|Tales of Phantasia|
|Game Systems|| Super Famicom|
Game Boy Advance
|Developers|| SFC Wolf Team|
PSX Telenet Japan
GBA Namco Tales Studio
FVE Namco Tales Studio +
Mine Loader Software
XE Climax Entertainment
|Publishers|| SFC Namco|
JP GBA Namco
NA GBA Nintendo
EU GBA Nintendo
FVE Bandai Namco Games
XE Bandai Namco Games
|Character Designers||Kousuke Fujishima|
|Composers|| Motoi Sakuraba|
Ryota Furuya (SFC only)
|Japanese Releases|| SFC December 15, 1995|
PSX December 23, 1998
GBA August 1, 2003
FVE September 6, 2006
XE August 5, 2010
|North American Releases||GBA March 6, 2006|
|European Releases||GBA March 31, 2006|
|Opening Theme|| Yume wa Owaranai ~Kobore|
Ochiru Toki no Shizuku~ by:
SFC/GBA Yukari Yoshida
|Ending Theme|| Hoshi wo Sora ni by|
PSX/FVE Yukari Yoshida
|Ratings|| SFC unrated|
JP GBA CERO: FREE (all ages)
NA GBA ESRB: E10+
EU GBA PEGI: 7+
DE GBA USK: 0 (without age restrictions)
AU GBA OFLC: PG (recommended 8+)
FVE CERO: A (all ages)
XE CERO: B (recommended 12+)
Tales of Phantasia (テイルズ オブ ファンタジア Teiruzu obu Fantajia?) is the first installment of the Tales series, and was released by Namco in 1995 for the Super Famicom. Released at the end of 1995, Tales of Phantasia is considered one of the crowning achievements for its time. It has graphics that pushes the console to its limits, an addictive and original, never-before-seen battle system, and the addition of actual voices and voice actors. It is also the first and only Super Famicom game to feature an entirely original, vocalized theme song featured directly in the game.
In the game, the protagonist is Cress Albane, along with his comrades: Chester Burklight, Mint Adenade, Claus F. Lester, Arche Klein, and in later remakes, Suzu Fujibayashi. The heroes fight against Dhaos, an evil overlord, while traveling through time to save their world.
Tales of Phantasia begins by showing a heroic battle between four unknown warriors against an evil sorcerer, Dhaos, the outcome of which changed the fate of the world. The warriors are victorious, but Dhaos escapes through time. However, four different heroes await him: they seal the weakened Dhaos away by using the power of two pendants, thus returning peace to the world.
In the town of Toltus ten years after Dhaos was sealed away, there lives a young swordsman named Cress Albane and his best friend Chester Burklight. The town is destroyed by a dark knight named Mars Uldole and his soldiers while Cress and Chester are out hunting in the forest. Every villager is killed in the attack, including Chester's sister and both of Cress's parents. While Chester mourns, Cress vows for revenge. He decides he will head to the town of Euclid, as his mother asked of him before she passed away. The two friends decide they will meet up later in Euclid. Upon his arrival in Euclid, Cress is soon betrayed by his uncle and is thrown in jail, captured by Mars. The heirloom pendant entrusted to Cress by his father Miguel is taken away from him, but Cress does not know of its significance in holding Dhaos sealed, nor that his father was one of the four who sealed him away.
Cress meets Mint Adnade in the jail, and she joins and helps him escape. Soon afterwards, the duo meets Chester again at the home of Trinicus D. Morrison, another of the four warriors. Morrison informs the party that he knew Cress's parents and Mint's mother quite well, and they once joined together to seal away a great evil. He is horrified to hear that Cress's pendant has been stolen and immediately runs off towards a nearby mausoleum. Cress, Mint, and Chester deduce that Mars must be there, and so follow Morrison without his knowledge and against his will. Unfortunately, Mars manages to release Dhaos using the pendants before Morrison and the party can stop him. With no hope of dealing with the all-powerful Dhaos for now, Morrison attempts to send Cress, Mint, and Chester back a century into the past, so that they will learn about Dhaos and procure a means to preemptively defeat him. After killing Mars, Dhaos attacks the party with a magic spell that Chester dives in front of. So it is that Chester and Morrison are left behind to suffer Dhaos's wrath, with only a broken bow and a diary respectively all that Mint and Cress have to remember them by.
