Tales of Symphonia: Glossary

This page is under construction, but it’s still semi-functional. Terms are NOT in alphabetical order, instead they are in Chronological order.

For more Tales of Symphonia content, please visit this page.

Desians

The Desians are an evil organization run by a group of half-elves. They run human ranches, where they put humans to work, mostly pushing blocks around and whipping them. There are five human ranches, each run by one of the five Desian Grand Cardinals.

The journey of regeneration that the Chosen One undergoes does two things, it brings mana back to the world, as well as driving the Desians away.

Mana

In Tales of Symphonia, Mana is analogous to economic wealth and prosperity. If a place has low mana, such as Sylvarant, then it becomes run down, and regresses technologically. The opposite is true of places like Tethe’alla. Sylvarant is in a particularly bad state because the previous chosen failed their journey and thus the lands have been losing mana to Desians for a long time.

Affection

Tales of Symphonia has an affection system built in. It’s much better than a lot of the morality systems built into games nowadays, because it’s more dynamic, and affection is built up over time instead of by big sweeping events. How it works is that each character has a hidden number, and all the choices you make, whether to wait for Raine back at the beginning of the game or ignore her instruction to stay in the classroom, affect people’s ratings. Cooking also effects affection, as well as choosing party members when there’s a split up.

Near the end of the game, the person with the highest affection will come to your door. You may turn them down, and if you do it goes to second, then third. (Unless you’re playing the GameCube version, then someone specific shows up third, and the third highest shows up fourth.) The person you let in gets a special cutscene with Lloyd. Some characters will give him an item, and others will change a major element of the game’s ending. I’ve seen about two endings myself. I have the suspicion that I chose Colette’s twice. I’m interested in seeing Sheena’s, Raine’s, and Zelos’s. Well, all of them really.

The Sorcerer’s Ring

The Sorcerer’s ring does more than shoot fire and freeze enemies! It’s actually also another point of interaction for puzzles. In most games that don’t have overworld item use, you can really only use one button to interact with the world. Maybe two if there’s an attack button. Symphonia added the Sorcerer’s ring as another way to interact. Now puzzles can be more complex because there are more options the player has to consider. Further, puzzles are always fresh and new because the Sorcerer’s ring’s function changes in nearly every dungeon, and to suit that dungeon’s theme as well!

Lloyd’s Mother (Version 1)

Lloyd’s mother is dead, she was found outside the ranch by Dirk when Lloyd was around two or three. The story had always been that Lloyd’s mother, Anna, was found dead with him in her arms. The truth is that she was alive, stating that Dirk was to keep the exsphere safe. She must have run off with the gem, and now the Desians want it back. It seems they will fight very hard to get it, because for some reason it’s special. More about Lloyd’s past is revealed in the future, but it’s very important that this baseline is clear.

Defensive Techs

Kratos teaches the party defensive Techs. Raine and Genis get Force Field, Lloyd gets Guardian, and I don’t remember Colette’s. Kratos had Force Field to start. Think of it like a superior block. Blocking stops about half the damage, and it only works against regular attacks. Guardian works against special attacks and regular attacks, and it blocks a lot more damage. These can be the difference between death and survival against bosses with high level spells, especially on higher difficulties.

Daniel Triumph.
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P.S. Check out what I plan to do with Tales of Symphonia, or the Table of Contents.

Also, if you’re interested in buying the game, be sure to use one of my affiliate links: PlayStation 3, or GameCube.

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