Tales of Symphonia

Tales of Symphonia

Tales of Symphonia is a cel-shaded action RPG and is another game in Namco's Tales series. It expands upon the series' battle system and emphasizes on relationships with other characters by the decisions you make throughout the game.


Tales of Symphonia is another release from Namco's Tales Studios, and has been released on the Gamecube, PC and the PlayStation 2, however the PlayStation 2 version is only available inside Japan. It was later included with its sequel in Tales of Symphonia Chronicles for the PlayStation 3. The game is characterized by its lengthy storyline, cel-shaded animated graphics (complete with voice overs in cutscenes), and its Linear Motion Battle System. More emphasis is placed on the protagonist's relationships with his party members by the decisions he makes than previous installments in the series. Symphonia is also a distant prequel to the Tales series first entry, Tales of Phantasia.


Battle System

Fighting in Tales of Symphonia is not like a traditional RPG. Just like other Tales games, it uses a modified version of the Linear Motion Battle System, which features real-time fights. The player can only directly control one character, while the rest of the party is controlled by A.I. However, if there are more controllers installed in the game, other people can control the other three characters whilst in battle.

Characters no longer have to share the same horizontal pathway
Characters no longer have to share the same horizontal pathway

The newest addition to the battle system is a 3D plane. Players and enemies no longer are crowded up on a horizontal line. The player can still only move exclu s ively left and right, but can switch directions by pushing the right trigger button and switching the target. Also new to Symphonia is Overlimit. As the players , or occasionaly the enemy, reach a certain amount of tension points, they will go into Overlimit mode. Overlimit mode briefly reduces the character's reci eved damage, stops staggering, and decreases spell casting time. Sheena can only make Summons while in Overlimit mode. Unison Attacks are a lso a feature unique to Symphonia. When the Unison Attack Gauge fills up, characters can unleash a Unison attack, which allows all 4 battle members to unleash an attack at the system. Sometimes if the right attacks are combined, an additional special attack will be unleashed.

After battles, GRADE can be earned or lossed depending on the quality of the player's performance during battle. GRADE can be used to purchase materials for customizing weapons or for buying new features for the next playthrough in the GRADE shop after beating the game.

Allies can have their AI customized in order to fit with the players style. For example, Kratos can be commanded to take an all out offensive approach, or told to stay back and concentrate on spells and healing.

In addition, ally magics can be mapped to directions on the C-stick, making combos and strategic attacks a snap


One of the game's numerous skits
One of the game's numerous skits

Throughout the game you will come across a button popping up at the bottom of the screen that will indicate a skit. It will also have a sentence about the skit next to it. In these skits, it shows the characters talking about something that just happened or something totally random. There are also some skits on the overworld that will trigger when you go to a certain area or into a glowing circle of light. These affect Lloyd's relationship with the people in his party. Some things you do in the skits where you answer questions can change a major event in the game; others might change something small, but they can all add up. There is only one major game changing event based on the relationship of characters, otherwise, it just helps you get more scenes.


Sheena Fujibayashi has the ability to summon spirits to help her in battle. While these summons are often time consuming and leave her vulnerable, the effects can be devastating to enemies.


Corrine doesn't make much of a difference in battle, but is always around to give Sheena a hand.


Efreet is the first summon obtained, based in the element of fire.


Undine is a water summon located on the island of Thoda


Sylph is a bird-like summon that harnesses the properties of wind


Luna partners with Aska and is in charge of light


Aska is the last summon obtained in Sylvarant and co-ops the light


Celcius' powers are based in the cold and Ice, and is found up north in the Tethealla reigon


Volt is found at the top of the Temple of Lightning and reigns over lightning


Gnome is an Earth based summon and a bit of a goof


Shadow has the ability to cure a party's status effects, and is the spirit of Darkness


Origin is the king of the summon spirits and forger of the Eternal Sword


Maxwell works to keep the city of Exire afloat


Verius is the rebirth of Corrine, and the guardian of emotion


Main Characters

Lloyd Irving

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The main character of Tales of Symphonia, Lloyd is a young and energetic man who makes it his goal to protect the female Chosen, Colette. He uses two swords in battle, and is a fast and powerful attacker.

Colette Brunel

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The female lead of the game, Colette is a clumsy and slightly air-headed young girl who has been deemed the Chosen of Sylvarant, and would do anything to protect the people of her world. She fights with chakra, bladed rings, and can use some magic.

Genis Sage

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A young and reluctant "sidekick" of the story, Genis is usually levelheaded and can overthink situations. He fights using his powerful magic.

Raine Sage

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Originally Lloyd, Genis, and Colette's teacher, she decides to accompany the younger group so that she can study the world and protect her young brother, Genis. She is primarily a healer, and can cast powerful light-based magic.

