|Tales of Zestiria|
|Game Systems|| •PlayStation 3|
(NA/EU release only; distributed by Steam)
|Developers|| •Bandai Namco Studios|
|Publishers||Bandai Namco Games|
|Character Designers|| •Mutsumi Inomata|
|Composers|| •Motoi Sakuraba|
|Japanese Releases|| PS3 January 22, 2015|
PS4 July 7, 2016
|North American Releases|| PS3 October 20, 2015|
PS4 October 20, 2015
PC-Windows (Steam) October 19, 2015
|European Releases|| PS3 October 16, 2015|
PS4 October 16, 2015
PC-Windows (Steam) October 19, 2015
|Opening Theme||"White Light" by Superfly|
|Ratings|| •CERO: B (recommended 12+)|
•ESRB: T (for Teen)
Tales of Zestiria (テイルズ オブ ゼスティリア Teiruzu obu Zesutiria?) is the fifteenth Mothership Title in Tales series. The title was announced on Nico Nico Live on December 12, 2013 as the series's twentieth anniversary title. An English localization was announced despite the game not having been released in Japan at the time of the announcement. Its characteristic genre is "RPG of Passion that Illuminates the World" (情熱が世界を照らすRPG Jonetsu ga Sekai wo Terasu RPG?). On June 7, 2015, during Tales of Festival 2015, it was revealed that the game will receive an anime adaptation done by Ufotable, and it is to air in 2016. A Steam port of the game was announced to be released on October 20, 2015, the same day as the PlayStation 4 version. Tales of Berseria is a distant prequel to Tales of Zestiria.
Tales of Zestiria takes place on a fictional continent named Glenwood. Glenwood is divided between two warring countries: the Hyland Kingdom, which is ruled by a constitutional monarchy, and the Rolance Empire. Existing independently are multiple guilds, which readily profit from the conflict and encompass multiple professions, from transportation to goods manufacture to assassination. Throughout the land, an impurity known as malevolence generated by the negative emotions of humanity periodically transforms the living, the dead, and even inanimate objects into monsters called the hellion, who pose a threat to the world. Along with humans, one of the main races of the world is the seraphim, supernatural humanoids and animals who can only interact with humans with sufficient resonance in them. Though once an abundant people in Glenwood, the seraphim have become scarce.
The people of the world call those who interact with the seraphim Shepherds, and they are both hailed as saviors and feared because of their power. The Shepherds have frequently appeared during times of crisis and entered into common folklore along with the seraphim. Seraphim can also form contracts among themselves, with one dominant figure called a Prime Lord and a number of partners called Sub Lords, who act as supports for them. The game tells the story of the Shepherds during the Era of Chaos, when the hellion are running rampant across Glenwood, attacking both the countryside and cities. Dragons play an important role in both the world lore and main story arc, but do not follow their traditional representation as beings of good and evil or symbolic creatures; rather, they are actually seraphim who are corrupted by malevolence.
The game begins with a young explorer named Sorey and his friend Mikleo, a seraph of Water exploring some nearby ruins when they rescue a girl, Alisha Diphda, and bring her back home to the village of Elysia. Once Alisha departs back home, Sorey and Mikleo have a brief clash with a hellion called Lunarre, and fearing for Alisha's life, they decide to leave the village in search for her. While looking for Alisha's whereabouts, Sorey has an encounter with Lailah, a seraph of Fire and Prime Lord who grants him the power to fight the hellions, thus making of him a Shepherd. After Sorey reunites with Alisha, who is revealed to be a princess to the Hyland Kingdom, she becomes his Squire to fight the hellions by his side, and the group begins traveling the continent purifying the hellions and searching for the main source of the malevolence that plagues the land: the individual known as the Lord of Calamity.
During their travels, Sorey and the others have a short encounter with Zaveid, a rogue seraph of Wind who hunts hellions on his own accord, and befriend Edna, a seraph of Earth who also joins the group. However, Alisha's low resonance with the seraphim takes a toll on Sorey's body, and she is forced to leave the group. However, when a war between Hyland and the neighboring Rolance Empire breaks out, Alisha is used by Hyland's military as a leverage to force Sorey and his friends to take part in a battle, and they reluctantly agree. During the skirmish, Heldalf, the Lord of Calamity himself, appears before Sorey, and he is almost killed, being rescued by an assassin named Rose.
