Mystic Artes (秘奥義 Hi Ougi?, "Hidden Succession/Secret Skill") are the hidden and most powerful artes that many characters throughout the Tales series can use during battle. These special attacks have appeared in several games throughout the series, since its conception in the PlayStation version of Tales of Phantasia. They can be performed only under specific conditions, often with other requirements that may limit their use during battle. When they are activated, they usually display an anime-style cut-in image of the character's face as the attack is performed. Other terms and translations for "Hi Ougi" include Divine Skill, Blast Caliber (ブラストキャリバー?), Combination Blaster (コンビネーションブラスター?), and Hidden Lvl. 3 Special Attack.
Appearances in Mothership Titles
Tales of Phantasia
When Tales of Phantasia was released on the PlayStation, it received a complete overhaul of its battle system, with new movesets and animations, among other extras. Included with these extras is the first mystic arte of the series, Dark Blade. This is intended to be a "last resort" type of attack, usable only if Cress Albane's HP is at critical levels, and if he equips the title "Master of Secrets" in the Game Boy Advance version. Cress can perform this arte if the player presses the ↓, "A", "B", "L", and "R" buttons on the Game Boy Advance, or "X" (), "Circle" (), and "Square" () buttons on the PlayStation and PlayStation Portable versions.
Cress is initially the only character who is capable of attacking in this way. This introduced some of the most basic applications of the mystic arte, as an attack that can be used to interrupt the battle flow and deal heavy damage to the opponent. It also established the "mystic arte" as a separate tier of attacks outside of the normal combo system, allowing it to be linked to the end of any series of chained artes. Tales of Phantasia: Cross Edition introduces mystic artes for Claus F. Lester and Rondoline E. Effenberg while also expanding the number of mystic artes available to Cress with directional buttons.
Tales of Destiny
The original PlayStation release of Tales of Destiny features no mystic artes, instead providing each character with one or two artes that provide a flashing effect prior to their execution, similar to those used in Tales of Phantasia. These are properly classified as arcane artes within the original game. However, several of these would become the basis for the mystic arte in its PlayStation 2 remake, providing all playable characters with at least one mystic arte, known as Blast Calibers in this game. Blast Calibers are obtained through events or levels and are activated through the if the character's "Blast Gauge", the bar below that character's health gauge, is filled to at least 1 level, after successfully staggering an enemy with any normal attack or arte. The Blast Gauge has three levels, signified by different colors:
- LVL 1: Blue
- LVL 2: Green
- LVL 3: Red
Only the Swordian Masters, save for Leon Magnus, have Blast Calibers that require a LVL 3 gauge. Leon obtains his own, Majinken Setsuga, in the Director's Cut. Pressing the "Damage Break" button will activate the highest Blast Caliber available at the time. For example, with a Blast Gauge filled to LVL 2, Rutee Katrea will perform only Life Discharge, not Trickster.
The final boss will respond to certain artes with his own Blast Calibers, after the secret boss atop the Arcana Ruins has been defeated. He answers Heal with Raintive Orion, Dispel with Surviving Hollin, and Raise Dead with Celestial Earth. Adding to this list in the Director's Cut is Indignation triggering Raintive Orion, Shouourekka leading to Surviving Hollin, and Maware Rondo summoning Celestial Earth. In addition to this, the final boss also has a Blast Caliber which is not activated as a counter, Melty Earth, which is used automatically once he is reduced to critical health. Following this attack, Stahn Aileron gains access to his final mystic arte which is usable only during this battle, Zankuu Tenshouken.
Tales of Eternia
The "mystic arte" is only one type of the many secret attacks that were introduced in Tales of Eternia. Known as Divine Skills in the localized versions of this game, they feature prolonged flashy effects and often excessive damage. Some of these are intended to be battle finishers, often requiring the targeted enemy to be below a certain amount of health. Others are extremely spamsable with proper timing, enabling repeated use of the same mystic arte extensions with very little delay. Only Reid Hershel and Farah Oersted are capable of performing Divine Skills normally. Meredy and Keele Zeibel can activate Greater Craymel summons and, in Meredy's case, the Destiny summon. They can also activate an extended version of the spell Indignation only during the battle with Sekundes, after reducing enough of his health. Max and Chat do not have mystic artes; their highest tier attacks are correctly classified as arcane artes, even despite the cut-in and background changes.
