Current mood: fuck my life…

…bc goddamn ToV is too good. PS: Don’t let Flynn cook. EVER. And also that’s Patty, a PS3 exclusive playable character, but she’s largely unrelated to the story… so…

Ok I didn’t exactly play the game, but I’m thinking of getting the PS3 version even if it’s in Japanese. Have to figure out where to get it though. So. In order to fully appreciate and enjoy the soundtrack of Tales of Vesperia I watched TalesOfCreed’s let’s play on YouTube and man was it great! I spent every waking moment for 5 days watching all 123 episodes worth of story and battles. I’m tired, my body is tired but my mind? My mind never stops thinking. Also for once I didn’t spoil myself by skipping videos.

In this review I will only comment about the story aspect of the game, because like I said I don’t have the game.

Tales of Vesperia is otherwise known as Enforcing One’s “Justice” RPG. It’s a very obvious characteristic genre to say the least.

Another round of ‘guess that character’!!! Our main man is Yuri Lowell, the most competent (and beautiful) Tales protagonist in the history of EVER. His equal, his other half, his Yang, his sun, his whatever you wanna call it is the handsome and chivalrous knight, Flynn Scifo. Compassionate and naive heroine Estelle, who is very pink; Karol the walking billboard kid (who has a really funny hairstyle); Rita, genius mage and tsundere of the group; Judith the jail-bait (not really) bodacious babe, who also happens to be a dragoon of some sort??? There’s Raven who fills the old man quota; last but not least, the coolest mascot/pet in Tales history – Repede the dog!!! He even smokes pipe???

Terca Lumireis is a world which heavily relies in aer to to survive. Aer is utilized by blastia, which converts aer into energy. Aer is inserted into blastias in the form of cores. Blastia cannot be manufactured, it is instead excavated from ruins of the ancient civilization 1000 years ago.

The story starts with a blastia core being stolen in the lower quarter of Zaphias, capital of the empire. Yuri lives in the lower quarter, and without the core the blastia couldn’t work, so Yuri goes to the upper quarter where all the nobles live to get the core back. Unfortunately the thief got away and Yuri gets himself thrown into jail. It isn’t his first time in jail and it won’t be his last. His jail-mate is an old man and he sneaks a key to Yuri and tells him a secret sewer exit. While navigating through the castle he meets a noble Estellise who is fighting off knights. She claims to be looking for Flynn, and hearing his best bud’s name, Yuri lends a hand and the three (plus Repede) escape the castle and leave the capital together, albeit for different reasons.

Running around in forests and towns they meet Karol, a memeber of the guild Hunting Blades (he was kicked out soon). The timid guy decides to follow Yuri and Estelle through their journey. Finally Yuri finds the core thief… which turns out to be innocent. Rita is a genius mage who doesn’t give a shit. To clear her name Rita joins the party in search for a core thief, Flynn, and exclusive to Rita’s hate list: a dragon rider who destroys blastia.

Estelle finally meets Flynn, and the knight ushers her to go back to Zaphias. Estelle doesn’t want to go back because she has so much to learn in this world (pls this gurl been locked up in the castle her entire life, she has nothing to do so she reads so much she became a walking encyclopedia). Flynn has been investigating about Ragou, a corrupt magistrate who abuses blastia and feeds towns people to his monster pets. Raven, the old man who bails Yuri out of jail, appears out of nowhere, helping the party at times, causing inconvenience the next. Ragou is working with Barbos, one of the leaders of the five master guilds in stealing cores. Before Yuri and co. can capture them though, the two escape and the party saves an unexpected figure – the crown prince Ioder.

Ioder pardons Yuri’s crimes (stealing and whatnot) owing to his protection of the other noble in line for the throne – Princess Estellise. Ragou gets away with his crimes because of the lack of evidence. The dragon rider turns up to destroy Barbos’ blastia in guild HQ, and Yuri, always ready to negotiate, rides with the dragon rider to Barbos’ enormous blastia tower. Yuri eventually gets captured and locked up alongside the dragon rider, who sheds the heavy armor to reveal a bodacious Krityan babe Judith (she is 19, but she sure does look like jail-bait). Yuri fights alongside Judith before reuniting with the rest of the party.

