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Tales of Destiny

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This article is primarily about the original release of Tales of Destiny for the PlayStation console. For the PlayStation 2 remake of the game, see Tales of Destiny (PS2). For its Director's Cut release on the same console, see Tales of Destiny: Director's Cut.
Tales of Destiny
ToD logo
Information
Game Systems PlayStation
PlayStation 2
Developers PSX Telenet Japan
PS2 Namco Tales Studio
Publishers JP PSX Namco
NA PSX Namco Hometek
PS2 Bandai Namco Games
Character Designers Mutsumi Inomata
Composers Motoi Sakuraba
Shinji Tamura
Japanese Releases PSX   December 23, 1997
PS2   November 30, 2006
PS2 DC January 31, 2008
North American Releases PSX   September 30, 1998
Opening Theme "Yume de Aru You ni" by DEEN
Ratings JP PSX unrated
NA PSX ESRB: T (Teen, 13+)
PS2 CERO: A (all ages)

Tales of Destiny (テイルズ オブ デスティニー Teiruzu obu Desutinii?) is the second game in the Tales series, originally released in Japan on December 23, 1997 for the PlayStation console. This game was released in North America on September 30, 1998, marking the first appearance of the Tales series in English-speaking regions. A remake version of Tales of Destiny was later released for the PlayStation 2, followed by an additional Director's Cut, which was released on the same system. The game has a sequel, Tales of Destiny 2, which takes place in the same world, 18 years after the events of Tales of Destiny.

All releases of the game feature an introductory video created by the renowned animation studio Production I.G, and the Japanese versions are accompanied with the song "Yume de Aru You ni", performed by the J-pop band DEEN. This game represents Mutsumi Inomata's first appearance as a video game character designer, also marking her first participation as an artist for a Namco franchise. All music was composed by Motoi Sakuraba and Shinji Tamura, both of whom returned as freelance music composers after leaving Wolf Team due to disputes related to Tales of Phantasia.

Tales of Destiny is the first game in the series to feature a characteristic genre to define its story beyond the usual genre stereotypes. Its characteristic genre translates to "Fateful RPG" (運命のRPG Unmei no RPG?), matching with the title of the game itself to refer to the preordained meetings between the characters and their Swordians as they pursue their destiny.

Story

Because the PlayStation 2 releases of Tales of Destiny have varying details that conflict with the original game, the events of the PlayStation 2 version are considered to represent the current official canon, overriding the original version of the game. This story section details only the events of the original game.

In the past, a comet crashed into the world, throwing dust clouds into the sky and shrouding the world in cold and darkness. At about the same time, the inhabitants, the Aethers, discovered a new form of energy from the meteorite's core, which they named Lens. Combining this with further research, the people were able to create cities in the sky and live in them. Unfortunately, only a select few were chosen, leaving the rest of the people to remain on the bleak surface of the planet. Over time, the sky's inhabitants became known as the Aetherians and their Aeropolis cities. They created a horrific weapon called the Belcrant that shot down any who dared oppose them. This caused full scale war to erupt between the two civilizations, now known as the Aeth'er Wars. However, regardless of their will and persistence, the Aetherians continued to have the power to dominate every engagement though the use of their superweapon.

In their disgust of their civilization's elitist behavior, a group of Aetherian scientists went to the surface. There, with aid from the people, they were able to create special swords, called Swordians, that were sentient. Unlike other weapons, these swords chose their masters and were able to call upon the elements of nature to do their will. Using these weapons, the people of the surface finally had an edge against the Aetherians. Thanks in part to the Swordians and their masters, scores of Aeropolis were sunk to the depths of the ocean. In the end, the Erthers claimed victory over the Aetherians. Thousands of years later, this story has been mostly forgotten. In the meantime, the purposeless Swordians fell into a deep stasis sleep, only to awaken when grave threats rose once again.

The story of the game begins when country-boy-turned-adventurer Stahn Aileron, who seeks fame and adventure, sneaks aboard the flying ship Draconis as a stowaway. He is found by the crew and forced to work as a deckhand, but when a large hostile force attacks the ship, the crew is overwhelmed and Stahn breaks free during the ensuing chaos. Looking for a usable weapon to fend off the attackers, he gains access to a storeroom and discovers a "junk" sword. However, the sword starts talking to him, calling itself Dymlos and claiming to be a sentient Swordian from the Aeth'er Wars. Armed with Dymlos, Stahn fights his way to an escape pod, which he uses to escape the rapidly descending ship before it crashes into the ground. Dymlos becomes the key to the fame, fortune, and adventure Stahn seeks as the young man meets other Swordians, quickly becoming embroiled in a battle for a relic of the Aeth'er Wars: a huge, extremely powerful Lens called the Eye of Atamoni.

