Tales of Destiny
Tales of Destiny is the second entry in the Tales (series) of Eastern RPGs. First released in 1997, it received a direct sequel in 2002 (Tales Of Destiny 2), a Video Game Remake in 2006 and an Updated Rerelease of the Video Game Remake in 2007.
Stahn Aileron is a typical countryside boy who dreams of one day becoming a famous hero. Eager to jumpstart his heroic career, he stows away on the dragon-ship Draconis with the aim of travelling to the nation's capital and enlisting as a knight. En-route, the ship is attacked by monsters, and struggling to find a weapon to fight them off with, Stahn stumbles across an old sword in a storeroom. Suddenly the sword starts to talk to him, calling itself Dymlos and claiming to be one of the ancient and powerful Swordian weapons created over a thousand years ago during a world-spanning conflict called the War Between Heaven and Earth.
Having been chosen by Dymlos as its new master, Stahn is thrust into an epic quest revolving around a powerful artifact known as the Eye Of Atamoni, which just happens to have been stolen from a secret temple by its (former) high priest. Along the way, Stahn meets the other Swordian Masters and gathers an eclectic party:
- Rutee Katrea: A "Lens Hunter" (slash thief) who is utterly obsessed with money, and the earning thereof. Very much a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Wields the Water Swordian Atwight.
- Leon Magnus: A super-serious, prodigy knight of Seinegald who would rather be alone most of the time. The Ensemble Darkhorse of the series. Wields the Earth Swordian Chaltier.
- Garr Kelvin: A mature archer who Stahn finds Walking the Earth. He later turns out to be The Wise Prince of Heidelberg. Called Woodrow in Japan. Wields the Wind Swordian Igtenos.
- Philia Felice: A timid, sheltered priestess (with a dark streak) who joins the party when the Eye of Atamoni is stolen from her temple. Wears glasses. Wields the Lightning Swordian Clemente.
- Mary Argent: Rutee's friend and partner-in-crime. She's an incredible fighter, but is suffering from Identity Amnesia, with a sword as her only link to the past.
- Karyl Sheeden: A runaway bard, son of a wealthy family. Known as Johnny Shiden in Japan.
- Bruiser Khang: A fist-fighter who is the much-loved champion of the Colosseum, and damn proud of it. He has a crush on Philia. Known as Mighty Kongman in Japan.
- Chelsea Torn: A young girl who Garr took under his wing. She excels in archery.
- Lilith Aileron: Stahn's little sister. She's worried about him being on a journey to save the world, so she goes to track him down and bring him kicking and screaming home. Fights with traditional cooking implements, such as a frying pan, ladle, and laser beam.
The game was released in the US in 1998, a time during the JRPG boom caused by Final Fantasy VII where publishers were racing to release anything that had hit points and spiky hair in it. The amount of effort placed into the localisation could be generously described as "enough". All of the skits were Dummied Out (and with it, half of the actual plot) but the Japanese voice track remained intact, meaning that characters were calling out their Japanese attack names, even for attacks whose names are localised and/or modified (with said attacks often, but not always, being radically different) in the English text. It can ruin the immersion sometimes; but also can cause a few errors with the "L" and "R" differences for attacks whose names are (mostly) the same in both languages.
The remake retouched the original storyline with several Ret Cons (and is considered to be the current canon), and the Updated Rerelease included "Leon's Side", an Another Side, Another Story starring Leon.
Tales of Destiny 2 (not to be confused with Tales of Eternia  picks up eighteen years after the first game ended and tells the story of Kyle Dunamis, son of Stahn. Having grown up on tales of how his parents saved the world, he's absolutely convinced that it's his destiny to follow in their footsteps and become a hero. Thus, as soon as he's of age he goes on a grand journey around the world looking for adventure, and happens to stumble across a Mysterious Waif and an epic quest involving Time Travel and Setting Right What Once Went Wrong. During his travels, he picks up his own band of misfits:
- Reala: The Mysterious Waif that Kyle finds. She emerges from a giant Lens and is looking for a hero to help her. She's Kyle's love interest, the resident White Magician Girl, and Purity Personified.
