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Tales of Hearts

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The following contents have not been released in the English language and are based on data from the Japanese version of this game. Details are subject to change at any given time.

Tales of Hearts
ToH Logo
Information
Game Systems Nintendo DS
PlayStation Vita
iOS
Developers NDS Namco Tales Studio
PSVITA 7th Chord
Publishers Bandai Namco Games
Producers Hideo Baba
Directors Kazuhisa Oomi
Scenario Writers Naoki Yamamoto
Character Designers Mutsumi Inomata
Composers Motoi Sakuraba
Hibiki Aoyama
Japanese Releases NDS December 18, 2008
PSVITA March 7, 2013
iOS October 9, 2013
North American Releases PSVITA November 11, 2014[1]
European Releases PSVITA November 14, 2014[1]
Opening Theme "Eien no Ashita" by DEEN
Ratings JP CERO: B (recommended 12+)
NA ESRB: T (Teen, 13+)
EU PEGI: 16+

Tales of Hearts (テイルズ オブ ハーツ Teiruzu obu Haatsu?) is the eleventh Mothership Title in the Tales series, originally released for the Nintendo DS in two versions, an "Anime Movie Edition" (アニメムービーエディション Animemuubiiedishon?) using the animation produced by Production I.G., and a "CG Movie Edition" (CGムービーエディション CG Muubiiedishon?) using computer-generated 3D model cutscenes produced by Shirogumi. The game's characteristic genre is "A Meeting Between Hearts RPG" (心と出会うRPG Kokoro to deau RPG?).

The game uses 2D sprites and 3D backgrounds, and it represents the first entry in the series to use CG models for characters during cutscenes. The theme song, "Eien no Ashita" (永遠の明日?, "Eternal Tomorrow") is performed by DEEN, who previously performed the opening theme of Tales of Destiny. The game eventually received a remake for the PlayStation Vita which acts as a "reimagination" of several concepts of the original game, eliminating the CG cutscenes but converting the entire game to use 3D-rendered models while introducing other significant gameplay changes.

Story

Zerom, monsters that eat individuals' Spiria or hearts have spread around the world, therefore, weapons called Soma were created in order to banish the Zerom. People who possess Soma are also capable of entering someone's Spir Maze. Amber Hearts, who happens to be the vessel for Richea Spodune, was in search of a Soma together with her brother, Jadeite Hearts. Along the way an enemy, Incarros assaults them, but they manage to escape to the sea. They are brought into a little village of Seeble, where they meet the protagonist, Shing Meteoryte. There, Shing took care of both of them and introduced them to the Soma that they were looking for.

ToH World Map

A map of the world in which the story takes place.

During that time, Incarros makes an appearance once more; this time she manages to attack Amber, and Shing's grandfather, Zeks. With his Soma, Shing intended to go into Amber's Spir Maze in order to cure her, but his plan fails, and Amber's Spiria ends up shattered into pieces that are spread around the world. From there, Shing's adventure of recovering Amber's Spirune begins. During that time, Shing befriends several others and together has to overcome many obstacles and antagonists who are also looking for Spiria. During his travels, Shing discovers more and more about the world, Richea, Spirunes, and Zerom. Eventually, it is revealed that Kreed Grafyte, the ruler of Quartzia, was hidden away within Shing and is eventually drawn out by Incarros. The ancient defense system Gardenia is revived, though Kreed is shocked at its nature. With the aid of Calcedny Arcome and his Spiria, Shing and the party are able to infiltrate Gardenia and defeat Kreed, but through sacrifice. As a result, Gardenia is destroyed, and Kreed and Flora are killed in the process.

Characters

Playable Characters

Shing Meteoryte - A boy with an unusually strong curiosity for the world, Shing lives with his grandfather Zeks in the town of Seeble. He inherited the ability to use Soma from his grandfather and mother, but he hides this fact from them. Because of his curiosity and personal inexperience, he lacks delicacy in his speech and conduct. He recognizes his mistakes, and is able to properly reflect upon them. He was given the Soma "Asteria" (アステリア Asuteria?) by his grandfather, passed down by their ancestors. His last name is based on meteorites, stone or metallic objects from space.

Amber Hearts - A girl setting off from her home town for a certain reason, she is in need of Soma. Shing found her collapsed on the beach with her older brother. She sometimes refers to a being known as "her". She is the owner of the Soma "Elrond" (エルロンド Erurondo?). Her name in Japanese is romanized as "kohaku" (琥珀 Kohaku?), which means "amber", an organic gemstone.