Characters

Stahn Aileron (スタン・エルロン Sutan Eruron?, "Stan Aileron") - A young 19-year-old adventurer who grows into a powerful sword-based physical fighter, Stahn is the protagonist of Tales of Destiny. Not known for his intelligence or his cultured background, his fire-elemental Swordian is Dymlos.

Rutee Katrea (ルーティ・カトレット Ruuti Katoretto?, "Rutee Kartret") - Armed with Atwight, the Swordian of Water, 18-year-old Rutee is a headstrong Lens hunter who travels the world looking to make a profit with her partner, Mary. She has a bad reputation in the Kingdom of Seinegald because of her money-hungry ways, but she does not let it bother her.

Leon Magnus (リオン・マグナス Rion Magunasu?, "Lion Magnus") - Leon is a master swordsman of Seinegald - at age 16 the youngest in history to serve the kingdom, and a close associate of Hugo Gilchrist, the president of the powerful Oberon Corporation. A complex and slightly brooding character, Leon's agile Swordian is Chaltier.

Philia Felice (フィリア・フィリス Firia Firisu?, "Philia Philis") - A 19-year-old priestess at Straylize Temple studying the A'ether Wars period, Philia is isolated from the outside world until the events of the game. She has a sweet, charming personality and is very dependable, but she can also be overly fastidious. Her powerful spell casting ability is augmented by her Swordian, Clemente, but her physical attacks are weak.

Garr Kelvin (ウッドロウ・ケルヴィン Uddoroo Keruvin?, "Woodrow Kelvin") - The 23-year-old Prince of Phandaria, Garr is a skilled archer as well as a swordsman; Igtenos is his wind-elemental Swordian.

Mary Argent (マリー・エージェント Marii Eejento?, "Mary Agent") - Suffering from amnesia, 24-year-old Mary is not aware of her last name due to an unknown event in her past. Mary has no Swordian, but can use swords and axes as a strong physical attacker. Rutee uses Mary for her own financial gain.

Chelsea Torn (チェルシー・トーン Cherushii Toon?, "Chelsea Tone") - The 14-year-old granddaughter of Garr's archery master, Alba. Even though she appears cute and innocent, Chelsea is an archer skilled beyond her mere 14 years of age. She is a good long-range attacker with her bow, but not a Swordian user.

Bruiser Khang (マイティ・コングマン Maiti Konguman?, "Mighty Kongman") - A 39-year-old powerful fighter from the battle arena, Bruiser is an optional character. However, he forcibly joins Stahn's group in the PlayStation 2 remake. Using his fists as a weapon, he is the undefeated champion of the world when it comes to battling in the arena; no Swordian.

Karyl Sheeden (ジョニー・シデン Jonii Shiden?, "Johnny Shiden") - An estranged 26-year-old son of an aristocratic family, Karyl is a bard by trade. He may seem fragile from outward appearances, but he can provide useful support in the party through songs played on his lute.

Lilith Aileron (リリス・エルロン Ririsu Eruron?) - Stahn's 17-year-old sister, who is very concerned about him and wishes he would not go on such dangerous adventures, was a dummied character available only through use of a Game Shark or similar device in the original version of the game. In later remakes, however, she becomes an optional playable character.

Gameplay

Standard Gameplay

Since it is not possible to switch other characters into the first player's position, the primary player is forced to control the main character, Stahn Aileron, in all situations. Other players can control characters who have the "Channeling" item equipped, associating their position within the party with the appropriate controller slot. As a result of this item, Tales of Destiny is the first game in the series that enables multiplayer gameplay, allowing up to four players to participate in battle with the use of four controllers and a Multitap peripheral for the PlayStation console. However, like later games in the series, all multiplayer gameplay functions are reserved for battles only. Only the primary controller can be used to interact with objects and NPCs, and because Stahn's position cannot be changed, he will always occupy a position within the battle party.

Exploration takes place on two types of maps: towns and dungeons, and the world map. All towns and dungeons are represented by two-dimensional maps with sprited objects and NPCs that the player can interact with. Several homes and facilities are available within each town, often featuring detailed interiors that even include the aesthetics of interior plumbing, something that houses of later games seem to lack.

