|Game|| •Tales of Phantasia|
•Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon (X)
•Tales of the World: Summoner's Lineage
|Height||5'7" / 170 cm|
|Weight||130 lbs / 59 kg|
|Weapon||Sword, Axe, Spear, Halberd|
|Japanese Voice Actor||Takeshi Kusao|
|English Voice Actor|| Johnny Yong Bosch|
|Character Designer||Kousuke Fujishima|
Cress Albane (クレス・アルベイン Kuresu Arubein?, "Cless Alvein") is a protagonist in Tales of Phantasia. He is a 17-year-old swordsman from the small village of Toltus. He is the son of Miguel Albane, a famous swordsman and master of the local sword fighting school. As such, he has practiced sword fighting since he was a young child.
Tales of Phantasia
Cress is a 17-year-old swordsman from the small village of Toltus. He is the son of Miguel Albane, a famous swordsman and master of the local sword fighting school. As such, he has practiced sword fighting since he was a young child. While hunting in the South Forest with his friend Chester Burklight, Cress has a vision of a woman pleading that the tree not be defiled. Hearing the village's alarm go off, he returns to Toltus, only to find it destroyed. First he finds the corpse of his father, Miguel Albane, then he returns home just in time to find his dying mother, Maria Albane. After being told that his village was attacked for his family's pendant, Cress finds Chester mourning his sister, Ami Burklight, and decides to head to his uncle's home in Euclid. He parts ways with Chester after promising to find their vengeance together, though Cress internally decides that as long as he is apart from Chester, the other would be safer.
Seeking refuge at his uncle Olson and aunt Joanne's house, he is awoken in the middle of the night by soldiers under the command of Mars Uldole, the one who attacked Toltus for his pendant. He is taken away, having been given up by his uncle in order to protect Euclid. Imprisoned and stripped of his equipment, a woman offers him an earring, which allows him to blow a hole in the wall of his cell, only to find that the only woman there is a corpse. Cress then meets a young woman named Mint Adenade, whose mother was supposed to be the cell with the corpse. Lying about her mother's state, the two escape from the dungeon through the Aqueducts, only for Cress to be felled in the end by a slime. Half-conscious, Cress dreams of his parents as Mint helps him escape.
Cress awakens at Trinicus D. Morrison's house, with both Mint and Chester. Chester tells him that Morrison helped him bury the people of Toltus, while the latter says that he knew his and Mint's parents. When asked about his pendant, of which Mint also had a similar one, Cress tells Morrison that it was taken, and Morrison leaves for the Catacombs. Frustrated by the lack of answers, Cress, along with Mint and Chester, takes up an oath of vengeance and follows Morrison to the Catacombs, where they arrive just in time to discover the purpose of the pendants. The pendants were used by his, Mint's, and Morrison's ancestors to seal away the Ancient King Dhaos. Mars uses them to free Dhaos, who kills him for his impudence. Morrison uses divine power to send Cress and Mint to the past to find a way to defeat Dhaos, while Chester takes an enemy blast meant for them.
Cress and Mint find themselves on an empty hill. They discover Chester's broken bow, much to Cress's concern, and also find that they are 100 years in the past, where a power called magic flourishes. From the chief of Belladem Village, they discover that only magic can defeat Dhaos and decide to head to Euclid in order to find Claus F. Lester, the only human of non-elvish blood that possesses the ability to harness magic. That night, Cress and Mint rest at Belladem, and in one of the few cases of how dense Cress can be, it takes him a bit of time to realize why they can not share a bed. During the night, Mint checks on Cress and then drapes a blanket over him. At Euclid, they meet up with Claus, who takes them to Lone Valley to make a pact with Sylph. Upon doing so, they are told by Sylph to visit the Great Tree Yggdrasill. There, they are told by Martel that the tree is dying. Determined to stop the tree's death, which would cause magic to fade, the party decides to find Luna, the strongest Spirit Claus knows of. On the way to Alvanista, the party encounters and befriends Arche Klein, who allows Rhea Scarlet to avenge her killed family and destroyed hometown of Hamel.
