With Tales of Zestiria‘s Japanese release date less than three months away now, Bandai Namco has opted to put out another press release detailing more of what you’ve likely come to expect from their reveals. Among the new information are more detailed character profiles for the previously revealed Lunarre and Symonne, as well as tidbits on more dungeons players can expect to explore, as well as detailed breakdown of various equipment-related gameplay systems. Catch our translation below.
Lunarre (voiced by Takihito Koyasu)
Height: 185 cm. (approximately 6’3″)
“You really gonna make me say it? I wanna rip you apart and eat you up!”
Lunarre is a member of the “Bone of the Wind,” an assassin’s guild with a knack for showing up when you least expect it. Heartless and bloodthirsty, his twisted soul has brought about a complete transformation into a Hyouma. Highly cunning and greedy in equal measures, his part-human, part-fox-like figure is highly fitting.
Somehow or other, he manages to break into Izuchi, a sacred forest ground for the Seraphs, on a mission of some sort. Keen on fighting Slay and his group, he shoots off blue flames, further contributing to his beguiling aura. Sorey’s confrontations against Lunarre as the latter slinks about in the human world using his powers for his own horrific means force him to come to terms with the abhorrent reality of Hyouma transformations.
Symonne (voiced by Hiromi Igarashi)
Height: 152 cm. (approximately 4’11”)
“When you’re a Doshi, sometimes you have to take a stand and do something, no?”
Symonne is a mysterious Seraph who operates on her own with no friends among her fellow Seraphs nor an inclination to pay heed to any Doshi. While on the outside, she might just look like your average young woman, her words have a philosophical air about them, as though she observes the world as a mere bystander. Cold and possessing a sharp tongue, she regularly appears before Sorey and his party, her words and actions bemoaning the world and those who live in it, stirring up Sorey and causing trouble arbitrarily. Her intentions remain unknown as of yet.
Unlike the other Seraphs, her powers are special in that they aren’t divined from any of the four elements, in turn making her fate special. These extenuating circumstances may well be dictating her antics.
More on the World of Tales of Zestiria
While the politics of the Greenwood continent might be dominated by two national powers, when it comes the flow of goods and people alike, there are some things that can transcend borders. The guilds are one such example of this. Made up of talented, like-minded people who work in the same profession, the guilds stand for the advancement of both craft and profit, working tirelessly as they share their knowledge with the world.
Beyond the standard types for businessmen, artisans, architects, freighters, and the like, there are also shadier ones that exist on the fringes of society that dedicate themselves to darker crafts like theft and assassination. Among the most famous ones are the Wagtail Feathers, a merchant guild able to traverse between both countries, as well as the Bone of the Wind, a guild of the more murderous variety.
The Prisonerback Marshes are a series of wetlands that sit in the southwestern corner of the continent, perpetually covered in fog. An unsettling place no matter how you slice it, in its still waters stand myriad gigantic plants, as well as mountains who tops have been flattened smooth over many years of wear and tear. While clearly unsuitable for human inhabitation, it’s not to say that attempts haven’t been made at it anyway, as evidenced by the decrepit tree-dotted roads.
The name “Prisonerback” itself comes from an old legend that states that corpses with their hands and feet bound together once washed up ashore. But with no records indicating that a prison or an asylum was ever built in the area, the marshes are shrouded in mystery.
Dungeons: Earth Temple Morgoth and Wind Temple Ginevia
“Trial Ruins” are ancient facilities where Doshi are thought to have been brought up in the distant past. Each one has its own high-ranking Seraph enshrined within it, filled to the brim with tests meant to push the abilities of any challengers who dare to enter them. So dangerous are the ruins, in fact, that they’ve taken the lives of countless would-be Doshi who tested their mettle.
True to its name, the Earth Temple Morgoth, for instance, is a place that truly looks one with the ground. However, it’s also thought to play host to bereaved spirits, a lonely atmosphere of sorts hanging about it. The Wind Temple Ginevia, meanwhile, is also known as the “Tower of Sacrifice.” Indeed, it is there that the lives of sinners are offered up to its Seraph out of the belief that their souls will be purified. Stretch past even the clouds, even today, people still seem to come to Ginevia to throw themselves off it in the hopes of achieving atonement.
New Gameplay Systems
Equipment Slot System
Each piece of equipment in Tales of Zestiria comes with four slots onto which Skills can be affixed. The first Skill within these slots is predetermined for every item, but whether any of the remaining three slots are filled in is left to chance upon acquiring a piece of equipment, meaning that two of the same variety can still come with different Skills attached. Currently equipped skills can be checked by pressing the R2 button on the Skill Sheet screen.
Although picking a character’s equipment on the merits of their abilities and sheer strength is hardly a bad idea in and of itself, careful consideration based on their latent Skills can also bring about unimaginable benefits later in battle. As such, the types of skills that the Skill Sheet screen break into two broad types: “Core Skills,” the fundamental ones that are affixed to the piece of equipment in question, and “Bonus Skills,” which are a secondary variety that are brought about through different combinations of Core Skills. Let’s examine three different ways that Bonus Skills can be attained:
- Same Type: As the name implies, this type of Bonus Skill is conferred when more than one of the same Skill is equipped. In the bottom-right corner of each Skill’s icon, you can see a number that indicates how many instances of it are currently stacked across your equipment. This bonus is triggered with two or more of the same Skill in effect.
- Elemental Type: This type of Bonus Skill activates when there are multiple Skills of the same element equipped that sit adjacent to one another horizontally on the Skill Sheet screen. Again, this type is activated when there are at least two Skills that meet this criteria.
- Union Type: This type of Bonus Skill turns on when an entire vertical row on the Skill Sheet screen is occupied with actively equipped Skills.
Equipment Fusion System
It’s an inevitability that as you traverse the world of Tales of Zestiria, you’ll accumulate multiples of the same type of equipment. But, like we mentioned earlier, just because two pieces of equipment share the same name doesn’t mean that have the same Skills or abilities. That’s where the Equipment Fusion System comes into play, enabling you to forge equipment that’s to your liking. By bring two of the same type of equipment together, not only can you buff up their Skills and abilities, but you can also swap them out, as well. This can be done by paying a visit to an Armory and selecting the “Fusion” option.
In the example provided in the included screenshots, you can see the fusion process being performed on Sorey’s headgear, Ancient Earrings. His first pair of earrings only had the skill Locking attached to them, but his second pair had, another skill, and by fusing the two together, he was able to get a different pair of earrings altogether that has both Skills. Although the amount of Gald required to perform fusions varies based on factors such as the equipments’ latent abilities, it’s often well worth the cost just to consolidate skills into one item.
Each piece of equipment in the game has its own Proficiency Rank attached to it that can be raised by racking up victories in fights. With 5 total ranks in all, maxing out Proficiency comes with a variety of perks, particularly with respect to fusion, as maxed out items will yield even stronger results. As such, it’s a good idea to break in equipment as you go about your journey; you never know just when it might come in handy.
Tales of Zestiria is currently slated for a summer 2015 release in North America and Europe on the PlayStation 3. Catch a bunch of new screenshots and artwork at the gallery here.