Jadeite Hearts - Amber's older brother. He was found collapsed by Shing on the beach together with Kohak. Because he lost a relative when he was young, he has a strong sense to excessively try to protect his younger sister. He has a rough outward appearance and acts cool, but inside he has a stubborn heart and is hot-headed. He possesses the Soma "Gale Arc" (ゲイルアーク Geiruaaku?). In Japanese his name means "jade", a mineral gemstone.

Innes Lorenz - A woman outside the norm with superhuman strength and a glamorous body. She is the manager of the transport shop "Every Day is a Peaceful Day" and is the sole employee of it as well. She gently smiles, though with no breaks in her speech and conduct. The Hearts siblings ask her for Soma, which for some reason she is handling. She possesses the Soma named "Folseus" (フォルセウス Foruseusu?). Her name is based on the mineral lorenzenite.

Beryl Benito - A complex girl with a childish face and a short height, that basically ran away from her hometown in order to become the court painter. She has no aims and is indecisive, making her an uncooperative child. She possesses the Soma named "Thiers" (ティエール Tieeru?). She is named after the minerals beryl and benitoite.

Kunzite - A machine with a heart, he is a mechanical guardian knight that was operating more than 2,000 years ago. Created to protect someone, he has a heartless-looking face and does not choose any means to reach that goal. He possesses the Soma "Vex" (ヴェックス Vekkusu?). He is named after the gemstone kunzite.

Non-Playable Characters

Calcedny Arcome - The commanding officer of the thirteenth unit of the Crystal Knights, a force organized by the Baraya faith. His Soma,"Wahrheit" (バルハイト Baruhaito?), is in the form of a sword and armor which gives him the ability to fly. He respects those that are just and fair, and hates cowardly acts. His name is based on chalcedony, a mineral.

Peridot Hamilton - One of Calcedny's companions. She is named after the mineral peridot.

Byrocks Burrows - The other of Calcedny's friends. He fights with a large cannon he carries around in addition to a metallic club weapon.

Paraiba Marine de Rais - The empress of Estrega, the imperial capital. She first appears in Chaurault by the name of Marine, though the party does not know her status until they meet her again in Estrega. She is a close friend of Calcedny. Her name is based on paraiba tourmaline.

Aizak Silva - The captain of the Imperial Military Special Operations Soma Unit. Before revealing his true identity, he assumes the role of Garnet, helping Shing and his crew at various points throughout the story. He is the husband of Pearl, a woman who died attempting to create a cannon powered by psistone, and the father of Lapis, a girl who has suffered from De-Spir Sickness since the age of three. After fusing with a Mother Zerom, he attempts to kill the party but is defeated and begins to calcify. He expresses his regret for being unable to protect Pearl and Lapis, causing the Spirune of Love to appear and the calcification to reverse. He returns Amber's Spirune and apologizes for his actions, but he is ultimately killed by Incarros. His alias is based on the mineral garnet, while his real name is based on the metal silver.

Richea Spodune - A Quart (結晶人/クォート Kuōto?), she is a woman with emerald green hair and appears similar to the sleeping princess of the fairy tales. She appears fickle, but she has a strong will and won't change her mind once she's made a decision.

Antagonists

Kreed Grafyte - Also known as the Scarlet-Haired Devil, he is one of the last descendants of Quartzia and the master of Incarros. He lives in Shing's heart until he returns to his real body at Cendrillon. He inadvertently destroyed Quartzia when he unleashed it upon Gardenia, a Queen Zerom created to destroy all Spiria with feelings of war. He appears to have been Flora's lover, as part of his motivation for unsealing Gardenia is to free her. His name is based on the minerals creedite and graphite.

Incarros - A mysterious sorceress who hunts Amber and Jadeite. She is one of Kreed's loyal servants and a mechanical guardian like Kunzite. Her name is based on Inca Rose, a term sometimes used to describe the mineral rhodochrosite. She was named by Kreed after the color of her eyes, which he complemented as beautiful upon first seeing her. She is a Queen-type mechanoid and an experimental type that linked 7 separated bodies with a single Spiria. Kreed nicknamed her Inca, and Shing also calls her such several times.

Geo Striegau - A man with a twisted obsession for collecting Spirunes. His name is based on the Greek word for "earth" and the mineral striegovite.

Chroa-Seraph - A mechanical guardian of Flora Spodune and brother of Chrino-Seraph. Also referred to as Roa, a shortened form of his name. He appears to serve Kreed, although in truth he has a hatred for humans. He also has an obsessive interest in Kunzite. According to both Kunzite and Chroa-Seraph himself, he and his brother are Ace-type mechanoids, the strongest battle oriented type, and are also capable of linking with each other to increase their combat abilities in a similar manner to the protagonists' Spir Link.

