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  • Why, in the beginning of the game, did Largo want to use the Fon Slot Seal on Ion? At first it just sounds like some vague nefarious plot to take the Fon Master out of commission, except that then it turns out that his abilities are very much what the villians need to advance their plot. Sure, they could probably just remove it once in a safe location, but would it really be worth spending the bigger part of the budget of a nation on that? Ion has no way to defend himself- anytime he uses his abilities he's so wiped out he's a sitting duck, and he would've most likely followed Largo anyway, given that he's part of the Order too. It... just doesn't make sense.
    • Maybe that was a distraction so Jade would let his guard down?
  • How did Van get enough Seventh Fonons to create his replica army? Combined, the army had enough fonons to destroy the miasma, but the only way to amass that many Seventh Fonons is to kill a huge number of Seventh Fonists. It seems very unlikely that you can get more fonons out of a replica than you put in: not only would you then be able to get enough fonons by replicating, say, inanimate objects, but any random fonons floating around are going to stick to Lorelei, not the replica (getting the replica's own fonons to stay together is hard enough as it is). So in order for Van to get enough fonons to create the army, he'd have to go round up a huge number of Seventh Fonists and kill them all, which you'd think would have been mentioned.
    • He used his Beard Of Power.
    • Ebay
    • He harnessed the power of the Planet Storm, which creates seventh fonons, or did you miss that?
      • If the Planet Storm provided enough Seventh Fonons to destroy the miasma, the party should have been able to use it to do that.
      • But Van's use of the Planet Storm was causing the entire world to churn and collapse.
  • When all four of your party members fall in battle, you lose. Fair enough since if they're all dead, they can't revive each other. But er...what about the two standing on the sidelines who repeatedly receive Hand Waves as to why they're not fighting?
    • The other guys are just lazy.
    • This is more related to the programming and hardware than the story. Tales of is a real-time battle game, right? Well it can be chaotic enough with only four party members and however many enemies there are on the field. Now add two more characters and you have all the casters casting and throwing lightshows around, melees meleeing with their own lightshows and special effects, monsters doing their own, enemy casters casting and a partridge in a pear tree...it'd be quite chaotic and potentially lag the hardware. (I'm sure they tried that.) Not to mention the UI needs a bit of room to give to the screen, and in some games with eight party members it'd be even messier. (Tales of Symphonia, anyone?) The sequel would also get even worse for the final dungeon.
    • Also, it's sort of justified in-game, as in the point where you have to guide civilians through a war, if you get in to a battle, after you get to the end point, they say something along the lines of "we received some civilian casualties" even if you only got into one battle. This implies that even if you only have 4 people in battle, the other 1-2 are also fighting, but off-screen, and apparently don't take any damage.
    • And there's also the fact that you can only identify a few people as "friends", and anyone else in range of your fonic artes will take damage from them. Perhaps you can only set 3 friends? It would explain the party size limit.
  • Fomicry plays a huge role in the plot, yet nothing about it is ever actually explained outside of "it's like cloning." What exactly does replica data consist of, and how do you extract it? Do you extract it differently for living and nonliving things? What is it about the 7th fonon that makes living replicas more psychologically stable? How are replicas made? Is taking replica data painless? Does it have adverse effects on the original all the time, or just for select individuals (like a vaccination, or a medication allergy)? There are fomicry machines in Choral Castle and Ortion Cavern, but late in the game Sync is able to run around collecting replica data from random people claiming it's Score readings, and nobody finds it suspicious, implying that you don't need the giant machines to take the data (because I think the people of Auldrant would be smart enough to realize that if somebody needs to hook you up to huge machine to read your Score, something's up)...
    • A fonist did it. Seriously, though, I assume its painless to have your data taken- its the production of a copy that drains your 7th fonons. As for why 7th fonons are important, I assume they're the limiting factor- the other six can be obtained from the ambient environment, but the 7th are limited enough in supply that it partially drains the original. As for the equipment, I think either that stuff was for early stage research, and they improved things, or it was for replica production and data collection doesn't require very much.
