mixer also grants the party an Eleth Gauge during battle. Maxing out the gauge gives the party the chance to perform Mystic Artes, special attacks that are learned by each character through story events which deal damage based on how high the party's current hit count is.
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