|Game||Tales of Legendia|
|Hometown||Village of the Ferines|
|Height||5'1" / 154 cm|
|Weight||90 lbs / 41 kg|
|Japanese Voice Actor||Ryou Hirohashi|
|English Voice Actor||Carrie Savage|
|Character Designer||Kazuto Nakazawa|
Mikiko Ichinose (Merines design)
Shirley Fennes (シャーリィ・フェンネス Shaari Fennesu?) is the female lead of Tales of Legendia, and purportedly Senel Coolidge's younger sister. At the beginning of the story, Shirley is shown to constantly attempt to protect her Senel from the dangers faced in the course of his work with the marines of the Holy Alliance, though Shirley possesses a unique body chemistry that causes her to fall ill should she come in contact with salt air or sea water, rendering her ill-suited to such a task.
Damsel in Distress
The first several chapters of Tales of Legendia have Shirley being somebody's captive: first Moses Sandor, then Vaclav Bolud and his minions. Though Senel and his party are successful in rescuing Shirley from Moses, Senel's distrust of the party leads him to take Shirley and break off from the others. In doing so, they are intercepted by Vaclav, and Shirley is once again captured. She is moved between several sites, with the ultimate goal of using her to fire Nerifes Cannon upon rival kingdoms on the Mainland.
While incarcerated at the Hidden Fortress used by the Crusand forces aboard the legacy under Vaclav, Shirley befriends Fenimore Xelhes, who reveals that Vaclav is torturing Ferines to determine their suitability to be used as ammunition for the Nerifes Cannon, a deadly weapon sleeping aboard the Legacy that draws its power from the Ferines themselves. During their transfer to the Ruins of Frozen Light, an altercation between the escort, Senel's party, and Moses's bandits results in Shirley and Fenimore being freed, though they are pursued into the Waterways by the Crusand Military under the command of Melanie. Melanie herself separates Senel from Shirley yet again, flooding one of the pathways upon which Senel's party is currently walking. Shirley and Fenimore are later approached by Walter Delques, who, seeking to perform his duty as the head of the Merines's personal guard, wishes to help the two Ferines escape.
Later, Walter is shown to bow in deference to Shirley, addressing her as "Merines", a title given to the one who hears the voice of Nerifes and is, therefore, the de facto leader of the Ferines. When the three Ferines are nearly discovered by the Crusand forces, Shirley turns herself over rather than allowing Walter and Fenimore to be captured alongside her. Once in Vaclav's custody, Shirley is finally brought to the Ruins of Frozen Light, where she is made to translate an ancient slab hinting to the Nerifes Cannon, but not giving any explicit instructions relating to its operation.
It is soon revealed that her sister, Stella, who has been presumed dead until this point, is not only alive but being held in suspended animation inside a hollow crystal, and that it was she who brought Shirley and Senel to the Legacy and that it is she who currently controls the ship. Shirley is forced to activate the Legacy's Bridge, the structure that enables the use of the Nerifes Cannon, and while Senel's party manages to reach Shirley and Vaclav, the latter easily defeats Senel's party and escapes with Shirley once more. Senel is saved by a golden light, which is later revealed to have been the light of Stella's Teriques and carried into the Forest of No Return while Shirley herself is forcibly taken to the bridge.
After Senel's party departs the Forest of No Return, the party is encountered by Maurits, the leader of the Ferines village aboard the Legacy, who then explains the events that have transpired since Shirley was forced to activate the bridge. This ultimately results in an alliance between the Ferines under Maruits and the Holy Rexalian Empire, represented by Will Raynard as an emissary of Her Excellency the Holy Sovereign, to defeat the Crusand forces aboard the Legacy and to rescue Shirley and Stella before they can be used to power the Nerifes Cannon.
Though Shirley is held in high regarded as Merines, it is later revealed that she is in fact a failed Marines, who, having purposefully failed the Rite of Accession, thereby rejecting the voice of Nerifes, does not yet possess the power to control the Legacy at will, but rather is only able to do so erratically and often not at all when under great pressure. This failure is later stated by Shirley to have been of her own choosing, as, were she to have succeeded, her consciousness would have been bound to that of Nerifes, and, though she is later shown to retain her own will, and, once playable, is able to summon the power of the same, she realized that she would kill Senel, with whom she had fallen in love with. As a result of this failure, Shirley fell into a coma from which she was revived by means of the Tear of the Sea, in addition to acquiring her lingering intolerance of seawater and sea breezes, though in retrieving the gem Senel and Stella had inadvertently drawn the Crusand forces to the Village of the Ferines, initiating the flight of Senel and Shirley to an unnamed land in which Senel would find work as an Alliance Marine.
