Tales of Phantasia

From Academic Kids

Tales of Phantasia (or sometimes Tales of Fantasia) (Japanese: テイルズ オブ ファンタジア) is a Super Famicom game created by Namco and released in 1995.

Tales of Phantasia launched the popular Tales RPG series which has since become the third most successful in Japan, after Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy although it has yet to rival those series in America.
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Tales_of_Phantasia_Battle_Screenshot.jpg
A screenshot of a battle (fan-translated English Super Famicom version)
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TalesofPhantasiaBattleScreenGBA.png
A screenshot of a battle (Game Boy Advance version)
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TalesofPhantasiaBattleScreenPSOne.png
A screenshot of a battle (Sony PlayStation version)

Namco has deliberately kept this game Japan-only, believing that Namco of America would not make enough money off of the game to warrant its publishing. However, the Super Famicom (SFC) version of the game was unofficially translated into English, French, Spanish, Norwegian, Dutch, Swedish, Brazilian Portuguese, and Finnish (by various online translation groups under the supervision of DeJap Translations who made the English version).

Tales of Phantasia was developed by Wolf Team, written and programmed by Yoshiharu Gotanda, and scored by Motoi Sakuraba and Shinji Tamura. It was the first SFC game to be 48MBit in size and was also the first to feature streamed audio voices, made possible by sound programmer Hiroya Hatsushiba. The fan translators did not dub the voices, adding authenticity to the gameplay.

Tales of Phantasia was remade three years later for the Sony PlayStation (PSX). The remake was released only a few months after the sequel Tales of Destiny had been released. The remake runs on an enhanced Tales of Destiny engine and benefits from all the enhancements and refinements to the gameplay it had to offer. In addition, it gave birth to many new features still seen (and being improved upon) in modern sequels today, such as cooking, titles, event voice-acting, voice-acted face skits, and the ability to control any party member (as well as take Cless, the hero, out of the fighting party). Many other changes such as adding a fully animated opening sequence, new sidequests, new spells, a new summon, a new playable character, and a more generous battle encounter rate were also made.

In 2003, Tales of Phantasia was ported to Nintendo's Gameboy Advance handheld system. This version combines various elements from both the original SFC and PSX versions. The sprites and battle graphics were from the PSX version, while the opening credits sequence, map, and field graphics are from the SFC version. The GBA version features a handful of original additions and sidequests, and many, but not all of the additions made to the PSX version.

Of the three versions released, long-time, hardcore Tales series fans generally consider the PlayStation remake of Tales of Phantasia to be the superior version.

Tales of Phantasia is regarded as a gaming gem and an import classic by some RPG fans, because it is a quality game but is not well-known by average gamers (since it was never released outside of Japan. It had some of the most impressive graphics ever produced on the SNES/SFC, a memorable soundtrack, and an innovative battle system (Linear Motion Battle System, a real time battle system similar to Street Fighter) that distinguished it from all other RPGs of the time.

Tales of Phantasia also makes extensive references to Norse mythology, with many locations named after Scandinavian mythical locations (Midgard, Valhalla, etc) and gods (Thor, Fenrir, Heimdall, etc), weapons such as Odin's Gungnir, the Tree of Life Yggdrasil, and countless others.

Tales of Phantasia was released in the midst of what many gamers consider to be the Golden Age of RPG's. Other games of that era that were of comparable influence include Chrono Trigger, the original Star Ocean, Final Fantasy IV and VI, Terranigma, the SFC Dragon Quest games and the early Seiken Densetsu games . In particular, Star Ocean is often regarded a spiritual cousin to Tales of Phantasia. It was developed by tri-Ace, a company founded by members of Namco's original Wolf Team, who created Tales of Phantasia, as a result it employs many similar gameplay and battle traits found in the earlier game.

Tales of Phantasia is now also a 4 episode series of anime OAV.

While the storylines in most games in the main Tales RPG series series are not connected to each other (much like Final Fantasy), there is a considerable amount of strong evidence that the fifth game in the series, Tales of Symphonia is in fact connected to Tales of Phantasia, in the form of a prequel taking place thousands of years before the events of Phantasia. Despite these implications, its creators, Namco Japan have neither confirmed or denied a storyline connection between the two.

Storyline

Tales of Phantasia begins by showing a recount of a heroic battle between four yet-unknown warriors against an evil sorceror, Dhaos, whose outcome changed the fate of the world. The warriors were victorious, and sealed Dhaos away using the power of two pendants, thus returning peace to the world.