- Loni Dunamis: Kyle's "adoptive brother" who goes with him to keep his hotheaded idiocy in check. A self-proclaimed ladies man who fights with a halberd.
- Judas: A mysterious Dual-Wielding fencer wearing a bone mask. The "wise guy" of the team. Despite his attitude, he seems obliged to protect Kyle. He turns out to be Leon Magnus, Back from the Dead.
- Nanaly Fletch: A Hot Amazon with excellent archery skills. She comes from a Bad Future and joins the party when she is inadvertently sucked into a time portal with them. She runs an orphanage, and has a love-hate relationship with Loni.
- Harold Berselius: The creator of the Swordians. A freaky but good hearted Mad Scientist who turns out to be female, having chosen the name "Harold" to play a childish prank on historians (who would assume she was male). A powerful spellcaster.
Oh, and barring their ways is a miracle-making priestess named Elraine who hides an insidious agenda as well as her bodyguard, an ax-wielding, hero-killing, hammy, psychopathic, item-hating bastard named Barbatos Goetia.
First released in Japan in 2002, Tales of Destiny 2 was the first Tales game on the PlayStation 2 (and 6th generation consoles in general), and it did not receive an English version release. The game got an Updated Rerelease on PSP in 2007 which was only released in Japan.
Tales of Destiny provides examples of
- Action Girl: Rutee, Mary, Chelsea, and Lilith.
- Amnesiac Dissonance: Mary.
- Anti-Grinding: In the original, a popular power-leveling technique was to set all your characters to "Auto", tape the control stick down so your characters ran in circles, and let the game play itself. Try this in the remake, and Barbatos shows up out of nowhere to yell at you for taking the cheap way out, and then kick your ass.
- Awesome Yet Impractical: Attempting to cast any spell with the character you're currently controlling, except for fast-casting ones. Whatever character you're controlling (usually Stahn) makes a great tank for keeping enemies off of your other party members (like Rutee, who is usually the healer). The CPU-controlled party members, not so much. Any hit, no matter how small, interrupts your spellcasting. This leads most of the swordians' spellcasting ability to go to waste, especially a few of Dymlos's spells. You would deal a lot more damage with Stahn's physical special attacks while having Dymlos equipped as his swordian, than you ever would having Stahn equipped with anything else and having someone else using Dymlos to cast spells. Unless, of course, you're in an area with Fire-immune enemies....
- Art Evolution: Compare Inomata's character artwork between the original PSX game and the PlayStation 2 remake. It's almost like they hired an entirely new artist. (Ten years of improvement will do that.)
- Badass Family: If Stahn, Lilith and Rimul, Rutee, and Kyle are any indication, the Aileron clan.
- Badass Normal: The party members who are not Swordian-users are like this. They're far from slackers. There exist videos of the non-Swordian-users soloing the final boss.
- Lilith is really good in the PSX Version if you get her into the party somehow.
- Big Eater: Stahn.
- Blind Without'Em: Philia.
- Bonus Dungeon: A remake of The Tower of Druaga.
- Bow and Sword in Accord: Garr.
- But Now I Must Go: The Swordians.
- Catch Phrase: Kongman/Khang's "Ore-sama wa CHAMPION da!", which means "I'm the CHAMPION!".
- Characterization Marches On: In the original game, Leon was a two-dimensional Jerkass who happened to be in a sympathetic situation. Fans latched onto the tragic portion of his character, and in subsequent appearances Leon was developed into a cold-hearted but reluctant antagonist. This modern perspective makes some of his more malevolent actions in the original (like shocking Rutee with her electric
collartiara every time she said something to annoy him) seem out of place.
- The Chosen One: Played with: the whole "Chosen One" tagline was just dropped by Dymlos to convince the thick-headed Stahn to pick him up. While Stahn is special in that he has the ability to hear (and wield) a Swordian, he's by no means a "chosen one".
- City of Canals: Aquaveil is practically a country of canals.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: God is called Atamoni.
- Dirty Old Man: Clemente, who picks the young priestess Philia as his mistress.
- Doomsday Device: Belcrant.
- Dual-Wielding: Leon in the remake, and ever since then. (In the original game, he wielded a sword and shield.)