      • That's a lot of assumptions. Also, seventh fonons clearly aren't the limiting factor: Nebilim's replica explicitly stated she was missing first and sixth fonons, which suggests that the limiting factor is the fonons the replica's creator is proficient in using. Jade learns only one light spell and no dark spells in the course of the game, and was much younger when he made that replica, so presumably his skill was much less at the time. Using only seventh fonons might well counteract that imbalance by simply making it irrelevant. Since no one in the second half of the game seems to recognize when their replica data is taken, it is probably safe to assume that it's painless, and can be done with a small scanner or even by a fonist on their own. It doesn't drain seventh fonons from the original to create the replica, though - having the fonons operating at the same frequency creates interference that links the replica with the original. Sometimes, that interference has side effects that aren't entirely well understood by anyone in the game, with the possible exception of Dist and/or Jade. Any further speculation would get into wave/particle dynamics discussions better suited for someone who remembers more of their quantum physics lessons.
    • The term the game uses is 'replica data.' Seventh fonons contain memory particles (remember that Lorelei's memory is the Planet's Memory) that provide the blueprint used for replication. Think of replica data as a DNA sample. As for why it weakens them, the seventh fonon is the fonon used for healing. Not only it is essentialy draining the victim's life force (lowering their max HP?), body memory/the memory the body's seventh fonons contain of how the body should be is probably what healing artes use to tell what shape to put the body back into (in the same way our DNA does). In other words, extracting replica data is the equivalent of damaging someone's DNA. Not only are they far more vulnerable to things like the miasma, but the ones that just drop dead may have died of cancer or the Auldrantine equivalent. In any case, a replication machine creates replicas by gathering a whole bunch of seventh fonons and configuring them (or having them configure themselves) according to the blueprint provided by replica data. Growing a plant from a cutting is a good metaphor. It Gets Worse. The seventh fonon is also the fonon of spacetime: the Score isn't Lorelei's prediction of the future, it's Lorelei's memory of what is happening/has already happened from its perspective. Distance also seems to be immaterial to it, as the plot shows via Luke and Tear's teleportation (it also plays a role in gameplay via wing bottles.) To an original's personal memory fonons (if they're a seventh fonist who has them), a replica's body is for all intents and purposes a part of their own body and if their main body dies, they'll just download themselves into the backup.
      • This leads to Fridge Horror when the party encounters a replica who says nothing but the words his original said before his data was extracted. The only reason those memories would exist in that body is if the Big Bang effect has already happened since the replica was created before the man died and the combination of his death, who was responsible for doing this to him and taking over the body of an infant and effectively eating its soul drove the original mad.
      • The seventh fonon does not make replicas more psychologically stable. Nebilim wasn't a normal replica, she was created by Jade trying to reconfigure the fonons from Nebilim's actual dead body into a body that was a living one, thus preserving her memories since it would practically be the same brain - that was the only Jade had to try to transfer memories, due to not being a seventh fonist. The reasons that replica is insane are likely that Jade couldn't use the first or sixth fonon, meaning those fonons weren't where they should be in the new body or the rebuilt brain and there's also a belief that the souls of seventh fonists go to the Fon Belt when they die, making that replica a brain-damaged, soulless copy of Professor Nebilim, who was a seventh fonist. No wonder it is both insane and completely amoral. The relative psychological stability probably isn't because modern replicas are created with the seventh fonon so much as because the seventh fonon allows for more accurate replication and less brain damaged products. Nebilim is the Psycho Prototype, remember.
      • That's why Jade is so angry/upset when Dist tries to comfort him by saying that Luke's memories will remain in what will now be Asch's head after the Big Bang takes place: the fact Nebilim contained Professor Nebilim's memories not only did not make it Professor Nebilim, but Dist's attempt to make him feel better just makes what happened to Nebilim and what is going to happen to Luke even more similar - a person that Jade, by now, both like and looks up to as an example being replaced by a Jerkass with the nice one's memories.
