|Tales of Graces|
|Game Systems||•Nintendo Wii|
|Developers||Namco Tales Studio|
|Publishers||Bandai Namco Games|
|Character Designers||Mutsumi Inomata|
|Japanese Releases||Wii December 10, 2009|
PS3 December 2, 2010
|North American Releases||PS3 March 13, 2012|
|European Releases||PS3 August 31, 2012|
|Opening Theme||"Mamoritai: White Wishes" by BoA|
|Ratings||JP CERO: B (recommended 12+)|
NA ESRB: T (Teen, recommended 13+)
EU PEGI: 12+
Tales of Graces (テイルズ オブ グレイセス Teiruzu obu Gureisesu?) is the twelfth Mothership Title in the Tales series for the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3. The first information was revealed in a leaked scan of the weekly Shonen Jump magazine in Japan on April 2, 2009. The character designer for the game is Mutsumi Inomata, despite early rumors that a new artist may be involved with the game.
Tales of Graces was code-named officially as "Tales of Ten" during development, referring to this as the tenth main game produced by Namco Tales Studio. This excludes the Mothership Titles Tales of Legendia and Tales of Innocence from the count since these games were developed internally by Namco through Project MelFes and externally by Alfa System, respectively. The game's characteristic genre translates to "Discovering the Strength to Protect RPG" (守る強さを知るＲＰＧ Mamoru tsuyosa wo shiru RPG?).
Tales of Graces takes place on a planet known as Ephinea. Ephinea relies on large obelisk monuments known as valkines cryas to supply them with eleth. Eleth is the source of life for the people of Ephinea. There are three valkines cryas on Ephinea: Gloandi in Windor, Duplemar in Strahta, and Forbrannir in Fendel. Each produces a specific type of eleth based on the elements of Wind, Water, and Fire, respectively.
Asbel Lhant, Hubert Lhant, and Cheria Barnes are children from Lhant, a village in Windor. One day, the three befriend an amnesiac girl from outside their village whom they name Sophie. That same day, Lhant is visited by Richard, the prince of Windor, who befriends the four of them. Richard returns to Barona, Windor's capital city, and invites them to sneak into his castle via a secret passage. There, the four are mortally wounded by an unknown monster but are saved when Sophie sacrifices herself. Asbel regains consciousness in Lhant and is told about Sophie's death and Hubert's political adoption into the Oswell family to secure Asbel's future as the Lord of Lhant. Daunted over Sophie's death and the political events at home, Asbel runs away from home and enrolls in Barona's knight academy.
Seven years later, Asbel learns from Cheria that his father died defending Lhant from an invasion by Fendel. The two return to Lhant and are saved from Fendel's army by Sophie and later Hubert with the Strahta military. Hubert reveals Strahta has been ordered by Windor to secure Lhant and assumes the position of Lord after banishing Asbel from the village. Hearing rumors of Richard's death, the group investigates and finds him in the castle's secret passage. Richard explains that his father was killed by his uncle, Cedric, who then assumed the throne. The three travel to meet a trusted Duke and are joined by Pascal, a prodigy from an engineering tribe known as the Amarcians. With the Duke's army, the group overthrows Cedric, and Richard regains the throne. Richard then orders an invasion of Lhant to rid it of Strahta's control, forcing the group to betray him.
Acknowledging Hubert's efforts as Lord of Lhant, Asbel and the group, joined by Malik Caesar, travel to Strahta to negotiate with the government and formally instate Hubert as Lord. The government agrees on the pretense that Pascal fix Strahta's valkines, a large crystal that supplies a life-sustaining energy known as eleth. Pascal succeeds, but Richard appears and absorbs the valkines's eleth before fleeing. The group learns that Windor's valkines has also been absorbed and plans to intercept Richard at the final valkines in Fendel. Hubert joins the group as they travel to Fendel but fail to stop Richard. Deducing that the Lastalia, the planet's core, is Richard's target, the group finds Richard there. Richard mortally injures Sophie before sealing the entrance to the Lastalia.
The group is unable to heal Sophie with magic or medicine, so Pascal suggests they travel to Fodra, a nearby planet from where Sophie originates, to find a cure. After finding a space shuttle left by Pascal's ancestors, the group travels to Fodra, where they meet Emeraude, the last remaining human on the desolated planet. Using advanced machinery, Sophie is healed and regains her memories, revealing she is a biological humanoid engineered to defeat Lambda, the monster that attacked them in their childhood and is currently possessing Richard. Emeraude helps the group bypass the barrier on the Lastalia, where they confront and defeat Richard. Emeraude betrays the group and attempts to absorb Lambda's power but dies in the process. Lambda begins to fuse with the Lastalia, causing the group to see his memories and learn about his suffering caused by humanity. The group then defeats the materialized Lambda. Since Lambda cannot be killed by normal means, Sophie intends to sacrifice herself to kill him. Instead, Asbel absorbs and convinces Lambda to let him show humanity's worth. Lambda agrees before falling into a deep sleep.
