IntroductionThe "f" is supposed to be lower case. Let's Play Tales of Graces f!
High-quality intro, but with no song due to copyright shenanigans.
This is the song that should be there.
Tales of Graces is the twelfth "Mothership" means main Tales game. Originally developed for the Wii, the game was long expected to be localized for North America, but it never materialized. The Wii version was notoriously buggy (IIRC people could get the disk replaced with a bug-fixed version) but sold well enough. A PS3 enhanced version with additional content was released (US/EU Vesperia owners can commence getting mad) and still no localization was announced. Then all of a sudden the Namco-Bandai US Facebook page started posting blurred teaser images of... something. Something that looked kind of like the Graces f logo.
Now we have the game, and Xillia is being localized, so we all hope Tales will stick around in the West.
Unlike the previous Tales game for the Wii (Dawn of the New World), this game is not bad. The plot's, well, Tales-y (I've grown out of being a giant fan of Symphonia's plot, but I still like it) but the skits are fantastic and make paying attention to what's going on more than worth it. Also the gameplay owns with the power of a thousand suns.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the "f" stands for future. There's a "Future Arc" which is more or less an extended-ass epilogue with terrible dungeons.
Cast of Characters
He's a JRPG protagonist. He's not Croix Bartel or Yuri Lowell (unfortunately) so that means he's got a specific kind of dumb going on. He's trying real hard, even if the universe itself seems to hate him specifically. On the plus side he's got a spine and no bullshit amnesia, so that keeps him from falling behind the pack (cough Emil cough).
Welp, Asbel doesn't, so someone's going to have amnesia around here, and it's her. What are the odds that she's forgotten something really important? It's not a spoiler to say "really high". Formerly known as "Mysterious Girl".
Formally known as "Sir Not-appearing-yet," Richard is Prince and Heir Apparent to the Kingdom of Windor, which Lhant is a subsidiary of. He's really really cynical for a little kid, but then again his life is full of politicians and assassins and such.
Currently gone full final boss.
After the end of the "main" arc of the game, he's now one of the best characters in the future arc.
A cool dude who serves as a Knight Instructor at the Knight Academy. Knight overload. Also manliness overload.
Pascal is smart, but sucks at interpersonal communication. And fashion. And hygene. A few baconators and she could be... I'll avoid finishing this sentence.
You can look at my previous LPs for explanations of the Tales Series's Linear Motion Battle System, but the gist of it is that you fight in real time and combo sort of like a fighting game. Graces has free run, which means that you can hit a button to move like a normal action game, as opposed to your movement being centered on whatever you're targeting. I'll try to cover most combat mechanics as they come up, but one important one has to be discussed here.
Chain Capacity is the greatest. One of the things that caused problems in previous Tales games is that when you ran out of
Under this game's implementation of Chain Capacity, all attacks are special attacks except the one at the very start of the combo I guess.
Here's how it works for "physical" attacks, called Assault Artes. Let's say you have 10 CC (Mystery Girl can't, because her max max CC is 9 right now, but pretend). You're not touching the left stick. The first press of A attacks with Shimmering Cut, then the second with Triple Strike, the third with Double Moon, and the last with Piercing Blast. Then you stop attacking until you get some more back (I recommend holding the block button). If you had 12 or more CC, the fifth button press would cast Triple Strike again, and so on if you have a huge amount of CC or can get more of it during your attacking. If your party attacks during your refractory period, you can combo until the enemy activates some sort of escape mechanism.
Burst Artes, the "fancy" or "magic" stuff, works a little differently. You assign an arte to B+stick position and hit it.
Basically, anything that has a charge meter will charge faster when it's used farther into your chain. For example, Mysterious Girl gets some charge moves where you hold the A arte button and a meter will build up, giving you a different move based on how many meters you did. If you hold after a 1CC arte, it'll build pretty slow, but after a 4CC arte it will be almost instant.
Titles have always been a big deal in Tales games, as one of the rewards you can get for quests or events or tough optional bosses. In many games they have mechanical effects, and here it's no different. Each title has five "levels", plus mastery. Each title has a bonus you get for having it equipped, and permanent bonuses (stat boosts, new abilities, modifications to an ability, or other special things) that you get each time you gain a level in it. After you gain all the levels, you can continue to pour points into it until you "master" it, which increases the power of its equip bonus.
Skits are little semi-animated scenes that are totally optional that you can watch in various locations, usually at save points or discoveries. They are also the best part of the game and fully voiced so you should watch the skit videos. Unlike Symphonia and DNW the characters have more of their bodies animated, and can emote more. They even have special cut-in images to add more flair.
This will be a more-or-less completionist run. I'm trying to cover every sidequest that doesn't require me to beat some hideous minigame or something.
Table of Contents
- CH1: It Began on the Hill
- CH2: Naming
- CH3: Richard
- CH4: Pact
- CH5: Last Sunset
- CH6: The Adversary
- CH7: Mainly Concerning Game Mechanics
- CH8: Loss.jpg
- CH9: Return
- CH10: Water
- CH11: Duel
- CH12: Succession
- CH13: Pascal
- CH14: You can win it in a minute when you spin it, spin it, spin it!
- CH15: Gralesyde
- CH16: Battle
- CH17: Infiltration
- CH18: Coronation
- CH19: Trouble
- CH20: Broken Trust
- CH21: Hostage
- CH22: Steps
- CH23: No Butt Stuff
- CH24: Politics
- CH25: In (Mostly) Utter Darkness
- CH26: Travel
- CH27: Riot Peak
- CH28: Wasting Time Here Won't Bite Us In The Ass Later
- CH29: Military First
- CH30: Open Secrets
- CH31: Totally Boaring
- CH32: Playground of Genius
- CH33: Mad Science
- CH34: Old Wounds
- CH35: Sacrifices
- CH36: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Showdown
- CH37: Showdown
- CH38: Fallout
- CH39: More Water
- CH40: Heat Ray
- CH41: Flight
- CH42: Dust
- CH43: Recovery
- CH44: Citadel
- CH45: Departure
- CH46: Shut Up About Friendship Already - Part 1
- CH46: Shut Up About Friendship Already - Part 2
- CH47: We Need to Have a Long Talk
- CH48: Trippy
- CH49: Beach Filler Episode
- CH50: The Old Lady's Still Better
- CH51: Sidequests and Sdragons
- CH52: Advanced Sidequests and Sdragons 2nd Edition
- CH52A: Advanced Sidequests and Sdragons 2nd Edition, Skills and Powers
- CH53: Sidequests and Sdragons, Third Edition
- CH54: He Had a Bad Upbringing, Your Honor
- Special Costume Vote Update
- CH55: Final Fight
- CH56: Endings
- CH57: Logistics
- CH58: Putting the Band Back Together
- CH59: Awakening
- CH60: Talk It Out
- CH61: Family - Part 1
- CH61: Family - Part 2
- CH62: I Wish I Had a Map
- CH63: SMT Called, They Want Their Dungeon Back
- CH64: Sometimes?!?
- CH65: Many Skits, Handle It! - Part 1
- CH65: Many Skits, Handle It! - Part 2
- CH66: A Tale of Two Bossfights
- CH67: Go Team Lambda
- CH68: No Really, Endings
- CH69: All Optional Dungeons Look Alike To Me
- CH70: Turtlez Flute Symphony
- CH71: Grind Your Face Off
- CH72: Solomus
- CH73: The Last Arcane Bottle
- CH74: Final Thoughts and Tidbits