The Story Behind Tales Of Graces f’s Hero And Succumbing To Social Norms

By Spencer . September 17, 2012 . 5:30pm


"Every title has a piece of me inside of it, of course. Asbel from Tales of Graces f reflects my feelings the most because he went through so many trials," Hideo Baba, producer of the Tales of series, said to Siliconera.


"Baba-san, you’ve talked about making protagonists people can emphasize with. Which Tales protagonist do you identify with the most," I asked. Baba replied with a detailed answer.


"In Graces f players can experience the protagonist’s childhood and when see him when he grows up. Every boy has an energetic spirit, an ‘I can do it’ attitude, but after maturing into an adult people have a chance to reconsider their views on life. Asbel, after growing up, considered what was important to him like family and the people he cares for.


After growing up Asbel needs to work within the environment because he needs to take over the Lord title from his father, but at the same time he dreams of becoming a knight. He feels frustrated about the choice. Everyone has this kind of situation and I want to portray that people need to decide what to hold dear to them and protect. I want to express how important it is to choose your own path and chase your dreams.


I also wanted to portray through Asbel’s storyline is when you were little you don’t care about a path or what people think about you. After you grow up you have to always think about social guidelines and expectations, which is something people may feel frustrated with. That’s what I wanted to show through Asbel’s point of view in Graces f."


Do you feel the same way about Asbel? Which Tales protagonist do you identify with the most?

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • LustEnvy

    I felt Asbel to be too stereotypically ‘Good’. Yes, he failed time and time again, but his overall personality was so generic in JRPGs, it put me off a bit. I felt a LOT more for Sophie, which I felt had better character development.

    I guess all the awesomeness character-wise was reserved for Pascal. <3

    • PoweredByHentai

      I’ve always wanted to use this image.  Thanks for giving me a reason to use this image.  XD

    • MrTyrant

       Sophie was a little anoying too. I like her but not to much. Pascal <3 Hubert and Malik were my favorites.

    •  Pascal was the only one who had any real personality of the cast, so she was my favorite by default.  Sophie bought too much into Asbel’s friendship junk, Cheria and Malik were barely there at all, and Hubert needed more character development.  Though Pascal did wear on me after a while with how ofter she solved everything for the party…

  • MrTyrant

     Veigue I believe, he has an annoying tendency of focus on Clare too much but then you realize how much he thinks about his comrades that even went to a fight with people of some town that were discriminating your friends, those racial fight were kind of deep when you look at it, none of them were in the right side yet you cannot ignore or involve too much.

  • Paradox me

    Huh. I just finished playing the future arc in Graces f.

    I made it pretty clear in the last article, but I’m just not a fan of Asbel. At all. What Baba says here is true and I can certainly see what he was going for, but at the same time you’ve got a fairly naive character that greets pretty much everyone he meets with unconditional trust.

    Perhaps he came across differently in Japanese, but in the English release he still felt like a child with his head in the clouds. It didn’t help that the game had layer upon layer of the whole ‘power of friendship’ bit.

    • Locklear93

      This, exactly.  I found Asbel intolerable, and I’m afraid reading Baba’s explanation did nothing to make him less so.  As far as I played (I couldn’t take it anymore at the point you get an airship to control), he remained a naive, obnoxious character who insisted that he could bash the world into working out nicely through the power of friendship.  I don’t think I’ve ever hated a JRPG main character more. Hubert was the most relatable character for me. I wanted to like Sophie, but she bought into Asbel’s dreck too much.

    •  I agree wholeheartedly.  Asbel just infuriated me more and more as time went on.  Constantly going about with “I have to save Richard” and whenever anyone brought up how much damage Richard was doing it was all “Richard would never do that”.  He never considered any other option, and acted like a child throughout.  Worse, he only seems to care for people he knows!  He never even considers all the people doomed by Richard draining the crystal things, or the people who are getting killed by the monsters he’s spawning!  The skits in Ghardia shaft have made me want to strangle him!

  • Xapth

    I really liked the way Graces f handled the characters development in that sense.

    The inclusion of the Childhood Arc really helped me feel as if I knew the characters personally, since I got to experience their back story first-hand.

    One aspect I found very realistic was the regret portrayed in his relationship with his father. There are certainly things we regret or wish we could have done differently in life, but sometimes there isn’t anything we can do about them.