On the boat to Alvanista, the rest of the party is incapacitated by a night of overeating, so Cress has to deal with Meia, who is under Dhaos's control, by himself. They arrive in Alvanista in time to save the prince from Dhaos's control, though they are thrown in prison afterward. Upon explaining the situation to the king with the aid of Lundgrom, Alvanista's Court Magic User, the party receives a pass to the Morlia Mineshaft, where they can find Luna's pact ring, and Cress receives the "Gungnir", though its power lies in a dormant state. The party then traverses the world, making pacts with Undine, Efreet, and Gnome. With the help of the four Spirits Claus made a pact with, they encounter and befriend Maxwell, gaining access to the treasure room, only to find that the pact rings are broken. Traversing to the Elf Colony in Ymir Forest, they learn about the Elves and their isolationist stance, as well as getting the rings fixed. Upon returning to Midgards, the party makes a pact with Luna.
The party returns to Midgards where Reisen shows them the Magitech Lab. Arche begins to question Dhaos's motives, suggesting that there may be a greater reason behind his actions, but Cress, in a break from his normally kind demeanor, harshly shuts her down to the point where Mint reprimands him. After returning to Migards once more after attempting to figure out the reason as to why Dhaos chose to destroy only Hamel, they discover that Dhaos has sent a minion to declare war on the world. To save a child, Edward D. Morrison disappears with Dhaos's minion using time travel, causing Cress to lament that Morrisons have now saved him twice. Cress and his party then lead an offensive on Dhaos's army at Valhalla Plains, succeeding in taking out his commander. They return to Midgards, only to find that Dhaos has launched an aerial assault. While Midgards fires the Mana Cannon, Cress trades the "Gungnir" for Valkyrie's Pegasus (ペガサス Pegasasu?), allowing him and Arche to do battle in the skies. Once the force is repelled, the party strikes for Dhaos, who they manage to defeat in a long battle only for him to disappear into time.
The party, after providing Yggdrasill with more life in order to preserve its existence in the future, return to the present through the power of the ancient civilization Thor. There, they return to the Catacombs with Morrison and Chester still battling Dhaos, managing to defeat him this time. With his body lost amid the ruins, the party believes they can rest, only for Harrison to come from the future to call for aid, because Dhaos is wrecking havoc there. The party, with Chester in tow, head for the future.
In the future, the party rests in the town of Miguel, the future Toltus. Cress stumbles upon Chester practicing in the middle of the night, who confesses that he feels outstripped by Cress. Cress in turn offers Chester encouragement, and the two discuss the dreams of their destroyed hometown. At the Miguel School of Swordfighting, Cress can take the challenge to fight five of their best swordsman. If he wins, he is named Acting Master of a style he probably taught the teachers of the very school. While resting in the inn again, Cress remembers his parents talking about the pendant which would eventually lead him to his current standing, while also discussing the decision to teach Cress how to fight. He also remembers his father developing the Dark Blade arte and learns how to perform it as well, in effect becoming the successor to his father's school of sword fighting.
The party travels to Euclid where they find they need the Techbirds in order to reach Alvanista through the air and need the Spirit Volt's help. On the way to Volt's Cave, they meet a ninja, later revealed to Suzu Fujibayashi, in several encounters where the party forces Cress to help her. Upon obtaining Volt's power and subsequently obtaining the Techbirds, they proceed to Alvanista. If the party heads to the Ninja Village in Treantwood, they meet Suzu again, who invites them into the village. Cress falls victim to various traps but eventually meets with Ranzo Fujibayashi, the chief, who tells them the role of ninja and ask them to find Suzu's parents, Dozo and Okiya. Cress eventually meets them at the end of Euclid's tournament, and though he defeats the pair, they commit suicide in order to atone for their sins. Cress tries to comfort Suzu, who teleports away in order to steel her heart. Upon returning to the Ninja Village, Suzu joins them on their quest.
At Alvanista, the party is tasked with finding the Three Weapons which defeated the three ancient civilizations of Thor, Fenrir, and Odin. Upon claiming the Fire sword, Flamberge, and Ice sword, Vorpal Sword, from the Odin and Fenrir civilizations, the guardians draw out Cress's latent abilities to teach him the space-time attacks. Returning to Treantwood, the party subdues Origin, who creates the Eternal Sword from the two swords and the power of the "Diamond" pact ring. The sword speaks to Cress, granting him with more space-time attacks. The party traverses to Arlee. Surrounded by snow, Cress and Mint have a talk. Mint shows Cress a unicorn earring that was her mother's, and Cress is reminded of the woman who saved him from his cell. Cress apologizes for not telling her about her mother's death, but Mint instead thanks Cress because she is not sure she could have gone on with that knowledge.
