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Tales of Graces (テイルズ オブ グレイセス Teiruzu obu Gureisesu?) is the tenth main mothership title in the Tales of series. It is the twelfth installment of the mothership titles overall. It was developed for the Nintendo Wii and due to being received positively, a port was further developed for the PlayStation 3. The enhanced edition titled Tales of Graces ƒ (テイルズ オブ グレイセス エフ Teiruzu obu Gureisesu Efu?), which features an extra story arc called Lineage and Legacy. It was initially titled Tales of Ten as it was to be the tenth main entry in the series. The game takes place in a world known as Ephinea and follows the story of Asbel Lhant. During his childhood, Asbel and his brother befriends an amnesiac girl and witnesses her death along with a group of friend. Seven years later, he is reunited with the girl who retains her amnesia. The game's theme and characteristic genre is RPG to Know the Strength to Protect (守る強さを知るRPG Mamoru Tsuyosa o Shiru RPG?). The opening theme song 「Mamoritai ~White Wishes~」 is composed by BoA.

 It released for the Nintendo Wii in Japan on December 10, 2009 and the PlayStation 3 version was released on December 2, 2010. The English version of the game was released on March 13, 2012 in North America and August 31, 2012 in Europe.

Story

The game takes place in a fictional world called Ephinea. Ephinea is divided into three countries: Windor, Stratha, and Fendel. Asbel Lhant, Hubert Lhant, and Cheria Barnes are children from Lhant, a village of Windor. One day, the three befriend an amnesiac girl from outside their village who they name Sophie. That same day, Lhant is visited by Richard, the prince of Windor, who befriends the four of them. Richard returns to Barona, Windor's capital city, and invites them to sneak into his castle via a secret passage. There, the four are mortally wounded by an unknown monster but are saved when Sophie sacrifices herself. Asbel regains consciousness in Lhant and is told about Sophie's death and Hubert's political adoption into the Oswell family to secure Asbel's future as the Lord of Lhant. Daunted over Sophie's death and the political events at home, Asbel runs away from home and enrolls in the Barona knight academy.

Seven years later, Asbel learns from Cheria that his father died defending Lhant from an invasion by Fendel. The two return to Lhant and are saved from Fendel's army by Sophie and later Hubert with the Stratha military. Hubert reveals Stratha has been ordered by Windor to secure Lhant and assumes the position of Lord after banishing Asbel from the village. Hearing rumors of Richard's death, the party investigate and find him in the castle's secret passage. Richard explains his father was killed by his uncle, Cedric, who then assumed the throne. The three travel to meet a trusted Duke and are joined by Pascal, a prodigy from an engineering tribe known as the Amarcians. With the Duke's army, the party overthrows Cedric and Richard regains the throne. Richard orders an invasion of Lhant to rid it of Stratha's control forcing the party to betray him. Acknowledging Hubert's efforts as Lord of Lhant, Asbel and the party, joined by Malik Caesar, travel to Stratha to negotiate with the government to formally instate Hubert as Lord. The government agrees on the pretense that Pascal fixes Stratha's valkines, a large crystal which supplies a life sustaining energy known as eleth; Pascal succeeds but Richard appears and absorbs the valkines' eleth, and flees. The party learn Windor's valkines has also been absorbed and plan to intercept Richard at the final valkines in Fendel. Hubert joins the party as they travel to Fendel but fail to stop Richard. Deducing the Lastalia, the planet's core, is Richard's target, the party find Richard there; Richard mortally injures Sophie before sealing the entrance to the Lastalia.

The party is unable to heal Sophie with magic or medicine so Pascal suggests the party travel to Fodra, a nearby planet, where Sophie originates from to find a cure. After finding a space shuttle left by Pascal's ancestors, the party travel to Fodra where they meet Emeraude, the last remaining human on the desolated planet. Using advanced machinery, Sophie is healed and regains her memories revealing she is a biological humanoid engineered to defeat Lambda, the monster that attacked them in their childhood and is currently possessing Richard. Emeraude helps the party bypass the barrier on the Lastalia where they confront and defeat Richard. Emeraude betrays the party and attempts to absorb Lambda's power but dies in the process.[Game 16] Lambda begins to fuse with the Lastalia causing the party to see his memories and learn about his suffering caused by humanity. The party defeats the materialized Lambda; Since Lambda can not be killed by normal means, Sophie intends to sacrifice herself to kill him. Instead, Asbel absorbs and convinces Lambda to let him show humanity's worth. Lambda agrees before falling into a deep sleep.

