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File:TalesOfInnocence 1256.jpg

 Who are the people you surround yourself with? Are they the friends of who you are now, or the enemies of who you once were?

Beneath a foreign sky, the mighty Sensus general Asura leads a charge against the armies of Ratio. His goal is to acquire the Manifest, an incredibly powerful artifact that can unite the heavenly domain of Devaloka and the earthly plane of Naraka into one paradise... or destroy both.

Finally, the battle comes down to a duel between Asura and the Ratio general, "Reaper" Hypnos. Asura uses his trusty blade, the intelligent Holy Sword Durandal, to slay his opponent, and with his last breath Hypnos swears to evaluate the results of Asura's campaign in another life.

This is the recurring dream that a timid young schoolboy called Luca Milda has been having, a dream where he is Asura leading his armies against Ratio. He lives an ordinary life in the kingdom of Regnum, preparing to one day inherit his father's merchant business. The city is abuzz with talk of the government tracking down and arresting "Avatars": humans who have begun to suddenly develop supernatural powers.

As Luca is walking to school one day, he runs into a girl called Iria Animi, an Avatar being chased by Regnum soldiers. She implores Luca to help her, and although Luca is not a fighter, when he picks up a weapon his own Avatar powers awaken, allowing him to destroy the soldiers with frightening ease. The name of "Asura" echoes in his mind...

The story is an exploration of identity. Each party member must grapple with their true nature: is it the person they grew up as, or the heavenly being whose memories they possess? Should Luca trust his allies as the friends he knows now, or should he remember them as enemies of Asura? What forgotten events transpired after the battle between Asura and Hypnos, and what happened to the Manifest?

Amidst all of this, chaos erupts as people across the world awaken to their "true" nature as warriors of Sensus or Ratio, threatening to reignite the ancient war. Then there's the cult of Arca, led by a mysterious masked woman called Mathias who seemingly wants to destroy the world, and the rebirth of a sinister figure known only as "Overlord".

Other characters include Spada Belforma, a Hot-Blooded swordsman and reincarnation of Durandal; Hermana Larmo, a young girl who runs a shelter for runaway Avatars, and reincarnation of Asura's steed Vrtra; Ange Serena, a kind but quirky nun from the city of Naos, and reincarnation of Ratio tactician Orifiel; and Ricardo Soldato, a cold mercenary who is the reincarnation of Hypnos himself.

Tales of Innocence is a 2007 video game, the second game in the Tales (series) to be released for the DS, developed by Bandai Namco and Alfa System. The game is short and regrettably lacking in puzzles, or indeed interesting stages at all. However, it's clear that love did go into the game, and was merely concentrated into the combat system. The so-called Dimension Stride LMBS is a fusion of Tales of Destiny Remake and Tales of the Abyss, and focuses on fast-paced action and nigh-endless comboing. The engine uses the same plane-of-motion control as Tales of Symphonia, but with the added option of free-run, making the fighting intuitive and versatile.

Namco decided to not let the game leave Japan, but a competent Fan Translation by Absolute Zero is available.

The title received a Video Game Remake for the Play Station Vita called Tales Of Innocence R. It featured a revised script (which included more insight into the events of Asura's era), updated graphics, a new opening song, a redesigned battle system and two brand new characters: "QQ Selezneva", a spirited archaeologist, and "Kongwai Tao," a quiet spellcaster who dislikes disputes.


Tropes presented by Tales of Innocence:

  Iria: Hot damn! She just stepped on a land mine!!

  • Big Eater: Coda and Hermana. Ange is a more subtle example - she loves to eat, but doesn't show that as... vividly as Coda and Her.
    • Judging from what Ricardo said in a skit in Lemures Marsh, this may apply to all of the girls in the party.

  Ricardo: Goodness, our gluttonous female members never cease to amaze me.

