Tales of Symphonia

aka: ToS
Moby ID: 14730
GameCube Specs
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Tales of Symphonia is an RPG that starts off from the peaceful village of Iselia. Where Lloyd Irving is a student under the tutelage of Professor Raine Sage, who specializes in magic and archaeology. His school friend Colette Brunel has been rumored to be the daughter of an angel. She was born with a sacred stone in her hand, because of this she is the "Chosen of Sylvarant". The Chosen must complete the world regeneration, a quest to unlock magic seals and enter the otherworldly Tower of Salvation, to make the slowly dying world a true paradise. This will mean the end of the Desians, a race of half elves, who now dominate the land through work camps, fear, and force.

The characters develop not only through cut-scenes, many of which feature voice acting, but through what the game calls “skits”. These "skits" however, do not feature voice acting like the in-game cut-scenes. A warning is displayed on the bottom left hand side of the screen when a skit becomes available, it can then be activated by pressing Z. The Skit generally features two or more of the characters interacting. They will react to what is said and depending on the characters and the situation the results can be anywhere from comic to tragic. This system allows one to understand the feelings of each character.

Special features of the game include: Ex-Spheres, Strategy and Cooking. Ex-Spheres are special objects which enhance a character's abilities or may even grant new ones. These abilities can affect battle or have an effect outside of battle. Each Ex-Sphere will have a level of 1-4 each with more powerful abilities; up to four Ex-Spheres can be attached to each character. Strategy can be applied to CPU controlled players, for example making spell-casters attack a specific enemy or ordering them to stay behind the front-lines. An alternate way to heal characters is to cook. This is based on the specific character's skill to cook and the ingredients used.

Most of the game is spent, like most RPGs, in towns, dungeons, towers, sprawling world maps, and of course combat. Battles in Tales of Symphonia are fought in real-time. Only four members of your party can participate, each with unique fighting styles. As the game progresses, you are not restricted to only using Lloyd, all major characters are playable which allows you to switch your gaming style. Basic physical attacks are carried out with the A button and pushing the control stick in various directions. The B button is used for special physical attacks and casting spells. Often these special attacks can be linked from a basic physical attack to Special Attacks in progressing levels of 1-3. During a battle you run in a straight line and are able to jump over enemies. In Multiplayer up to 3 more players may partake in battles with you.

Spellings

  • テイルズ オブ シンフォニア - Japanese spelling
  • 仙乐传说 - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (GameCube version)

385 People (360 developers, 25 thanks) · View all

Localization Manager
Localization Producer
Localization Engineer
Localization Associate Producer
Localization VO Producer
Localization Assistant Producer
Production Assistant
QA and CS Manager
QA Supervisor
Senior QA Lead
Assistant QA Lead
QA Testers
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 85% (based on 36 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 57 ratings with 2 reviews)

Nothing revolutionary, just a good, old fashioned RPG

The Good
This was the first Tales of... game , so I didn't have any idea what to expect. First of all, I was very pleased with the overall feeling of this game as the graphics, sounds and characters all scream "High Fantasy" so loud that Persona burst into tears and left the room. I have been always a big fan of traditional RPGs and this one with all the usual plot "twists" and characters fit right into that category. The locales in the game are well designed, especially the dungeons which I liked a lot because of their compact size and interesting puzzles. The plot is also quite interesting if not very surprising or different from other similar games. Almost everything in this game is done very well, except for the few things which I mention below.

The Bad
Well, like I said, everything in this game has been seen before. The group starts it's journey to save the world but at some point, something happens that changes everything and everyone realises that the whole journey just was a prelude to something bigger. The main protagonist is an angsty teenager, and his female counterpart is a delicate flower. Then there's the usual irritating sidekick, a silent but strong male, the converted enemy and so on. Also, with few of the characters the sound acting isn't just right and sounds false.

The game also throws the player around even more than these things usually do:
"Oh no, that person is ill"
"Okay then, let's just get some medicine"
"But the pharmacist isn't at his shop, he's been kidnapped by bandits"
"Let's go rescue him from the bandits"
"But no one knows where their camp is"
"We must ask the bandit king!"
"The Bandit king has been kidnapped by the pirates!"
"Let's go rescue him from the pirates"
"But we need a boat to get to their island"
"Oh no, the boatmaker has been kidnapped by yetis!"
And so on...

The Bottom Line
A very well made, but for some maybe too traditional RPG. Nice visuals and very much to do in this world of ToS.

GameCube · by Evilhead (1154) · 2006

A wonderful plot along with fantastic cell shading makes this game well worth the time!

The Good
The battle system is action based and very well suited to this R.P.G. style game. The battles are avoidable within and without of dungeons for those less feisty or simply in a hurry. After each battle you have a choice of cooking such items as sandwiches and miso soup which restore a amount of health depending on the item. After every few minutes a conversation based on the current development in the plot will spring up which gives the characters good personality. The game ending is different based on what you do throughout the game in such conversations.

The Bad
Some of the voice acting can get on your nerves after a while. The multiplayer option only lets you battle co-op.

The Bottom Line
A good choice for the plot-hungry gamer, Tales of Symphonia is a great title pretty much all-around.

GameCube · by Gundark Krozmotov (118) · 2004

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Tales of Symphonia appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

PlayStation 2 memory cards

A PlayStation 2 8MB official memory card, licensed by both Sony and Namco, has been released in Japan by console accessories maker Hori. Included was a memory card case featuring the games DVD's art.

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  • MobyGames ID: 14730
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Opipeuter.

PlayStation 3 added by Caelestis. Windows added by Christian WS. PlayStation 2 added by MAT.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, monkeyislandgirl, is_that_rain_or_tears, FatherJack.

Game added September 11, 2004. Last modified December 27, 2023.