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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
European Releases PSVITA November 14, 2014
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

Note: This is the plot for Hearts R for the PlayStation Vita. In the original version, Gall Gruner was not present and Chalcedony is a non-playable character who is incapacitated after the party gains their airship.

ToH World Map

A map of Organica, the world in which Hearts takes place.

Two thousand years before the main events of Hearts, the planet of Organica was attacked by Xerom, monsters that eat individuals' Spiria, the crystalline essence of a person's heart and emotions. The Xerom were sent to Organica by the people of Minera, the planet later known as the White Moon. The Xerom were the creation of Creed Graphite, and the Spodumene sisters Lithia and Fluora, with their living core being Gardenia. While Creed and Lithia saw Gardenia as a means of ending conflict on their world and the Organicans as suitable test subjects, Fluora was opposed to their plan. Factions among the Minerans who did not approve of the use of the Organicans gifted those with strong Spiria with weapons known as Soma. These Soma wielders, known as Somatics, are also capable of entering someone's Spir Maze and purge them of Dispir, the disease that Xerom cause in people's Spiria.

When Gardenia was activated, it went out of control and absorbs the Spiria of everyone on Minera, causing the entire planet and its population to calcify. Horrified at what had been done, Fluora shut down Gardenia and used herself as a seal to prevent its reactivation. A repentant Lithia attempted to prevent Creed from rescuing Fluora, but ended up separating their Spiria from their bodies. Their respective Spiria found hosts in various people over the next two millennia, with them continuing their conflict down the generations. 1,982 years later, Lithia and Creed were using the bodies of Iola Hearts and Emperor Zirconia respectively. While confronting a group of Somatics including Iola, Sydan Meteor and his daughter Kardia, Zirconia shatters Iola's spiria in an attempt to destroy Lithia, who transfers herself into Iola's unborn daughter Kohaku. Lithia aids them in restraining Zirconia, forcing Creed to possess Kardia's own unborn child Kor. While Kardia and the unborn Kor sealed Creed away, the effort destroyed Kardia's Spiria.

In the present, Kor has grown up ignorant of Creed's presence inside him with Sydan raising him as a Somatic in his home village despite wanting to kill him on earlier occasions due to containing Creed. One day, Kor, now eighteen and gifted with Sydan's sword soma, stumbles across the now-grown Kohaku and her older brother Hisui, who have come to Kor's island home looking for a soma for Kohaku. Although they obtain the soma, they are attacked by Incarros, a mechaknight in the service of Creed, and a group of Xerom under her command. Incarose kills Sydan and infects Kohaku with Dispir before departing. Though not fully trained, Kor dives into her Spiria to cure her. While there, he briefly encounters Lithia. Due to his inexperience, he risks Kohaku's spiria with a sudden outburst of negative emotion, which alerts Lithia to Creed's presence inside him: Kohaku and Lithia act as one, shattering Kohaku's spiria and scattering it across the world to keep Lithia safe: with her Spiria core destroyed, Kohaku is reduced to an empty shell. Feeling guilty about what happened, Kor sets out with Hisui and Kohaku to restore her spiria.

They find fragments of Kohaku's spiria hiding inside different people across the world, and as they gradually restore her, they have problems with Kohaku due to her unstable and incomplete emotional state. During their travels, they are joined by Gall Gruner, a Somatic who lost his wife and daughter to Xerom twenty years before and is now a dedicated hunter of Xerom. Recognizing Kohaku's dispir as unique and feeling a connection with Kohaku due to a similarity in condition to his daughter, he agrees to join them. They meet with the traveling merchant Ines Lorenzen when Hisui buys a Soma from her. She agrees to lend it, and ends up traveling with the group. They find the fragment of doubt inside Beryl Benito, whom they cure from the affliction. It is at this point that they first encounter Peridot and Pyrox, servants of the knight Chalcedony Akerman, who himself contains two fragment of Kohaku's spiria. The group are difficulty retrieving the fragments from both Akerman and the current ruler of the Maximus Empire, Paraiba Marine De Rais. Escaping from the Empire, which has become divided between the Valentin Church and the Empire's military forces, they are eventually successful in restoring Kohaku's spiria. Also during this period, they encounter Kunzite, Lithia's mechaknight who initially accompanies the group to protect Lithia's host, but eventually develops genuine ties of friendship. As she slowly returns to normal, Kohaku and Kor form a romantic attachment, initially frowned upon by Hisui.