In the past, Dhaos is still causing chaos, preparing for an imminent war against the two largest human countries, the Kingdom of Alvanista and Midgards. These events happened ninety-four years before he was sealed. In this time period, Dhaos's evil pervades most of the world, and he even controls the prince of Alvanista's royal family. The party learns that the only way to defeat Dhaos is by using magic, but neither Cress nor Mint can practice the magical arts—only elves and half-elves can use the powerful spells. However, they soon meet Claus F. Lester, a summoner, and Arche Klein, a half-elf witch, who join them in their quest. Claus is a researcher of summoning, the act of evoking a magical or elemental spirit, and is thus one of the only humans who can indirectly use magic by forming a pact with the spirits via special rings and then summoning them in battle. He suggests that the spirit Luna may be useful to them, and so the party travels across the world to the deserts of Freyland, the depths of the ancient dwarven caverns of the Morlia Gallery, and to mountains above and caves below in search of rings and spirits to help them fight Dhaos.
Eventually, the party reaches Midgards and succeeds in helping fend off Dhaos's army in the conflict called the Valhalla War. They proceed to Dhaos's castle in search of him, with hopes of restoring peace to the world and avenging the deaths of their loved ones. Reaching the throne room, an epic battle with Dhaos ensues. Unfortunately, Dhaos escapes through time, much in the same way as before. The party travels back to their original time to interrupt the resurrected Dhaos from killing Morrison and Chester in the mausoleum, and fight him once more. This time, Dhaos is completely defeated, and the cave begins to collapse in on itself and an unconscious Dhaos. In the aftermath, the party decides that with Dhaos most likely dead, they have succeeded and can part ways so that Claus and Arche can return to their original time. But at that moment, a time-traveler arrives from the future to inform them that Dhaos is still alive and is terrorizing the future. Cress and company immediately travel forward in time fifty years to deal with Dhaos and his minions once and for all.
Upon the advancement of their journey, Cress, Mint, Arche, Claus, and Chester learn of the Eternal Sword, which is considered to be the only weapon that may eliminate Dhaos once and for all by sealing his ability to flee through time. After acquiring it and another ally, the ninja Suzu Fujibayashi, the party ventures into Dhaos's floating castle, invisible to those who do not wield the Eternal Sword. When they reach the top, they battle against Dhaos, who they learn is much more than a simple sorcerer. He is a traveler from another world that is trying to save the Great Tree Yggdrasill from withering and dying; the mana that the tree exudes is of utmost importance to the survival of his world, the planet Derris-Kharlan. After his defeat, Cress and the others return to the Tree, and the Spirit Martel explains Dhaos's circumstances. The game's protagonists come to realize that in the end, Dhaos was merely trying to save his people, a noble intent marred by his actions. Finally, Claus and Arche return to their own time, while Suzu, a denizen of the future, parts ways with them. Martel, after the party leaves, decides Dhaos's planet with the gift of a Mana Seed to help them survive.
Mint Adenade (ミント・アドネード Minto Adoneedo?, "Mint Adnade") - A calm and collected healer who was taken prisoner by evil knights just before the Demon King Dhaos is released. She joins Cress on his quest when they escape together.
Chester Burklight (チェスター・バークライト Chesutaa Baakuraito?) - Cress's childhood friend who loses his little sister Ami Burklight when their village is destroyed. Bow in hand, he swears to get revenge by defeating the Demon King Dhaos.
Claus F. Lester (クラース・Ｆ・レスター Kuraasu F. Resutaa?, "Klarth F. Lester") - A scholar from the village of Euclid who helps Cress out by summoning spirits. His goal is to one day master the art of magic despite being a human.
Tales of Phantasia introduces the Linear Motion Battle System. In later installments of the Tales series, this battle system will be reused and improved with new features. Battles are fought on a single two-dimensional plane with enemies that act in real time. Standard RPG features such as HP and TP are implemented. Commands must be input either using button presses or selecting options via a menu. Heading to either the far left or the far right of the screen will cause an Escape Gauge to appear which must fill up completely in order to escape. Targeting enemies is automatically assigned beforehand but can be changed manually. Physical artes only work at either short or long range, while the effects of spells are limited to those targets who are displayed on the screen, and all actions stop when high-level spells are cast. In the original game, it is only possible to control Cress, but later remakes allow the player to control any party member in battle.
Tales of Phantasia (PlayStation)
Tales of Phantasia was remade for the PlayStation console three years after its Super Famicom release, and was released only a year after the second game in the series, Tales of Destiny. The remake runs on an enhanced Tales of Destiny engine and benefits from all the enhancements and refinements to the gameplay it had to offer. For example, Chester, who relied on brute force in the Super Famicom version, now has nine TP-consuming artes, which carries over into future remakes. Also carried over from Tales of Destiny are the voice-acted face chats; however, now the player simply needs to push the "Select" button on the world map to see them rather than stand still for a while on the world map as in Tales of Destiny. In addition, it gives birth to many new features still seen and being improved upon in modern Tales sequels today, such as cooking and titles. As in Tales of Destiny, the player has the ability to control any party member, as opposed to the Super Famicom version, where only Cress can be controlled.