  • BFS: Luca's signature weapon, totally at odds with his personality, as well as Durandal himself.
  • Bonus Dungeon: Restricted Guild Dungeon.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Iria and Ricardo, although both do wear belts covered in extra ammo. Gameplay and Story Segregation?
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Ignoring Coda's tutorial skits in the beginning of the game, Tales of Innocence takes itself seriously enough to not break the wall. So it comes as a bit of a surprise when Ricardo (of all people) does it in a certain skit. Luca and Iria are commenting on how much stronger they've become ever since their adventure began, leading Ricardo to scold them for being too cocky. He then proceeds to say that Luca and Iria can still become stronger, and cannot let overconfidence stop them from doing so. Luca then asks if he really means it. His answer? Of course he means it; the game's maximum character level is 250.
    • And he does that again in the skit "Ricard, Hermana and I"[1] What do they talk about? Starting with the fact that it's one of the most difficult skits to gain, and now that the skit is unlocked, it's mostly pointless, and the player has accomplished nothing. The whole skit is undoubtedly a CMoF.
  • Calling Your Attacks - A time-honoured Tales tradition.
  • Captain Obvious - Played straight and lampshaded at the end of Regnum Cavern.

 Spada: Dogs.

Ricardo: We can see that. There are two of them.

Iria: We can see that, too!

