Tales of Zestiria Gives Us A History Lesson On The World And Its Lost Tribe

By Sato . February 27, 2014 . 1:00pm

One of Tales of Zestiria’s characters, known as Miclio, is an angel-like character from the “Heavenly Tribe” that is said to have been long lost. Namco Bandai have shared an update with the back-story on the game’s world and the origins of how mankind began to worship the Heavenly Tribe.


In Zestiria’s back-story, two powerful forces known as the Highland Kingdom and the Lawrence Empire were at war in the continent of Greenwood. As the battle raged on, the hunters, farmers, merchants, artists, and just about every other person of the land suffered in various ways.


“Those who hold the inheritance of tradition in the highest regard,

those who follow the words of God from the sacred book,

The pride you hold as mankind, shall be the source of faith.”


As different beliefs began to diversify and gave birth to various cultures, civilization continued to expand. However, there was one common wonder amongst the people. Every belief in the continent of Greenwood talked about a mysterious existence, known as the Heavenly Tribe.


Those from the Heavenly Tribe cannot be touched or seen, but it is said that they have phenomenal powers that give them influence over just about everything on the planet. Mankind respects and worships those of the Heavenly Tribe, just as well as they avoid and fear them.


The Heavenly Tribe have never been seen by common folk. While they may be invisible, it is said in every belief that the mysterious beings appear in front of people, albeit extremely rarely, and the few who’ve seen them have been an influence to all beliefs around the world.


Those people signed contracts with them, as they gave their “pure minds and bodies” as a home and vessel for the Heavenly tribe, and acquired their powers. As they made an example of their extraordinary powers, the others saw them as godlike figures, and sometimes evil beings.


After some time of being awe-struck, mankind began calling these people “Monks”. These Monks became known as “the saviors who’ve been bestowed with the powers of God,” and have been regarded with just as much respect as those from the Heavenly Tribe by the beliefs.


Since then, whenever the world was at a loss, the Monks appeared, while the others continued praying for their salvation.



Tales of Zestiria is currently in development for the PlayStation 3.

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  • Pyrofrost

    I’m ready to see more cast members, and that battle system in action.

    • Bobby Jennings

      Agreed. It looks similar to Graces, and I loved Graces.

  • Gosh… Need a PS3

    • DanielGearSolid

      Wat consoles do u have now?

      • Right now I have a X360, Wii U and DS. I should have gotten a PS3 instead of a 360 and a 3DS instead of a Wii U xD

        I like the consoles I have but it’s more a question of exclusives really. Though I’m really thinking of getting a PS4 since I don’t think XBONE will have many exclusives that interest me. So hopofully these PS3 exclusives are brought over.

        • DanielGearSolid

          Well atleast u got X coming for Wii U

          • Mugiwara

            And Smash! :D

          • And Bayonetta 2 ;)

          • Pyrofrost

            and Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem~

          • Ixbran

            And Hyrule Warriors ~<3

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            And 5000 Indie games in varying levels of budget and ambition :P

            Dat Donkey Kong though. Best sheer platformer ever

          • NeptuniasBeard

            And my Ax!

        • kaotron

          At least with a 360 you got to play vesperia…

          • Alestaos

            Great tales game that one ^^

          • kaotron

            yeah, one of the best this gen…

            …unfortunatly, the ps3 beta version wasnt localized because of some bad business practices.

            At least zestria was confirmed to be localized at launch unlike the others that took more than a few years to come overseas.

        • Nitraion

          Don’t worry if you but PS3 now at least you can play this game, drakengard and Persona 5
          ToS HD collection and KH 2,5 if you want

  • DragKudo

    Every time I see his face in the last screenshot I burst out laughing.

  • Brimfyre

    Xillia was the only Tales game I liked and played through to completion.

    Looking at the screenshots of this game, I think it is probably going to remain that way.

    • I only beat ToS and ToS 2, then again I havent played a Tales games since ToS2.

      • GH56734

        ToS 2 is by no means representative of the Tales series. It’s a budget spin-off with very low production values.