    It was very interesting to see how Asbel dealt with such a genuine real-life issue.

  • Laith Rem

    Asbel was great. Graces (f) is like a long, long, long joke on him that should really let him a mess. And yet he continues with his dream and life and ideals. He changes, he is given responsibilities, but he is still clinging to his dream. I like him for that.

    As for the protagonist who I identify more? Probably Luke. That’s how I felt when I was a teenager at least =V.

    • Barrylocke89

      Luke is also my personal favorite. Some people may say that he’s overly jerkish/angsty, depending on how far in the game they got, but he had a lot of real, solid moments. I remember being intrigued with how they handled his dislike of killing people (something that most jrpg heroes do without much thought)

    • I totally agree with the whole “Joke’s on You!” thing. I kinda feel bad for saying this, but Asbel’s life is black comedy gold. I was out of body bags by the first two or three hours.

      Man, that guy… he’s had it hard.

  • Hraesvelgr

    Actually, I care less about what people think of me and whatever expectations there are as an adult than I did as a kid, but I guess that’s just me. His answer is very Japanese, at the very least (I don’t mean that as a bad thing).

  • Spirit Macardi

    Funny, I’d never before considered this interpretation of Asbel, but it really does work! I had always looked at him from the point of view of a deconstruction and then reconstruction of the “friendship solves anything” character. This just adds on another layer :3

    As for the character I most identify with, definitely Emil. He’s pretty much exactly what I was like as a teenager, right down to needing to craft an alternate identity just to make it through things.

  • Brandonmkii

    There’s nothing wrong with unconditional kindness. It’s how I live my life.

    • Ladius

      Really nice to see someone pointing this out.

      Maybe I’m not jaded enough to discuss things on the web, but everytime someone bring up having strong moral values as a negative point for a shounen hero I’m completely taken aback, especially when those principles are born out of personal struggles and never took for granted.

      • Granted, moral values without a background/reason/cause can look rather shallow in fiction, particularly when the protagonist is following them “just because” – which isn’t helped by the fact that many Shonen fiction take that route. There are benefits to following them, without a doubt; but I would say having a character actually understand why these are important (as well as the pros and cons) – ideally through also showing the audience – would make his/her ideals easier to take in.

  • Jirin

    I’m not sure I quite identify with many of the Tales protagonists.  Maybe Yuri as my id, Flynn as my superego.  That’s what made Vesperia so interesting to me, to see my own internal moral debate take place on screen.

    I wouldn’t say so much that I care more what other people think of me, so much as I’m more pragmatic about it.  Like, it doesn’t really matter to me whether I wear a tie to a job interview, so I might as well do what’s in my best interest.  I still wouldn’t compromise on important things, I’ve just got a more tempered sense of what constitutes ‘Important’.  I guess I can identify with Asbel a little there.

  • Arrei

    I don’t think I identify with any of the protagonists…

    If anything I identify more with Hubert since I’m usually calculating and pessimistic…

    • LustEnvy

       There’s only one protagonist that is better than the rest… Yuri Lowell. :)

      • Curan_Altea

        What are you talking about? Emil Castigner is the best and easiest to relate to protagonist. 

  • When enforced to extremity and without question, social norms can easily become oppressive, yes. But something I’m worried people might be forgetting nowadays – and I think this applies more to the West than Japan, but I guess to some degree it’s true for all of the developed world – is that when you peel back social norms entirely, you don’t have much of a society. When everyone within a society is not expected to share to some degree a cultural commons, communication breaks down.

    Just thinking out loud, there.

    (Haven’t played this game.)

  • I’m not sure if I identify at all with any Tales protagonists.  As for Asbel himself, the whole society’s norms things really gets dropped after the child segment.  After finding out his dad is dead, he just bows to what is expected of him without much fuss.  Then he goes into full-on friendship solves everything mode while pinning over Richard.  He doesn’t really choose his own path and gives up on his dreams shortly after finding out his dad is dead.

    I suppose I identify most with Lloyd, if I had to pick.  Going about, not understanding everything, but still knowing what you have to do and realizing what’s right and wrong.

    • Mr_SP

       That *is* the norm he has to bow to. When there was no one else left to turn to, Asbel felt pressured into following his father’s path, because he can’t say no to a dead person, and these people needed his help for the long term, not just as a knight. I assume he simply never thought about what would happen when his father died, or expected Hubert to be a better choice… which is a little ironic.