The world map, alternatively known as the "Global Sphere Map" (グローバルスフィアマップ?), is rendered as a three-dimensional sphere with unwalkable terrain such as mountains, pits, and oceans. Transportation on the world map includes standard movement on the ground, several predetermined routes through the sea within a cruise ship, flight within the Draconis airship, and even a "Tricycle" option that reduces movement speed on the world map while preventing all enemy encounters. While piloting the Draconis, it is possible to rotate the map and travel in directions that are not possible from the ground, such as diagonal movement.

In the bottom-left corner of the world map screen is the "Active Party Window" (アクティブパーティウィンドウ?), in which the characters of the active battle party are shown in close detail. If the player idles in one position without moving after a set amount of time, the characters start to move within this screen, first posing for the player, then performing various actions such as dancing or reading books. In the Japanese release of this game, this window serves as a way for the characters to chat with each other, talking about personal matters that do not relate to the story as a way to provide interaction between characters who would otherwise have no reason to speak with each other. This function acts as the precursor to the skit systems that are found in all later games in the series. However, all chat dialogue has been removed from the English release of the game due to the lack of English voice actors.

Battle encounters in dungeons and on the world map are random based a number that is determined at the end of each battle, corresponding to the number of steps the character must take before a new battle is activated. This number can be modified through the use of the "Scout Orb" item, which adds or subtracts to this number based on the setting for the encounter difficulty. This is the precursor to the difficulty system that is used in later games.

Battle Gameplay

Tales of Destiny defines and establishes several of the recurring features of the trademark Linear Motion Battle System, building on the real-time battle system that the original Tales of Phantasia was known for. Combat takes place on a two-dimensional plane where characters and enemies act mostly in real time. Melee and ranged attacks are executed upon command, with magic requiring a spellcasting delay that increases directly with the complexity and potency of the spell being cast. When the chanting of a spell is complete, time temporarily stops as the spell animation is carried out and damage is assigned.

Special melee and ranged attacks cause more damage than normal attacks, providing an extended attack animation that causes additional hits that can keep the enemy staggered for a longer period of time. These special attacks are directly termed as artes in later games. All artes and spells require "technical points", or TP, to be consumed for use. After acquiring the "Combo Counter" item, the active battle party is rewarded extra experience for performing combos of multiple hits.

This game introduces the use of directional combinations that are input at the same time the "special attack" button (default: X) is pressed, allowing up to four different special attacks to be registered for quick access without entering the menu screen during battle. This same attack shortcut format is still used in most games with almost no modification, save for a few titles in the series. In addition to this method of attack input, an alternative command set can be activated by equipping the "Combo Command" item on a character, providing all special attacks within his or her movelist with a set of button combinations that must be completed to activate it, reminiscent of the command inputs for moves in fighter games. This enables all special attacks to be accessible to the character, instead of the maximum of four special attacks that the default option provides.

Release Overview

Tokyo Game Show 1997 Demo

During Namco's presentation at Tokyo Game Show in 1997, Tales of Destiny was revealed to be in development for the PlayStation console. A playable demo was provided during the event, featuring several gameplay modifications due to the lack of story-based content that was available for that event. Character abilities have been scaled to lower levels, allowing each character to obtain several artes before they could access them in the final release of the game. This demo also includes many areas that have been dummied out of the final game. The disc that contained this demo also included a storyboarded sketch version of the opening, accompanied with the game opening version of "Yume de Aru You ni" by DEEN.

The demo release of Tales of Destiny was eventually released to the public through the Famitsu magazine, issued on November 29, 1997, one month before the final game's release. On December 3, 1998, this same demo build was included within the PlayStation release of R4: Ridge Racer Type 4. It was part of the second disc as part of the NAMCO CATALOGUE '98, a collection of several games developed by Namco during this time. This second disc was not included with the North American or European releases of the game, and the demo itself has never been localized.

PlayStation 2 Remake

Main article: Tales of Destiny (PS2)

On June 19, 2006, magazine scans indicated that a remake of Tales of Destiny would appear on the PlayStation 2. As of November 15, 2006, one week before the original release date of November 22, the game was delayed to an unknown date. Two days later on November 17, 2006, the official game website announced its release date to be November 30, 2006, in order to fix a bug that the developers had discovered in the game during testing. This remake features highly enhanced graphics and gameplay mechanics, along with a completely rewritten script and fully voiced dialogue. The characteristic genre was changed to "RPG Known as Fate" (運命という名のRPG Unmei to Iu na no RPG?) to reflect the changes to the game while preserving the defining basics of the story itself.