At the Bridge of the Legacy, Vaclav initiate to charge the Nerifes Cannon with Stella and Shirley's life source. When Shirley attempts to stop the Nerifes Cannon from firing, she is entirely unable to command her powers, and, in her stead, it is Stella who diverts the blast from the cannon in sending her enhanced Teriques to absorb the force of the blast, though she does so at the cost of the destruction of her Teriques and, therefore, at the cost of her life. During the final moments of her sister's life, Shirley uses the remainder of her brooch's power to wake Stella long enough for her to tell Shirley her power exists to save others.
As the Merines
Following her rescue from Vaclav, Shirley goes with the Ferines to their village. At first she claims to go with them to provide emotional support, as even without full mastery over her abilities, a Merines still has significant social influence. However, as Maurits Welnes and others would mention, it is implied that Shirley chose to re-attempt the Rite of Accession, cleverly disguised as a "simple purification ritual" when described to Senel's party. Having been rejected by Senel the night before, Shirley throws herself entirely into the role of the Merines, believing that doing so would fulfill her responsibility to her peers as well as Stella's dying wish. Still, Shirley has difficulty securing Nerifes's cooperation, leading onlookers to wonder if she will fail again.
The Rite is disrupted when a unit from the Holy Kingdom of Gadoria invades the Altar of the Sea and kills several of the observers and guardians, including Fenimore, but the trauma of Fenimore's death is enough to complete the Rite as signaled by her hearing the voice of Nerifes. Once Senel's party arrives, Shirley states that she will no longer carry on the illusion of pretending to be Senel's sister, and takes back the "blessings of Nerifes" literally, by revoking the ability of Orerines to use any kind of Eres. Before Walter and Maurits are able to finish off Senel's party, the latter is swept away to the entrance, and Shirley departs for the Mirage Palace to prepare to activate the Wings of Light.
While connected to Nerifes, Shirley gains some degree of omniscience as she is able to sense the party's location. However, she restrains Walter from attacking the party at the Ice Monument; first by recalling him and then resorting to forcibly carrying him away via Teriques. When Senel's party comes to the Palace, it becomes clear that Shirley's connection to Nerifes is not perfect, either because it is Raging Nerifes, or because of Shirley's wavering feelings, or both, as Senel's presence disturbs her seemingly-firm resolve. Though Shirley threatens to kill Senel if he approaches and claims that the only way to stop her is to kill her, her powers fail again and her emotional state causes her to disconnect from Nerifes. But when it seems that all is well, Maurits arrives and reveals Senel's prior association with Vaclav, leading Shirley to doubt Senel's sincerity or that there can be any real understanding between Ferines and Orerines, and she reinstates her connection to Nerifes, thus activating the Wings of Light. Shirley and Maurits then depart for the newly-risen physical structure of the same name.
Senel's party follows Shirley to the Wings of Light, as to let her continue uninterrupted would bring about the Cataclysm that would cover the world in seawater. By now, it would appear that Shirley has given herself entirely to Nerifes as she does not hesitate to use force in dissuading Senel and his party from approaching, but Senel's persistence in reaching out to Shirley ultimately convinces her to willfully disconnect herself from Nerifes. Maurits is enraged at Shirley's "betrayal" and attempts to take her place so he can finish the Cataclysm, but cannot handle the sheer amount of power that the Raging Nerifes imbues him with. Though Shirley does not participate in the final battle, she is still imbued with the same power that the Quiet Nerifes supplies to the rest of the party. After the battle, while the party beholds the calm sea, Senel falls off the edge due to his injuries, and Shirley dives after him. Shirley's internal commentary suggests that in doing so she initiated the Rite of Feriyen, effectively the Ferines wedding proposal ritual.