      But, yeah, eventually that starts to not really be the focus of the plot, but there’s only so much world saving and royal intrigue you can do in real life.

  • Ehh…. Considering the way the plot ran, I suppose I can appreciate Asbel’s character. I do see that he struggles between his dreams and social expectations, and eventually he found a way to tie those together. However, he came off as too determined to me; he was naive. Worst of all, he knew it and did what he did anyway.

    But I suppose I can’t really blame the character for that. I don’t really like Asbel, but that’s mainly because of the plot and his script. He’s hit with tons of tragedy in the beginning, before I could even feel anything for his character. So I can’t say I really feel anything for him when he struggles with his responsibilities and regrets.

    He’s also loaded with cheesy lines and constantly reminding us of things we already know. Although, this seems to be more of a flaw of RPGs in general. (Perhaps it’s supposed to serve as a reminder to what you’re fighting against?)

    As for a character I can relate the most to? I… I don’t think there’s anyone. xD If anything, I think I relate more to some of the villains.

  • Cameron Ward

    hmmm i can see where he is going with this, but good lord was the story BAD with this game. just to point out a part of the story i hated, i did not like the father. i can tell he was trying to come off as stern and hard, but loved his family, but it was like every other freaking scene he would hit Asbel on the head for doing something that was helping him, he would demean him every time he could, sells his brother without asbel or the mother’s word in anything of it. he was a terrible abusive father.

    later on when Hubert comes back, instead of being happy to see his brother, he is a dick towards him and kicks him out of his own damn village.

    the only characters i liked were pascal of course and the captain guy. the red head girl while interesting later on, was a total jerk towards asbel and its like, can she not see why he ran away to be a knight? did she not know how freaking abusive his father was?

    oh and of course Richard and the green haired girl were bad i mean, look at their outfits….

    • Locklear93

      Asbel’s father didn’t work for me, either.  Strict parenting is one thing.  Expecting the most of your child is one thing.  Hell, trying to raise them to rule is one thing.  Asbel’s father never gave a reason for anything.  He handled his son no differently than he might handle a servant: here’s what you’re to do, now DO IT.  Parenting philosophies aside, if he wants Asbel to rule effectively some day, Asbel is the one person to whom he SHOULD be explaining himself.  Asbel needs to understand the whys and hows.  He needs to be developing critical thinking skills, and learning how to make appropriate decisions himself.

      He got none of that, and accordingly resented authority in general and his father in particular.  Way to go, dad.  Honestly, I’ve played JRPGs with worse stories, even if Asbel is my least favorite main character, but I really feel like Graces f isn’t far from the worst written narrative I’ve seen in a triple-A JRPG.

      • Cameron Ward

         oh no it isnt the worst game i ever played either and the characters do get better afterwards, but this is easily one of the weaker Tales games i played and one of the weaker RPGs

      •  Agreed wholeheartedly.  I hated that they killed off his dad offscreen!  After everything that happened in the childhood portion, I wanted a confrontation or something.  But by having him die, they instantly made Asbel totally in the wrong.  And worst part was, you don’t get an explanation for what he did to Hubert for a long period, and even then it’s an optional event that you probably need a guide to find.

        • I actually didn’t mind that they killed him offscreen. :3 I felt like that was the point; Asbel will never get to sort things out with his old man because it was too late. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, but it just happens sometimes, and you just have to cope with that regret. I feel like a lot of Asbel’s decisions in the game had to do with that regret. (His interactions with Sophie, being a prime example.)

      • I… don’t know about that. I always thought that Asbel’s father was supposed to represent all the dad’s out there that have no idea how to communicate with their kids. His mother even mentioned that he was well intentioned, and that he loves him anyway. I think it’s a very typical scene.

        I can understand the “do first, explain later” attitude too. I think it’s actually more common than you think, though likely not to this extent. (It is a game after all, so it’s gotta be exaggerated.) For example, when my grandfather taught me how to ride a bike, he led me to the top of a hill and pushed me off. Even though I totally fell at the bottom, I kinda got the gist of it. Afterwards, he explained to me why people fall, how to stop from falling and so on. It’s easily to explain once you’ve done it, because now you know how it feels.