Barbos decides to end himself by his own means and jumps off his tower. Ragou is finally charged for his crimes after the incident… few moments later it is known to the party that Ragou used his influence to get away with a lighter sentence. Estelle promises to speak to the council on the matter, but with Estelle’s meager influence, the outcome will not sit will with Yuri. That very night Yuri stains his hands and kills Ragou. The party is oblivious to Yuri’s actions.

Estelle is ushered once more by Flynn to return to the capital. She agrees indecisively. A huge talking monster attacks guild HQ and calls Estelle an insipid poison of the world. Thankfully the presumed monster leaves soon. Free of all his past charges, Yuri announces that he wants to form a guild with Karol, and Estelle decides she does not want to go back after all. Barve Vesperia is formed with Yuri, Karol and Judith as members. Brave Vesperia helps Estelle find Phaeroh, the huge monster. They stop by and sees the cruelty of Cumore, a noble captain of the imperial knights who has his ambitions on replacing Alexei as commandant.

Again, this asshole uses the towns people to hunt for Phaeroh. After saving a couple from dying in the desert, Yuri and co. return to the town to find Cumore being an asshole again. That night, Estelle promises to talk to Cumore, but is shut down by everyone, knowing that the bastard doesn’t give a fuck about the princess’ authority. Yuri confronts Cumore that very night and sees the bastard drown in quicksand. Unfortunately this is witnessed by Flynn, who brought his troops to liberate the town of Cumore’s rule. The two bros have a heated argument. Estelle overhears their conversation. Estelle knows Yuri kills for the greater good, and she believes in his decisions.

Following two of Yuri’s murderous deeds, many truths are revealed: Estelle is one of the Children of the Full Moon in the legends, one who could use aer without a blastia. Phaeroh is an Entelexeia, creatures who can absorb aer to reverse the imbalance of aer in the world. The reason why Phaeroh hates Estelle is because her power is gradually killing the world and a cataclysm will be imminent if she continues to use artes. Judith’s identity as the dragon rider is made known when she destroys the ships’ blastia and flees on her friend Ba’ul. Rita, angry and disappointed and shocked that her most beloved blastia are actually destroyers of the world. Ba’ul evolves into an Entelexeia. Raven is a double agent working for Commandant Alexei, who dreams of world domination by using Estelle’s power. His knight identity is none other than Captain Schwann, and that is not even his real name! Raven has a blastia for a heart, but instead of using aer, it feeds on his life force. Raven is literally, the walking dead.

Alexei activates an ancient weapon with Estelle’s power, but he miscalculated; whatever he activated is not a weapon but the very thing that is sealing the Adephagos away from the world. Alexei loses all hope and is crushed to death by a big core. Yuri manages to escape the rubble… but not before Sodia (Flynn’s second in command, always there to shit talk Yuri) stabs him in the abdomen.

Yuri awakens in his room, being nursed back to health by Duke, a mysterious figure since the start of Yuri’s misadventures. Estelle and Repede find Yuri in the lower quarter and is delighted to see Yuri alive and well. The party reunite, with the Adophagos looming in the sky. Rita finds a way to neutralize Estelle’s power (after Alexei messed her formula up) by using the same principle as Raven – using Estelle’s own life force in place of aer. This time the party travels to find a way to make the Adephagos go away permanently, by utitilizing apatheia – condensed aer, also what Entelexeias become when they die – to make into mana, in other words, true matter. The result… is not what they expected. The apatheia turned into a spirit! With this discovery, Rita is fairly certain the Adephagos could be repelled with the spirits’ power, but they will need all the cores they could get in order for it to work. But this plan will render blastia useless.