        And ToS was actually, as amazing as it was back then (I loved it), the very first 3D Tales game, and hence the most basic 3D Tales. It manages also to play like 2D “Tales of” games (the pinaccle of 2D Tales game imho would be Destiny R, Eternia, Rebirth, Hearts, and of course Phantasia).

        If you want to see more evolved 3D Tales games building on the foundation of Symphonia, you could check Vesperia (not that evolved but has the most content and polish, especially the PS3 version), Graces (emphasis on combos, generic story but excellent art direction), Xillia 2 (emphasis on linked attacks, suffers from reused assets but has one of the best plots in the series)

        • Oh I am well aware of what happened with ToS2, still a huge disappointment (even though I did enjoy Marta, mostly.) I did play the demo for Vesperia on the 360 so I did play that afterwards, I don’t know I just havent gotten around to play any tales games on the Ps3 yet. I probably will buy Xillia and Graces F at some point.

          • GH56734

            Xillia definitely has its flaws. But I really recommend its sequel.
            And I’ve got to admit I never managed to finish that copy of mine of Symphonia 2, such a travesty of a game. I’m finding it hard already to justify double dipping with the recent compilation since beyond the PS2 JP-only stuff that’s finally translated for the PS3 for the Symphonia part, it’s 30fps, inferior artistic direction-wise, and that second game bundled isn’t really an argument to buy it.

          • I did finish ToS2, beat it in 5 days, you really aren’t missing much by not finishing it. HD version of 1 might still be worth it though.

    • Slayven19

      How many tales games have you played and why do you feel that way? Maybe I can help ya.

    • BillyMK

      I just recently got into the Tales series after playing Xillia. I’m currently playing Abbys on the 3DS, but I’m missing some of the features I most liked about Xillia like the individual abilities for each character and the linking system for exemple.
      I still haven’t played enought to say I like or hate it (I played for only an hour I guess). Still I’m very hyped about Xillia 2 as well for this new statment since they’ll have a similar battle system.

      • David García Abril

        “Abyss” has the best plot and characters in the franchise, as well as arguably the best music, but it’s true that the gameplay is now dated when compared to more recent installments.

        • Brimfyre

          Abyss is the one I don’t like the most because of the male lead. I never got to a point where he is supposed to be likable, but I couldn’t stomach him after a few hours.

          I love JRPGs, but it is the biggest trope I can’t stand. Make a character unlikable with no redeeming qualities, and then change him 180 degrees because something important happens later on. That isn’t character development, it’s bait and switch. They should make a unlikable character with at least one redeemable quality first and slowly change him, or make him a good guy with a fatal flaw, but being all bad, to all good is sloppy writing and too many JRPGs rely on it.

          Copare that to Bravely Default, which has a lot of standard JRPG character tropes, but all of them have at least one trait that makes them different than the norm you expect.

          You expect Tiz to be like a typical Tales protag where he just does whatever it takes to protect the main female, without thought for himself, but he quickly stands up for himself when she does something he thinks is heartless or against his morals. And then Agnes seems like the type of pure maiden with a bleeding heart, but she is anything but. She is a sheltered nun, with no regard for anyone in the world, and only goal is to light the damn crystals. But both act and feel like real people. They just have more selfish motives for going on their adventures than just “We must save the world from evil, guys!”

          Edea and Ringabel could have their own game to themselves as IMO they don’t fit into any JRPG trope.

          • David García Abril

            There is one problem with your reasoning.

            Luke, Abyss main character, did have redeemable qualities. And no, that’s not an opinion.

            Yeah, he was mostly a jerk, but he wasn’t an “all bad to all good” character as you claim.

            Luke clearly shows selfless concern for other people, like Ion, Tear or Guy (sure, he acts a little bit “tsundere”, but his concern is still evident). And it’s clearly established that he behaves like that because he doesn’t know any better. Hell! He COULDN’T know any better.

            But more than that, he shows respect for other people’s life. He’s so far the one and only JRPG protagonist I’ve seen that deals with the psychological impact of killing other humans to such a great degree! Only because of that he deserves some credit.