  • Arietta just bugs this troper: for one thing, when you reach a certain age (3 or 5, I can't remember), you generally become unable to learn how to speak, so she should never have been able to talk, and considering her life with the ligers, she shouldn't be able to walk upright, and I just can't picture a human being able to learn "animal languages", if such a thing exists. Not to mention that ligers are carnivores, an all-meat diet can't be that good for sixteen years. And besides, in real life, wolves would generally eat defenseless infants, so the liger queen should've devoured Arietta as a snack.
    • First off, ligers aren't wolves, so no real life comparisons. Second, last I checked the original Ion found a few years before the game began, so she should have been able to learn to walk and maybe speak, especially in a fantasy world. As for the all-meat diet, it's not like she couldn't have just gotten some fruit or something. Finally, an "animal language" may not exist IRL, but it sure as hell does in Tales of the Abyss.
    • Arietta is 16, and most likely at least a little older than Tear. A few years before the game would have been 11 at the youngest. Fortunately, Arietta did learn to talk, she just speaks Lyger and other animal languages (the same way the Sorcerer's Ring allows Mieu to speak to the Lyger Queen). So it was more like an English-speaker acquiring a second language, or a polyglot doing so, instead of her having to learn the entire concept of language.
    • They're still carnivorous monsters. I also doubt that ligers would know that humans need vegatables, grains, milks, and fruits for their diets.
    • They may have not known that, but Arietta probably could. Remember, she wasn't abandoned in a forest as a baby or something. The Liger Queen took her in for whatever reason after Arietta's parents were killed in that tidal wave. That's why Arietta considers it a mother. And even if she didn't, we can assume by the very fact that there's a language that Ligers are intelligent. So it's possible that the Liger Queen knows what humans eat. Other then that, since the Cheagles were stealing all kinds of food to feed the Ligers, it's likely that Ligers are omnivorous.
    • They could be like dogs in that they'll eat anything even if they don't need to. Also, since Arietta was with them as a baby, she would have no knowledge about what humans eat, since she'd consider herself a liger.
      • Again, the Liger Queen, at least, was intelligent. Its very possible that she knew what humans were, and maybe had a somewhat awkward little chat with Arietta when she started wondering why her fur was growing in a weird mane.
    • I admittingly haven't played in a while, but I'm pretty sure Arietta spent the first few years of her life with her parents, before the tidal wave hit and she was adopted by the Liger Queen. And even if she didn't have that much knowledge, the original Ion probably taught her.
    • The Hod War was 16 years before the game began. And Arietta is 16, so she'd be an infant.
    • Huh. Well shoot. Chalk it up to Acceptable Breaks From Reality then.
    • Come to think of it, maybe they used Arietta as a practice run for the memory/skill implanter that lets newborn replicas speak and fight.
    • Luke was physically seven years old by the time he had to learn to talk, walk and fight at the world-class level, and he explicitly had to be taught from scratch. I'm guessing that that is one aspect of child development that's not the same in Aldurant.
      • But Asch could walk and talk when he was replicated, so the relevent portions of the brain were present in Luke when he was created.
    • While the note about language development is accurate, it's perfectly possible to learn a second language fluently once you've learned a first and activated that part of the brain's development. Arietta simply speaks the monster language as her first, and the human tongue as her second.
  • Something about Sync has been bugging me that I'm surprised no one else has commented on: Yes, he's a replica of Ion, but why make him a God-General, which Arietta is also a part of? He could easily reveal the whole Ion is dead and has gotten replaced fiasco to her, and since Ion's death drives her crazy as we see later, I'm surprised Van actually let the whole thing go like that. Even if Sync was instructed never to reveal it, it doesn't change the fact that Sync is still physically like the original Ion in voice, body structure, and hair colour, and that Sync would be more than eager to be dead, if his attitude later in Eldrant is any indication. I'm also surprised that Arietta didn't catch on to this, but considering that being raised by monsters is a big limit on intelligence, that's probably what the game uses as an excuse not to call this out.