        Also, he does explain himself when it’s really important, and Asbel doesn’t really listen anyway. :P (“Don’t meet Richard. If you disgrace us, we’re screwed.”)

    • Ladius

      I gather you didn’t do the subquest related to Asbel’s father, Hubert or anyone else?

      Aston has a lot of backstory, and it explains absolutely well why he sent Hubert away: he had his own brother back in the days, but thanks to mutual misunderstanding and political turmoil they were opposed for the Lhant succession and had to fight it out. He thought to spare his own sons from this situation, especially considering how Lhant’s ruling family could be manipulated by other parties (having the second son used as a figurehead by a Fendel occupation force, for instance), by having Hubert brought up in another country. Regarding he being “abusive” with Asbel, you should probably remember that we’re talking about a medieval landlord trying to educate his successor, not to mention he never really enforced any strict punishment on him, to the point of allowing him to stay in Barona even if he had gone there against his order to stay at Lhant during the childhood arc.

      Hubert himself wasn’t happy to meet Asbel again because, understandably, he saw him as the one son his parents choose to keep while discarding him and sending off to be the son of a political shark in another country. Then again, Hubert’s own backstory is extremely well developed in his subquests, and by the end of the game (if you care to follow them) you will see him reconcile with both the memory of his late father and his adoptive father, who used him but also introduced him to the world of politics and showed him affection, in his weird, scheming way.

      Same for Cheria: she was left in Lhant as a young child stricken with an apparently uncurable illness, losing both all of her friends and her love interest. It’s absolutely understandable she thought Asbel didn’t care for her, even if he had his legitimate reasons for doing what he did it’s part of human nature to give our own feelings precedence.

      Really, Graces f gets lots of undeserved flak regarding his character and development, while the game actually gives everyone lots of sensible reasons for doing what they did, and as it in real life, that sometimes means having two otherwise nice persons opposed because of their personal histories.

      •  But this is all a huge problem.  Things like WHY they sent Hubert away should not be relegated to an easily missable side quest.  There is very little hint as to why he did it in the main story.  And even then, his plan was terrible.  He basically abandoned Hubert because he didn’t want Hubert and Asbel to fight for control of Lhant, despite Asbel not wanting it at all.  And by sending Hubert away, he just encouraged him to hate both himself and Asbel, and making it more likely that they would eventually fight each other, which is exactly what happened.

        And two scenes does not make for being extremely well developed.  And again, being optional and easily missable is not good for vital character development.

        • Cameron Ward

           dont forget about the pointless black mail event where the red haired girl gets captured by one of huberts assistants and then that goes no where besides a totally pointless moment in the game where the guy who kidnapped her fell in love with her…i mean…geez Vesperia was pretty well done with very few plot holes and issues with the story itself. this game’s story has way too many issues.

          why should i change my opinion due to a side quest i missed and wasnt hinted at? i mean, geez. i respect that everyone has their own opinion, but you play this game for the gameplay and not the story

          • Ladius

            It wasn’t a “pontless” event at all, though: it served to reconcile Cheria and Asbel, to introduce the political struggles among the Strahtan factions, to show the true nature of the Oswell family and to have Hubert cooperate with the rest of the party for the first time in a meaningful way.

            It’s bizarre that the only development you were able to notice out of this event was the most irrelevant one, the crush of Raymond for Cheria which is treated by the game as a comical plot point. It isn’t the game’s fault, though, since all the other ones were given much more attention in that part of the story. I fear you were able to appreciate Vesperia more than Graces simply because in that game the characters’ relationships are extremely streamlined and unconflictual, aside from the YuriFlynn thing, while in Graces the heroes have a lot of issues to sort out for at least half the game.

            Also, the “you play the game for gameplay and not story” part seems just an arbitrary decision on your part, not to mention sidequests have always been a major part of Tales games and Graces’ ones are the easiest to see considering they don’t have the requirements or extremely limited window of Abyss or Vesperia.

          • While true, I feel like the entire scene could have been done better. I truly believe if Graces executed a lot of the scenes better, it could still convey the same meanings without coming off as “pointless” or “cheesy”.

            That had to be the fastest I’ve ever rescued someone. I mean, we figured out the whole plot of that and solved it within ten minutes.

            For example, it would have been much more interesting if Raymond DID succeed in ambushing Asbel and the team. Then Cheria can waltz in to save the day, instead of being an awkward kidnapping. There’s probably even more ways to play this out better, without having to resort to crazy schemes.