With Kohaku's spiria restored, Creed takes control of Kor and takes him to the fortress Mysticete, where Creed and Lithia's true bodies are stored. There, both Creed and Lithia return to their bodies, and Creed defeats the group, revealing his plan to free Fluora and, as he believes, release the spiria of the Minerans from Gardenia's core to restore his world, even if it means the destruction of Organica. After Lithia reveals the truth about herself and Creed, Kor is disheartened, feeling that he should have died. Kohaku succeeds in breaking him out of his gloom, with them developing a powerful Somatic bond, a strong connection between their Spiria. As Mysticete prepares to lift off, Chancedony submits himself to execution as a traitor to the Empire to save Peridot and Pyrox from the same fate. Kor and the others follow and rescue him, then work to save the Empress from an attack of Dispir. After she heals the rift between the Church and the military, the group then set off, along with Peridot and Pyrox, to find materials needed to evolve Chancedony's Soma into an airship they can use to reach Mysticete. During their travels, they encounter Chlorseraph, a mechaknight formally loyal to Floura who is determined to destroy Kunzite and Lithia as he holds them responsible for his mistress' fate. While gathering some of the materials in a volcano, Incarros attacks the group, and Peridot and Pyrox are trapped inside. The party is forced to leave them to their fate, but the effort of the Soma's first activation is a huge strain on him. After recovering, Chalcedony joins the group permanently. At this point, it is revealed that Lithia's spiria is all but withered, and that her body is slowly calcifying. While Hisui and Kunzite first see this, she swears them to secrecy.

During their first assault on Mysticete when it lifts off, they succeed in wounding Incarose, but are ejected from the ship and land on Minera, where they see the full scale of Gardenia's handiwork. While on Minera, Chlorseraph awakens his brother Clinoseraph to help him. Clinoseraph eventually betrays his brother, planning to kill Creed and and Lithia for ignoring Fluora's warning. Incarose kills Clinoseraph, using parts from the two brothers to upgrade her body. Meanwhile, the group goes to the top of the Mineran capital city, intending to use a transport tower to transmit themselves to Gardenia before it can absorb the spiria of Organica. After a final battle, with Incarros being fought against by the lingering wills of Chlorseraph and Clinoseraph, she ends up becoming the power source for the transport beam, which destroys her in the process. On Gardenia, the group unsuccessfully try to dissuade Creed from freeing Fluora. Upon being freed, Fluora reveals the reason for Gardenia's malfunction: the queen Xerom was modeled on Creed's spiria, and since he yearned for friends and companions, Gardenia enacted a twisted form of his wishes. Fluora's words are proved right when Gardenia activates and consumes her. Driven over the edge by the revelation, he lashes out at the party, only to be defeated by them. Kor and Kohaku unite with the spiria of their friends and those of the Minerans remaining in Gardenia to destroy the Queen Xerom. With this done, Fluora and Creed finally die, sharing a moment of peace. In the aftermath, it is determined that the Minerans have a chance of being reborn so long as the Somatic bond with Organica remains strong. Kunzite then offers to put himself in a coma so Lithia can remain alive with his synthetic Spiria. Lithia reluctantly agrees, and the rest of the group return to Organica: Mysticete become Kunzite and Lithia's their resting place, orbiting and watching over the world. Back at Kor's home, Kor and Kohaku finally declare their love.

Characters

Playable Characters

Kor Meteor - A boy with an unusually strong curiosity for the world, Kor lives with his grandfather Sydan Meteor in the town of Seaville. 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.

