|Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike|
|Game Systems||Blu-ray, DVD, UMD|
|Publishers||JP Kadokawa Pictures|
UK Manga Entertainment
|Japanese Releases||October 3, 2009|
|North American Releases||June 26, 2012|
|European Releases||UK December 3, 2012|
|Ending Theme||"Kane wo Narashite" by Bonnie Pink|
Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike (テイルズ オブ ヴェスペリア 〜Ｔｈｅ Ｆｉｒｓｔ Ｓｔｒｉｋｅ〜 Teiruzu obu Vesuperia ~The First Strike~?) is a prequel to the game Tales of Vesperia, and is the first animated feature film in the Tales series. The film was officially announced on February 9, 2009. The film is the first Tales game to have been adapted into an anime film. The film was distributed by Kadokawa Pictures, and produced by Production I.G. lead by animator Kanta Kamei. The film was eventually released on home media on May 28, 2010. An English dubbed version of the film was released in North America on June 26, 2012, by Funimation.
Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike takes place a few years after the end of the Great War before the events in Tales of Vesperia. The previous Emperor had just died and his position remains vacant with no heir appointed before his death, however the world seemingly remains in a state of peace. Utilizing the power of a powerful substance known as aer the people of the planet Terca Lumireis are in an age of discovery and prosperity. The crystallized form of aer which is known as Apatheia, is considered to be a very powerful energy source as it is essential to human life. In order to protect towns from attacks by monsters large amounts of Apatheia are being produced to create barriers around towns.
One day in a deep forest near the town of Shizontania, Yuri Lowell and Flynn Scifo, two knights who have just joined the Niren Corps, together with two of their senior knights and fellow Corps members, Hisca and Chastel Aiheap, are sent on a mission to investigate an abnormal gushing of aer in the area. Though the mission was successful, Flynn reprimanded Yuri on why he acted so rashly in their mission. Yuri only replied that the mission was a success but Flynn still insists that Yuri's actions were wrong. They both got hit by their captain, Niren Fedrock, because they won't stop fighting. He ordered the two of them to clean the area along with Hisca and Chastel. Chris then called Niren, telling him that the yellowing of the trees are coming closer to town, which made Niren worried.
The abnormal gushing of aer has caused forests to wilt and aberrations in the behavior of the local monsters. After their first assignment to help in destroying a monster infestation near the town, Yuri, Flynn, Hisca, and Chastel meet the leader of the local guild, Melzome Kaid, after Yuri starts a bar fight with his guild members. Yuri and Flynn, despite being childhood acquaintances, have a standoffish attitude against each other, with Flynn's stringent adherence to rules and regulation clashing against Yuri's free-spirited and just nature. Through flashbacks, it is revealed that Flynn's personality is attributed to his father, who was once a member of the Imperial Knights himself.
During a battle to defend his hometown, Flynn's father disobeyed his given orders and continued to fight fervently to protect the town. Though his valiant efforts were successful, he perished as a result, leaving not even a body for Flynn and his mother to bury. In sharp contrast, Niren, the captain of the knights stationed in Shizontania, was once dedicated to following the letter of the rules and regulation of the knights. However, he attributes the death of his wife and daughter to this trait, saying that if he had defied orders he may have been able to protect them. Niren confides in Yuri that he has a great deal of respect for what Flynn's father did.
The knights' efforts to repel the monsters around the area prove to be in vain, and their blastias start to malfunction due to the abnormal amount of aer. Niren decides to take steps to protect the town. Despite being called by Commandant Alexei to attend a formal gathering at the imperial capital of Zaphias, Niren sends Flynn in his stead to attend the gathering and to request aid in defending the town. Niren and Chastel leave in search of a "strange blastia expert" named Rita Mordio. Yuri and Hisca are left to care for Lambert, Niren's personal hound, and Repede, Lambert's son.
While Niren succeeds in finding Rita Mordio and obtaining a device with which to return the aer to normal, Yuri and Flynn's assignments end in disaster. Flynn is admonished by Commandant Alexei, and his request for reinforcements to hold Shizontania are denied until the end of the gathering, as the town is viewed as out of the way and thus unimportant. Furthermore, Alexei orders Flynn to tell Niren to stay in the town and not take any actions until reinforcements arrive. Yuri and Hisca assist in defending the town against a strange monster made out of aer, and while they successfully repel the invasion, the monster takes control of Lambert. As Lambert rages out of control, Yuri is forced to kill him in order to protect Hisca, leaving Yuri dispirited.
When Flynn returns from Zaphias, he and Yuri come to blows, as each believes the other had an effortless assignment. Niren, upon recieving the news that reinforcements would not be arriving anytime soon, decides to take the knights to investigate the source of the aer, which he believes to be a fortress at the center of a nearby lake. Flynn disagrees with Niren's decision, viewing it as disobedience of a direct order. Garista, the strategist for the Niren Corps, attempts to dissuade Niren, first directly, then through appealing to Flynn's personality, to no avail. The investigation in the fortress turns out to be more dangerous than originally thought, as the aer begins to turn the fortress into a living weapon to attack the knights. Melzome arrives and assists Niren's group, and the knights make their way into the center of the fortress, where a giant blastia is found to be using the aer.