        • Ladius

          The reason of Hubert’s adoption was hinted multiple times during the main events, and the fact that you can expand pretty much every single plot point through subquests is a reason to fully explore the game, not to criticize it considering you can fully grasp the plot even without them.

          Also, almost none of them are “easily missable”, the timeframe for optional events in Graces is far more lenient than those of Abyss and Vesperia (in those games you pretty much needed a guide to see even a small fraction of optional events, while Graces links lots of them to Inn Requests you can easily notice).

          And no, his plan wasn’t terrible, it was justified by reasonable arguments even if it ultimately backfired. In the past, it was actually normal for noble families with multiple offsprings to pave the way for the firstborn by neutralizing the political weight of cadet sons, either by making them part of the clergy, by sending them to other courts in order to train them as civil or military officials or by assigning them a smaller lordship by dividing the main family’s lands.

          • I don’t recall there ever being hints as to why Hubert was sent away in the main story.  If there were, point them out please.

            And I stand by that such important things should not be optional.  To see them, you still have to go out of your way to every town, talking to random people or hoping the right quests are available.  If you’re just playing through the main game, you pass right by these events (some of which are missable and do have very small timeframes.  I know; I missed the ones with Ozwell).  For me, I kept playing expecting the game to tell me what happened, and was shocked when I stumbled upon it as an event.

            And yes, I still say his plan was terrible.  It basically amounted to deliberately antagonizing both of his children, lying to both of them and refusing to explain himself to them.  The way he went about it assured that Hubert would hate him and likely Asbel as well, leading to the one thing he was trying to prevent.

          • Cameron Ward

             thank you! your argument is the hwole reason why Graces F story fails on  many proper RG storytelling design.

            no hints were given to me and WHY the hell should major character development be subjugated to side quests? if there were reasons why this would happen, why wasnt it put in the main storyline instead of a side quest the normal player could easily avoid and not know about? that is terrible design

          • Alexander Marquis Starkey

            Well here is the thing, a lot of Tales games, not just Graces alone, while don’t regulate development to sidequests, the details behind that development are and that’s why its recommended to fully explore an rpg. You get the bulk in the main story and further details lie in. And while you might have missed it, I easily figured out why Aston sent Hubert away without sidequests.

  • “I
     also wanted to portray through Asbel’s storyline is when you were little you don’t care about a path or what people think about you. After you grow up you have to always think about social guidelines and expectations, which is something people may feel frustrated with.”

    I have to say this is what I got from it. Got to watch him grow up and as Malik says “coming into your own” Though Sophie would say “He doesn’t agree” (^.^; )I can say I feel for all the characters in someway. Though I was rather annoyed at Cheria ( ._.) They did stay true to her point of view. Well everyone’s really. I have to say Pascal was a huge favorite… Besides the not bathing part ( x.x)

  • Is the “succumbing to social norms” theme not as prevalent in Japanese fiction as it is in the USA? For us, Asbel’s character arc was kind of simple, if not generic…

  • Misty Dawson

    Ugh I just didn’t like Asbel. So whiny and couldn’t follow through with anything. Yuri will always be my favorite protagonist.

  • Learii

    i knew they think way after i play it so is teach us who we care more our dream or the ppl who love us

  • Kuhile Brodeur

    To be honest, I don’t think I relate to any of the main protagonists. If any character, I relate to Judith the most when it comes to personality and speech pattern. As for pasts, I’ve lived a good life with not a lot of tragedies and most Tales characters lose everything they had at one point.

  • keithmaxx

    I think he didn’t answer the question at all… Japanese and them roundabout explanations.

    But it’s okay, Baba, we love you until you release ToX2 for overseas.

  • Magus KilIer

    Meh,personally i didn’t like Asbel too much,but i also didn’t hate him
    But Mr. i am so cool than i was named after lesbian anime pr0n(Yuri)…

  • Sakurazaki

    What about the FRIENDSHIP, Baba?! THE FRIENDSHIP!!!

  • psycho_bandaid

    Aside from Pascal the cast of Graces f was a pretty boring bunch. Too one dimensional.

  • Mattias Mörner

    I couldn’t quite like this game, the story and character’s wasn’t to my liking. Several times I just wanted to slap Asbel silly. Other characters as well but mostly Asbel.

