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Alphen
Alphen (ToA).png
Information
Appearance Tales of Arise
Height 176 cm
Race Dahnan
Weapon Sword, Blazing Sword
Japanese Voice Actor Takuya Sato
English Voice Actor Ray Chase[1]

Alphen (アルフェン Arufen?), initially known as Iron Mask (鉄仮面 Tekkamen?), is one of the two main protagonists of Tales of Arise. He is a masked Dahnan man who suffers from amnesia. Unable to feel pain either, all he knows is the rage he feels toward his Renan superiors and the care he feels for his fellow Dahnans.

History

A year prior to the beginning of the game, he first woke up in Calaglia without any memories or pain. The first person who found him, Doc gave him the name "Iron Mask" as a means to remind him that he had a real name somewhere. Whenever a slave was in trouble, Iron Mask would leap in and take the pain for them. However, since he can still die, Iron Mask relies on others to help keep him alive. He toils for Balseph, the Renan lord for Calaglia, until one day he finds Shionne Imeris fleeing from Renan pursuers. Taken instantly by her, he defends her and eventually gets taken in by the Crimson Crows. At one of their hideouts, he meets Zephyr interrogating Shionne, as she is a Renan. This interrogation is interrupted by a Renan attack, and during the escape, he links up with Shionne. When she is shot by an arrow, her master core activates, and he draws the Blazing Sword from the astral energy. Using its power, he slaughters the Renans and instantly becomes a symbol of freedom. Zephyr, wanting that power for the Crimson Crows, invites them to work with them to overthrow Balseph. Due to Iron Mask's lack of pain, he is the only one who can use the sword, but he also requires both Shionne's consent to the master core's power as well as her healing to heal the severe burns it inflicts on the wielder. The three of them head to Ulzebek.

Freeing Calaglia

At Ulzebek, Zephyr comes up with a plan to finally end Balseph's reign. The Crimson Crows draw attention with a front assault, allowing Iron Mask and Shionne to sneak into Glanymede Castle and assassinate Balseph. The plan succeeds in letting the pair confront Balseph, and during the battle, Balseph strikes at his mask and half-shatters it, allowing him some access to his memories, including his name, Alphen. The battle travels to Balseph's spirit vessel, where the gathered astral energy incarnates as a Fire Avatar. When Balseph is defeated, he attempts one last, rage-fueled strike on Shionne, but Iron Mask uses the Blazing Sword to throw him back into the Fire Avatar's grasp, ultimately resulting in him being burned to a crisp. Iron Mask then uses the Blazing Sword to absorb the astral energy and convert it to a giant wave of flame that destroys the Gates of Fire that were separating the realms. In doing so, he passes out and requires intense healing from Shionne to survive.

Freeing Cysloden

When Rinwell crosses into Calaglia, seeking help for the Silver Swords, Alphen resolves to use his power to free the other Dahnans from oppression. He, Shionne, and Zephyr join Rinwell in going to Cysloden to face the next lord. At Messia 224, Zephyr is captured after coming across Law, his son who is a member of the Bureau of Civil Observation, a police force aiding the Renans. They pursue Zephyr to Cysloden where they make contact with the Silver Swords only to be betrayed by its leader, Meneck, who was actually Cysloden's lord Ganabelt Valkyris is disguise. Zephyr is killed by Ganabelt using a type of incurable poison, and they in turn kill him, freeing Cysloden but not without cost.

In the aftermath, Alphen attempts to become the group's emotional pillar as Zephyr once was for them. Law and Rinwell join them in their quest to defeat the Five Lords, continuing to Elde Menancia. There, Alphen begins to question his automatic assumption that Renas are all bad, as, at least on the surface, Menancia appears to have reached coexistence between Renans and Dahnans under the auspices of lord Dohalim il Qaras. Even after dismantling a conspiracy occurring beneath Dohalim's nose, Alphen takes to heart the peace and unity than the Menancians have for each other and incorporates it into his views. Kisara, a former member of the guard whose brother Migal died revealing the conspiracy, and Dohalim join them in their journey as well as they travel to Mahag Saar. Along the way, they are attacked by a mysterious swordsman with a particular animus for Alphen, and Shionne takes a heavy blow for Alphen. Fearing her for dead, Alphen releases a strange light, the appearance of which leads the swordsman to retreat. Though Shionne is fine in the aftermath, it brings up questions of Alphen that he cannot answer.

Freeing Mahag Saar

Mahag Saar's lord, Almeidrea Kaineris, has fled Niez by the time of the arrival. The city has been taken over by the Dark Wings, the local resistance organization, who appear to have formed a cult of personality around their leader, Dedyme. He and Alphen do not get along, with Dedyme resorting to partially destroying the town itself to force Almeidrea away and not caring the Dahnan lives taken with his actions while Alphen always seeking to minimize collateral damage and caring for people. Additionally, Dedyme treats Alphen's Renan friends of Alphen's terribly and, especially in contrast to the ideal of coexistence that he learned in Menancia, does nothing to earn Alphen's favor. The two go their separate ways, but even still, Alphen attempts to stop Almeidrea's ultimate plot. Unfortunately, he fails, and he is forced to watch as much of the Dark Wings and Niez's populace are hollowed through Almeidrea's machinations. They pursue Almeidrea to Mobile Fortress Gradia and defeat her but are interrupted by the swordsman, revealed to be the last lord, Vholran Igniseri. Vholran kills Almeidrea himself and then pressures Alphen such that his mask fully breaks, returning to him both his memories and his ability to feel pain. In that moment of distraction, Vholran knocks Alphen away and kidnaps Shionne. Alphen attempts to rescue her, unaware that his ability to feel pain had returned when the mask broke. Seeing Alphen in pain disheartens Shionne to the point that she no longer struggles, and Vholran escapes while summoning his power to sink the ship.