  • Chivalrous Pervert: Spada, Spada, Spada. There's probably no one who's as fixated on Ange as himself.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Inanna, to Asura.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Chitose/Sakuya.
  • Combat Medic - Ange, Iria, and Ricardo all learn a fair amount of healing and support spells, though Ange displays this trope the most.
  • Competitive Balance: Through a brilliant design decision, all members can be assigned to various combat Styles as desired, which affects the stats through various multipliers.
    • Advance Style: Purely offense oriented. Unlocks abilities which allow powerful and relentless attack chains, such as Combo Plus and Critical Focus.
    • Wisdom Style: For the spellcasters. Learns skills associated with spells and TP, such as TP Up and Fast Magic.
    • Guardian Style: Focuses on HP, DEF and M.DEF; in short, taking a lot of hits. Shapes the user into a wall with its Status-guard and defensive abilities such as Lure and Blow Resistor.
    • Technical Style: Very much speed oriented, but not very defensive. Specializes solely on maneuverability in the battlefield, and some item-related skills. Learns skills such as Dash and Backstep.
    • Versus Style: For those looking for an ungodly challenge. Not only does it grant no stat bonuses, its abilities focuses strictly on crippling the user. It unlocks skills such as Handicap 4, which gives an extra 25% EXP for 90% reduction in stats.
      • However, after leveling it up enough, it unlocks abilities which gives bonuses for Gald, EXP or just stat. Nothing gamebreaking, but still worth the effort to an extent.
    • Innocent Style[2]: Like Versus, grants no stat bonuses whatsoever, but unlocks abilities related to Awakening Mode, as well as unlocking each character's Hi-Ougi/Mystic Artes.
  • Complete Monster: An in-universe subversion. When asked to comment on Hasta, the single most Ax Crazy Omnicidal Maniac Blood Knight in existence, because of their past-life rivalries, Spada is fully expected to brand him one of these. Instead, he just opts out of discussing him because of how creepy he is.
  • Cooldown Hug: Ange's pretty open-armed towards Hermana when she's down, even offering one soon after they just met.
  • Cute Bruiser: Hermana, who happens to be the Divine Dragon Vrtra.
  • Cute Shotaro Boy: When the game came out, some fans actually claimed "New Tales has shota main character!". Truth is, Luca is 15, probably a little too old to be considered one of these, but, like the rest of the cast (except for Ricardo), he looks very much 12-ish.
    • Chien arguably qualifies, too.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Referenced by Hasta in his ramblings after the first fight against him. Of course, this is Hasta that we're talking about, this doesn't happen.
  • Disc One Nuke: Guild Dungeons' chests give randomly generated loot. However, some of the items in the tables are very, very good. Therefore, it is possible, in a rank 2 dungeon, to obtain a "Mythril" Sword with 110 attack and a casting speed bonus at a time where the normal swords you can buy in shops and/or loot in dungeons have maybe 18 attack.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Spada of all people. It's painfully obvious he likes Ange, but she is oblivious to it and he avoids actually telling her directly.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Invoked by Ricardo during a skit when the party crosses the Northern Battlefield. Ange proceeds to reprimand him when he makes Luca cry for doing so.
  • Driven to Suicide: Chitose after the final boss fight.
  • Dual-Wielding: Spada and Iria.
  • Enemy Without: Mathias and Overlord, both of whom are Enemies Without to Luca/Asura.
  • Escort Mission: They hardly offer any Grade, Gald, or Guild Points! Who in their right mind would-- you mean all I have to do is escort them to the entrance? And I don't actually have to defend them on the way there? And you're going to pay me for this?
  • Evil Laugh: Iria and Spada give this whenever they plan to pick on Luca. Sometimes, each of them proceeds to note how creepy the other's laugh is.
    • Luca also gives a particularly insane one the first time he really gets the feel for actual battle. Fortunately his friends quickly snap him out of it.
  • Fantastic Racism: Some humans toward Avatars, also citizens of Ratio toward humans.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Almost every place you visit if a counterpart of something. The most obvious are Ashihara and Galpos, for Japan and Hawaii respectively. Regnum may be The United States, considering their industrial nature, colonies, and large military, and Tenos may be Russia, but if so it isn't as blatant.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Averted, and averted hard. Iria's fighting style is Guns Akimbo with a pair of revolvers, while Ricardo fights with a rifle and bayonet. Bottomless Magazines is still in effect, though that's probably a result of Gameplay and Story Segregation, as both their designs show them wearing belts and straps full of backup ammunition, implying that they do need to reload their guns.
  • Fetch Quest: Some of your Guild missions.
  • Fetish Fuel: In-universe; one skit has Luca wondering about things that might happen to Ange while kidnapped. Spada gets a little too enthusiastic about the descriptions...
  • Final Boss: Actually a bit of an inversion for a Tales (series) game. While it still does have a final boss, said final boss is actually a large demonic monster instead of the standard human or humanoid.
  • Five-Man Band: Roles are subject to change, of course.
  • Gender Bender: To execute their Limit Break moves, the characters transform into their past lives. Ange was Orifiel in her past life. Ange is a lady. Orifiel was not. This is noted in a skit.
  • Global Airship: You get one very late in the game from Albert.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: A direct case. The Devaloka needs the prayer and faith of people from the Naraka to sustain itself. When the people's faith started to wane, they had to resort to taking human souls to fortify it.
  • Guns Akimbo: Iria