In her Character Quest, Shirley becomes a playable character, the last to join the party. Though disconnected from Nerifes, she did not entirely lose power as a Merines as she would learn her own flavor of Crystal Eres. Her role as the Merines is now primarily in the capacity of an ambassador, or peacemaker, as when she is directly traveling with the party she is working to mend relations between Ferines and Orerines. Though Shirley does not have her own Character Quest, she still has a subplot-line involving Fenimore's twin sister Thyra Welzes, who is resentful of Shirley for having caused Fenimore's death.
Despite not having her own Character Quest, there is still a "Dark Shirley". This incarnation of Shirley's dark side "that gave into weakness" is encountered in tandem with "Dark Senel" inside the Cradle of Time. These two are the last of the dark incarnations created by Schwartz, though Dark Senel's existence appears to entirely be in a capacity as a guardian to Dark Shirley. Shirley also plays a great role in Chloe's Character Quest and Jay's Character Quest. In Chloe's, it was Shirley who changed her mind about going back to Gadoria by slapping her. Later on the two become good friends after they talked about their feelings for Senel. In Jay's, she was kidnapped by him and taken to Mirage Palace where they were later saved by the Oresoren. This is also when Shirley heard of Jay's secret from Solon, that he wants a family, and she convinced him that he was not alone and that they should go back to the others together.
During the Character Quest, Shirley goes through some deep character development. At first she comes off as the typical sweet girl of the bunch, but she also shows some signs of being somewhat playfully violent and seems to be as sarcastic as Jay at times. Her little mean side can be seen when she pinched Norma hard during the Interlude because she would not wake up, when she got extremely mad at Senel because she thought he slept with Grune, when she threatened to use her Crystal Eres on Norma if she were to sleep in Senel's house, when she slapped Chloe, and when she playfully teased Jay that she would tell the others his secret. In a general sense, she opens up a lot to the other characters and becomes very close to Chloe and Norma who, in turn, start teasing each other as well as Senel and the others.
Appearance and Personality
Although she is calm and quiet, giving those around her the mistaken impression that she is frail, Shirley is, in fact, quite stubborn and, upon reaching a decision on a course of action, is nearly impossible to dissuade. During the Main Quest, she is shy and quiet and only wants to interact with Senel. Due to losing all her powers due to the failure of her first Rite of Ascension, Shirley cannot fight and thus cannot protect herself, resulting in numerous kidnappings. As the Merines, Shirley appears to possess a much colder personality, to the point where even her voice comes off as being rather monotone. She becomes a much more open character in the later half of the game, interacting with other characters in the party other than Senel. By doing so, Shirley has become stronger and much more trusting of other people.
Shirley is a Crystal Eren, making her roughly the equivalent of a spellcaster, though she learns the fewest Crystal Eres of any Crystal Eren in the game and possesses the lowest intelligence among them. Due to her numerous kidnappings and her role as the Merines throughout the main scenario, Shirley only becomes a playable character during the Character Quests.
In combat, Shirley acts as a cross between a spellcaster and a melee fighter by default, though her Crystal Eres are significantly stronger than her physical attacks. She attacks by casting her Teriques out of the pen she carries. Except for Tidal Wave, all of her spells are shared with all the other Crystal Eren, but these spells are stronger variants with wider effect ranges combined with an added pinkish hue to the spell animations. As another unique feature, Shirley can direct the attack pattern of her Teriques after sending it out, altering its movement two more times, similar to any fighter's normal attack combo. This allows her to aim it toward either airborne or ground-bound targets, giving Shirley the ability to act as a more direct disruptor of enemy actions.
Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology
Although Shirley never appears in the game itself, she and Senel were separated when the Devourer attacked while they were at sea. This is Senel's main quest throughout the game, and is moving from all the towns looking for her. At the end of the story, Harold Berselius from Tales of Destiny 2 sees Shirley and tells Senel that she seems to be calling to him. Senel then runs to her in joy, however the player does not physically see her as she is off-screen.
- Like all of the protagonists in Tales of Legendia, save Grune, Shirley's name is derived from literature—in her case, the 1849 novel Shirley by English author, Charlotte Brontë.
- Shirley's nickname from Norma in the English version of the game is "Shirl". In the Japanese version of the game, she is called "Li-chan" (リちゃん Richan?) by Norma and referred to as "My Lamb" by Moses.
- Shirley's second name, Fennes, means "one who prays" in the ancient language, Relares.
- Shirley's "Mascot" costume is a rabbit.