In the after-story Lineage and Legacies, the monster population have become an epidemic forcing Asbel and his friends to reunite and investigate the cause. Hypothesizing that the eleth from Fodra is influencing the monsters, the party travel there and discover Fodra's core has reactivated. They learn the core is sentient and wants revenge on the humans for Fodra's environmental decay. The party defeats Fodra's soldiers, the Little Queens, and have the reawakened Lambda absorb Fodra's consciousness. In doing so, Lambda returns to his deep sleep in order to dissuade Fodra's hatred. The party separates and returns to their daily life concluding with Asbel proposing to Cheria. In the distant future, Sophie shares the party's adventure to Asbel's and Cheria's great great grandson.

Characters

Asbel Lhant

Sophie

Cheria Barnes

Hubert Ozwell

Richard

Malik Caesar

Pascal

Gameplay

Tales of Graces consists primarily of two major areas: the field map and a battle screen. The field map is a realistically scaled 3D environment traversed by foot. On the field maps, various skits between the characters can be viewed. They involve animated character portraits, subtitles, and full voice acting. Skits concern anything from character development to side details. The battle screen is a 3D representation of an area, in which the player commands the characters in battles against CPU-controlled enemies.

During battle sequences, the game uses the Style Shift Linear Motion Battle System. Four characters are chosen to battle and characters not controlled by a player are controlled by artificial intelligence with instructions set by the players beforehand. The "Chain Capacity" (CC) denotes the number of skills and actions a character can perform. Usage brings the CC down and is recharged over time. During battle, the player and enemy has an "Eleth Gauge". When the Eleth Gauge is filled, the user or the enemy receive unlimited CC and become resistant to stunning. Each character has two skill systems: "Assault Artes" which are pre-determined combos and "Burst Artes" which can be mapped to specific inputs. Skill and attribute development are dependent on "Titles" and their levels. Titles are earned through story progression and completion of miscellaneous criteria during battle. Each Title has five levels which are advanced by completing battles.

Development

On July 7, 2008, Namco Bandai Games announced the next core product of the Tales of series is developed for the Wii. A trailer for the game was shown in October 2008 during the Nintendo Autumn 2008 Conference During Jump Festa 2009, the game was given the code name Tales of 10 (テイルズ オブ 10 Teiruzu Obu 10) and is revealed to have been in development for the past two years. In the first week of April's Weekly Shōnen Jump, the game's name was revealed to be Tales of Graces; the name was trademarked by Namco Bandai Games a month prior. That same week, the developers were revealed to the same developers from Tales of Destiny. In the same month, the game's theme was revealed to be Mamoru Tsuyosa wo Shiru RPG (守る強さを知るRPG, lit. "RPG to Know the Strength to Protect"). During the September Tokyo Game Show, the game's theme song was revealed to be Mamoritai (White Wishes) by BoA. The game was released on December 10, 2009 and was also available as a bundle with a new Wii system. The game included Kamenin Merchant! (かめにんマーチャント!, lit. "Turtle Merchant!"), a minigame for the Nintendo DS. Kamenin Merchant! was released for the Nintendo DSi on December 2, 2009. To promote the game, Namco Bandai Games and House Foods collaborated on packaged mabo curry. In March 2010, Namco Bandai Games began to recall Tales of Graces due to software bugs. Namco allowed customers to exchange their game with an updated version until July 2011.

The PlayStation 3 port, Tales of Graces f, was first revealed in July 28, 2010's Weekly Shonen Jump and officially announced by Namco on August 2, 2010. The producer, Hideo Baba, explained the port was decided in February 2010 due to fan demand. The port adds an "Accelerate Mode" to the gameplay and an after-story entitled Lineage & Legacies. Preorderers received a DVD which contains a video of the game's protagonists meeting with characters from Tales of Destiny 2. A demo was released on October 7, 2010 and the game was released on December 2, 2010. A limited edition of the game included a letter set. Namco and House Foods restarted the packaged mabo curry to promote the game. Tales of Graces f was later re-released with a 15th anniversary cover art edition on August 4, 2011 and with PlayStation 3 The Best label on August 2, 2012.