- Dummied Out: The skits in the US version, and with it, half the plot. You don't even get to hear Dymlos' voice because he only talked during the skits, yet he is still credited in the ending...
- Oddly enough, beating the game still unlocks "Talk" in the options menu, which lets you listen to the all the skits in the game, but with no context and of course completely in Japanese. People unfamiliar with the Tales series- such as those that bought it the game when it was new- would have no idea what the hell it's all about.
- Lilith, at least in the US version of the original game. She could be put in the party though save hacking or cheating devices, but she didn't seem to have any voice data for battles.
- The Dragon: Hugo to an extent. Leon is essentially Hugo's Dragon.
- Dying as Yourself: Hugo.
- Easy Mode Mockery: Barbatos' "Cheap Eliminate" move: a One-Hit Kill for your whole party that he only uses if you dare to fight him on the easiest difficulty setting.
- Elemental Powers (The Swordians)
- Empathic Weapon: Again, the Swordians.
- Enemy Scan
- Mr. Fanservice: LEON.
- Freaky Friday Flip: Equipping a character with a Narikiri Doll item causes them to turn into the character whose doll they've equipped. If you go crazy with the Narikiri dolls, there's a skit where everyone in the party (except for Lilith, who is optional) switches bodies with another party member, and they try to figure out what happened. Hilarity Ensues.
- Green Rocks: Lens.
- Heavy Sleeper: Stahn, and the relevant genes are passed down to Kyle.
- Hot-Blooded: Stahn, King of Tales Hot Blood. It helps that he's voiced by Tomokazu "Domon Kasshu" Seki.
- "SATSUGEKI BUKOKEN!! ORYARYARYARYARYARYARYARYA!!!!"
- Hopeless Boss Fight: Leon, and Hugo in Leon's Side.)
- Idiot Hero: Stahn, Stahn, Stahn.
- Improbable Weapon User: Johnny/Karyl uses his lute and songs, Lilith uses a frying pan that sprouts rainbows, a ladle, and a fish she pulls from Hammerspace.
- Insufferable Genius: Leon fits this mold, being both a wunderkind swordsman and quite insufferable.
- Jerkass: Leon. In the remake, he moves a few notches towards Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rutee.
- Leitmotif - Leon's Irony of Fate.
- Lightning Bruiser - Stahn in the remake has quite simply exceptional stats. Leon also qualifies for the "Lightning" part: he moves so quickly that battles can be over before the enemy has a chance to move.
- Lost in Translation - So bad even one of the puzzles cannot be solved without a FAQ because of translation errors.
- Lovable Traitor: Leon
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Rutee and Hugo, and obviously Rutee and Leon too.
- The Man Behind the Man: Miktran behind Hugo, who in turn is behind Grebaum.
- Man, I Feel Like a Woman: Stahn's reaction to being put in Philia's body in this skit. Philia (in Stahn's body) isn't very happy about it.
- Meganekko: Philia.
- Mighty Glacier: Kongman/Khang
- Money Fetish: Flanderisation has turned this into Rutee's signature character trait. In the original game, she may be obsessed with money, but not for its own sake: she's earning money to pay off her childhood orphanage's debts.
- Money Spider: Justified: monsters that imbue Lens mutate into more dangerous forms. The more Lens they have, the more powerful the monster. After you slay the monster, you can then remove the Lens and sell it for Gald.
- Names to Know in Anime:
- Nonstandard Game Over: Beat Leon in the Hopeless Boss Fight early in the game and you get an alternate ending immediately afterwards.
- Official Couple - Stahn and Rutee, as seen in Tales of Destiny 2.
- Only in It For the Money: Rutee, Rutee, Rutee. At first.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Every non Swordian-user tends to be forgotten because the Swordian Masters are just too broken (especially Leon). The fact that you can use Narikiri Dolls to clone them (four-Leon party]) doesn't help.
- However; it's still notable that in the remake, the non-swordian users actually can be pretty good. Especially Johnny and Lilith.