Tales of Eternia established many of the primary basics of mystic arte activation, such as the use of arte extensions and counters, and the requirement of usage counts. This game also introduced the use of cut-in images during these attacks, blending in with the special effects of the mystic artes themselves. The Divine Skills of this game often had extremely tedious conditions to fulfill before enabling their use. These may include a required chain of attacks which must be completed within a two-second time frame, or lengthy formulas to determine how much an attack must be used before its extension is enabled.
Timing is especially critical when performing any Divine Skill - sometimes the required buttons must be pressed during a precise instant during a specific attack, and there is little to no margin for error. There is no singular way for triggering each of the Divine Skills, with next to no hints on how to obtain them in the first place, save for Reid Hershel's Divine Aurora Artes: Aurora Wall, Aurora Sword, and Aurora Wave. This makes all Divine Skills difficult to replicate without practice, but they are especially rewarding to watch when activated successfully.
For example, to use Reid's Dragon Demon Chaos requires the following from the player:
- Omega Demon Chaos used [160 - ((total number of basic hits and skills that are chained together before starting this extension) x 30)] times or more.
- the targeted enemy must have a total of [2000 + (total number of times Omega Demon Chaos has been used)] HP or less
- press the during Omega Demon Chaos's final slash before landing on the ground.
- Fatal Fury used 30+ times.
- Chi used [330 - (50 x (total number of basic hits and skills that are chained together before starting this extension))] times or more.
- press the Chi's final strike. during
Reid's Aurora Wall requires the player to press the final boss's Dark Aurora Artes, which are to be considered mystic artes in their own right.when his is at critical levels, and Aurora Sword extends from this by pressing the before the final jump. Aurora Wave requires the player to press the same combination for Aurora Wall in response to the
Keele and Meredy's Greater Craymel summons work by casting spells derived from the Greater Craymel's particular element until their vitality is at its maximum, indicated by flashing words across the screen and the word MAX next to the caster's name. Vitality will decrease if either caster uses the element of the Greater Craymel that is in direct opposition to the intended summon. Upon reaching "MAX Vitality", the player can activate the summon like a normal arte with instant activation without casting delay, though the Greater Craymel's vitality returns to 0 after use.
Cress Albane, in the Inferia Arena, retains his ability to use Final Justice once his HP reaches a certain point, easily allowing him to reduce Reid's HP to 1 but will not knock him out. He shares the Burning Phoenix extension to Rising Phoenix with Reid, and he will use Eternal Blade to counter being targeted by Reid's Dragon Demon Chaos.
Tales of Destiny 2
In Tales of Destiny 2, the mystic arte system is modified further with the introduction of Spirits Blaster Mode, the predecessor of the Over Limit system. All of the mystic artes in this game are extensions of arcane artes or advanced spells, requiring specific passive skills to be equipped. This is the first game to use the term "hi ougi" officially, though the game uses this term to refer exclusively to the mystic artes that extend from physical attacks, as they are considered to be "hidden arcane artes". Although any mystic arte can be activated whenever the character has 100 SP, Spirits Blaster Mode provides a status of infinite SP for a limited time, enabling the use of any mystic arte without the need for SP-enhancing equipment or Skill Enchants.
The three mostly melee characters, Kyle Dunamis, Loni Dunamis, and Judas, can extend any of their arcane artes with the Skill Enchant "Hi Ougi" (秘奥義?) equipped once all requirements are met. The two mostly caster characters, Reala and Harold Berselius, can do the same with their advanced spells with "Gugenkesshou" (具現結晶?) equipped, allowing them to call forth the Spirit related to that spell's element. Nanaly Fletcher is a special case, since she has only one mystic arte, which can extend from any spell that has an extension, specifically any novice or intermediate spell in her movelist, if the Skill Enchant "Tsuika Shoujutsu" (追加晶術?) is equipped, replacing their original extensions. And while anyone else can use their mystic arte outside of Spirits Blaster Mode, Nanaly is the only character who requires it.