    • He wears a mask and very few people are skilled enough to knock it off. Van lets Asch wander around without even that much, even though the revelation of his identity would completely ruin all his plans, at least partially because he values his skills and practically unique abilities so very much, and Sync is similarly awesome. Besides, Sync doesn't really seem to be the social type, so its unlikely that he's ever really around Arietta (or anyone else) when they're not being occupied by a mission. Besides, Ion's personality and fragility is directly the opposite of Sync's behavior and stats, so even if she notices a similarity, there's really no real reason to guess who he is... especially since she thinks that the Ion she was protecting is still alive and active.
    • There's still his voice and other physical similarities. After all, some voices can be recognized even if the person uses a different style of speaking. As for Asch, yeah, that was pretty reckless of Van, seeing as how Jade caught on the whole replica issue immediately (now if only he just spat it out, seeing how much Luke fits the definition of an Idiot Hero to a T).
    • Well, in all fairness to Van, Jade is probably the last person on earth that Van would allow near either Asch or Luke (who he had ensured would be locked away for his entire life), considering that he had created the Replica process in the first place. Vocally, Ion (who would probably be the second to last person Van'd ever want to meet Luke) and Sync use completely different tones of speaking (and Sync doesn't really seem to be the talkative sort, outside of battle), even if they've got similar pitch. Similarly, I doubt that the body of a master martial artist is going to resemble that of the very delicate Ion very much, even discounting the latter's rather figure hiding form of dress. Sure, there are some similarities, but not too much more than there are between, say, Natalia and Noelle. If anything, that might have made her feel somewhat better about her new job, though that was never even suggested. I just hope that she didn't somehow pick up a animalistic sense of smell, because then she's just an idiot for not noticing.
      • Even if she did, people's smells change over time. Mainly by their environment. So I heavily doubt they smelled anything alike.
  • Does anyone even realize how much of the plotline the opening video spoils? You get hints at fighting Van and Asch (whose face you see a lot earlier than you do in the game), and you even get a really subtle, vague hint at Ion's death, among other things. And this goes for a lot of other opening videos for Tales games, as well.
    • We have a trope for that.
  • Akzeriuth. Akzeriuth. I read the trope page before I watched the anime, but nothing prepared me for just how utterly nonsensical that incident was and its impact on the plot. Nearly everybody else in the story is more responsible for Akeriuth's destruction than Luke, such as them knowing that Luke is extremely sheltered and amnesiac (especially Guy and Natalia), Natalia knowing that Van was the one who stole Luke and thusly has an agenda, Jade already having suspicions about Luke being a replica but saying nothing, that other people knew about Akeriuth's destruction beforehand but did nothing, and they knew that Luke trusted Van more than anyone. But not only do they blame Luke, they say he's a horrible person as if he did it on purpose, and never once think to themselves they're equally responsible. Just what exactly were the writers thinking when they did this? Did they want us to hate the rest of the party for being jerkasses? Did they expect us to agree with them? Was it impossible for them to give a better reason for Luke becoming a nicer person? I'm just at a stunned loss here.
    • I think they are more mad that Luke never mentioned that he was planning something from Van rather than thinking he was trying to kill people. The party definitely over reacted towards Luke's involvement, though I suppose it wouldn't be to hard for them to want to blame him as much as they did since he was actually there at the moment.
      • Still, Ion is the only person to share the blame with Luke, and somehow he gets immediately forgiven. While I understand Ion is just way more likable than Luke, the other characters don't usually let their contempt for others cloud their rational judgement (especially not Jade). At least Guy quickly comes to his senses, but other characters have to see Luke actively being ultra-nice to everyone for them to think that he may not be a complete monster after all.
        • Ion actually does say he's responsible for the destruction of Akzeriuth, too.
          • Yeah, and everyone else in the party basically says, "Oh don't be silly, its obviously all Luke's fault, despite your point being perfectly reasonable and well stated." And it was especially jarring once we find out that Tear, Guy and especially Anise were all technically working with/for the people who were behind Akzeriuth's fall but no one else really seems to mention it.
    • Wait, Natalia knew that Luke was taken by Van? Do you mean in Akzeriuth, or prior to the game starting up? Because everyone thought Malkuth kidnapped Luke and not Van - if they knew Van kidnapped Luke, he wouldn't be allowed near Kimlasca.