Afterward, using the Eternal Sword, they break the time barrier that surround Dhaos's castle. Meeting him one final time, the group defeats him once and for all. In the end, however, Cress realizes that there was perhaps some noble intentions behind Dhaos's actions, which blunts some of his previous rage. Cress says good bye to Claus, Arche, and Suzu and returns to the present with Mint and Chester. The three then resolve to rebuild Toltus, but first head out to meet with Arche.
Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon
Cress plays an important role in this game as one of the Heroes of Eternity who guide central protagonists Mell and Dio on their quest. Several years have passed since the battle with Dhaos, and Cress has built a new town where Toltus once stood. He spends most of his time traveling around with Mint as she goes from town to town, healing the sick and injured. He also helps Chester run his orphanage whenever he is around.
Time has caused Cress to ruminate on his actions. He tells Mell and Dio about the war with Dhaos, about his own actions. He admits that while the loss of Yggdrasill would have been bad, it would be much more dire for Derris-Kharlan. While he does not regret what he has done, he does acknowledge that there is a bit of ambiguity about his actions and that, from the standpoint of Derris-Kharlan's residents, he and his party may have very well been the "evil ones" preventing their ability to live. Cress ends by giving them the "mirror with no reflection" which allows them to enter the Tower of the Devil to meet the Spirit Gremlin's Lair. Afterward, toward the end, as Mint recovers from overexerting herself, Cress tells her that she can rely on him, that he will become her strength. He tells her that she is his most precious person, and proceeds to not understand why Mint blushes after this.
Tales of the World: Summoner's Lineage
In order to defeat the Demon King Xex, Claus's descendant, Fulein K. Lester, and his partner Macaron bring forth Claus and his allies into the future for help. After summoning Claus, he suggests that the call Cress to the future with a possession of his. The problem is that Miguel has already been destroyed, with Velga Montor and Volga Montor as the only survivors. The party heads to Miguel's outskirts, and after a fierce battle against Kerse, they obtain Cress's signature bandanna, which they use to call him forth. Cress suggests going after Chester next and directs them to the Elven Village, where his Elven Bow may still be.
After summoning Mint using her Unicorn Horn, Arche and Chester tease them about their relationship and proceed to push them together, literally. Bumping into each other, both blush and act angry, though they seem pleased to see each other. At the Underground Mausoleum after defeating the vampire Lysis's servants, a zombie named Dead still remains and Mint convinces the party to hear him out. Throughout Dead's speech, Cress is impatient and threatens to destroy Dead if he acts out of line, causing Arche to tease him about being jealous.
Appearance and Personality
Cress is an adolescent male standing at 5 foot 7 with a lean yet athletic physique. He has blond hair, gray eyes and a red headband around his forehead. His attire consists of a black bodysuit cropped somewhat at the biceps with a cropped breastplate covering his chest and leather around his waist, which allows him to carry his sword and partially surrounds his right leg. At his arms are black fabric and white metal wrist guards extending to his elbow. He wears finger-less leather gloves. At the back of his armor, a red cloak is attached at the shoulder guards. Finally, his footwear consists of silver sabatons. He is considered to be a handsome youth in the story as Mint, Arche and Ami have all developed a crush on him.
Cress is a kind and caring person with a great sense of justice and a strong desire to do good. In the face of the enemy, especially Dhaos, who murdered his family as well as the villagers of his hometown, he is instead ruthless and unforgiving, driven by vengeance. Cress enjoys saying puns. He does not say many in the original game, but he picks up the habit in some escort titles such as Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 3 and Tales of the Heroes: Twin Brave. He intends to amuse his fellow party members by saying them but always receives contrary effects. He is a very loyal friend and is willing to risk his life for them.
Cress, being the traditional swordsman, uses swords and other blades in battle using the Albane School of Sword Fighting (アルベイン流剣術 Alvein-ryuu Kenjutsu?). As the first swordsman in the series, many of his artes are considered the archetypal swordsman artes for the series. His attack strength is, unlike the rest of the characters in the game, separated into thrust and slash stats, with his various artes depending on one or both. Many of his artes are designed to either halt or push enemies away, as for most of the game it is Cress protecting three mages from most enemies.
Cress has such artes as Sword Rain, which subjects an enemy to a flurry of stabs, and Beast, which knocks enemies back with a lion's head. Cress also has several artes to boost his own abilities to either defeat enemies quicker, in the case of Coil which boosts his attack power, or allow him to fight longer, such as the health-restoring Inspiration. Also, unlike the rest of the characters in the game, his artes are separated into two, later three, distinct classes: the Deadly Skills (必殺技 Hissatsuwaza?) and the Secret Skills (奥義 Ougi?).