    On a further note, I didn’t like Jude in Xillia either, although that game did have a bit better support characters. Although I hated one that shouldn’t have been forgiven so easily. 

    My most hated protagonist in an RPG? Edge from Star Ocean: The Last Hope.

    And what do Asbel, Jude and Edge have in common? They are all a bunch of stupid, naive and ignorant holier-than-thou pieces of ****

    I don’t mind if the protagonist is a really kind person. I just don’t like it when they are blind to reality(Asbel) or naive(Jude) or just stupid(Edge). One of my favorite protagonists lately is Yuri from Tales of Vesperia. He showed some of the darker sides of “justice” and showed several times that he wasn’t blind to how the world worked.

    Didn’t think through what I wanted to have said so it turns out I wrote a bit more then neccessary. Still, it’s good to get your opinions out sometimes ;)

    • Mike Pureka

      Yuri was a good idea, but his hypocrisy and the way he walks away from all his misdeeds without ever having to do more than say “I accept the consequences (that never happen, ever)” totally ruined him for me.

  • Jirin

    I thought the reason Asbel came back to take over for his father was that he felt the town needed him, not because he was conforming to social norms.  That makes me like Asbel less.  He wasn’t accepting responsibility and taking the role nobody could take but him, he was just self consciously caving in.

    I liked the ToG cast in general, but I hated their decision making process. Tales characters rarely have any proactive strategy, they just kind of wait until somebody does something evil, rush to wherever they’re going, and hope maybe they can do something.

  • ToX sucked… Was a huge let down after playing Vesperia, and Graces F… the worst of the PS3 Tales…I hope ToX 2 is better… and Jude really felt bland, like REALLY bland…  I dont’ recall another Tales title that had such bland protagonist… maybe it’s because ToX split their protagonist between Jude and Milia, and Milia was more interesting than Jude in every way possible.

    Really though… Vesperia actually presented a great moral inquisition to the players with Yuri representing the necessary evil, and Flynn representing the the restrictions within a law abiding social environment.

    Vesperia PS3 was by far the best tales for me.

    • Mike Pureka

       Too bad Vesperia did such a rotten job of actually showing the contrast, rather than “Well, it’s okay to just kill people who do bad things, don’t worry, you’ll never face any consequences for it, and Flynn will never get around to doing anything about them if you don’t…”

      Stupidly onesided game for such an interesting premise.  Great idea, rotten followthrough.

      • Ibi Salmon

        To quote a youtuber , “You don’t need to agree with what the characters do to enjoy the story.”.

        Anyways, you know what they could have done to better show the contract(not that they didn’t do a good job already)? Have the game switch perspectives between Yuri and Flynn. Every once in a while, we check up on how Flynn is doing and see things through his point of view. That would have been really interesting and would have made the game a lot more awesome.

  • LazuliteLiamz

    I could never really attach myself to the characters that I’m playing when the game starts with its own characters.
    The time that I would feel more attached is when the game allow me to create my own character and allow my character to have different responses on some dialogues.

    Most of the time though, I would focus more on the characters’ development as the game progress and their relationship with each others. I tend to see them as someone else instead of comparing it to myself. But that’s the reason why I play games in the first place. Real life is boring, its overrated! Well.. maybe not everyone’s life, but mine is!

    I’ve played a couple of tales games and I think the Radiant Mythology series are those that makes me feels “a part of me just died” after I finished them.
    And having all the characters from different tales series interacting with each others is friggin’ awesome! Even more if you know them before from other games!

    • XiaomuArisu

       Radiant mythology?
      Well its true that you can create your character but there was no development for the hero and the dialogues choices didnt matter.
      Its true that it is cool to see different tales characters interact but its interesting because we learned about them.If RM had been my first Tales of,I would think that Chester only talks about his sister and that Lyoid is a typical stupid hero.
      The Characters are memorable because of the pre-set story and the pre-set hero.
      Of course games with self-made characters are fine too,but if I compare the main tales of with RM…
      Maybe Xilia 2 will surprise us or maybe a new RM with more options(4 different faces with pre-set hair is…lacking)and choices which matters.
      Of course this is my opinion.I just think that:
      a)Hubert:”Over in a flash!
         Sophie:”What is a flash?”
         Asbel:”Shorter than a second”
         Sophie:”Why is he lying?”

      is better than

      Little talking animal:”We are awesome!”
      Hero(the player):”……….”