All mystic artes in this game are activated by holding theduring the arcane arte or spell to be extended. The final strike of the preceding attack must stagger an enemy to extend into the mystic arte. This is a significant improvement over the system in Tales of Eternia, allowing a player to hold down a button instead of perfectly timing a single press, allowing the timing issue to be less of a concern.
If Kyle uses a mystic arte against Rimul Aileron in the arena, she will respond with Sol Bright. Likewise, Magnadeus will counter with Aqua Rimms if any mystic arte is used against him. In the PlayStation Portable version of final battle with Barbatos Goetia, any mystic arte will be answered with Luna Shade. The PlayStation Portable port features optional battles with some of the characters from the first Tales of Destiny. They each use one of their Blast Calibers, usually once their HP is reduced to a certain point. Leon Magnus will use two; one is the traditional method where HP falls to a certain point and is then executed, and the other is Majin Rengokusatsu, which he will use in response to any character's mystic arte.
Tales of Symphonia
When the original GameCube version of Tales of Symphonia was released, it featured mystic artes for only three characters, Lloyd Irving, Genis Sage, and Colette Brunel, referring to the attacks as Hidden Lv. 3 Special Skills in the localized game. Sheena Fujibayashi's summons, excluding Summon: Corrine, functioned in a similar way. The ported version for the PlayStation 2 features mystic artes for all playable characters, in addition to certain enemies.
Much like Tales of Eternia, this game features several different methods to activate the Hidden Lv. 3 Special Skills. These range from casting a specific spell while Over Limit status is active, which is rare in itself due to the mechanics of the Over Limit system in this game, to activating a certain attack while a passive EX Skill is in effect. The mystic arte Crimson Devastation is especially notorious for its extreme restrictions, which include having Presea Combatir remain as the last party member who is not knocked out during battle. Enemies will also use their own Hidden Special Skills as their HP depletes, although Abyssion will always open a battle with Divine Judgment in the PlayStation 2 and subsequent versions.
Tales of Rebirth
The mystic artes in Tales of Rebirth, called Fusionic Force Finality (秘奥義?), are all battle finishers, and they could be activated only if there is only one enemy left, and if it could not survive the attack. All of the mystic artes require two characters, one melee fighter and one spellcaster, and both of them must be in the active party. Finality Charge Break must then be activated, by increasing the "Finality Charge" gauge through the activation of Latent Abilities during battle, similar to the way the Over Limits gauge is increased in Tales of Symphonia.
During battle, these mystic artes are labeled with the term "Finality", representing the only official translation of "hi ougi" by the Japanese developers. The extensions for Dual the Sun require the use of three characters in the active party, Mao, Eugene Gallardo, and Hilda Rhambling. Although Dual the Sun by itself is activated with either Eugene or Hilda, the extensions can be activated only if Hilda initiated the mystic arte. Specific controller button combinations must be pressed during the animations of each extension, alternating between the controllers associated with Hilda and Mao. The PlayStation Portable port of this game alters this system significantly, due to the lack of multiplayer functionality, forcing all button combinations to be input as Hilda.
Tales of the Abyss
Tales of the Abyss is the first game where the term "mystic arte" is used in localized media. The characters' initial mystic artes can only be performed when the character using them is in a state of Over Limit, after learning and equipping the "Special" AD Skill. The player must then launch any arcane arte, or high-level fonic arte, or Fonic Hymn while holding down the . If the final strike of the attack connects with an enemy, regardless of if it staggers or not, the character will chain the attack into his or her mystic arte.
The characters' second mystic artes reflect the former days of varied requirements or conditions, such as having met certain arte usage counts, HP thresholds, specific weapons, and even methods of input. They all require the player to have completed the game at least once. For example, Tear Grants's Fortune's Arc can be used in place of Innocent Shine, her first mystic arte, if she has mastered all of her Fonic Hymns and uses Judgment as her trigger spell of choice during Over Limit. On the other hand, Luke fon Fabre's Lost Fon Drive requires the player to press the "X" (), "Circle" (), and "Square" () buttons in the PlayStation 2 version, or the "A", "B", and "Y" buttons in the Nintendo 3DS version, while Over Limit is active and Luke is at critical health, while he is equipped with the Key of Lorelei.