Niren uses the device given by Rita Mordio to stifle the gushing of aer, but a backlash is caused by the sudden ceasing of aer flow and the blastia explodes, destroying the barrier blastia keeping Shizontania safe, knocking out Chastel, and causing the fortress to begin to crumble. As Niren attempts to carry Chastel to safety, the ground beneath him crumbles. Niren is able to throw Chastel to Yuri, and is stranded in a sinkhole of gushing aer. Despite Yuri's attempts to save him, due to a wound he received during the investigation, Niren is unable to pull himself to safety. Leaving his blastia with Yuri, Niren tells the knights to leave without him. The fortress collapses around him as the knights, as well as Melzome and his guild, are forced to leave Niren behind.
The knights and the entire town mourn deeply over Niren's death, and during the funeral service Yuri tells Flynn that even though Niren sacrificed his life as a result of disobeying orders, he left behind a town full of people willing to live on, much like Flynn's father did when he was a child. At this Flynn openly weeps as the captain's casket is taken away. However, Flynn soon realizes that the blastia used in the fortress where the aer abnormality originated were a specialized type used only by Garista. Yuri and Flynn confront Garista with this information, and Garista reveals that he was attempting to create a new kind of blastia that would give humans total control over aer. Infuriated, Yuri and Flynn attack Garista, who overpowers them with his blastia. However, Yuri uses Niren's blastia to catch Garista off guard and stabs him through the chest, killing him.
In the aftermath, Shizontania is evacuated due to the failure of the barrier blastia, and Jurgis, having been told from the beginning by Niren that Garista was likely behind the current events, overlooks Yuri and Flynn's killing of Garista. Yuri leaves the knights, taking Niren's blastia as a keepsake and bringing Repede along with him, who now carries Niren's pipe in his mouth. After saying his goodbyes to everyone in the town, Flynn sees him off at the gates, and the two share a fond farewell, swearing to meet again one day as Yuri leaves, setting the stage for Tales of Vesperia.
Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike introduces a number of new characters who were not originally shown in the original game, as well as returning ones. The film introduces the main protagonist, Yuri Lowell, as an Imperial Knight; as well as a younger version of Flynn Scifo, Yuri's childhood friend and Imperial Knight. Many other characters from the original game will also be returning such as Repede when he was a puppy, Rita Mordio, Estelle, Raven and Imperial Commandant Alexei.
- Yuri Lowell (ユーリ・ローウェル Yuuri Rooueru?) - One of the main protagonists of the story, Yuri was born and raised in the Lower Quarter of the Imperial Capital, Zaphias. He joined the Imperial Knights due to his great admiration for their ideals in his heart.
- Flynn Scifo (フレン・シーフォ Furen Shiifo?) - One of the main protagonists of the story, Flynn is a childhood friend of Yuri's, as well as a friend to Estelle. He joined the Imperial Knights in order to uphold the law and justice. The two were once childhood friends, brought up in the lower parts of the Empire. Several years later, the two meet once again by chance as they join the knights together.
- Niren Fedrock (ナイレン・フェドロック Nairen Fedorokku?) - The commanding officer of the Nylen Corps. Although he has the aura of a commanding officer, he also exudes that of a friendly middle-aged man. Both Yuri and Flynn are under his command.
- Hisca Aiheap (ヒスカ・アイヒープ Hisuka Aihiipu?) - A female knight who belongs to the Niren Corps, together with her twin sister, Chastel. She is a knight senior to Yuri and Flynn and is the older of the twins. She was earlier seen in the first few character arts released for the movie. She often gets on Yuri's case due to his impulsiveness.
- Chastel Aiheap (シャスティル・アイヒープ Shasutiru Aihiipu?) - A female knight like her twin sister, Hisca, in the Niren Corps. Though she appears to be identical to her sister, her personality is completely different than Hisca.
- Garista Luodur (ガリスタ・ルオドー Garisuta Ruodoo?) - The strategist of the Niren Corps, he often showcases his wisdom in military affairs and especially excels those of others.
- Jurgis (ユルギス Yurugisu?) - The vice captain of the Niren Corps, second in command to Niren.
- Lambert (ランバート Rambaato?) - The official wardog of the Niren Corps, he is also Repede's father.
- Repede (ラピード Rapiido?) - A puppy who acts as the mascot for the Niren Corps, and is always carrying something in his mouth.
- Troy Baker and Sam Riegel are the only English voice actors from the game to reprise their roles.
- "Funimation Picks Up North American Rights to Vesperia Movie" / Tales Union / (2011-04-02) Retrieved on 2011-07-23.
- "New Tales of Vesperia Movie Scans - Info on New Characters" / Abyssal Chronicles / (2009-07-09) Retrieved on 2009-08-25.