A North American localization was hinted on Namco Bandai Games' Facebook page by a puzzle on January 24, 2011. When solved, the puzzle reveals a URL to a distorted image which was restored on February 2, 2011 and reveals Tales of Graces f's localization for North America. On May 11, 2011, Namco officially announced the North American, EMEA and Asia-Pacific localization of Tales of Graces f. The text was translated by 8-4 while Cup of Tea Productions produced the dubbing. The North American localization was released on March 13, 2012. The EMEA and Asia-Pacific localization released on August 31, 2012 along with a day one special edition. The game was made available on the North American and European PlayStation Network in March 2013.

Downloadable Content

Tales of Graces offers costumes for the playable characters as downloadable content. Pre-orderers received codes which give Asbel, Sophie, and Cheria costumes from Tales of Vesperia. Costumes based on The Idolmaster Dearly Stars for Sophie, Cheria, and Pascal were released on December 16, 2009. On December 23, 2009 a Hatsune Miku costume for Sophie and a suit set for Asbel, Hubert, and Malik were released. Between January and March 2010, a set of unique costumes designed by Mutsumi Inomata were released for each character. In addition to the costumes, challenge battles were also added as downloadable content.

Tales of Graces f received similar content as its Wii predecessor. Pre-orderers received a code which gives Asbel, Sophie, and Richard costumes from Tales of Destiny 2. On the release date, Code Geass costumes, a Toro costume for Pascal, and Sophie's Hatsune Miku costume were made available to download. On December 9, 2010, the Idolmaster set, suit set, school uniform set, and a Haseo costume for Asbel were released. The unique costumes designed by Mutsumi Inomata Inomata were released on December 22, 2010. In January 2011, various costumes were released to make the characters resemble other characters from the Tales series.

In North America, all Tales of Graces f's DLC, excluding cameo costumes from other franchises, was localized and released between March 13, 2012 and April 10, 2012. Europe received the same DLC which were released between August 29, 2012 and September 26, 2012. For the Tales of Destiny 2 preorder costumes, North American preorders from GameStop received a code for them; in Europe, the code was included with the day one special edition.

Media Adaptions

Manga

Tales of Graces spawned four manga adaptations after its release: Three anthology collections, and a traditional manga series. The first anthology collection, Tales of Graces Comic Anthology consists of three volumes by Ichijinsha. The second anthology collection, Tales of Graces f Comic Anthology, consists of a single volume by Ichijinsha and was released on March 25, 2011. The third anthology collection is Tales of Graces f Sub Travels was serialized in ASCII Media Works's Viva Tales of Magazine Volume 8, 2011 to Volume 10, 2012 issues. The individual chapters were then collected and released in a single volume on November 27, 2012 under the Dengeki Comics imprint. A traditional manga series titled Tales of Graces f is written and authored by Megumu Aya. It began serialization in Viva Tales of Magazine beginning in its Volume 2, 2011 issue and is currently ongoing. ASCII Media Works collected the chapters and released the first volume on October 27, 2011.

Books

Tales of Graces spun off a novel series titled "Tales of Graces f: Chikai no Hana" (テイルズ オブ グレイセス エフ 誓いの花, lit. Tales of Graces f: Flower's Promise). The first volume is subtitled  (上, lit. Above) and the second Ka (下, lit. Below). They were released by Enterbrain on February and May 2011. Tales of Graces f Official Scenario Book by Namco Bandai Games was released by Yamashita Books on June 4, 2012. It details the game's plot and fictional world. Tales of Graces has received six strategy guides in total: three for the Wii and three for the PS3. Shueisha, Namco Bandai Games, and Enterbrain were the publishers.

Audio CDs

Ten drama CDs, produced by Frontier Works, and an original soundtrack by Avex Group were created based on the game. Drama CD: Tales of Graces 1 to 4 are side stories that take place during the game's plot. They were released between May 26, 2010 and August 25, 2010. Anthology Drama CD: Tales of Graces f 2010 WinterAnthology Drama CD: Tales of Graces f 2011 SummerAnthology Drama CD: Tales of Graces f 2012 WinterAnthology Drama CD: Tales of Graces f 2012 SummerAnthology Drama CD: Tales of Graces f 2013 Winter, and Anthology Drama CD: Tales of Graces f 2013 Summer are side stories after the events of the Tales of GracesTales of Graces Original Soundtrack was released on February 10, 2010 and contains four discs. It ranked 128th on Oricon's charts.

External Website Links

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