      • She overheard him admitting it to Luke before she joined the party. In fact, it was that information, combined with the knowledge that Luke was planning to use his Ambassadorship to help him develop the reputation to permanently get out of house arrest and join Van, that she used to blackmail Luke into letting her join the party.
    • Akzerith's people really have no one to blame for their death but themselves. There must have been at least a month from the moment the miasma first appeared, up to the moment the party arriving at Azkeriuth. Not to mention the party gets sidetracked a lot. Property and landscape damage can be blamed to others (this topic has been discussed to death), but not the deaths. Had those people evacuate (even animals are smart enough to evacuate when they sense natural disasters), the death toll would have been minimal. If they can't be bothered to rescue themselves and their families, they don't deserve to live. The whole Akzeriuth tragedy is honestly pointless drama.
      • Actually according to supplemental material they it wasn't that the people didn't want to leave its that they couldn't. The Order had made certain to get the people who were going to die at Azurieth there, and then went and blocked off all of the people there and isolate them in Azeriuth so that they couldn't escape. Remember there was only one bridge to get there and it was destroyed prior to the beginning of the game that connected them to Malkuth, so even if they wanted to they couldn't escape. In other words those people had no choice but to stay there and die, they were stuck. Which just makes the Order and Mohs, even more of Complete Monsters.
  • Why do we never get to hear Van sing? Tear comments on how he has an amazing voice, and we get to see him play the organ, but since the fonic hymns and Van's use of them are such a huge plot point, why do we never actually get to hear him sing them?
    • Luke's hypersensitive to the hymns. He hears Tear sing the First Fonic Hymn when she's on the other side of the manor and his first hyperresonance occurs shortly after that. It's almost like the hymns make it easier for Lorelei to find Luke and communicate more freely with him, and Van really doesn't want that.
    • Van actually does sing, but he's about as bad as Rick Astley so he's probably got enough sense not to do that because, after all, nobody deserves to hear singing as bad as that! Plus it's probably harder to have a man's singing voice that wouldn't get americans saying "it sounds like a girl's voice" or "it sounds fruity."
      • When do we hear Van sing? I honestly don't recall that every happening.
      • It's not really singing, Van is basically just saying the lyrics of...one of the fonic hymns (can't remember which)...without giving them a melody.
    • Van does use Judgement during the final battle, but he doesn't sing it.
  • Why is Luke immediately nice with Ion? While at first he is a jerk with everyone, he seems to show genuine caring for Ion most of the time (even considering Ion is one of the few to be nice to Luke, he isn't the only one).
    • Because Luke is actually a Jerk with a Heart of Gold
    • Ho Yay?
      • Luke was a jerk to Ion. But due to the fact that Ion is always respectful to him and Ion's frailty/Distressed Damsel status combined with Luke's overwhelming desire to save people, he ended up being Tsundere to Ion. It probably helped that Ion was introduced by saving him from being arrested then showed off a very powerful fonic art when they saw him next. Still, Luke managed to really piss off the entire party when he wanted to abandon Ion after he got kidnapped during Luke's Ambassadorial mission to Akzeriuth.
      • Just how nice Luke is to Ion from the beginning is used during the Ortion Caverns plotline to show the difference between Luke and Asch (and Anise). Luke is willing to let Ion come with him through Cheagle Woods (instead of using the excuse to get rid of Tear by sending her back with him) because Ion wants to come (since it's part of his job), and Luke tells Ion that he won't be a burden and shouldn't think of himself that way. No wonder Ion thinks this is the nicest thing anyone's ever said to him even if Luke was Raised by Wolves and doesn't put it in nice-sounding langauge. By contrast, when Ion asks to join the party in Ortion Cavern (since this is stuff he needs to know too) Asch says that he can't because he'd be a useless burden and orders him to Stay in the Kitchen (or the Tartarus). For extra wall banger points, Anise mistakes this incredibly insulting and inconsiderate act on Asch's part for Asch being nice, cementing Anise's status as a Horrible Judge of Character who is worthless when it comes to protection Ion and his interests.