Duke, the mysterious figure raises an ancient city-weapon that feeds on life force, so that he could eliminate humans and the Adephagos to return the world into its natural state. Yuri and co. discuss their plan with Emperor Ioder and the leaders of the major guilds. They all agree to work together to protect humans in the absence of blastia.

Before the final battle, Flynn tries to reason with Yuri, stating that he has too much on his shoulders. Yuri challenges him to a duel and the bros fight it out. BEST BRO MOMENT 11/10!!!!

Yuri and co. defeat Duke, and using the spirits’ powers, cut through the Adephagos (which is shaped like an octopus???), the cataclysm shatters into tiny cores and become spirits themselves. Duke leaves the scene, our heroes save the day!

Ahhh this is quite an emotional ride. On to the name of this game: Tales of Vesperia. This… is surprisingly easy compared to other Tales titles. Vesperia is the name of Yuri, Karol and Judith’s guild, Brave Vesperia, but they got this name from Estelle the walking encyclopedia. The legend goes like this: After saving the world, Brave Vesperia left the planet to watch over from above while the sister, the Child of the Full Moon, stayed with their ‘mother’, Terca Lumireis. Vesperia is the brightest star in the sky, which surprise! Is actually a blastia suspended in space, paired with the other blastia city Zaude (which Alexei raised thinking it was some weapon). Tales of Vesperia may refer to the adventures of the guild, and with further evidence, during the end credits, at the very end before the epilogue, Estelle is seen to be writing a book. The cover is written in foreign script, but judging on the length of each word, it may as well have been titled “Tales of Vesperia”.

Moving on to the characteristic genre – Enforcing One’s “Justice” RPG. This, along with the title, is pretty obvious. The central plot of the story aint Estelle’s powers, it aint about the cataclysm either. It’s about Yuri and Flynn’s relationship as best bros. And this is where it gets interesting. TalesOfCreed made a few comparisons between Yuri and Flynn with Lulouch and Suzaku from Code Geass. I have never watched Code Geass before (I kinna want to now), but if you did, maybe you’d appreciate the comparisons better. He also said that the only difference is that Yuri actually trusts Flynn. So… does that mean Lulouch doesn’t trust Suzaku fully???

Anyways, Yuri and Flynn have their own concepts of justice: While both of them enrolled as knights as teens, only Flynn stayed. Flynn’s concept is to change the system from within, and throughout the game he does achieve his goal with his promotion to commandant after Alexei’s screw-up, and Ioder trusts him, so, no problem there. Yuri, on the other hand, becomes a vigilante of some sort because he doesn’t believe that the system would change, and he keeps getting himself thrown in jail to help the people in the lower quarter. When Ragou gets away with only a lighter sentence, Yuri’s distrust of the system hits a breaking point and he murders the guy. And he does it without flinching. The same can be said with Cumore, because when you do it once, you’ll do it again. Flynn abides the law, while Yuri breaks them, but both of them want the same thing. This is the way they enforce their own ‘justice’, and in a sense, Flynn is the front while Yuri acts in the shadows, taking responsibility of the things nobody wants to do: killing Don Whitehorse, killing Estelle, killing two assholes when nobody is there to prosecute them… god this man has A LOT on his shoulders.

Additional contrast between these bros: those who don’t want to live by the laws of the Empire join guilds, so it can be said that the Empire and the Union of guilds are sort of at odds with each other. Flynn, being a knight, represents the Empire while Yuri, who later forms a guild, reflects the Union. It also doesn’t help that Flynn is mostly dressed in white while Yuri is black. Like in the intro, Yuri and Flynn are two sides of the same coin, they are Yin and Yang, moon and the sun, black and white. Gosh I think I have to list all the contrast between the hero and rival in every Tales game…