After recovering, Sorey learns that there are four shrines with trials that a Shepherd must accomplish in order to become stronger and decides that he must clear them first in preparation to challenge Heldalf again. In the occasion, it is discovered that Rose has a high level of resonance, and she becomes Sorey's Squire, joining the group along with Dezel, a seraph of Wind who is always by Rose's side, assisting her with a secret agenda. After the group completes the four trials, they fall into a trap by Symonne, a fallen seraph who works under Heldalf. It is then revealed that Dezel's true objective was to enact revenge on Symonne for causing the death of his friends. However, Rose is severely wounded during the battle, forcing Dezel to sacrifice himself in order to protect her, and Zaveid joins the group afterward.
Sorey and his friends then confront the Lord of Calamity once more but discover that something is amiss, as he does not show any intention to kill them immediately. After failing to provoke Sorey, Heldalf attempts to convince him to join his side, prompting the Shepherd to retreat and look for the true reason behind his motives before their final confrontation. In the occasion, it is revealed that the Era of Chaos was initiated when the previous Shepherd turned Heldalf, a Rolance military general at a time, into a cursed, immortal being by infusing him with the seraph Maotelus when he refused to provide aid to his village when it was invaded, filling his life with hatred and turning him into the Lord of Calamity. It was also revealed that two infants from said village, Sorey and Mikleo, were saved and taken in to be raised with the seraphim.
With the truth revealed and understood, the Shepherd and his comrades challenge the Lord of Calamity once again and defeat him once and for all, reverting Heldalf back into his human self and Sorey finally ending his life. Sorey then merges with Maotelus to expel the malevolence from the world and usher in a new era, in which both the seraphim and humans finally live together peacefully. The ending cutscene shows an adult Mikleo exploring unknown ruins and is saved by a Shepherd, presumed to be Sorey, when he falls down a hole.
- Sorey (スレイ Surei?) - A kindhearted man. He has a positive outlook on life. He grew up in Elysia, and due to his high spiritual power, he can see the seraphim. He has a strong fascination with ancient ruins. He wields a one-handed sword in battle and is able to fuse together with a seraph in a process called armatization.
- Mikleo (ミクリオ Mikurio?) - A Water seraph who is childhood friends with Sorey. He is a calm and composed individual. In battle, Mikleo uses seraphic Water artes and a long staff.
- Alisha Diphda (アリーシャ・ディフダ Ariisha Difuda?) - A princess who is the farthest away from inheriting the Hyland throne. She has dedicated her life to that of a knight in order to serve her country. She speaks in both a serious and masculine manner. Alisha fights with a long spear.
- Rose (ロゼ Roze?) - The cheerful mood-maker of the group, armed with two daggers. She is the daughter of a merchant.
- Lailah (ライラ Raira?) - A Fire seraph who has been residing in the Shepherds' Sacred Blade. She forms a contract with Sorey and guides him into becoming one of the legendary Shepherd. She uses seraphic Fire artes and paper in battle.
- Edna (エドナ Edona?) - An Earth seraph who has been living alone on Rayfalke Spiritcrest. She is seemingly apathetic but likes to poke at other people with her words. Edna distrusts humans. She uses seraphic Earth artes and an umbrella in battle.
- Dezel (デゼル Dezeru?) - A Wind seraph who lives in the shadows of human society. He usually acts at his own accord, which makes him an outlaw of the seraphim. He wants to take revenge on the people who had killed his friend. He uses seraphic Wind artes and a pendulum as his weapon.
- Zaveid (ザビーダ Zabiida?) - A man from the seraphim aligned with Wind. He maintains a jovial demeanor and can be seen as a jokester, but when he gets serious, he has no qualms about picking a fight, even with Sorey prior to him joining their party.
Tales of Zestiria is an action role-playing game set in a fantasy world with three-dimensional characters rendered to scale with the areas around them. The game's main world employs an open-world layout in contrast to previous entries in the series. Skits, extra conversations between characters that can be either dramatic or comical, also return: their full-body representation of characters is carried over from Tales of Graces. As in Graces and Tales of Xillia, they are fully voiced. During exploration of the field area between locations and while a specific seraph character is assigned, the player can execute special commands: they are slicing through minor obstacles (all characters), smashing large obstacles (Edna), temporarily shielding themselves from enemy view (Mikleo), igniting special lights in dungeons (Lailah), or teleporting across gaps (Dezel/Zaveid).
A changeable second character accompanies the lead character, and story-relevant or trivial conversations can be initiated with them. Characters all have unique Support Talents, which range from locating treasure chests to monitoring a character's health, which can be leveled up along with the characters. New special abilities for characters are gained by performing sidequests for creatures called normin scattered through the land. Equipment assigned to characters can be given special skills, with one piece of equipment having four skill slots. Certain combinations add additional effects produced by equipment, while some equipment types can only be obtained by fusing two different accessories. A local four-player multiplayer option is also available.