Deadly skills are learned through levels, while secret skills must, for the most part, be learned from books which have to be bought or found throughout the world. His secret skills build on his deadly skills, combining two of them into a stronger attack. Cress introduces an even higher tier of physical artes: the Hidden Secret Skill (秘奥義 Hi Ougi?), which would later be termed the mystic arte. His Dark Blade is the first mystic arte in the series. Cress, through the agency of obtaining the Eternal Sword and its components, also uses various artes termed "space-time attacks" (時空剣技 jikuu kengi?), which are mostly unique to him.
Another unique trait of his swordsmanship is the way his primary sword is designed; the hand guard has a tonfa-like grip sticking out perpendicular of the two other ends, allowing Cress to grip and wield the blade in a unique manner as displayed in the animation.
Tales of Destiny
Cress appears in Tales of Destiny alongside Arche in the town of Armeida, where the two of them administer a quiz about previous Namco games, in which the winning prize is Stahn Aileron's Throw Sword arte. In the later versions, he is replaced by Kratos Aurion from Tales of Symphonia.
Tales of Eternia
Cress, with his last name romanized as "Albain" in this game, appears in Tales of Eternia as one of the cameos in the coliseum battle, with Arche next to him on harder difficulties. Cress wields the Eternal Sword, and gives it to Reid Hershel after he is defeated. Cress fights mainly with his sword and uses some of the artes he shared with Reid. He can use both long-ranged and short-ranged attacks, and he heavily reduces damage taken. He also can counter being targeted Dragon Demon Chaos with his unique arte Eternal Blade, though Arche can be targeted without problem.
Tales of the World: Narikiri Dungeon 2
Cress is available as a party member in Tales of the World: Narikiri Dungeon 2. When Julio Sven and Caro Orange are attacked when meeting Aida and Stella, Cress comes to save them in their first battle. Alongside Mint, he escorts them around Regnia Town. When Mint is in trouble, Julio and Caro must fight Cress, who has been possessed by a "Black Crystal". At the end of the story, before fighting Thanatos, a party of Cress, Stahn, and Reid must also be fought. In addition to Cress's presence as a recruitable party member and quest-giver, Julio can dress as Cress by coming a male Holy Swordsman costume with the "Eternal Sword" root item.
Tales of the World: Narikiri Dungeon 3
In Tales of the World: Narikiri Dungeon 3, Cress joins Julio and Caro in Mission 11 at the Elven Forest, forming a party with Stahn and Nanaly Fletcher. He is able to be used as a party member after the completion of the mission. Cress is the first fight in the game's arena. Julio can dress as Cress by combining his Swordsman costume with the "Arcane Arte Manual" root item.
Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2
Cress appears as a playable character in Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2. Cress arrives on the Van Eltia with Mint, Chester, Arche, and Suzu after escaping from their homeland. After meeting Janis Kern in the mines, Cress along Lloyd Irving, Kratos Aurion, and Genis Sage are sent out by Raine Sage to find more information on him. After returning, Cress goes on a story mission with Chester and the Protagonist to the cave. There they find soldiers plotting to kill Janis, Cress and the others catch up to them and are force to fight herd of monsters sent by the soldiers. Cress does play any major role after this, but he is available to go on missions with the player. After Kanonno Earhart's mana is restored and all three antennas are placed he is one of the characters congratulating the Protagonist for completing the job. After Goede is finally defeated, Cress with the other Phantasia cast are speaking to Veigue Lungberg and his companions on the Van Eltia looking at the mana spreading across the world. The sword Cress uses throughout the entire game is the Eternal Sword, which is following its original design from Tales of Phantasia.
Tales of VS.
Cress appears as a playable character in Tales of VS. During the story, he ventures Mint and Kratos. In this game, Cress is a swordsman from the Kingdom of Heidr and the teacher of Lloyd in swordsman training. Three years ago he attended the Yggdrasil Tournament, but was forced to quit after Mint disappeared. Years later he joined the tournament to find Mint, he hired Kratos to help him in his quest. In Lloyd's story mode he and Kratos serve as the first boss. During the story Dhaos makes a replica of him and Kratos to fight Lloyd and Colette Brunel, but he shows up just in time before Lloyd and Colette are forced to fight more. After being reunited with Mint, they both head to the World Tree where they meet with Lloyd and Colette and battle them as test to see how Lloyd has grown.