I live for Yuri and Flynn bromance. I tried going into otp, but Fluri is still best as brotp!!!! I still like the fanart and fanfics, but Fluri otp just isn’t to my taste??? Even though in the Tales 20th anniversary guide it clearly states Estelle as the heroine, and in many cases, heroine = partner of the hero, in this game… not so much. See, unlike titles before Vesperia like Abyss and Legendia (or even others, haven’t played them, can’t say much) Yuri and Estelle… don’t seem that way. Fylnn and Estelle are not *that* either. If anything, she’s like a close friend or sister to both of them. Of course you can interpret their relationship anyhow you like, but to me it’s more Yuri/Flynn and Estelle/Rita. Also out of all the other Tales games, Yuri/Flynn is probably rivaled only by Sorey/Mikleo, aka soymilk. Makes me wanna play Zestiria soon. Curse you PS4 prices!!!!

Character analysis:

Yuri is the best Tales character, hands down! He’s the oldest hero (save Sorey, whose age is unknown), probably the most competent followed closely by Jude, and he’s ambiguously bi (thanks TV Tropes), followed closely by also, your’s truly, Jude. He’s also pretty and… I cannot describe the complicated feelings I have whenever I see him in the Tales hero line-up.

Flynn… since I didn’t see him a lot in-game, I can only say – he is the best bro. Also I like Flynn a lot because he looks like Guy, but a more decent and gentlemanly version. I swear to myself I’m going to buy the two Tales artist artbooks… soon… soon…!!!!

Repede the loyal and awesome dog. He is 2cool4u. Best dog 10/10. He even SMOKES PIPE.

Estelle is a surprisingly great character, story-wise. I used to dislike her in the beginning because she’s so naive about so many things! But you know, she grew on me. A little dense and naive she might be but Estelle is the purest character in the whole cast. She never stops giving hope and she likes everybody??? Like she tries to resolve problems with words (but usually doesn’t work, hardly anybody outside of the team listens to her)

Karol the walking billboard. To be honest, his attitude annoyed me like any other kid would. I wouldn’t say that I dislike him, he just annoys me because he is a kid. But overall his role is pretty well thought-out. His character development is pretty great too.

Rita is the genius character every JRPG party needs, and unlike Graces’ Pascal, who is happy-go-lucky and dense to a fault, Rita is sarcastic, realist and tsundere. And guess what? Her spells are awesome. Being the only mage in the party I can imagine the powerful spells she could use.

Raven is the one old man character. And he is one dirty old man! Unlike any ‘old man’ characters I know of (Malik, Will, Jade, Kratos, Basch, Auron, Sazh… maybe not Rowen), he is the the most openly perverse. Thinks he has millions of fans? Check. Wants to see through clothes? Check. Makes obscene comments??? DOUBLE COMBO CHECK. I still love him though.

Judith. She’s hot and she knows it. Again, unlike any bodacious female Tales characters I know of, she knows her own sexiness and sometimes uses it to her advantage. She doesn’t get flustered when being stared at, even when Raven starts to make comments about seeing through her clothes (in which Rita beats him to crisp). She is 100% comfortable with her own skin.

World analysis:

Hey for some reason I’m putting this section here because there are A LOT of things to discuss.

In the credits we see that people start to invent tools like hammers and water pumps, electricity is discovered by Witcher, Rita steers her research towards chemistry… all of these are the aspects that make our normal world. Since they can no longer utilize blastia, the people evolve into a world similar to ours… and a few hundred years later, they will become like us, with cell phones and computers, aeroplanes and cars, they would have stoves!!! STOVES FOR COOKING!!! Imagine, their dependence on blastia and the cataclysm will be taught from textbooks in schools! The only Tales game with a very modern look is Xillia and its sequel (though Legendia can be considered as a more modernized entry), and even then it’s like??? Impossible for Xillia to become a world like our own. For one, Xillia still uses whatever ‘magic’ that is present in the world; Vesperia loses the source (apatheia) entirely. While it may be possible for researchers in the future to come up with ways to condense aer, usage of blastia is still harmful to the planet, and unless everyone wants to welcome the second cataclysm…

Jp ver bc rly the Eng ver always sound so awkward

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