Items such as outfits, weapons, armor, and standard items can be bought and sold at shops across the land. Using a certain shop enough levels it up, unlocking higher-end items. During exploration, players visit various regions under the control of Lord of the Lands, which require the protection of the seraphim. Ensuring this protection gives the player access via the Lords of the Land to abilities such as warping between save points for a fee. Other abilities including various abilities and bonuses unlocked by completing certain objectives in battle and establish further Normin. The player can increase these boons by leveling up the strength of the protection through battles in the area. Players can also rest characters at inns, restoring their health and magic meters.
As with previous titles in the series, Tales of Zestiria uses the trademark action-based Linear Motion Battle System (LMBS). The variant used in Zestiria is called the Fusionic Chain LMBS. Unlike previous entries in the series, which featured a separate battle screen, battles in the open field and environments like towns and dungeons take place in the same space as exploration. These encounters are called "Real Map Battles". The player characters' fighting ability during this battle can be affected by the topography and features such as ponds and rocks. Preemptively attacking enemies also grants the player an advantage during the battle. Like previous entries in the series, the LMBS incorporates special skills called artes and by default an arte-chain is limited to four attacks, with the arte-chain limit for the armatus being three attacks. There are three categories of artes: human characters specialize in martial and hidden artes, while seraph characters use martial and seraphic artes. Characters in the armatus use hidden and seraphic artes, but also utilize Blast Gauge to perform Rejuvenation artes and Banish Blasts.
Alongside standard attacks and artes, characters can cast spells for actions such as healing or attacking enemies. The standard attacks, artes, and spells are governed by a rock-paper-scissors system. Special attacks called mystic artes can be performed and deal high damage, with each character possessing a unique mystic arte. While in battle, characters' status is displayed in special windows on the battle screen: their window shows their current health, their Blast Gauge, which is an energy bar linked to special abilities, and Spirit Chain (SC) gauge, the bar beneath the health display that fuels the ability to link characters and perform special attacks. A high level of SC points grants conditional boons to characters, such as dealing higher damage and faster recovery of SC. Like in previous games, the party's battle performance can be adjusted with the "Strategy" option in either field or battle menu, titles also influence characters' battle performance as well.
Characters have the option to side-step, which is a dodge forward, backward, or to the side, and precisely-timed dodges can allow characters to stagger enemies and fill the SC gauge. The Blast Gauge allows characters to trigger a blast of energy that knocks enemies back and heals injuries. The SC gauge allows for a maximum of four linked attacks, and any remaining points in the gauge can be used for later linked attacks. The order of activation for linked attacks cannot be changed. At the end of battles, if certain requirements are fulfilled, characters can learn skills called Battle Acts, which are abilities that grant the characters advantages in battle, such as being able to run around the field freely.
The characters Sorey and Rose can also perform armatization, which fuses either of them with a chosen seraph partner to produce a powerful hybrid form: this form can perform magical attacks indicative of the element the seraph represents. While in this form, the human character's stats are boosted, and they gain special abilities unique to the fusion: the character can wield a large sword and fire-based magic (Lailah), shoot water arrows using a bow (Mikleo), use stone fists and summon stone pillars (Edna), and gain blade-like wings and summon whirlwinds (Dezel/Zaveid). A character can swap their seraph partners while not in this form, and both characters capable of armatization can be in this form at the same time. If the human character is defeated on the field, activating armatization will resurrect them if their current seraph partner is still active. There is a maximum of four party members allowed in battle, with one seraph being linked to one human at a time as battle-wise seraphim rely on humans to fight. This also limits the number of active battle members if Sorey does not have a Squire accompanying him.
Since the game's release, several sets of costumes were released, ranging from school, cameo, and crossover ones, as well as several boosts to HP, various inventory items, and skits. Only skits are free content, while the rest of the DLC requires payment. On February 12, 2015, a DLC episode titled "Alisha's Story: The Strength of a Knight" was released, concentrating on the events following the game's ending, where Alisha and Rose team up. The story of the episode concentrates on Alisha and what happened to her during her absence from the party. The story begins when, during her journeys, Alisha is attacked by radicals, but is saved by Rose. The radicals also appear to have some connection to hellions. Lailah and Edna also return as party members. The episode gives Alisha a change of outfit, which is also present in her skit images, consisting of a blue attire with a large hat. She also gains a new mystic arte and cut-in to accompany her new look.
- The game carries some medieval themes, featuring location names and themes based on Arthurian legends.
- [JP] Tales of Zestiria (Official Website)
- [JP] Tales Channel (Tales Series Official Website)
- Tales of Zestiria (Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe)
- Tales of Zestiria - The Shepherd's Burden (English Trailer)