Many other changes, such as adding a fully animated anime style opening sequence, more side quests, additional artes, and a more player-friendly battle encounter rate are also made. The audio is remastered at a higher quality with additional channels. The game also makes Suzu Fujibayashi, originally just a side character, a playable addition to the party. Starting with this version, the final boss obtains a third form in battle. The similarities between this and the villain of Tales of Symphonia suggest a connection between the two games. At the end, Martel sends the Mana Seed into space including only Dhaos's corpse, whereas in the original, she went there along with it and became part of the seed. There is also a new voice for the opening song, as well as a completely new ending song featured at the end of the game. Unlike all the other tunes in Tales of Phantasia, Yume wa Owaranai is not played using the normal music selection method on the PlayStation remake. Instead, a lower option allows the player to play certain music tracks, which includes the theme.
Tales of Phantasia (Game Boy Advance)
In 2003, Nintendo released a Game Boy Advance port of Tales of Phantasia. This version combines various elements from both the original Super Famicom version and the PlayStation remake into one game. The sprites and battle graphics are from the PlayStation remake, but the opening sequence, map and field graphics are directly recycled from the Super Famicom version. Graphics are also brightened and oversaturated to compensate for the dark screen of the original Game Boy Advance, which is not backlit. This version of the game is also the basis for the mobile port, Tales of Phantasia Mobile.
The Game Boy Advance version features a handful of original additions and side quests, as well as most of the additions that appeared in the PlayStation remake. The final battle music against Dhaos changes from I Miss You to The Stream of Time. The Game Boy Advance version was localized for North America, translated by Bowne Global Solutions, and released on March 6, 2006. The English version received some negative reviews because of the new translated names such as "Cless" to "Cress" and "Ragnarok" to "Kangaroo". The theme song, Yume wa Ovaranai, is also taken out of the game and replaced with a remixed version of the world map theme. Conversely, the lack of quality hardware music meant that the music had to be re-arranged for software mixer which was considerably lower quality than the previous versions. Separate translations were made soon after for a European release, which was released just a couple of weeks after North America.
Tales of Phantasia: Full Voice Edition
A port for the PlayStation Portable called Tales of Phantasia: Full Voice Edition was released in Japan in September 2006, developed by Mineloader Software. This version of the game is largely based upon the PlayStation remake and contains completely redone voice acting, which are now used for most story events. It has also added voice for all plot events, which may be the reason behind the remake's name. The PSP port also includes a grade system, also from later games of the series, and features new battle sprites for the main characters with less exaggerated proportions, closer to those of later games in the series, such as Tales of Eternia.
Tales of Phantasia: Cross Edition
A remake of Tales of Phantasia: Full Voice Edition, now known as Tales of Phantasia: Cross Edition was released on August 5th, 2010. The game includes both an updated version of the storyline and battle system, new mystic artes, and a new playable character named Rondoline E. Effenberg. This game is acutally bundled on the same UMD as a complement to the main game Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X, a remake of the direct sequel to Tales of Phantasia itself. In addition to the new playable character, the battle system was overhauled so that spells no longer stop time and break the flow of battle.
Tales of Phantasia originally was only available in the United States through the fan translation of the Super Famicom version done by DeJap Translations. However, the PlayStation version has been translated into English through two separate patches by Absolute Zero Translations and Phantasian Productions. The Game Boy Advance version has been translated and released commercially for North America and Europe in 2006, though many fans consider it to be an inferior version in terms of fighting flexibility, and also think the translation is poorer than other versions.
The original game soundtrack was arranged by veteran composer Motoi Sakuraba, as well as Shinji Tamura; these two have been the primary music composers for the series since then. Also, there are vocal tracks associated with the game:
- Yume wa Owaranai (夢は終わらない?lit. "The Dream Will Not End") – First heard in the Super Famicom version, it was featured in the original animated opening to the PlayStation remake and reused for the PlayStation Portable port. It was performed by YOMI (PlayStation and PlayStation Portable versions) and Yukari Yoshida (Super Famicom and Game Boy Advance versions). The Super Famicom version was arranged by Hiroya Hatsushiba. Like other vocal songs of the Tales series, Yume wa Owaranai was removed from the North American release of the Game Boy Advance version.