- Pet the Dog: Hugo has his moments. Early on when he has the heroes under his control (not only does he have shock
collarstiaras on them, but he has legal custody because they've been arrested for trespassing) and forces them to search for the Eye Of Atamoni, he still agrees to Rutee's request for a monetary reward. When Leon complains that he doesn't need to do that, Hugo replies that a reward would motivate the heroes to do a better job. This scene takes on a whole new meaning when you find out later that Hugo is being Brainwashed by Miktran, is desperately trying to resist said brainwashing, and recognises Rutee as the daughter he sent to safety before Miktran took control of him.
- Redemption Equals Death: Leon and...well, Leon again. He's good at that.
- Restraining Bolt: In the original, Stahn and company get shock
collarstiaras placed on them by Hugo so that they'll hunt down the Eye Of Atamoni. Justified, since they've been arrested and this task is essentially their "community service".
- Say My Name:
Stahn: "LEON!! LEOOOONNN!!!!"
- Shout-Out: The aforementioned Crystal Dragon Jesus, Atamoni, is the name of the character designer, Mutsumi Inomata, spelled backwards.
- SNK Boss: The Final Boss in the remake (Miktran Excessive) very much counts. He spams lasers like he's at a seventies discotheque and will punish you severely if you ever let him out of combo-lock. He Turns Red when his health hits 25% and breaks out his Blast Caliber at 5%. Furthermore, if you beat Bonus Boss Barbaros before you fight him, he gains three secret Blast Calibers that are so powerful that even one is almost guaranteed to wipe out your party.
- Spoony Bard: Johnny/Karyl.
- Sprite Polygon Mix: The original engine.
- Sweet Tooth: Leon has quite the sweet tooth, something he's rather ashamed of because he thinks it's immature to like sweets.
- Taken for Granite: How you meet Philia for the first time.
- Talking Weapon: The Swordians.
- This Is Sparta: "ITEM NAZO! TSUKATTEN JA! NEEEEEE!!!!!!" ("Do not use items, ever!")
- This even goes into Tales of Vesperia when he cameos in there. It's even faithfully translated to "NO. ITEMS. EVEEEEERRRRRRR" (something that an English-speaking person would shout).
- Tsundere: Rutee. And for a male example, remake!Leon.
- The Wise Prince: Woodrow/Garr.
Tales of Destiny 2 provides examples of
- Action Girl: Nanaly, without a doubt.
- Anti-Magic: Barbatos is just one big Anti-Everything That Could Help You. If you cast a spell, he counters with a spell of his own (and is invincible during his casting period). If you use an item, he counters with a Limit Break that is literally called, "Never use items!".
- Armor-Piercing Slap: More like Armor Piercing Bone Crusher. Used by Nanaly on Loni.
- The Atoner: Judas.
- Ax Crazy: Barbatos
- Awesome but Impractical: There are plenty of spells that can stun enemies with ease, while physical attacks tend to be hampered with other stats to stagger the enemy properly. Counter-intuitively, the spells tend to be fairly unspectacular while the flashy moves come from the physical skills.
- Some of the most memorable mystic artes are the ones used by the melees, especially Loni's 15-Kanji Hi-Ougi, Shinten Rekkuu Zankou Senpuu Messai Shinbatsu Kassatsugeki. (Which itself fits this trope due to its requirements and the fact that it can actually fail. So if you want to use this on a boss, you might as well use it as a finisher.)
- Badass Creed: Judas' Majin Rengokusatsu (Infernal Suffering) monologue.
"Instant miracles are not brought to mix with life now. Time passes... Unite here and rise to the future! Righteous Holy Sword! I cut off the past... Scatter! Majin Rengokusatsu!"
- Bad Future: Nanaly hails from one.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: How Barbatos meets his end, claiming that he didn't lose to the party, but to himself.
- Blood Knight: Barbatos.
- Breast Plate: Nanaly.
- But Now I Must Go: Judas, although it is later hinted that Kyle has some lingering memory of him. Averted by Reala, who is revived and brought back to the timeline due to Kyle's strong heart. Effectively, this actually counts for Nanaly and Harold, too, as The Nanaly Kyle knew was from the future. The Nanaly they could have met in their time would have only been nine years old. In Harold's case, she was from the past as Judas was.
- Chewing the Scenery: Barbatos takes huge, Man-sized chunks out of every scene he's in.
- Cool Big Sis: Nanaly.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: When you fight him, Barbatos acts this way and punishes everything you do. This even carries into the spinoff games Barbatos cameos in!
