The Silver Grinding’s Tales Starter Guide

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Tales of Destiny 2
Characteristic Genre: RPG To Release Destiny

Console (Year):

  • PlayStation 2 (2002/2003)
  • PlayStation Portable (2007)

Not fully playable in English at the time of writing.

Eighteen years after Tales of Destiny, Destiny 2 picks up with the son of Destiny party members Stahn and Rutee, Kyle Dunamis, discovering a girl named Reala in some ruins near his home, where she proclaims she’s seeking a hero. Kyle sets out to become the hero she’s looking for, and in the process, like his father, sets his destiny in motion.

Rather-short synopsis aside, English-speakers are out of luck as of yet. The translation project’s forum says it’s semi-active, but there hasn’t been a post in there for a full year and a half now, and the translation page itself hasn’t updated since 2008. Fun stuff.

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Tales of Symphonia
Characteristic Genre: Resonating With You RPG

Console (Year):

  • GameCube (2003/2004)
  • PlayStation 2 (2004)
  • PlayStation 3 (2013/2014)

Playable in English via:

  • GameCube
  • PlayStation 3

Tales of Symphonia, which is probably the most well-known of the Tales games, was what got me into the series. Symphonia follows Lloyd Irving, a friend of The Chosen One, Colette Brunel, as she and her entourage travel the land to pray at every elemental temple and receive the blessing of the Tower of Salvation, which will restore mana to the land of Sylvarant. A revelation occurs, though, when the Tower of Salvation is not the end of the party’s journey, nor Colette’s tribulations, and Lloyd searches for a way to save not only Colette and his home of Sylvarant, but also its hidden counterpart, Tethe’alla, from the cruel cycle instituted by the organization of angels, Cruxis.

While the GameCube version is a bit less technically impaired in a few baffling aspects due to how the PS2 port was handled, the PS3 version that the PS2 port prompted is your best bet for availability nowadays. You can buy a brand new physical copy of Symphonia Chronicles, which has Symphonia and its escort sequel, on Amazon for $20 (or less, depending on sales), while I picked my digital copy up on PSN for $10 during a sale. Also available are a series of 11 anime OVAs divided into three segments of the game’s plot, done by ufotable.

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Tales of Rebirth
Characteristic Genre: Where You Will Be Reborn RPG

Console (Year):

  • PlayStation 2 (2004)
  • PlayStation Portable (2008)

Not fully playable in English at the time of writing.

Tales of Rebirth is about Veigue Lungberg, a Huma (human) who begins being able to use Force, an elemental power that was thought to be limited to the Gajuma, or beast people, until recently, and humans, unused to this power, are sometimes unable to control it. In a time of civil strife for the Kingdom of Karegia, prompted the king dying under mysterious circumstances, Veigue sets off to rescue his childhood friend, who was kidnapped by agents of the sole heir to the throne, and becomes wrapped up in escalating racial conflicts.

Once again, while the synopsis sounds lovely, there’s not yet any way to play this if your only language is English, though the forums for this game’s fan-translation are markedly less dead than Destiny 2’s, given this forum post dated February 17th of this year. The scenario writer, Masaki Hiramatsu, dove into issues of racism, inspired by his trip to Yugoslavia, a region where ethnic strife is prominent, so I’m actually quite curious to play it myself and see how well it uses that experience.