Aftermath

Somehow, the party drifts ashore to Thistlym, where Alphen reveals to them his past. Three centuries ago, Alphen was a knight who served a Dahnan master. One day, he was captured by Renans who brought him to Lenegis. There, he was called "Test Subject #1273", and treated like a slave. All he knew was that he was going to play the role of "Sovereign" for the "Spirit Channeling Ceremony". Eventually, he was introduced to Naori Imeris, who was going to play role of "Maiden". However, the ceremony went wrong and, as a result, Alphen lost consciousness halfway through. By the time he woke up, Lenegis was engulfed in flames, and Naori was distraught. Seeing blood on his hands made Alphen realise that thousands may be dead because of him, causing him to have a breakdown. Naori played an extreme gamble in the hope that Alphen would survive. She gave Alphen a mask with a long-lasting sedative, and placed him on a ship directed back to Dahna.

The return of his memories greatly unsettles Alphen, and the group chooses the rest until they have their strength once more.

Finding Shionne

Once rested, some stray Zeugles attack the village through the back entrance. Alphen and the group fight and take down all the Zeugles, with Alphen starting to remember what pain was like. The group continue up the path, climbing a passageway inside a waterfall. The group eventually make it to the top, finding Del Fharis Castle in the distance. The group are (Impolitely) greeted by a platoon of guards with purple armour. After a bit of searching, they find Shionne standing alone in a room, muttering the same phrases over and over. The group tries to talk to her, but she doesnt hear them. Eventually, she looks up, and after saying "Lies", she starts screaming and "Thorns" emerge from the ground. After fighting the thorns, Alphen approaches her. The thorns hit him numerous times, hitting his sword out of his hand and cutting him. Upon reaching Shionne, he hugs her, enduring the thorns and reminding her that she is not alone. After a blinding light emits from Alphen and Shionne, destroying the Thorn vines, Shionne returns, healing Alphen and the group continue.

Appearance and Personality

Alphen has neck-long white hair and gray eyes. During his journeys he wears at least three outfits, designed to protect vulnerable areas around his body due to his inability to feel pain. In a more casual one, he dons a white shirt with various protective blue leather pieces around his chest and waist, brown pants and leather boots, brown gloves and large black mask covering most of his head. Alphen's second outfit is a full black armor with blue light clothes beneath it and a blue cape hanging from his waist down. His third outfit is the one worn during the spirit channeling ceremony. It consists of mainly white with gold details on it and a red cape. Apparently, the additional blue cape in Alphen's second outfit was his idea since Shionne said that Alphen looks good in blue.

Outraged at the Renans abuse of his people's lives, Alphen is very passionate toward liberating his people from the yoke of oppression. Alphen has a habit of trying to find new "routes" from random directions, only for those directions to lead to more problems. According to Shionne, Alphen always prefers a challenge.

In the party, Alphen acts as a pillar support, especially towards Law and Rinwell. He often cheers them up when they are down and even gives advice. Part of his personality are also influenced by Zephyr, especially after the latter's death, which impacted Alphen greatly who sees him as a mentor figure.

Alphen is usually calm and composed, however, he can be emotional and lose his temper when being faced with cruelty in front of him. Because he lacks sense of pain, Alphen often put himself in danger without thinking of the consequences.

Alphen cares a lot about his friends, and is quite observant of them. Even in the midst of battle, Alphen understands how they fight and how they have improved.

Fighting Style

Alphen is a swordfighter who specializes in close-quarters combat. He sports an array of fast artes that chain well together, as well as long-distance and aerial artes, making him well suited to face any foe Dahna throws him. Alphen can sacrifice HP to use a Flaming Edge, a strong, wide-reaching Blazing Sword attack. Holding any of the arte buttons will trigger a Flaming Edge after he performs the corresponding arte. Flaming Edge moves cost no AG to use. Flaming Edge moves have the added bonus of dealing extra damage to downed enemies. Plus, after learning a certain skill, holding the button longer can let Alphen exchange more of his HP for more power. When Auto Mode is enabled, Alphen will primarily target enemies with lower HP during combat.

Other Appearances

Tales of the Rays

Alphen appears as a nexus of Dahna alongside Shionne, summoned by events orchestrated by Artorius Collbrande as part of his plan to gather another world’s energy and use it to awaken Innominat in Tir Na Nog. Wandering a strange version of their world where Dahnan and Renan civilians coexist peacefully, the two eventually find themselves in Cysloden. However, they quickly get pulled into another conflict, joining the local resistance movement in defending the city from siege by Renan military forces now under the command of the Asgard Empire. Later while on patrol, Alphen encounters Ix Nieves and the rest of his group who finally explain their situation. Not wanting to abandon people in need, Alphen agrees to join the global resistance effort with other factions against the Empire.

After thwarting the Empire’s attempt at conquering Cysloden, the party turns its attention towards reconstruction efforts and preparations for the local Halloween festival. During the celebration, Alphen discusses his plans to remain in the city and continue protecting it from the Empire’s looming threat. However, he assures Ix that he and Shionne will be on call if they ever need help. In exchange, Ix promises to relay any useful information, particularly any details regarding the whereabouts for the rest of Alphen’s missing friends.

Trivia

  • Alphen adds ingredients to spice up his food as it is the closest he can get to feeling pain. Apparently, even after his sense of pain is recovered, he still love spicy food because he was too used to it. This has become a running gag in the game, as the party tried to prevent Alphen from cooking since anything he cooks will be too spicy for them to eat.

References


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