- Deadpan Snarker: Judas.
- The Dragon: Barbatos.
- Dual-Wielding: Judas.
- The Evils of Free Will: Elraine and Fortuna believe that humans are too weak to take care of each other, and thus they need a more powerful guardian to rule their lives.
- Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: Occurs in the Bad Future that Nanaly comes from. People the world over willingly trade in their aspirations to live under Elraine's thumb, because she gives them everything they need. In the Alternate Timeline Elraine pumps this up into a Terminally Dependent Society.
- Handsome Lech: Loni adheres to this trope slightly, being the only guy who dreams about flirting.
- Hero-Killer: Barbatos. And how! His title during his Tales of Vesperia cameo is even "Killer of Heroes".
- Humans Are Flawed: ToD2 portrays its villains as practically being just because they want to compensate for humanity's flaws, and humanity is flawed. But the game's message is that everyone has to earn their happy ending by overcoming their flaws.
- Idiot Hero: Kyle is clearly his father's son.
- Knuckle-Cracking: Nanaly likes to crack Loni's bones, and at one point cracks her knuckles before delivering the bonecrusher.
- Lotus Eater Machine: The Illusion World dreams.
- Mad Scientist: Harold.
- Marathon Boss: The Final Boss. Seriously, look at all the videos on YouTube, they often have to be split into multiple parts.
- Mask Power: Judas.
- Meaningful Name: Kyle naming the mysterious swordsman "Judas".
- Multishot: Nanaly's Mystic Arte, Wild Geese, is a cross between this and Macross Missile Massacre.
- Mysterious Waif: Reala
- Names to Know in Anime:
- No Guy Wants an Amazon: Only in Loni's mind, regarding the tomboyish Nanaly. He often receives a bone crusher in return.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Judas' mask: it's become a Running Gag in the Tales (series) of how poorly it functions as a means of concealing your identity. It doesn't help that Judas has an incredibly distinctive voice. (The excuse in-game is that Judas chose the mask not for its face-hiding abilities, but because it's made of dragon bone, which offers excellent physical and magical protection.)
- Though it actually does work as a disguise, due to his discretion. Everyone in-game that would recognize him is either dead or he intentionally avoids.
- The Power of Love: This is what brings Reala Back from the Dead in the epilogue. It's also implied that Judas is saved from being Ret-Gone through the bonds of friendship made during the game.
- Rage Against the Heavens: Interesting example, as the religion based on the goddess in question isn't a Corrupt Church: they just have a different idea of what the goddess is supposed to be (eg: a good one).
- Reset Button: The ending. Fortuna is defeated, which erases all of her influence from the timeline, including the events of the game and the existence of Reala and Elraine. The epilogue shows that despite this, the party members still grow up to be pretty much the same people they were during the game, and Reala is reborn due to The Power of Love.
- Ret-Gone: After Barbatos was defeated in the original timeline, it was judged that his crimes were so great that he was to be completely written out of history. The reason he fights as Elraine's Dragon is to prove to the world he actually does exist. This is also the ultimate fate of Fortuna, as well as Elraine. Reala... well, she gets better.
- Thanks to Time Travel, Judas does this to himself.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong During the epilogue, you can take a sidequest where you save Nanaly's brother from death by getting him the medicine he needs to live.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Some have theorised the appearance of characters other than Kyle and Reala in this game, but such theories have yet to be verified.
- This even seeped into the gameplay, too. Nanaly is one of the hardest hit by this trope and has only one mystic arte/Hi ougi. However; many of the most memorable ones tend to be Nanaly's, Judas's where he takes his mask off, and Loni's "Final Prayer" and the 15-kanji technique.
- Time Travel
- Tomboyish Name: Harold, again.
- To elaborate: she calls herself Harold in order to deceive the history books into believing that the famed genius and creator of the Swordians was male. At least, according to her that was "one of twenty-one reasons" why she did it.
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia (Kyle seemingly forgot the memory of when Barbatos killed Stahn, and it takes a Mind Screw about halfway through the game for him to remember the event.)
- White Magician Girl: Reala
- Yin-Yang Bomb: Judas