Tales of The Heroes: Twin Brave
Cress is the protagonist of a serious scenario with Chester being his partner. In the story, they are the only survivors from a disaster that claimed the lives of all others in their hometown. Upon hearing that they will be able to avoid the tragedy by traveling back through time using the Eternal Sword, they make up their mind to obtain it. They get themselves into several problems in their journey, such a fight for tickets on last train of the day as well as a conflict with Kor Meteor and Kohaku Hearts, who mistake them for vegetable thieves. They also encounter other people who pursue the sword along the way. Regardless, they succeed in reaching the ancient ruins where the Eternal Sword is kept. There, they are warned by the keeper Reala that the Eternal Sword is no longer its former self in the way that it now claims people's lives in exchange of newly created ones.
Elrane then appears and seizes the sword, tempting the two by saying that they are able to revive their beloved ones by sacrificing several others that they know nothing of. Torn between his longing to revive his deceased sister and his conscience, Chester retreats from the battle, feeling perplexed. Cress, on the other hand, stands firmly against the idea by stating that no innocent life should be sacrificed for those who are already dead and chases after Elrane. In the end, convinced that no one can replace his only sister even if she is dead, Chester comes back to assist Cress in stopping Elrane from activating the sword. With Elrane defeated and the sword returned, though not without pain, the two gives up their original plan, believing that their beloved ones can thus finally rest in peace.
Cress is also the partner of Chester in a comical scenario. Having accidentally swallowed a Pun Gummy, Cress begins bombarding everyone he meets with hilarious yet offensive puns, resulting in conflicts that ascend to fights. In the end, Cress confronts Stahn who is also under the effect of a same gummy. Tired of their friends' idiocy, Chester and Stahn's partner, Leon Magnus, decide to give up on finding an antidote and simply wait for the effect to fade away.
Tales of Xillia 2
Cress appears as an optional boss at the coliseum in Xian Du, along with Mint, Stahn Aileron, and Rutee Katrea. The Illusionary Darkness dungeon and sidequests for Mint and Rutee must be complete in order to access this. When they are defeated, the player can decide whether or not to let them save Elle Mel Marta from the Land of Canaan as an alternate ending to the game. In a skit unlocked after the fight, Gaius states that Cress and Jude Mathis would get along well due to both of them being overly sincere. Cress also appears as a character skin and pre-order bonus costume for Jude from Tales of Xillia.
- Cress's name is romanized as Cless Alvein during the ending credits to the Japan-only Tales of Phantasia on the Super Famicom, as well as in the instruction manuals for the Japanese versions of the game. Due to this, fans tend to use the name Cless when referring to him, especially in the unofficial DeJap translation of the game. However, in his cameo appearance in the US version of Tales of Eternia, his name was localized as Cress. This has carried through into Nintendo's official translation of Tales of Phantasia on the Game Boy Advance and Tales of Phantasia: The Animation by Geneon. It should be noted that Japanese people pronounce the "r" and "l" sounds the same way, so neither one of Cress's name translations is incorrect. In terms of the version that involves the "r", cress is the name of a garden herb, which is a motif shared with Mint Adenade.
- Cress's puns in later appearances most likely stem from the Japanese dialogue "Boku wa zettai ni Daosu wo taosu!" (僕は絶対にダオスを倒す！?, "I will definitely defeat Dhaos!"), where Dhaos's name when romanized in Japanese and "taosu" sound very identical. Two of the PSX translations translate this through English-worded puns ("I will douse Dhaos!" in particular), which seems to be a bit of a meme associated with Cress from that point on.
- Cress and Stahn Aileron are the only main protagonists who wear a headband. In the Tales of Fandom Gaiden bonus DVD, Cress insists that a "true hero" wears a headband and wields a sword, validating Zelos Wilder's claim that he is the lead hero of Tales of Symphonia instead of Lloyd Irving. Other lead protagonists argue with Cress and Stahn about this statement, leading to other comments that "true heroes" are merely "country bumpkins", or that they must have the ability to use Demon Fang to be known as heroes, which infuriates Kyle Dunamis since he was the only main character at that time who could not use the arte.
- Flynn Scifo can dress as Cress in the PlayStation 3 release of Tales of Vesperia, using the title "Yasashiki Kenjutsu no Keishousha" (優しき剣術の継承者?, "Kind Swordsmanship Successor"), which also grants him access to Cress's Jigenzan arte.
- Although Cress does not appear in Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology, if the Protagonist talks to Chester as a Swordsman, Chester mentions that while they look good, they do not compare to another swordsman he knows, referencing Cress.