Magic (魔術 Majutsu?, "Black Magic" / "Sorcery"), also known as artes (術 jutsu?, "techniques"), magic artes, and spells (呪文 jumon?), is a recurring term for the ability to marshal elemental forces for miraculous effects. It is often not an innate ability for humans, requiring the use of special catalysts like the lens or Craymel Cage, though other races such as elves have the innate talent for it. Various settings give magic their own names to reflect their world's history. Magic artes are one of the two main types of artes in the Tales series.
Magic artes are used by characters who have the knowledge and ability to perform magical feats. Unlike strike artes, spells do not directly affect battle immediately following activation. The character usually recites an incantation before casting, limiting the speed by which they can deal damage to the enemy. Spells use TP after they have been cast, not during the incantation. By default, characters that are attacked during the incantation will be interrupted and the spell will not activate. However, with the use of certain passive skills, characters can have some resistance or even immunity to casting interruptions.
Certain games may have more specialized terms for particular forms of magic that are unique to their stories, such as the Angel Skills (天使術 Tenshijutsu?, "Angelic Magic") used by angels in Tales of Symphonia and the song-based Fonic Hymns (譜歌 Fuka?) in Tales of the Abyss. In addition to the following methods, they may also be classified as novice, intermediate, and advanced, following a tier system similar to that which is used by strike artes to organize spells into groupings based on damage output, TP cost, and casting time.
Offensive magic represents the usual method used by spellcasters to deal damage to enemies. These artes consume more TP than physical strike artes, but they can be used to hit a large number of enemies within an area of effect with proper coordination and timing. They usually deal more damage than physical attacks, but the more powerful spells are countered by longer casting times, followed by a startup lag that further delays the damage output. Some examples include Fire Ball and Indignation.
Novice-tier magic artes' icon is often an image of a staff with its tip pointing top-left hand corner. If a game chooses to include spell hierarchy, intermediate-tier spells have a rounded frame added to lower tier's icon, with the advanced tier having two rounded frames in its icon compared to intermediate tier.
Healing and supportive magic are used to assist party members by offering temporary increased stats or reversing status ailments. These spells are more passive in nature, usually intended to cure and prevent enemy damage, or even to inflict damage to the enemy indirectly through debuffs and other harmful conditions, to provide a better advantage for the party as a whole. Primary examples include First Aid and Barrier. Games that lack Linear Motion Battle System that use HP recovery artes that cover an area rather than the entire battlefield often restore HP to all active party members, regardless of their distance from the center of the animation.
Novice-tier magic artes' icon is often an image of a shining four-pointed star. If a game chooses to include spell hierarchy, intermediate-tier spells have a rounded frame added to lower tier's icon, with the advanced tier having two rounded frames in its icon compared to intermediate tier.
Summons are special incantations that enable an elemental deity, known as a Spirit, to be called into the battle temporarily to deal heavily concentrated damage or provide beneficial support to all allies. Summons can be activated only after several conditions are met, which can vary between each game. The summons can deal a very large amount of damage beyond the capability of most spells, but this is countered by their rare availability during battles. These summoned allies include Sylph and Celsius. The exceptions to this rule include Tales of Phantasia and Tales of Xillia, in which the summons can be treated either as traditional spells or as physical artes.
Tales of Phantasia
Tales of Phantasia makes the distinction between the various types of magic based on their origin. Magic (魔術 Majutsu?, "Black Magic" / "Sorcery") is the term for spells which draw their power from mana. These spells can only be used by elves and those with elven bloodlines, such as half-elves. The death of Yggdrasill, the World Tree, caused the loss of magic in the modern day, as the source of mana dried up. Divine Power (法術 Houjutsu?, "Law Magic") consists of spells derived from prayer; Tales of Phantasia: The Animation implies that these spells are also fueled by Yggdrasill, even after its death. Summoning (召喚術 Shoukanjutsu?, "Summoning Magic") incarnates elemental Spirits for a short time, gained after forming pacts with the Spirits themselves. Claus F. Lester pioneers this art as a way for even humans to use magic.