Enemies can use their own mystic artes, following the tradition of being able to use them once their HP reaches certain thresholds. The characters in the Baticul Coliseum will also use mystic artes, although they are known as Divine Skills in the localized game, in homage to the original term used in Tales of Eternia.
Tales of Vesperia
In Tales of Vesperia, mystic artes can only be activated by having the character equip the "Special" skill and holding the "Attack" button while performing any arcane arte, advanced spell, or burst arte during Over Limit Level 3 or higher. The last hit of an arcane arte must stagger the enemy for the mystic arte to work. Enemies can also use mystic artes, again as their HP drops. Flynn Scifo, on the other hand, will only use Radiant Dragon Fang initially in response to Yuri Lowell using his mystic arte, though he will use it without warning afterwards. The Killer of Heroes's No Items Ever! activates after the player uses an item.
In the PlayStation 3 and Definitive Edition versions of the game, all of the returning playable characters, including Flynn, obtain a second mystic arte. As with older games, there are more requirements for these new mystic artes, such as equipping a special weapon or using various artes a certain amount of times. Rather than activating at Level 3 or higher Over Limit, these mystic artes require a Level 4 Over Limit status, as well as triggering through holding both the "Attack" and "Artes" buttons. Yuri and Flynn also obtain a third mystic arte in the port which can only be used with both of them are in battle together. Fittingly for their third mystic arte, the requirements are even stricter than before and require them the player to hold the "Attack", "Artes", and "Guard" buttons.
Tales of Hearts
Mystic artes in Tales of Hearts are referred to as Combination Blasters. They are used by holding down the after using an arte while the passive skill "Special" is equipped. Enemies can also use Combination Blasters.
Tales of Graces
In Tales of Graces, mystic artes are mostly under the rule of the Eleth Gauge after being learned through the mastery skills of certain titles. As the player fights well, the blue Eleth Gauge rises, and when it fills completely, the player enters Eleth Burst. In Eleth Burst, the Eleth Gauge is replaced by a mystic arte gauge which fills up as attacks are performed. The mystic arte can stock up to three levels, referring to the playable characters' three mystic arte levels. During Eleth Burst, if the "A" and "B" buttons, the "L" button on the Classic Controller, or the "L1" button on the PlayStation 3 version, are pressed after staggering the enemy, the highest available mystic arte will be used. The opposing system to Eleth Burst, Eleth Break, is for enemies. For certain enemies, if Eleth Break is reached and they stagger a player character, they will perform their own mystic artes on the player.
There are also other titles for each mystic arte that allow mystic artes to be activated outside of Eleth Burst. These require the player to build up a string of combos: 25 for Level 1, 50 for Level 2, and 75 for Level 3, before the mystic arte can be activated. Mystic artes can only be activated this way once per level per battle, regardless of character. The exceptions to this are Richard, who only has one mystic arte in the Wii version, and Sophie, who has Fire Dragon Rampage as an homage to Farah Oersted with its unique activation through the use of Deadly Force followed by a combo chain. The PlayStation 3 version includes another unique mystic arte used by Malik Caesar, known as Malik Beam, which can be activated after using Sonic Mount during Eleth Burst.
In the PlayStation 3 version of the game, Richard can obtain his Level 2 and Level 3 mystic artes during the post-game chapter "Lineages and Legacies". Additionally, all of the playable characters, including Richard, also obtain a fourth mystic arte, known as "Accel Finality", through the new system known as Accelerate Mode. To use these new options, each character must obtain the "Accel" skill and learn the mystic arte itself through title mastery skills. Rather than activating at Eleth Burst or through combo activation, these mystic artes can only be activated if the "Accel Gauge" is full, indicated by the word "MAX". When Accelerate Mode is activated, the player can press "L1" to perform the mystic arte.