  • Half Human Hybrids: The Grigoris, who are descendants of Thanatos and his human wife.
  • Handicapped Badass: Gameplaywise, the Versus Style is literally made for this; (almost) all of its unlockable abilities are made to utterly cripple the characters' stats. Since there aren't a lot of bonuses to gain, it's probably meant to be used as a challenge. A real, hardcore challenge.
  • Heel Face Turn: Albert and Chien.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: At the beginning from Coda.
    • Lampshaded by Iria. "Once was enough, you cocky tutorial rat!"
  • Heroic BSOD: Luca, after the events in the Sky Castle.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Rockman Luca, let's go! Sword, Wide Sword, Long Sword! Program Advance!
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Asura and Inanna. And Sakuya. Asura is huge to start but dang...
  • Humongous Mecha: Powered by People Jars.
  • Hypocritical Humor: During the first meeting with Chien, he is referred to as "Dog Boy" by Hermana. Ange tells her it's not nice to call him like that and proceeds to ask Chien his name. While calling him "Dog Boy".
  • Idiot Ball: Luca holds one after the first battle with Hasta. Yes kid, the crazed psychopath who is about to be offed wants to whisper something in your ear; of COURSE it's a good idea to get closer to him. Surely he's not going to stab you and run away. That'd be just crazy... OH WAIT.
  • Informed Flaw: Ange being overweight. It isn't even mentioned at all until she's been with your party a while. Though her clothes are much baggier than anyone else's (which she lampshades during one skit), and she does enjoy food.
  • Jump Cut - In the edit of "Follow the Nightingale" that plays during the game's intro, about 55 seconds in.
  • Kid Hero: Boy does Ruca certainly fit this! He's 15, and looks even younger.
  • Killer Rabbit: Cerberus. Dear god, look how cute it is!!
    • It actually becomes a Double Subversion according to additional info in subsequent playthroughs [3]. It's not that Cerberus looks like a cute critter forever; when he dies, he's reborn as the same being in the same place, and the flashback cutscenes showing him throughout the game happen to be around the time when he was just a puppy.
  • Knife Nut: Surprisingly, the token healer, Ange, is quite adept with knives.
  • Lady of War: Ange. And to top it off, her starting Style is the Fragile Speedster.
  • Level Grinding: Or rather, a lot of things except the levels, which grow quite reasonably: Relationship Values, Arte proficiency, Style levels, and especially Grades. Levels come naturally through grinding other things.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Luca. Very classic example.
  • Magikarp Power: As mentioned above, the Versus style provides no bonuses and all its abilities cripple your stats, effectively making it a Self-Imposed Challenge difficulty level...until you level it up to level 45 or so, at which point you get large boosts to stats and post-battle rewards. This is mostly useful for playing on a New Game+, however, as leveling a style to 45 generally takes a full playthrough of concentrating entirely on that style.
  • Meaningful Name: A lot. To start, everyone in the party qualifies.
    • Luca Milda: Quite mild-mannered, in contrast to his past incarnation, Asura.
    • Iria Animi: Quite Very animate, especially when she's mad.
    • Spada[4] Belforma: He uses two swords fluently, in addition to have been Durandal in his past life.
    • Ange Serena[5]: She's both angelic and serene.
    • Ricardo Soldato[6]: No wonder he grew up to become a soldier-for-hire.
    • Hermana[7] Larmo: Big sister to homeless vagrant kids in Regnum.
    • Chien[8] Tenebro: He was Cerberus before, and now has two dogs he fight together with, which are also actually his genetic siblings.
    • Hasta[9]: Guess what he fights with. He was also Gaebolg, and Durandal's arch-nemesis.
  • Merged Reality: Asura's goal.
  • Names to Know In Anime: Lots:
  • Nice Hat: Spada.
  • No Export for You: Which Absolute Zero has finally countered as of 29th of June, 2010.
    • Ironically, Namco Bandai Games America has trademarked Tales of Innocence twice now (once in 2007, and again in 2011), for reasons continually unknown. May lead to a late-hour localization, but it's good to keep in mind that the same happened to Tales of Rebirth and Tales of VS., neither of which have been localized.
  • Noodle People: The character models can get a bit noodley at times.
  • Official Couple: Iria is the heroine and she and Luca were lovers in their past lives, so she's who Luca is "supposed to" pair off with (and is the easiest to raise friendship with). However, since Luca's Relationship Values affect the plot (not significantly, but they do), you can opt to instead pair him off with Hermana or Ange. Or even Spada or Ricardo.
  • One-Winged Angel
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Subverted in the opening "follow the nightingale" by Kokia. It's actually backwards Japanese.
    • Maintained in the fan translation- the English subtitles for the backwards Japanese parts are written backwards.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Hasta. It goes way back: Even as Gaebolg, he had the tendency to turn insane anyone who holds him, and attack friend and foe alike.
    • Turns out Mathias is one too.
  • Past Life Memories: Probably the most obvious, on-track trope listed here, along with Reincarnation.
  • Path of Inspiration: Arca, the cult led by Mathais, who is trying to destroy the world, which she believes will make everyone truly equal.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Hasta and his bright pink hair.
  • Reincarnation: Where do you want me to begin?
  • Recurring Boss
  • Reincarnation Romance: And how.
  • Relationship Values: Of the highly visible sort. And not just with Luca. You can view and have direct influence over all 15 relationships between the characters of the party (although Luca's are the only ones that affect the plot).
  • Rose-Haired Girl: Iria and Hermana.
  • Saintly Church: In contrast to Arca, the Church of Naos doesn't do a whole lot during the game but is largely described and portrayed as good.