Kratos Aurion

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An older man who shows up in Lloyd's home town claiming to be a mercenary, and offers his services in protection of the chosen. He is later revealed to have a closer connection to the characters than thought at first. He fights with a single sword, and can also be made into a powerful spellcaster.

Sheena Fujibayashi

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A girl who is not much older than Lloyd or Colette, but who is somewhat stereotypically insecure about her abilities. She comes from a hidden village of ninjas, and is charged with following the Chosen, for different reasons at different points in time. She fights using magic cards and summon spirits.

Regal Bryant

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An older man whose hands are constantly shackled because of his past crimes. He thus fights with his feet, and has a very troubled view of his own past and future.

Presea Combatir

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A woman who has been trapped in the body of a very young girl due to horrible experiments done to her. She wields an enourmous axe, and is the heaviest hitter in the game.

Zelos Wilder

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A womanizer and a jokester, Zelos is a comedic character that actually has some skeletons in his closet. He joins the party shortly after a pivotal moment in the story.


Tales of Symphonia was the first game in the series to have "secret" characters and potentially unplayable player characters. In the beginning of the game Lloyd works with Kratos through the introductory dungeon then acts as a rival for the rest of the game. However, during the very last dungeon of the game the player can make a choice which fills in the story as Kratos secretly being on their side the whole time while Zelos was betraying them. Whoever you choose as the traitor is the person you must defeat in battle next. Whoever is left will join your party. It is important to note that with the release of the sequel it is clear that picking Zelos for the team is the canon choice.

The game is based in the world called Sylvarant which lives off of mana. At this time the world is in a form of depression and losing mana, so the Chosen one must travel the world going to ancient shrines where there they must summon spirits to break something called seals allowing the mana to flow back into Sylvarant. There are five seals in the world altogether. You start off playing Lloyd Irving, a boy who decides to protect and help his friend Colette Brunel the chosen one.

Two of Lloyd's fellow townsfolk join him on his quest; his best friend Genis Sage, and Genis' older sister and their teacher Raine Sage. Shortly after they set off for their quest they meet a mysterious man named Kratos Aurion who volunteers to help and protect Colette on her journey of regeneration. Later on a female assassin who attempts to stop you, but fails several times, joins your party named Sheena Fujibayashi. Sheena is sent from another world called Tethe'alla to assassinate Colette.

As Colette gets closer to reaching her goal of world regeneration they stumble upon several twists to complicate their situation. They learn that the angels are manipulating them for their personal reasons and that Kratos is an angel.

They then learn of the other world called Tethe'alla that shares mana with Sylvarant and that one prospers with mana while the other falls into a a state of disrepair. The remaing members (excluding Kratos) journey to the other world to find answers to their dilemma. While there they decide to restore mana to both worlds for both of them to prosper.

While in Tethe’alla they meet new people who join their cause. One is a small girl named Presea Combatir who seems rather strong for a girl and shows little emotion. They then meet up with Zelos Wilder, the man who is the chosen for Tethe’alla. Zelos is somewhat arrogant, a ladies man, and rather carefree.

The last member to join their party is Regal Bryant, a man who is a convict. Regal fights with his feet instead of his hands since they remain bound for what he believes is an unforgivable crime. They then set out to open the seals in Tethe’alla so as to sever the bonds of both worlds. Through this quest they end up reviving an ancient tree of mana and with something called the Eternal Sword they are able to connect the worlds and restore mana to both.

Links to Tales of Phantasia

  • The Yggdrasil Tree in Phantasia is named after the main villain in Symphonia.
  • Many locations are the same
  • The two world maps are very similar
  • Sheena and Suzu both have the same last name

Tales of Symphonia 2

Tales of Symphonia received a sequel on the Wii called Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World. The game followed the main character Emil and his friend Marta on their quest to save the world while searching for the main characters from the first game. The fallout that from the merging of the worlds at the end of the first game led to a lot of problems in Sylvarant and Tethe'alla. At the start of the game Lloyd is going around from town to town and working with the Vanguard to destroy local villages while searching for something. Before the game starts Emil's parents were killed in an attack by Lloyd at Emil's hometown. The sequence of events which revived the world tree at the end of the first game led to the death of Marta's mother as well, and she blames Collette for that as the Chosen of Regeneration.

The Tales of Symphonia characters appear throughout the plot in the sequel and are playable at different times. A large part of the game is the original gangs quest to fully regroup with one another so it is only late in the game that the player finally gets all of the players. However, there is not much of an incentive to use the characters in the player party because they stay at level 50 the entire game and do not earn any experience. It is best for the player to keep their monsters in the active party slots.

Tales of Symphonia 2 was the first game in the series to feature fully voice acted skits. Although very few of the original voice actors have been retained through to the sequel.