The adventure begins in the town of Totus ten years later, where a young swordsman named Cless Alvein and his best friend, archer Chester Barklight, live. The town is destroyed by a dark knight and his soldiers while Cless and Chester are out hunting in the forest. Every villager is killed in the attack, including Chester's sister and both of Cless' parents. While Chester is in mourning, Cless vows for revenge and proceeds to the town of Euclid in search of the dark knight.

Unfortunately, he is betrayed there by his cowardly uncle and is thrown in jail, captured by the dark knight. The heirloom pendant entrusted to Cless by his father Miguel is taken away from him, but Cless does not know of its significance in holding Dhaos sealed, nor that his father was one of the original four who sealed him away.

Cless meets Mint Adnade (a Mana healer) in the jail, and she joins the party and helps him escape. Soon afterwards, the party meets Chester again at Tornix Morrison's house, another of the four original warriors. Tornix informs the party that he knew Cless' parents and Mint's mother quite well, and they once fought together to seal away a great evil. But he is horrified to hear that Cless' pendant has been stolen, and immediately runs off towards a nearby masoleum. Cless and party figure out that the dark knight must be there, and follow Tornix without him knowing. Unfortunately, the dark knight manages to release Dhaos using the pendants before Tornix and party can stop him. With no hope of dealing with the all-powerful Dhaos for now, Tornix transports Mint and Cless back in time so that they can learn about Dhaos and acquire the skills to defeat him. Chester and Tornix are left behind to suffer Dhaos' wrath.

In the past, Dhaos is still causing chaos with an imminent war against the two largest human countries - Alvanista and Midgard. These events happened almost a century before he was sealed. In this time period, Dhaos' evil pervades throughout most of the world, and he even controls the prince of Alvanista's royal family. The party learns that the only way to defeat Dhaos is by using magic, but neither Cless nor Mint can practice magic - only Elves and half-Elfs can use the powerful magic spells. But they soon meets Klarth F. Lester (a summoner) and Arche Klaine (a half-elf witch), who join the quest. Klarth is a researcher of summoning (the act evoking a magical spirit or elemental) - and is thus one of the only humans who can indirectly use magic, by contracting with the spirits via rings. He suggests that the spirit Luna may be able to help their quest, and the party travels across the world to the deserts of Freland, the depths of the ancient dwarven caverns of the Moria Gallery, and to mountains above and caves below in search of rings and spirits to help them fight Dhaos.

Eventually, the party reaches Midgard and succeeds in helping fend off Dhaos' army in the war called the Valhalla Conflict. They continue to Dhaos' castle in search of the fiend, in the hope of restoring peace to the world and avenging the deaths of their loved ones. An epic battle with Dhaos ensues, and good overcomes evil. Unfortunately, Dhaos escapes.

The party travels back to their original time to interrupt the resurrected Dhaos from killing Tornix and Chester in the masoleum, and fight him once more. Good overcomes evil yet again, and the cave begins to collapse on itself. The party escapes and then decides that, with Dhaos most-likely dead, they have succeeded and can part ways so that Klarth and Arche can return to their original time. But at that moment, a traveller arrives from the future to inform them that Dhaos is still alive and is terrorizing the future. Cless and company immediately travels forward in time fifty years and have to deal with Dhaos and his minions once and for all.

Many other games have joined the Tales RPG series, but few have been released outside of Japan. The most recent edition, Tales of Symphonia, has recently been released on Nintendo's Gamecube. The first game (Tales of Phantasia) was only released in English through emulation. There have been 13 games in the series thus far. The GameCube edition was released in English, and even in Europe, a first for the Tales series.

Cast

  • Cless Alvein (クレス・アルベイン): The seiyuu (Japanese voice actor) is Takeshi Kusao.
  • Chester Barklight (チェスター・バークライト): The seiyuu is Takeshi Kusao for the Super Famicom version and Kentarou Itou for the PlayStation version.
  • Mint Adnade: The seiyuu is Satomi Koorogi for the Super Famicom version and Junko Iwao for the PlayStation version.
  • Klarth F. Lester (クラース・F・レスター): The seiyuu is Kazuhiko Inoue.
  • Arche Klaine (アーチェ・クライン): The seiyuu is Mika Kanai.
  • Suzu Fujibayashi (藤林すず Fujibayashi Suzu): The seiyuu is Taeko Kawata. Suzu appears on the Super Famicom original as a non-playable character, but she is playable in the PlayStation and Game Boy Advance remakes.de:Tales of Phantasia

ja:テイルズオブファンタジア

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