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  • Base Breaker:
    • Milla is either one of the best female characters in the series and a solid example of an Action Girl done right, or she's hardly developed and shilled to the Nth degree.
    • Jude's another. Some think he's a bland, boring character when put opposite the more interesting Milla, and that he has no business being involved in the events of the story. Others, however, like him and think he's refreshingly down-to-earth compared to the typical Japanese protagonist (e.g. when Alvin suggests he Likes Older Women, Jude just says "I dunno. Maybe." instead of overreacting).
    • Alvin is either seen as a backstabbing traitor who nearly gets off scot-free, or a Jerkass Woobie, who's trying very hard to redeem himself.
    • Fans are also divided on whether Gaius is one of the best villains in the series, or way too boring and another Karma Houdini. The differences between the original Japanese script and the English version compounds the issue.
  • Broken Base: Specifically over the boss battles. Some hate the bosses for being significantly harder than the trash mobs and breaking out of combos, preventing the same kind of combo-lock strategy that tends to work in most other Tales (series) games. Others prefer the challenge and are glad that they aren't just Punching Bags.
    • Milla's voice acting in the dub. Several fans and reviewers see it as genuinely poor, while others find it to be an in-character quirk in her speech and a conscientious decision by the voice director (likely, given the actress has no lisp in her speaking voice). And then there are fans who think she started off poorly but got much better as the game continued. And to add onto the above complaints, there are many who didn't like her purely because she didn't do as good of a job as Miyuki Sawashiro (and in some small but vocal cases, simply because she isn't Sawashiro, as her fanbase can at times border on Undying Loyalty).
    • The dub name changes. Some like the names for sounding more distinct in the English version while many dislike them for not being literal translations.
    • Jude and Milla's relationship. Many dislike it for either Jude ignoring Leia, him and Milla not admitting their feelings and actually being a couple, or the fact that it's implied that Everyone Can See It as well as the Shipteases that doesn't actually happen. Others enjoy a romance that doesn't throw it in your face or make it take up the entire story. In the English version especially, there's apparently a lack of actual chemistry between the voice actors as well as some dialogue that is more romantic and emotional in Japanese than it is in English.
  • Counterpart Comparison: Milla has a number of similarities to Saber. Both are stoic, blonde-haired spiritual swordswomen who are extremely focused on a goal and accidentally pull a teenage boy into their ordeal (Jude and Shirou Emiya). They also speak formally and have light powers.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: It's a Motoi Sakuraba soundtrack. Shouldn't this have been a Foregone Conclusion?
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Gaius is loved for his sheer badassery, which is why he is playable in the sequel.
    • The Chimeriad are all well liked, with Agria being more noticeable.
    • Driselle too. Many love her sweet and kind personality and her big sister attitude towards Elise and hoped she would be playable in the sequel.
  • Foe Yay: There is, or perhaps was, quite clearly something between Alvin and Presa.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment: All of Teepo's jabs at people like Alvin and Leia, such as calling them names and accusing Leia of being The Load, become a lot less funny when it's revealed that Teepo is a booster that speaks Elize's true thoughts.
    • Ivar's constant failing? Hilarious. Ivar failing in the most epic way possible by activating the Lance of Kresnik? Not funny in the slightest.
    • This victory conversation between Alvin and Rowen becomes one later in the game, when both Rowen and Alvin fall victim to Did Not Get the Girl. Later Alvin shoots Leia (a lady).

Alvin: We never miss...
Rowen: Our targets!
Alvin: Especially the ladies!

  • Jerkass Woobie: Alvin may be a jerk with a bad case of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder but he was trapped in Rieze Maxia by the tsunami when he was six, raised as a child soldier who only knows how to betray others, and keeps working for Exodus to get medicine for his ill mother. And in the end, all of his actions were for naught as his mother dies anyway, after being poisoned by the woman who was supposed to take care of her.It doesn't really excuse his actions but man, his life sucks.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Alvin has been paired with Leia, Elize, Jude, Milla, and Presa; and that's with the primary cast more or less.
    • Jude. All three of the female party members have romantic feelings for him in canon, but in addition to that, he also gets shipped with Alvin, Gaius, and Muzet.
  • Misaimed Fandom: A common criticism about Jude is that he has no reason to be with the party other than following Milla around. This, however, is Completely Missing the Point, since him overcoming this forms the bulk of his Character Development. In particular, after Milla's temporary death, Jude realises that he has to do things his own way and set his own goals, which in turn ties into the main Aesop of the game.
  • Moe: Leia and Elise.
    • Milla has her moments too.
    • Many a fangirl would argue that Jude is incredibly adorable as well.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Gilland takes a little too much joy in watching innocent people dissolve into mana during his experiments to increase the Lance of Kresnik's efficiency. He crosses it even before then on Milla's path when he has an innocent woman killed while showcasing the hex fields and exploding anklets.
  • Rescued From the Scrappy Heap:
    • Elize was disliked early in the game by many, but by the midpoint, most people swapped opinions and praised her for being one of the few young Tales of characters who actually acts her age.
    • Leia likewise was seen as a generic Genki Girl at first, but the scene where she saves Jude from Alvin after Milla dies really made her stick out.
    • The English dub did this for Jude among a particular subset of fans. It seems that Tsubasa Yonaga's performance as Jude was Lost on some western players, who found him whiny and annoying, while Sam Riegel's take on the character is considered a bit more mature.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Everyone has both the right and the responsibility to carve their own path in life. Following the will of another will lead nowhere. The decisions we make are so important precisely because they are that- our decisions. Considering Japanese media in general tend to ram in the 'no man is an island' message, having a JRPG that supports individualism is both surprising and refreshing.
    • Trust is much like a large house or tower- easy to destroy, but takes time to build. Unless you want to end up completely alone, you'd better figure out whose side you're on.
  • Surprise Difficulty: See below.
  • Tear Jerker: The ending. Sure it leans more toward sweet than bitter, but it's still a huge tearjerker nonetheless. Especially when Jude and Milla are holding hands before they have to say goodbye to each other and when Milla is crying and Jude telling her not to cry.. The beautiful music helps a lot too.
  • That One Boss: The Final Boss in particular gets a lot of ire from the fans for requiring, oddly enough, very little strategy because both enemies churn out stupidly powerful move after stupidly powerful move. And they can stop time.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Xillia got some hatred because unlike other Tales (series) games, you can't just be good at comboing and stunlock bosses to death in one endless Spam Attack combo. You will have to block and dodge in this game. If you haven't learned from Graces, then it's a good time to learn now.
    • Some are also rather annoyed over the weak SFX direction, with Overlimit lacking the traditional Most Wonderful Sound.
  • Uncanny Valley: Watch the ending and you'll find that Milla appears to be waaay too skinny at some parts.
  • The Untwist: Invoked. The writers wanted Alvin's intention to betray the party to be obvious to incite the player's curiosity on his motives. Given that a traitor tends to be a Recurring Element in the series, it's probably for the best that they didn't try to hide it.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Jude, to some people. Then again, see Misaimed Fandom above.
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