In the "Lineage and Legacies" story arc, the monster population has become an epidemic, forcing Asbel and his friends to reunite and investigate the cause. Hypothesizing that the eleth from Fodra is influencing the monsters, the group travels there and discovers Fodra's core has reactivated. They learn the core is sentient and wants revenge on humans for Fodra's environmental decay. The group defeats Fodra's soldiers, the Little Queens, and has the reawakened Lambda absorb Fodra's consciousness. In doing so, Lambda returns to his deep sleep in order to dissuade Fodra's hatred. The group separates and returns to their daily lives, concluding with Asbel proposing to Cheria. In the distant future, Sophie shares the group's adventure to Asbel and Cheria's descendant.
Tales of Graces ƒ
The game was also ported to the PlayStation 3 console under the name Tales of Graces ƒ (テイルズ オブ グレイセス エフ Teiruzu obu Gureisesu Efu?), released on December 2, 2010, nearly a year after the original Wii release. The ƒ symbol that is used in the title refers to the word "future", which emphasizes its newly added post-game content. The game includes an additional story arc which takes place six months after the end of the original story and will solve the remaining mysteries of the game featuring a script three quarters as long as the original story line. Other additional contents include additional new story scenes within the original story, improved high definition graphics, new game secrets, new character costumes and new Blast Calibers. The game features new costumes and those from the Wii version. Tales of Graces ƒ also added the Data Install feature to game to cut the load times for speedier play for 4.5 GB.
- Asbel Lhant (アスベル・ラント Asuberu Ranto?) - An 18-year-old knight in training from the Lhant territory in the country of Windor. He initially desires to become a royal knight of Windor to fulfill his desire of protecting others. However, after his father's death, he is called back to Lhant to assume his inherited role as its lord, in spite of the sour thoughts of locals who view him as someone who turned his back on their needs.
- Sophie (ソフィ Sofi?) - A mysterious girl without memories. She was named by Asbel, after the sopheria flower that she had taken a liking to. She values her friendship with Asbel, wanting to protect him from any dangers that arise.
- Hubert Oswell (ヒューバート･オズウェル Hyubato Ozuweru?) - Asbel's younger brother who was adopted into a prominent military family in the rival country of Strahta. Though he was quiet and obedient in his childhood, he has been disciplining his own nature to have persevering strength. He currently holds the rank of Major in Strahta's military.
- Cheria Barnes (シェリア･バーンズ Sheria Banzu?) - The granddaughter of the butler working for the Lhant house. Once sickly at a young age, she grew up to become a fine young woman, skilled in healing artes. She has strong feelings for Asbel, though is too shy to acknowledge it.
- Richard (リチャード Richado?) - The prince of the country of Windor, who has the respect of all of its citizens. When he was a kid, he made a friendship pact with Asbel, and Sophie, sharing a strong bond.
- Malik Caesar (マリク・シザース Mariku Shizasu?) - Asbel's instructor from the knight academy. The eldest of the group, he is frank and composed at all times, being a veteran soldier. Asbel looks up to Malik as his "ideal self".
- Pascal (パスカル Pasukaru?) - A genius technician Asbel meets along the course of his journey. She often uses onomatopoeia to describe things, leaving many confused at her energetic words.
Tales of Graces features a fully traversable overworld in which all fields and towns are scaled proportionately with the character models, similar to the area design in Tales of Hearts. All dungeons, towns, and other locations are connected with detailed location geometry instead of a traditional world map. Enemy groups are visible on field and dungeon areas with distinct shapes.
The battle system used for Tales of Graces is the Style Shift Linear Motion Battle System, commonly abbreviated as SS-LMBS. In this system, characters have two different fighting styles to choose from. The artes of either style are set to both the A and B buttons, and the player is able to switch freely between the styles in battle. Characters are also able to sidestep in increments of a 360-degree circle around the enemy, providing reduced damage and other bonuses if the sidestepping action is timed correctly. In battle, players attack using a modification of the Chain Capacity system first introduced with the PlayStation 2 remake of Tales of Destiny. The free run maneuver which originated in Tales of the Abyss is renewed in this game, but it is limited by draining CC while it is active.
Titles offer status bonuses to the user. Titles primarily allow characters to learn new artes and mastery skills. Titles are acquired in many different ways, some by story scenes, using artes a certain amount, and other certain conditions.