Tales of Destiny: Director's Cut

See also: Tales of Destiny: Director's Cut

A "Director's Cut" version of Tales of Destiny was announced on July 20, 2007, and it was released on January 31, 2008 in Japan for the PlayStation 2. Its characteristic genre name is "One More RPG Known as Fate" (もうひとつの運命という名のRPG Mou Hitotsu no Unmei to Iu na no RPG?), building on the first PlayStation 2 remake with additional features. This version of the game includes a new game mode called "Leon's Side". This new story mode makes Leon Magnus the main character of the game instead of the normal main character, Stahn Aileron. The original story mode is still available to play, under the new name "Stahn's Side". The game was released in two versions, the regular version, containing just the game, and a "Premium Box" version containing the game, a 128 page illustration booklet with new character artwork by Mutsumi Inomata, and an original soundtrack for the Director's Cut, featuring 21 songs. All of these materials are packaged within a special outer casing with new artwork also by Inomata.

Version History

Game Title System Catalog Number Release Date Region
Tales of Destiny
Tokyo Game Show, Autumn '97
テイルズ オブ デスティニー
東京ゲームショウ’97秋
PlayStation SLPM-80133 September 6, 1997 Japan (TGS 1997 Demo)
Tales of Destiny: Famitsu Version
テイルズ オブ ディスティニー
ファミ通バージョン
PlayStation SLPM-80179 November 29, 1997 Japan (Famitsu Demo)
Tales of Destiny
テイルズ オブ デスティニー
PlayStation SCPS-01100
SLUS-00626
SCPS-91111
December 23, 1997
September 30, 1998
November 26, 1998
Japan
North America
Japan ("PlayStation the Best")
R4 -RIDGE RACER TYPE 4-
NAMCO CATALOGUE '98
PlayStation SCPS-01798, 01799
SCPS-01800, 01801
December 3, 1998
December 3, 1998
Japan ("Limited Edition + JogCon")
Japan
Tales of Destiny
テイルズ オブ デスティニー
PlayStation 2 SCAJ-20182
SLPS-25715
SCKA-20100
November 28, 2006
November 30, 2006
November 30, 2006
Asia
Japan
Korea
Tales of Destiny: Director's Cut
テイルズ オブ デスティニー
ディレクターズカット
PlayStation 2 SCAJ-20193
SCAJ-20193A
SLPS-25841
SLPS-25842
January 29, 2008
January 29, 2008
January 31, 2008
January 31, 2008
Asia
Asia ("Premium Box")
Japan ("Premium Box")
Japan

Gallery

ToD PSX (NTSC-U) game cover.jpg
The cover for the Japanese PlayStation version of the game. 

Trivia

  • Much like its predecessor, Tales of Phantasia, Tales of Destiny contains hidden references to classic Namco arcade games; this section covers the original PlayStation version. This tendency to refer to classic Namco products in each subsequent Tales game has become an enduring characteristic of the series.
    • The most significant reference comes in the form of the game's bonus dungeon, a 60-level recreation of Tower of Druaga complete with the original music and every monster from the original arcade game. The monsters present on each floor closely mirror the monsters present on the same floor in the arcade game. The requirements to receive the treasure chests on each floor are different, however, although several clues to the solutions are given in the actual game through various characters in towns. It also seems a coincidence that the abbreviation for Tales of Destiny is "ToD", which Tower of Druaga can also be abbreviated as.
    • There are additional references to Tower of Druaga outside of the bonus dungeon itself. Items present include: Excalibur, Golden Armor, Red Line Shield, Blue Line Shield, Wing Boots (Jet Boots), Hyper Gauntlet, Pickaxe, and the Blue, Red, and Green Crystal Rods.
    • There are statues of Gil and Ki in front of the temple in Kalviola and there is a Blue Line Shield statue in front of the armor shop. Additionally, the dreamy girl in Cresta mentions the characters and story of Tower of Druaga.
  • There is an ad for Tekken 3 in Sheeden; Heihachi Mishima is also visible in one of the towns.
  • Typing OGRE at one point in the game that asks for a password will give Stahn a clue for Tekken 3: "Seek Ogre's Blood."
  • The music and jingles for the Mach Boy race in Neustadt are from New Rally-X.
  • There is an S-Flag from Rally-X on a shelf in the Developer's Room and Lens Shop.
  • On the Draconis, there are pictures in a bedroom of a slightly obscured Pooka from Dig Dug and a Paccet from Baraduke.
  • The Gnome item summons several multi-colored characters from Libble Rabble.

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