- Hoshi wo Sora ni (星を空に?lit. "A Star in the Sky") – performed by Yukari Yoshida. This is the ending song for PlayStation and PlayStation Portable.
Tales of Phantasia: The Animation
Tales of Phantasia: The Animation is a four-episode OVA that was released sporadically over the course of 2004-2006. It cut a lot of story from the game in order to fill four episodes and uses the new voice actors from later versions of the game. The anime was released by Geneon in the USA and Canada with full English voice acting.
|Game Title||System||Catalog Number||Release Date||Region|
| Tales of Phantasia|
テイルズ オブ ファンタジア
|Super Famicom||SHVC-P-ATVJ||December 15, 1995||Japan|
| Tales of Phantasia Taikenban|
テイルズ オブ ファンタジア体験版
"Tales of Phantasia Demo"
|PlayStation||SLPM-80344||November 28, 1998||Japan (Famitsu Demo)|
| Tales of Phantasia|
テイルズ オブ ファンタジア
| December 23, 1998|
September 28, 2000
Japan ("PlayStation the Best")
| Tales of Phantasia|
テイルズ オブ ファンタジア
|Game Boy Advance|| AGB-P-AN8J|
| August 1, 2003|
March 6, 2006
March 31, 2006
April 13, 2006
| Tales of Phantasia:|
Full Voice Edition
テイルズ オブ ファンタジア
|PlayStation Portable|| UCAS-40110|
| September 5, 2006|
September 6, 2006
August 8, 2007
Japan ("PSP the Best")
| Tales of Phantasia Mobile|
テイルズ オブ ファンタジア モバイル
| Mobile Phone:|
i-mode (FOMA 905i/705i series)
EZWeb (W5X series)
Yahoo! Mobile/Vodaphone live!
March 17, 2010
March 18, 2010
June 1, 2010
| Tales of Phantasia:|
Cross Edition Taikenban
テイルズ オブ ファンタジア
"Tales of Phantasia:
Cross Edition Demo"
| PlayStation Portable|
|-||July 8, 2010||Japan (Demo)|
| Tales of Phantasia: Cross Edition|
テイルズ オブ ファンタジア
|PlayStation Portable|| -|
| August 5, 2010|
August 5, 2010
- Motoi Sakuraba has a cameo appearance in the Super Famicom and Game Boy Advance versions of the game. When the party visits Alvanista, they can meet him and get him to play the theme of the game on a piano.
- The four unknown warriors that appear battling Dhaos at the beginning are often mistaken for being Trinicus D. Morrison; Miguel Albane, Cress's father; Maria Albane, Cress's mother; and Meryl Adenade, Mint's mother. However, these four are the ones who seal Dhaos away after he flees through time. The group during the opening battle is actually Edward D. Morrison and three other characters who are only referenced and named on the drama CDs and novels. The swordsman is Alan Albane, the healer is Carol Adenade, and the injured woman is Winona Bigford. There is also a portion of this story presented in Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon.
- The Summon Spirit battle theme, Fighting of the Spirit, has become immensely popular since its debut in Tales of Phantasia and is either consistently used in other Tales games or is arranged to make it sound even more powerful than before:
- The original version used in the Super Famicom game and all of its ports and remakes.
- The arranged version on the Tales of Phantasia OSV for the Super Famicom version.
- A new version is heard in Tales of Symphonia every time a Summon Spirit is fought.
- An extremely "hardcore" version by online synth rock arranger, Saitama Saishu Heiki.
- The church theme, titled Perverse Religion, is adapted from Little Fugue in G Minor (BWV 578) by Johann Sebastian Bach.
- There are many references to Norse mythology in Tales of Phantasia. Many locations are named after Scandinavian mythical locations like Midgard and Valhalla. The game's World Tree, Yggdrasill, is also form Norse mythology's tree of life. In some events, a Valkyrie interacts with Cress in the game. The fusing of fire and ice is to create the power of all in the Norse mythology, and in the game, the two swords of fire and ice, Flamberge and Vorpal Sword respectively, are used to create the Eternal Sword, which is the sword of creation.
- Tales of Phantasia (Official Website (North America), Game Boy Advance version)
- [JP] Tales of Phantasia (Official Website, PlayStation version)
- [JP] Tales of Phantasia (Official Website, Game Boy Advance version)
- [JP] Tales of Phantasia: Full Voice Edition (Official Website)
- [JP] Tales of Mobile: Tales of Phantasia Mobile (Official Website)
- [JP] Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X and Tales of Phantasia: Cross Edition (Official Website)
- [JP] Tales Channel (Tales Series Official Website)