Kohaku Hearts - A girl setting off from her home town for a certain reason, she is in need of Soma. Kor 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 is a reference to "amber" (琥珀 kohaku?), an organic gemstone.

Hisui Hearts - Kohaku's older brother. He was found collapsed by Kor on the beach together with Kohaku. 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.

Ines Lorenzen - A woman outside the norm with superhuman strength and a glamorous body. She is the manager of the transport shop "Wanderlust" 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

Chalcedony Akerman - The commanding officer of the thirteenth unit of the Crystal Knights, a force organized by the Valentin 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 Harmotome - One of Chalcedony's companions. She is named after the mineral peridot.

Pyrox Ferro - The other of Chalcedony's friends. He fights with a large cannon he carries around in addition to a metallic club weapon.

Paraiba Tourmaline - The empress of Straga, 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 Chalcedony. Her name is based on paraiba tourmaline.

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

Lithia Spodumene - A Mineran, 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

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

Incarose - A mysterious sorceress who hunts Kohaku and Hisui. She is one of Creed'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 Creed 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. Creed nicknamed her Inca, and Kor also calls her such several times.

Geocron Striegov - A man with a twisted obsession for collecting Spiria Cores. His name is based on the Greek word for "earth" and the mineral striegovite.

Chlorseraph - A mechanical guardian of Fluora Spodune and brother of Clinoseraph. Also referred to as "Lor", a shortened form of his name. He appears to serve Creed, although in truth he has a hatred for humans. He also has an obsessive interest in Kunzite. According to both Kunzite and Chlorseraph 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.

Clinoseraph - A mechanical guardian of Fluora Spodune and brother of Chlorseraph. Also referred to as "Lino", a shortened form of his name. Unlike his brother, he does not ally himself with Creed. On the contrary, he plans to kill both Creed and Lithia for working against Fluora's wishes. The Seraph Brothers' names are based on the minerals clinochlorite and seraphinite.

Corundum - A mechanical guardian who serves Creed. While she is actually neutral, curiosity is the primary source of her actions. Due to her nature, she assists Creed's endeavors- more or less to satisfy her 'hunger' for data. Corundum 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

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

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

Labrodor Akerman - Chalcedony's father. His name is based on the mineral Labradorite.

Grossular - A general in the army. He is named after the mineral Grossular.

Aubert, Cinnabar, Annaberg - A family of traveling merchants. Their Japanese names put together sound like obsidian, a mineral-like glass.

Fluora Spodumene - Sister of Lithia and inventor of Soma. She sacrificed herself to seal Gardenia. Her names are referenced to Flourite and Spodumene, a mineral, though her first name can also be romanized as "Flora" to refer to plant life.

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 combination artes, 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 Gilgamesh from The Tower of Druaga or Valkyrie from Valkyrie no Bouken: Toki no Kagi Densetsu. 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.

Somatic Bond

Throughout the game there are various events in which the player can choose different options towards another character, called a Somatic Bond. Through certain choices it will cause the outcomes of scenes to change, and the character may gain points towards their "Somatic Bond Value". Once it becomes high enough, the character can learn various skills. Some of the skills learned through Somatic Bond aren't learned elsewhere and thus its very important to have a strong affection with everyone. Additionally, the more you use characters in battle, the better they will relate each other.

Spiria Link and Spiria Nexus

By using Soma, the party can go into one's heart through a process called the "Spiria Link". The person's mind is like a labyrinth, called a "Spiria Nexus", 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.

Release Overview

Tales of Hearts R

Tales of Hearts R is a reimagining of the story developed for the PlayStation Vita, similar to its predecessor, Tales of Innocence R, and received a full transition to 3D in both overworld and battle. The battle system received an overhaul to the Aerial Chase Linear Motion Battle System or ARC-LMBS. The character of Gall Gruner is introduced in this version, while Chalcedony Akerman is upgraded to playable status. This version was also released for the iOS and eventually was localized in the North American and PAL regions on the VITA.

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
November 11, 2014
November 14, 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

External Links


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