One of Cress Albane's party's goals is the preservation of Magic as a weapon to defeat Dhaos. As the result of their efforts in the past, they are able prevent Yggdrasill's death, allowing mana, and thus Magic, to flourish in both the present and the future.
Tales of Destiny and Tales of Destiny 2
Spells (晶術 Shoujutsu?, "Crystal Magic") are the ability to use the power of lens to enact magical effects. Humans can learn to use spells on their own, but even those who cannot can use them through the power of Swordians, which collect arcane energy in their Lens Core Crystals.
Tales of Eternia
Craymel Artes (晶霊術 Shoureijutsu?, "Crystal Spirit Magic") are the power of Craymel Mages (晶霊術士 Shoureijutsushi?, "Crystal Spirit Artists"). By entrapping Craymels, elemental spirits of the world, within devices called Craymel Cages, a Craymel Mage can cast Craymel Artes of the associated element. Meredy and Keele Zeibel are able to use much stronger artes by enlisting the aid of the Greater Craymels. Craymel Artes are not only battle-related. To allow some mobility in the world, Sylph grants the group the Aerialboard Craymel Arte, which uses Wind Craymels to form a hovering disc of air capable of crossing water in Inferia.
Tales of Symphonia
Magic is the ability of elves and those who share their blood to use mana to enact miraculous effects. Sheena Fujibayashi's summoning uses mana as well, implying she has elven ancestry. Humans typically cannot use magic, but the process of turning into an angel grants Colette Brunel the use of magical Angel Skills, and magical infusions allows Zelos Wilder to wield magic.
Tales of Rebirth
Force is a unique power that allows a control of an element or other objects and phenomenons. It was initially available to Gajuma, but since the Dusk of Ladras that power started to manifest in Huma as well.
Tales of Legendia
Eres are a blessing of the will of the sea Nerifes to Erens. They are combat abilities that are divided into Iron Eres, physical artes, and Crystal Eres, magic artes.
Tales of the Abyss
Fonic Artes (譜術 Fujutsu?, "Chanted Magic") are the ability to use fonons, the fundamental particle of Auldrant, to enact magical effects. Anyone can use them with enough study. Fonic Hymns (譜歌 Fuka?) are a similar phenomenon enacted through song.
Tales of Innocence
Tales of Vesperia
Magic uses aer to enact powerful effects. Estelle states that anyone with blastia can use magic if they understand the theory; Yuri Lowell shows no interest. Magic can be passed along using formulas (術式 jutsushiki?), and there are experiments in creating mana and spirit-derived formulas.
|Novice Spell||Intermediate Spell||Advanced Spell|
Tales of Hearts
Tales of Xillia and Tales of Xillia 2
Spirit Artes (精霊術 Seireijutsu?, "Spirit Magic"), also known as spirit channeling, is the art where casters form pacts with spirits to cast spells. Channelers offer mana from their mana lobe to the spirits, who then enact the effects of the magic. Rieze Maxian culture is based heavily on spirit channeling, and a person's proficiency in this art can have long-lasting effects on their career and prospects. Because Elympions do not have functional mana lobes, they are unable to use spirit artes and instead use spyrixes; they call these techniques calculatrics (算譜法 sanpuhou / "jintekusu"?, "Program Laws" / "Gintechs").
Tales of Zestiria
Tales of Berseria
Tales of Arise
Astral Artes (星霊術 Seireijutsu?, "Star Spirit Artes") are said to only by used by Renans, a race able to manifest astral energy. When the astral arte is used, the caster's eyes glow in light blue color. In truth, some Dahnans known as "Mages" (魔法使い Mahoutsukai?) are able to use astral artes, though they were persecuted for their abilities and went into hiding; Rinwell is a member of this legacy.
Tales of Luminaria
Artes (創術 Soujutsu?, "Origin Arts") are skills and feats invoked through the use of mana. They are used not only for battle but also for general utility. They can be learned through practice, though some artes are easier to learn with certain qualities or bloodlines.