  • Saving the World - A given, but rather than winning fame and adoration, the heroes stay pretty anonymous. They don't consult world leaders, they don't lead military battalions, they just do their hero jobs completely under the radar of everybody but the Big Bad. This is commented on at the end. "We changed the world, and nobody will ever know it was us." They then all go on to lead fairly normal lives.
  • Scare Chord - A well-placed one hits at various moments, like when an Avatar transforms into a Ratio.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend - Luca points out to Ricardo at one point that his statements about Ange are very romantic when they're taken out of context.
  • Shipper on Deck: Everybody knows about Luca and Iria, but Spada is the one that supports them the most (altough how much of it is support and how much of it is tease is arguable).
  • Shout-Out: Surprisingly western ones, mostly with minor NPCs. For example, there is an old man (who is a bit of a poet) who tells the party about Chien's backstory. His name is Edguar Allen Pwo.
    • Iria's brothers and sister, mentioned in an easy-to-miss NPC line by Iria's father, are called Ross, Monica and Gunther.
    • And how about the guild mission where you gather 1UP shrooms?
    • When Hasta finally bites it his last words are "Hasta la vista, baby."
    • The Hayabusa Sword is meant to be the Falcon Sword from the Dragon Quest series that allows the player to attack twice per turn. The description of the Hi-Tech Swords reads "P-pottery?!", a reference to the Ceramic Knives from the Phantasy Star games.
    • Recent scans for Tales of Innocence R show new Mystic Artes for Luca, Iria, and Spada. Iria's is called Absolute Zero. Wait a second, that sounds familiar...
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Absolute Zero's translation follows official localizations' footsteps - that includes re-romanizing some names to their probable original intent (Namco has a reputation for choosing foreign-sounding names that are actually pretty gibberish-y). Therefore, some differences between the translation and the "official" romanizations - Ruca/Luca, Asras/Asura, Sian/Chien, Matias/Mathias, Latio/Ratio etc. While Ruca/Luca tends to get some flame, the other "changes" (note quotations) are generally agreed to be for the better.
  • Steampunk - The setting is more industrialized turn-of-the-century than Medieval Stasis with Lost Technology, a rarity for the series.
  • Sticky Fingers: Ange, of all people, at least in terms of gameplay. Iria and Hermana will call her out on this the first time she uses her Thievery skill.
  • Stuffed Into the Fridge: Let's just say Ricardo (and by extension, the entire party) is not happy when Oswald uses Gardel's corpse to empower the Gigantess Omega.
  • Take Your Time: Oh yes. Especially whenever Ricardo tells you the boat is leaving in a few minutes. Certain skits (like a few for doing X guild missions) have your party tell you off for ignoring the main quest.
  • Tranquil Fury: Ange usually descends into this when her Berserk Button is pushed. Most notably toward Hermana in Kelm Volcano.
  • Tsundere: Iria. Oh dear god, Iria.
  • Unlikely Hero: All 6 playable characters embody this trope pretty well. The only connection any of them have to the evil plot du jor is their past lives, which they start to distance themselves from as the story goes on and they deicde that they'd rather define themselves by who they are now than who they once were. They manage to fly under the radar of all the villains but the Big Bad (they're noticed but never really singled out, except by Matthias), they're quite happy to have saved the world completely anonymously, and after the end they go their separate ways and go back to their normal lives.
  • Urban Fantasy: Although there's plenty of magic in the setting, it's unusual to see a Tales game open with a vista of a turn-of-the-century industrialized city and a character busting out regular, honest-to-God handguns to fight with instead of Magitek.
    • The character designs, aside from bizarre hair colors, are also noticeably plainer and more realistic than in other Tales games, which works very well with the setting.
  • Verbal Tic: Coda, you know[10].
    • Cerberus, the adorable little dog thing that guards the Manifest, with "~wan".
  • White-Haired Pretty Boy: Luca subverts this trope in terms of personality.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Ange is afraid of dogs, although this is revealed very late in the game during the skit with Chien. Also, Ricardo is terrified of heights, as seen after the party gets the Global Airship.
  • A World Half Full: Naraka was implied to be rather crappy in the first place with the wars, but it became much worse after the Fall with disasters and unnatural phenomena began to occur. Doesn't mean it cannot be changed, though, and some people are seen living normally.
  • Wutai: Japan Ashihara. A skit that unlocks immediately after the team first lands on the island pretty much confirms it: honorable warriors, raw fish, rice...
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Ange. Mostly. And on the heavenly side, Asura has two competing for him, reincarnated into Iria and Chitose.
    • It's particularly interesting in Ange, in that she was a man in her past life.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Every playable character except Ricardo is a blatant offender of this. He gets piercing blue eyes instead.
    • Most notably Ange, considering her hair is actually blue.
    • If the characters have high enough friendship points, a skit is unlocked where Ange, Spada and Hermana discuss this.

Notes

  1. Raise all three's friendships to 500.
  2. Obtained by getting three of one character's styles to level 15 or higher after recruiting Hermana, resting at an inn triggers a scene and unlocks Innocent Style; and it has to be done for each character separately.
  3. Talk to Chien in Sania after the Sky Castle.
  4. Spanish
  5. Latin
  6. French
  7. Spanish
  8. French
  9. Latin
  10. "Shikashi", something along the lines of "But (you know)...".
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