Chrino-Seraph - A mechanical guardian of Flora Spodune and brother of Chroa-Seraph. Also referred to as 'Rino,' a shortened form of his name. Unlike his brother, he does not ally himself with Kreed. On the contrary, he plans to kill both Kreed and Richea for working against Flora's wishes. The Seraph Brothers' names are based on the minerals clinochlorite and seraphinite.

Kolan-Dhalm - A mechanical guardian who serves Kreed. While she is actually neutral, curiosity is the primary source of her actions. Due to her nature, she assists Kreed's endeavors- more or less to satisfy her 'hunger' for data. Kolan-Dhalm is a Joker-type mechanoid, which is meant for more practical use and not suited for battle. She is named after the mineral corundum.

Other Characters

Zeks - Shing's grandfather, a refined and disciplined wielder of Soma. He is mortally wounded by Incarros, and shortly dies thereafter. With his dying breath he passes on his Soma, Asteria, to Shing.

Ameth - A very flirtatious young man, he is known to be the champion of the coliseum.

Labrado Arcome - Calcedny's father. His name is based on the mineral Labradorite.

Groshler - A government official. He is named after the mineral Grossular.

Orb, Ann, Cindy - A family of traveling merchants. Their names put together sound like obsidian, a mineral-like glass.

Flora Spodune - Sister of Richea and inventor of Soma. She sacrificed herself to seal Gardenia. "Flora" means "plant life." Her last name is based on Spodumene, a mineral.

Gameplay

Out of battle, Tales of Hearts has similar gameplay to other titles in the series. The player visits various towns throughout the game, in which they can talk to various NPCs, buy items, and progress the story. The player also goes to dungeons, which contain various enemies, treasures, and puzzles, in which the Sorcerer's Ring, a recurring item in the series, plays a part in solving. After battles, the player acquires gald to buy various things, and experience points, which goes toward leveling up the party. When traveling between towns and dungeons, the player travels through the field map, which contains no enemies. While on the field map the player may go through "field dungeons", which do contain enemies. In both dungeons and field dungeons, enemies are visible, and can be engaged in battle when touched.

Battle System

Tales of Hearts uses the "Combination Aerial Linear Motion Battle System", or CNAR-LMBS. Like previous games in the series, Tales of Hearts uses 2D sprites, with combat taking place on a single two-dimensional line, and is completely real-time, with the player controlling one person and the others being controlled by A.I.. Similar to Tales of the Tempest and Tales of Innocence, only three party members are on the battlefield, but the game allows the player to let party members not currently in battle participate through a Connect Command. Also the aerial combat that was first introduced in the "Aerial Linear Motion Battle System" (AR-LMBS) of Tales of Destiny is implemented in this installment.

Instead of TP seen in other entries of the series, all party members have an "Emotional Gauge", or "EG". It is based on the CC system of Tales of Destiny, in that the player is free to create any chain of attacks, Artes, or spells until the gauge is completely empty, and the gauge automatically refills when finishing the chain of moves.

Every party member also has a "Combination Gauge", or CG. Through any kind of actions, like Artes, jumps, backsteps or even basic attacks, the gauge is increased. This gauge is consumed when the player calls a non-battle party member to battle to perform one of that character's Artes, or commands an active party member to do an Arte, this is called a "Connect Command". The player is also able to use unison attacks, by using a certain Arte with the currently-controlled character and having another party member use another certain Arte. The player also has the option of calling in characters from previous games in the series to use an attack, such as Guy Cecil, Anise Tatlin and Jade Curtiss from Tales of the Abyss, Lloyd Irving from Tales of Symphonia, and Judas from Tales of Destiny 2, as well as characters from other Namco products, such as Yayoi Takatsuki from The Idolmaster, Klonoa from Kaze no Klonoa, Gilgamesh from Tower of Druaga, Wagyan from Wagyan Land, Valkyrie from Valkyrie no Densetsu, Heihachi from Tekken, and KOS-MOS from Xenosaga. There are also nine attributes: Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Light, Dark, Slash, Strike, and Shoot. Through attacking these weak points, damage, hit ratio, and the critical ratio will increase.

Customization

Customization in the game is handled through the "Soma Build" system, through which the player upgrades the Soma (weapons) of the party and control their growth. The player can use raw materials found throughout the game (either buying them, finding them on the field or in battle) to learn various abilities, or "Soma Skills".

