We already know that the next mothership game and bearer of the 20th anniversary release title in the series is Tales of Zestiria for the PS3, also we know that localization for North/South America and Europe has been announced. This past days has seen the release of a myriad of new details about the game, including three magazine articles (Dengeki PlayStation, Jump Magazine and Famitsu) and some other details over at the TalesChannel+ and the official Tales of Facebook page so check them out.
Note: a (?) sign after a place or character name means the romanization is still not official. Update: Name of places are now official updated the article to reflect that, also the official site of the game is now open with more information and screenshots of the game. go ahead and give it a check
The game has a total of 4 character designers, all familiar names in the series: Kousuke Fujishima, Mutsumi Inomata, Daigo Okumura and Minoru Iwamoto (that last one may not so familiar but he was the one who designed characters for the Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology games)
The Music will be in charge of two familiar faces: Motoi Sakuraba and Go Shiina
The animation will be once again in charge of ufotable
The continent of Greenwood, where the story unfolds, is a land in dispute for supremacy between the Kingdom of Highland and the Empire of Lowlance. In a land where despite various religious beliefs exist, there is one thing in common among all of them: The believe in those that are called the 天族 (tezoku, Divine People/Family). The reason for this, despite no one actually seeing one of those beings, is that every now and then, people who can communicate and appeal to them appear. This people who can borrow and manifest the powers of the Divine are called 導師 (doushi, Priests/Monks). This people are considered as saviors with the power of god.
A long time has passed and somewhere deep within a forest no one can enter called the Forest of the Divine lies something made to resemble an utopia where Humans and the Divine People can live together, and there's and "impurity" that has been spreading all around the world, except for that place.
Here is where main character Slay(?) has been raised, isolated from the outside world therefore growing into a a pure-hearted young man. The reason of him being forbidden to leave the village is because outside the village, there exists monsters born of impurity who are known as 憑魔 (Hyoma, Devil Possessions/ Haunting Demons) who may target and attack him because of his high level of Spirit Power. The villagers always warn Slay(?) about the terrors the Hyoma may bring, and so he has never disobeyed the rule of him not being allowed to leave the village.
Here's the trailer shown at the original reveal of the game, which was also shown in this year Jump Festa
In the trailer we can hear a narration that pretty much tell us the introduction of the game that we were shown during the countdown
Buildings shown in an orange color were once “Streets of Scholarship,” and the large tree in the plaza is a sacred one. However, rumors are spreading of ghosts who appear in the streets.
The ruins on the hillside were made in the distant past, and apparently they are from religious origin
Rare plants and animals can be seen in the wetland area, and what was once a bridge and a wooden road has been left to rot.
In the continent of Greenwood, there are big marshes and volcanoes, as well. The current civilization has over 1,000 years of history, but ruins from an even older era area everywhere.
The Kingdom of Highland is a country with large areas of mountains and plateaus. It held a culture that respected faith and form, but now people's lives have diversified and tradition has faded. The government is separated from the hand of royalty and nobles, and a bureaucratic organization is being molded.
The Empire of Lowlance rules over the biggest area of land on the continent. Fertile plains occupy most of the country, and is the foundation of a military force. The scale of the capital city and culture is the greatest, but the disparity between areas is large. The emperor used to have absolute power, but now the Church of Lowlance, with its old traditions, is increasing its influence.
Slay(?) [スレイ] (voiced by Ryouhei Kimura, designed by Kousuke Fujishima): 175 centimeters tall. His weapon is a one-handed ceremonial sword. Taking advantage of a book called 天遺見聞録 ( teni kenbun roku, Divine Records or Record of Heavenly Bequeathments), he has an interest in the ancient ruins. His current dream is to study and pursue events of the ancient times. Kind and relaxed, he honestly expresses his emotions. He has an overly optimistic side as well, but his pure and positive character fascinates those around him. He believes that the tale written in his book that says "Humans used to communicate with The Divine and could even live with them" is not just a legend, but could have been real, so he frequents the ruins expecting to discover something about that. As for what he can do, he was able to read the Record and explore the ancient ruins nearby, but in the middle of his exploration, the ruins collapse and he becomes trapped in the lowest level, and while trying to find a way out he discovers a unconscious girl. Here are some designs by ufotable
Alicia(?) [アリーシャ] (voiced by Ai Kayano designed by Daigo Okumura) - 161 centimeters tall. She's the girl Slay finds unconscious in the ruins. She got caught up in the collapse, and all her belongings are missing so he tries to help her put . Her weapon is a long spear. A princess at the lowest level of the heirs to the throne of Highland, she has a bright and feminine character by nature, but as a matter of course is treated as a mere knight and speaks in a strict masculine way. Her mother's social position is low and she is treated poorly as royalty, and her company is disliked by the cabinet ministers. From her native kindness, she tries to do something about a world that cannot stop disasters and wars. But these actions are difficult from her position in the kingdom. She was in the ruins searching for answers about the various disasters that are occurring around the world. Here are some designs by ufotable
- This time, the game delves into the "abundance of the heart," but from the approach of Tales the keyword that is drawn is "Zest" (passion, zeal).
- At a glance, Slay may not look like the zealous type, but his actions and way of life hide a zeal that accumulates in his heart.
- The Tales series has focused on themes of justice and faith until now, but Zestiria furthermore draws the rooted 'zeal' from the front.
- Up until now, the fields were basically running along a highway, but Zestiria is not like this.
- A camera for a pleasant searching system is being prepared.
- Alicia is actually of low ranking despite being a princess because her mother was of low social rank to begin with. This is why she prefers living as just a mere knight.
- Slay's way of looking at things and positive personality and Alicia's always serious personality definitely clashes, but as the story progresses we'll also get to see an unexpected side of both of them.
- Thought the battles pretty much have the standard sword and magic basis, they say the best experience of it will entirely change. Aside from the evolution of the Linear Motion Battle System, there will be a big surprise regarding the battle system. Also it is describes as something along the lines of Tales of Graces.
- A focus on dragons is a first for the series, but as seen in the logo it is closely related to the story, and also if they're friend or foe is something we will be find out in time.
- Game development so far: Scenario and character designs all done. System and graphics work still in progress. Voice acting for the main scenario is almost done.
- The manufacturing process of games and anime is going to become tough, but he's hoping to keep up a befitting fighting spirit.
- As we turn toward the release date, they plan doing events and releases of more information.
So there you have it, after what was practically a double countdown teaser site, we get to see a whole lot of new details about Tales of Zestiria.
Bonus: The poll voting for the next official Tales of Character Popularity Ranking is now open. You can go here and vote for your favorite character at Tales Channel +, (account required, but they're free). After your vote you will get 2 wallpapers (they come in 4 different sizes each) one featuring Yuri, Asbel and Leon, and the other featuring Milla, Kohaku/Amber and Cheria. BTW since they have been promoted to the hall of fame, you can no longer vote for Yuri Lowell or Leon Magnus. Also the next Tales of Festival will be held on May 31, and we may get to see a whole lot more of information.