      Long post isnt it?XD

    • Jirin

      I’m the opposite, I tend to feel more attached to fully fleshed out fictional characters I have no control over than characters I can project myself into.

      For instance, in Mass Effect I’m far more attached to the teammates than Shephard him/herself.  ‘Avatar for you’ characters never feel like real people to me, and they don’t feel like ‘me’ either, because 90% of the freedom you get in those kinds of games isn’t real.  

      The game takes you on too much of a set path for me to ever feel like I’m the one making the decisions, and eventually you get to realize that even the choices you get have no real impact on the story, because it’s all set up so you can never screw yourself too bad.

      Whenever I play those kinds of games I tend to get excited by all the choices, then deflated when I realize the game has no real branching and no matter how you answer you get shuttled down a set path, and that the game won’t let you play with any moral complexity, it will just interpret everything you do as good or evil (and all your allies will be equally okay with you being good or evil).

  • George Porter

    Asbel’s message and learning curve was that growing up is complicated, the world as a child is black and white, but you start learning the shades of grey even the ones that you don’t necessarily agree with. He also teaches you though dreams are important sometimes doing what you can do instead of what you might be able to do is more important. 

    Yuri Lowell is a cocky cool guy who doesn’t like when people are exploited he makes it his mission to cast these people down, or to kill them out wright. He is the representation of what most other people are afraid to do. Which would probably explain why he likes to live in the Slums. Flynn is the boy who believes the system can be used to do the right thing but realizes someone like Yuri in the world is a necessity.Luke Fon Fabre and Asch the Bloody are opposites trying to bridge the gap of what one does when their life is rendered null due to ‘free will’. Asch is the boy who had a dream of the future and a plan to do it. Luke had to learn that though he may not be ‘Luke’ he can still do something. Their message was ‘it doesn’t mater what cards your dealt with it’s how you play them.”

    Emiel’s message is “Courage is the magic that turns dreams into reality.” No matter what you choose having the faith to follow through to the end is what’s important. 

    Loyd Irving’s message is: There’s no good reason for being a racist. “As long as you aren’t hurting anyone you can live freely anywhere you want.” A basic human right that everyone should believe in.

    I can’t remember the message from Legendia.  

    • Same, Legendia’s main character Senel wasn’t as memorable as other, and the only real thing I remembered was that he set out to save his sister, but that game was easily my most memorable Tales on PS2… over Abyss… I just hated Luke with a passion, he was the biggest jerk i’ve ever seen in a Video game as the MC that I could not stand the game till he “transformed” to a good guy.

    • Laith Rem

      Senel’s message is to not bind yourself to the past and let it go, so you can enjoy what you have now. 

  • Hm, I probably empathize with Jude the most, because he shows how the faults of human curiosity can turn into a conviction to do what’s right. After that, probably Yuri, hahaha, what opposites! But Yuri is all about finding the path that maybe people don’t want to walk, but gets the problems done.

    Honestly, I liked Asbel only marginally better than Luke, who I decidedly did not like. Asbel at least grew on me though. Though maybe I just liked Richard and Hubert too much to dislike him when I can look through their eyes and see him better. Asbel’s growing process is one that he learns how the world ticks, what he really wants and should do in the world, and learning to accept all parts of the whole, if it’s the differences in the world or Lambda or parts of himself. That’s admirable, but watching him get to that point isn’t something I really enjoy.

    When I consider it, I’m probably also be a Rita or a Hubert. Because, in their heart, they’re quiet, but they push through it to show that they can work their minds, be valuable. I suppose that’s why I said Jude first, because he does that too.

  • Alexander Marquis Starkey

    I personally wouldn’t call it bowing to social norms in Asbel’s case. It is more so that you must face the reality that you can’t always do what you want. Asbel decisions as a child were very selfish and he paid for them throughout the early story line, whether it being Cheria’s cold shoulder, Hubert kicking him out of Lhant, or the people of Lhant shunning him.

    One thing I wish was explored more is Cheria’s relief work. I got the impression that Cheria’s development was around her being the Team Mom. Her relief work, the way she pans over Sophie and Pascal, the hide and seek subquest, all signs of that. However if we saw more events around that, I think people would have more respect for her. 

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