Soma Skills can be of four major types:

  • Parameter Skills: Increase the character´s parameters permanently, by a set value depending on the character.
  • Action Skills: Allows diverse actions in battle such as Aerial Jump, Aiming Step, or Backstep .
  • Support Skills: These add passive effects in battle such as reduced item usage time, less damage from specific elements, increased critical rate, etc.
  • Battle Skills: These Soma Skills teach Artes to the character, may it be spells or Strike Artes.

When Soma Build is performed on a weapon enough times, the weapon can go through a process called "Soma Evolve", in which the Soma will take on a new form and name, and unlock new Soma Skills. Although, the new form of the Soma won´t be appreciated in battle, with the exception of the very last 2 evolution ranks.

Soma Link

Throughout the game there are various events in which the player can choose different options towards another character, called a Soma Link. Through certain choices it will cause the outcomes of scenes to change, and the character may gain points towards their "Soma Link Value". Once it becomes high enough, the character can learn various skills. Some of the skills learned through Soma Link aren´t learned elsewhere and thus its very important to have a strong affection with everyone. Additionally to affection Skits, the more you use characters in battle, the better they will relate each other.

Spir Link and Spir Maze

By using Soma, the party can go into one's heart, called a "Spir Link". The person's mind is like a labyrinth, called a "Spir Maze", a place with various rare items and other things to find. There are chances to go into these during both the main scenario and with NPCs throughout the game.

Recovery Stones

Recovery Stones (治癒石 Chiyu Ishi?) replaces the common cooking system of the series. The recovery stone can be set to be used at various times during battle to recover HP, or for other effects. When the stone is used it consumes "Heal Energy", which can be recharged at a recovery stone shop, or in dungeons. At the shops the player can also pay to increase the number of effects that can be set to the stone, increase the amount of heal energy, or buy more effects that the recovery stone can use.

Development

Tales of Hearts was officially revealed in V-Jump Magazine, alongside Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology 2. It was later shown at the 2008 Fiscal Year presentation for the series, where it was announced that it was the first game in the series for the DS that would be developed by Namco Tales Studio, to use both anime or CG for movie scenes, and that DEEN would be the one to create the theme song for the game, though it was currently unknown if the movie scenes would be on two separate cartridges. In an interview with producer Hideo Baba, it was said that the game began development during Winter 2006, after the debugging of the PlayStation 2 remake of Tales of Destiny was completed.

It was also revealed that the game was being developed by a new team, made up of members of both the Tales of Destiny (PS2) team and Team Symphonia. It was eventually announced that the anime and CG movies would be released in two separate editions, and would release on the same date.. It was confirmed at the "Tales of Festival 2008" that the game would be using a 2 Gigabit cartridge. It was revealed that the preordered Anime Edition would include a Chat Drama DVD, while those who preordered the CG edition would receive a Visual and Original Soundtrack DVD, both DVDs also containing the first unveiling of the promotion video for the next mothership entry in the series, and information on a new project by Bandai Namco Games. On November 20, 2008, it was announced that the game's release would be delayed a week to December 18, 2008.

Music

The music of Tales of Hearts was composed by Motoi Sakuraba, a regular composer for the series. The Tales of Hearts Original Soundtrack was released on two compact discs by BMG Japan in 2008. The theme song of the game, "Eien no Ashita", performed by DEEN, was released as a single by BMG Japan in 2008.

Version History

Game Title System Catalog Number Release Date Region
Tales of Hearts
テイルズ オブ ハーツ
Nintendo DS - October 10, 2008 Japan (TGS 2008 Demo)
Tales of Hearts: Anime Movie Edition
テイルズ オブ ハーツ
アニメムービーエディション
Nintendo DS NTR-P-CTUJ December 18, 2008 Japan
Tales of Hearts: CG Movie Edition
テイルズ オブ ハーツ
CGムービーエディション
Nintendo DS NTR-P-CTGJ December 18, 2008 Japan
Tales of Hearts R (Taikenban)
テイルズ オブ ハーツ R (体験版)
"Tales of Hearts R (Demo)"
PlayStation Vita
(PlayStation Store)
- December 25, 2012 Japan
Tales of Hearts R
テイルズ オブ ハーツ R
PlayStation Vita VLJS-00039
PCHJ-15017
March 7, 2013
March 7, 2013
Winter 2014
Winter 2014
Japan
Japan ("Link Edition")
North America
Europe
Tales of Hearts R
テイルズ オブ ハーツ R
iOS - October 9, 2013 Japan

Gallery

ToH-Anime NDS (NTSC-J) game cover.png
The cover for the Japanese Nintendo DS version of the game. 

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Tales of Hearts R Coming to PS Vita This Winter PlayStation Blog (2014) Retrieved on 2014-04-21.

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