      • People often forget the reason that Luke was in such a hurry on the way to Akzeriuth: People were dying and Van had told Luke to hurry there so that he could save them. Luke knows that the god-generals aren't actually going to kill Ion: they haven't before, they need him and Arietta would kill them (as far as he knows). Thousands of people dying of poison in Akzeriuth vs. one person who will be perfectly safe waiting slightly longer for Luke and Van to come rescue him. Do the math. Not to mention that Ion was sickly anyway, and breathing in Akzerith's miasma not only couldn't have been good for him, the trip was tiring him out and slowing the rest of them down as innocent people in Akzeruith died.
      • Not to mention that it was pretty much entirely Ion's own fault that he got captured this time. It makes a lot more sense when you find out his real age, but at the time it must have been completely infuriating to find out that the guy you just rescued from his own people, and who you know had to be rescued even before that, had just wandered off with some random soldier without telling anyone about it.
  • Geometry of the floating continents. When you get down to brass tacks, they have a planet where they took the crust and lifted it a few thousand feet above the mantle... and managed to have a complete perfect sphere, despite the increase in volume meaning that the total area of the sphere should have increased as well. Then, when they lower the floating lands back down, not only does the total area not decrease with the lower volume as it should, but it actually increases as Yulia City and that one island are added! What the smeg?
    • Writers Cannot Do Math?
      • This, basically. While one could theoretically argue that the oceans may have been spread out on the upper world and deeper in the lower world once the Miasma was taken away, the map seems to be the same size. Still, this is a world where the North and South Poles are within eyeshot of one another, so maybe this also goes into Law of Cartographical Elegance.
    • The Outer Lands lost Akzeriuth and Hod.
    • I was under the impression the Outer Lands Map was just scaled to the inner area. Like, the continents are farther apart on the Outer Lands, but are proportionately apart inside the Qliphoth. That... still doesn't explain the North and South poles, though, which just made me laugh. I think that was an error in the game, but it would be hard to map it on a flat map.
  • Natalia is just as much at fault for not telling the group about Luke's plans with Van as Luke, if you go with the whole "the group hates Luke because he didn't say he had plans with Van angle.. Natalia ones through stating that she had virtually nothing to do with it (such as when Mohs took them to the palace to re-start the Kimlasca-Malkuth war), yet she also knew what was being planned. She didn't say anything because she was being selfish and using it as blackmail. Yet nobody blames her for anything that goes wrong. The only time anyone ever gets mad at Natalia is at the end, when she nearly gets them killed by Sync after Asch dies, and the only one who does anything is Jade. Why does Natalia get excused from everything so easily? Its not just from her being the princess. She mainly goes treated as a regular person.
    • IIRC, the party didn't know that Natalia knew anything about Luke's plans, so how could they blame her? As for Sync, it gets worse. While I disagree with Jade hitting her, I certainly understood why he was harsh with her. The problem is that she clearly learned nothing from it as evidenced by the skit after Sync's defeat. Natalia gets excused from everything because she's an idealist type who gets things done, so to many people, she can do no wrong.
  • Is it ever explained why Asch was born with Lorelei's fonon frequency, other than Because Destiny Says So? The score is simply a record of the planet's memory, right, ie. things don't happen because they're in the score, they're in the score because they're going to happen (though people's reliance on it turning it into a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy is a separate issue)? Therefore, the fact that the score predicted Asch's status doesn't change the fact that it is impossible (since isofons don't occur naturally). Is it because he's an isofon of Lorelei specifically, and therefore in a sense a semi-divine being, so the regular rules don't necessarily apply to him?
    • You're right about the score, but isofons do occure naturally, it's just that no one has the exact same one. Until Asch and Luke came around, everyone thought it was impossible for two or more people to have the same isofonic signature, but everyone did have one. This is the main reason that creating a replica is such a problem. When the data is collected from the original, most of the time, it causes the signature to mutate just enough to be deadly to the original while still useable for the replica. So, when the boys came around, they were supposedly the representation of something previously thought to be impossible. Does that make sense?
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