Dual the Sol and its extensions also return as the mystic artes of the final boss of the "Lineages and Legacies" chapter. The attack activates without needing Eleth Break to be active, initiating automatically upon reaching critical health. Specific controller button combinations must be pressed during the animations of each extension, using the same button inputs that are required for the extensions in Tales of Eternia. If the player fails to continue the extension, it will deal heavy damage to all characters while summoning multiple Little Queen enemies at the same time. If the player succeeds in activating all extensions, Blue Earth is activated by all party members, countering all damage and defeating the final boss instantly, while providing bonus EXP, SP, and Gald at the end of battle.
Tales of Xillia
Tales of Xillia returns to the use of mystic artes activated as extensions to specific artes, as they had been in Tales of Destiny 2. These key artes are considered to be arcane artes, but due to the combo system that enables chaining of all artes in any order, the arcane artes have no effect on chaining order. All characters obtain one arcane arte through the Lilium Orb, after gaining enough GP to reach the second orb and increase its rank to the second node. This arcane arte is then used while Over Limit mode is active, and the associated mystic arte is activated if the "Attack" button is held during the arcane arte.
While most characters have only one mystic arte, Milla Maxwell and Jude Mathis share a dual mystic arte which can be activated using either character, again relying on a specific arcane arte which is obtained after a game is completed at least once, if a clear save file exists on the player's profile. However, the Over Limit mode of this game actually requires at least two party members who can participate in battle and receive the benefits of Over Limit at the same time, due to its integration into the linked arte system. Because of this, it becomes impossible to perform mystic artes during battles when a character is fighting solo, in spite of the artes being fully solo attacks.
Tales of Xillia 2
Mystic artes return in Tales of Xillia 2. In order to perform both single and linked mystic artes in battle, the party requires to be under the effects of Over Limit and a member in question to be equipped with the skill "Special." Special allows to activate mystic arte of either the player-controlled character or their link partner: in order to activate the player-controlled character's mystic arte the player is required to hold the "Attack" button, while to activate his or her link partner's mystic arte the player is required to hold the "Attack" button while the L1 button is being pressed.
Jude and Milla can perform their linked mystic arte from the first game, but to do so requires the completion of Bonus Episode which grants the two characters the "Xillia Special" skill. Activating this linked mystic arte requires the both characters to have Xillia Special equipped, be linked together, and pressing R2 during the Over Limit mode. Linked mystic artes that Ludger can perform with other playable characters requires similar requirements to be met, although Ludger's partner requires to be equipped with "Special Linked Artes" skill. Few of the linked mystic artes that Ludger can perform can have their names changed. Human characters as well as Chronos and Maxwell have access to their own mystic artes.
Tales of Zestiria
The Blast Gauge is the governing force behind use of several artes, including mystic artes, in Tales of Zestiria. There are several ways of obtaining mystic artes: completing storyline events, subevents, leveling titles, or in case of Alisha Diphda, Mikleo, and Lailah, via downloadable content. During the final battle, the Armatus mystic artes gain an upgraded form. All mystic artes cost 3 BG or more and strike the target multiple times.
Tales of Berseria
The Blast Gauge is the governing force behind the use of few aspects of the Liberation-LMBS, including mystic artes, in Tales of Berseria. Each playable character has three mystic artes, with several second mystic artes being cameo or serving as a reference to previous mystic artes. There are also three dual mystic artes between between three different pairs of characters. All mystic artes cost 3 BG or more and usually strike the target multiple times. Learning characters's second mystic artes grant them 1 BG, while the third requires them to defeat a boss and trigger off of their strongest Break Soul or break arte. Once certain potentites have been obtained, pairs of characters can perform Dual Mystic Artes (協力秘奥義 Kyouryoku Hi Ougi?, Cooperation Mystic Artes) during Switch Blasts between them.
Appearances in Escort Titles
Tales of the World: Narikiri Dungeon 2 and Narikiri Dungeon 3
In both Tales of the World: Narikiri Dungeon 2 and Narikiri Dungeon 3, there are certain artes which can only be activated if the character has less than a certain amount of HP, most of which are mystic artes in their own right in other games. The game refers to them as Kyuukyokugi (究極技?, "Ultimate Techniques").
Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology
Mystic artes in Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology can be used by both the player character and his or her mercenary allies. The player needs to master all of his or her techniques in order to use it, while the mercenary allies need only to reach level 45. All mystic artes must be performed in Over Limit mode; melee characters extend their mystic artes from their arcane artes by holding the , while spellcasters use them in place of their spells, and those with both spells and melee artes can activate them using either option.