Dualizing is the main form of customization in Tales of Graces. Dualizing involves combining two items to form one better item. Weapons and armor can be dualized with shards dropped by enemies to improve them as well as with special crystals to change them to unique weapons. Food ingredients can be dualized into full-party healing dishes. Finally, loot dropped from enemies can be dualized into more valuable loot, which can sometimes be dualized again into even more valuable loot.
The Eleth Mixer is an improved version of the cooking system that has appeared in earlier games. The Eleth Mixer can be used during battle to heal characters and enhance their powers. The Eleth Mixer naturally grows each time it produces or cooks something. There are 3 different types of items which can be set in the Eleth Mixer:
- Books offer special effects on the field or in battle. These include halving damage, increasing item drop quality, boosting movement speed, improving the Eleth Mixer, and more.
- Food items can be set to the mixer to cook them. Ingredients are not required, the only requirement is that the dish must have been cooked through dualizing at least once. Dishes are cooked during or after battle depending on the conditions specific to that dish.
- All consumable items, loot, and special crystals can be set to the Eleth Mixer to make them. Each item can be made as long as at least one of the item was in the inventory before. Each item has a set chance and cost of being produced by the Eleth Mixer; rarer and more valuable items have a lower chance and require more eleth. This system can be used to counteract the high price of gels and other recovery items.
The "Groovy Chat" is an advanced skit system which is similar to the chat style introduced in Tales of Destiny 2, with the full body character portraits being shown with more movements and emotional poses. Unlike most skits, these chat events tend to appear frequently when the player is near a save point or at certain objects. The Groovy Chat system includes various pop-up "cut-in" images at set points during the chat, which can be anything from super-deformed chibi faces to mystic arte-quality images.
Like the PlayStation 3 port of Tales of Vesperia, DLC is available for both versions of Tales of Graces. A majority of the DLC for the Wii version included extra Aliases for extra character costumes. Tales of Graces ƒ includes more DLC such as new costumes, attachments, items, weapons, and icons. On February 10, 2012, Namco Bandai confirmed that the Tales of Destiny and Tales of Destiny 2 costumes will be coming to the U.S and Canada as GameStop's and EB Games' exclusive pre-order incentive.
At the Tales of 2008 Press Conference it was announced that a Mothership Title was in development for the Wii, though at the time no other details were given. At the Nintendo Autumn 2008 Conference, a trailer for the game was shown, but not to the public. The pre-order DVD for Tales of Hearts would contain the trailer for the game that was shown earlier that year. At Jump Festa 2009, the game was referred to by the codename "Tales of Ten", and was announced to have been in development for nearly two years. The voice work was almost complete, it would have a world similar to medieval Europe and that it would be formally revealed in spring, though no other details were given. In early April, it was first unveiled in Jump with the title Tales of Graces. In the April 10th issue of gaming magazine Famitsu, it was reported that the game was 30% complete. On December 10, 2009, the game was released in Japan.
In July 2010, a port for PlayStation 3 known as Tales of Graces ƒ was announced in the weekly Shonen Jump. A couple of days later, an official site was put on the Internet with an official teaser trailer. In October 2010, an extended trailer was shown at the Tokyo Game Show, which showed new gameplay elements, new Blast Calibers for Asbel and Sophie, and new costumes only in the PlayStation 3 port. The game was released in Japan on December 2, 2010, almost a year after the Wii version release. On March 26, 2013, a version of the game titled Tales of Graces ƒ: Knight Edition was released for North America, which bundled the base game with existing downloadable content.
|Game Title||System||Catalog Number||Release Date||Region|
|Tales of Graces
テイルズ オブ グレイセス
|Nintendo Wii||-||September 25, 2009||Japan (TGS 2009 Demo)|
|Tales of Graces
テイルズ オブ グレイセス
|December 10, 2009
December 10, 2009
February 6, 2010
March 24, 2011
|Japan ("Special Pack")|
Japan (original release)
Japan (bugfix release)
Japan ("Minna no Osusume Selection")
|Tales of Graces ƒ
テイルズ オブ グレイセス エフ
|-||September 16, 2010
October 7, 2010
|Japan (TGS 2010 Demo)|
|Tales of Graces ƒ
テイルズ オブ グレイセス エフ
|December 2, 2010
December 2, 2010
December 3, 2010
March 13, 2012
August 2, 2012
Japan ("Windol-kokuou Shinsho Package")
Japanese ("PlayStation 3 the Best")
|Tales of Graces ƒ: Knight Edition||PlayStation 3||-||March 26, 2013||North America|