The soundtrack containing all the tracks found in the original GameCube release was released in October 1st, 2003, it contained 4 CDs; while a little more than a year later, on 27 October in 2004 a revised version was released due to the Playstation 2 release of the game, containing the remaining Playstation 2 exclusive tracks.

The opening theme was performed by Day After Tomorrow.

The complete set of tracks is the following:

Disc One

01 - Tales of Symphonia

02 - A Prologue

03 - Old Familiar Scent of Iselia

04 - Lloyd

05 - Colette

06 - Genis

07 - Raine

08 - Kratos

09 - Unsatisfied Desire

10 - Standing the Pain

11 - Overcome

12 - Dad, I'm Home

13 - Talk About Sylvarant

14 - The Land of Sylvarant

15 - Full Force

16 - Victory

17 - Rest of the Heart

18 - Desert Flower

19 - The Struggle to Survive

20 - Rovers

21 - Along the Beach

22 - Harbor Town

23 - Town of Wind and Ruins

24 - Untold Despair

25 - Water Symphony

26 - Water Symphony ~Despair~

27 - Sweet Dreams

Disc Two

01 - Nova's Caravan

02 - Venturers' Colony

03 - Search for the Seal ~Sylvarant~

04 - Escape From Enemy Base

05 - Lloyd ~ Ocarina Version~

06 - Collet ~Sad~

07 - Raine -Ruin Mode-

08 - The Tower

09 - Confusion

10 - An Appearance

11 - Delightful Day

12 - Behind Us

13 - In the Ashes

14 - Deep Fear

15 - On the Very Edge!

16 - Off-Key

17 - Moonlight

18 - Wood Carving Star

19 - Shining Dew

20 - The Grudge

21 - Fatalize

22 - On the Tight Rope

23 - New One World

24 - On the Hill at Night

25 - Floating in the Air

26 - Nobody Knows

Disc Three

01 - Far From Our World

02 - The Kingdom City of Meltokio

03 - Darkside of Meltokio

04 - A Selfish Want

05 - Tethe'Alla Castle

06 - Presea

07 - Zelos

08 - Walking on Tethe'Alla

09 - Like a Glint of Light

10 - Academic City

11 - Secret From the Blue Sky

12 - Regal

13 - Trip on the Ship

14 - Sheena

15 - Shinobi Life

16 - Anchor

17 - Underground Passage

18 - Dry Trail

19 - In a Shadowy Woods

20 - Deepest Woods

21 - Dance in the Sunshine

22 - A Snow Light

23 - Aviators ~Rheards~

24 - Rest of the Heart ~Sanctuary~

25 - Serenade of Elves

26 - Torent Forest

27 - Firing

28 - A Break Down

29 - Zelos ~Serious~

30 - Mithos

31 - Encount with the Renegade

32 - Eternal Oath

Disc Four

01 - Judgment of Mana

02 - Spirits Whispers

03 - Fun with Idol

04 - Fighting the Spirit

05 - Search a Seal ~Tethe'Alla~

06 - The Law of the Battle

07 - The End of a Thought

08 - Keep Your Guard Up!

09 - Defeat the Angel

10 - Edge of Nowhere

11 - A Sign

12 - Be Invoked

13 - Derris Kharlan ~Appear~

14 - Derris Kharlan ~Fear~

15 - Derris Kharlan ~Shine~

16 - Derris Kharlan ~Requiem~

17 - Keen-Edged Blade

18 - Last Battle ~Will~

19 - Last Battle ~Decision~

20 - Hidden Sorrow

21 - It Can Waver and Fight

22 - Final Destination

23 - Harmony

24 - Revival

25 - Ending ~Staff Rolling~

26 - Thank You All


Tales of Symphonia is the most popular game in the Tales franchise. The GameCube version in Japan sold below expectations, which is why Namco threw out the exclusive title and released the game on the PlayStation 2, which it sold fairly well on. Many publications gave it nominations for 2004 GameCube Game of the Year and 2004 RPG of the Year. It also prompted Namco to create a spin-off sequel to the game on the Wii, "Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of a New World", a first in the Tales franchise. It's main protagonist, Lloyd Irving, has made cameo appearances in other games like Soul Calibur Legends for the Wii.


Namco originally had no intentions of bringing Tales of Symphonia to the US. However, Nintendo later asked for Namco to bring Symphonia to the US and offered to publish the localized version. Nintendo funded the translations, voice acting, and also helped promote the game by giving it a front cover on Nintendo Power. The game went on to sell fairly well in the US. Seeing as it was published by Nintendo outside of Japan, it is highly unlikely that the PlayStation 2 version will ever be released outside of Japan.

Other Info

1 player

2-4 players simultaneous

Memory blocks needed: 3