Tales of the Tempest
Even though there are no actual mystic artes in Tales of the Tempest, there is still a type of arte that can only be used under certain circumstances. Two of the main characters can transform into lycanthropic beasts called Leymon through the arte Juujinka, after their HP drops to below 50%, and when they do their attack power is greatly heightened. Their form lasts either until they run out of TP or until the battle ends. This transformation would become the mystic arte for Caius Qualls in Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2 and Tales of VS., named Beast Blow based on the name of the arte that can be activated only while the characters are in their transformed state.
Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World
In Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, mystic artes can be used if the character has the passive skill "Special" equipped, and if the Unison Attack bar is full. They are activated by holding down the B button during the final hit of a fully executed arcane arte, or with a high tier spell. If a character has both "Ability Plus" skills equipped, holding B during the first arcane arte in a combo chain will activate the arte that is set to the B button, preventing the activation of a mystic arte until a second arcane arte is activated. Enemies are also capable of using mystic artes, usually when their HP depletes. The exception is Richter Abend's Eternal Recurrence, which he will use in response to Emil Castagnier's Ain Soph Aur.
Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2
The mystic artes of Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2 are unlocked once the character reaches Level 45, and they can be used only during Overlimits mode. Melee characters can activate them through their arcane artes by holding the , while spell casters use it in place of their magic artes. For characters with both types, their arte pages specify which type of arte is required for the mystic arte. Enemies can also use their mystic artes while they are in Overlimits mode, while Barbatos Goetia's No Items Ever! will activate after the player uses an item, without requiring Overlimits.
Tales of VS.
Mystic artes in this game are obtained by a character when he or she accumulates 2500 Grade Points. The attack, like most other games, is not seen on the arte list. Instead, they are activated by holding the while an arcane arte is used during Over Limit. Spellcasters, however, are required to cast a high tier spell instead of an arcane arte. This will take longer, although if the Over Limit runs out before the spell is finished, the mystic arte will still be activated. The exception to this rule is Barbatos Goetia's Item nazo Hirotten ja nee, which cannot be manually activated. Instead, an opponent has to pick up an item while Barbatos is in Over Limit. This mystic arte has the unique property of not ending the overlimit, and thus is capable of being activated multiple times within the duration of one overlimit, so long as opponents continue to pick up items.
Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 3
The way of activating mystic artes in Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 3 is virtually identical to its predecessor Radiant Mythology 2. In contrast previous games in the subseries, all playable characters now have access to mystic artes. However, there is an alternative to Over Limit in this game, called Radiant Drive, which does not allow a character to use mystic artes in exchange for allowing them to string combos together at will. The mystic artes of Sheena Fujibayashi and Suzu Fujibayashi are locked until certain quests are completed.
Tales of the Heroes: Twin Brave
In Tales of the Heroes: Twin Brave, mystic artes are purchasable for 10,000 Gald right from the start for any character. To activate them, the player must press the "L" and "R" buttons during Overlimits mode. Additionally, if the current partner also has access to a mystic arte, the player can press the "TRIANGLE" () button during an executing mystic arte to activate the partner's. Because of this game's mechanics, players can retain some degree of control of the character during the arte, allowing them to choose movement direction even as it is executing.
Appearances in Mobile Titles
Tales of Asteria
In Tales of Asteria, mystic artes are tied to a particular version of character; either that character has one or does not. If the character has one, they gain an Overlimits gauge during battle, which increases as the character performs hits or through various bonuses in either version of battle. Once the gauge is filled, the player can activate the mystic arte before or after any of the player's attacks and can even activate multiple mystic artes at the same time. The potency of the mystic arte increases through use, and there is a quest bonus for defeat the last enemy with a mystic arte.
Tales of Link
In Tales of Link, mystic artes are equipped and upgradable items that take an item slot in the inventory. Once equipped, the character can use it during battle if the appropriate conditions are fulfilled; this is indicated with a red aura around the character. To use it, the player must link all nine current characters into one link, with the link terminating on the character to use the mystic arte.