            Sure, his jerk attitude is what really stands out (which was deliberate), specially when he learns about his “”destiny”” (notice the double quote marks) and certain someone starts to pet his ego (man! Did I want to strangle him in those moments!). But his good side doesn’t come out nowhere.

            Plus, about his supposed 180 in personality, I think people who claim that didn’t pay enough attention.

            Appart that, like I said, there was already good in him (even if was VERY overshadowed), the point of his transformation was not “I was a jerk, I’m good now”. Even when he changes, he goes through different stages. And stages that are way more complex than “I become nicer little by little”.

            Without giving too much away, he starts over compensating for his past actions, then he starts his jouney of redemption, then he develops an inferiority complex, and even a death wish. And finally, he develops a vitalist perspective in life.

            And these are not farfetched assumptions. The other characters comment on most of these stages throughout the game. Sometimes implicitly, sometimes explicitly.

            Sure, the writing was not perfect, as there were moments when it could have used more subtlety (Yes, Luke, you’ve changed! Stop asking yourself that already!). And making the main character willfully unlikable at the beginning was a HUGE gamble, so I can understand some people walking away from the game because of him. Or at least to a degree.

            But he DID have character development. It was not bait and switch in the slightest.

          • Brimfyre

            I think you are looking for things that aren’t there. Of course I played the localized version, maybe something was lost in translation, but making a character so one dimensionally selfish and then slapping on a few of the traits you mentioned to make it seem like he is more well rounded, doesn’t make him so.

            My point is, none of it feels like it is part of the same character. Those traits are at such odds with each other it doesn’t feel believable in the slightest. It’s contradictory.

            And having to have characters activly state to the audience the changes another character is making is my biggest pet peeve in writing. Your character should show these actions taking place, without someone literally saying, “HEY WOW YOU ARE TOTALLY NICE ALL OF A SUDDEN. YOU’VE REALLY CHANGED AND DEVELOPED FROM WHEN WE FIRST MET!”

            Luke was different I will admit from other Tales games I’ve played where the main is just a starry eyed optimist who wants to go on an adventure, like Jude or the ToS guys. Jude was more middle of the road, so he was more tolerable, but he rode a thin line early on, making me wonder if I should stop playing.

            Millia was a great character, but her VA was abysmal. One of the worst dubs I’ve heard in my life. It speaks to the power of her character that such a train wreck of VA wasn’t enough to kill the likability of the character for me.

    • Tienron

      there are way better tales games than xillia it’s just xillia is more recent….

    • DanielGearSolid

      Really? These screenshots are enough for u not to like it?

      • kaotron

        since it’s still in dev the cutscene screenshots may likely only be a demo. I’m hoping the graphics can get a little better but I’m buying this game day1 regardless since graphics dont make or break a game for me…

        • Slayven19

          Well if he played and like xillia and the graphics here look much better already I don’t see what brimefrye problem could be.

          • kaotron

            maybe he’s just picky…

            I also like xillia but it’s not the best tales game(only the most recent). If anything, I liked gracesf more than xillia for it’s battle system and post-game content..

    • skyenix

      Xillia has most interesting casts and likable characters in the Tales series on par with TotAbyss.

      • LustEnvy

        Umm, Vesperia much? Yuri, Raven, Judith? The trinity of awesome characters , all in one game. Repede… an ANIMAL as a playable character that was also badass? Come on.

        • Alestaos

          Yuri and Repede awesome characters alone but alot better duo! Vespira one of the best Tales of! I cant wait for Zestria

  • JMaster3000

    The game needs more shadows.

    • Indeed. It needs any kind of shade in there. And more color.

      Gosh, was it Symphonia that started the trend of washed up flat coloring? Because Eternia and maybe Destiny 2 were the last games with good use of colors, as far as I can remember. I mean, graphics is one thing, but the Language of Colors is very important in everything. Far more important than rendering Ultra Realistic and detailed 3D worlds.

      • Tienron

        it’s….an art style…get over it….

  • Slayven19

    Looks pretty good to me, I’m ready to see more characters.

  • Anthony Birken

    I’m ready to see more plot-twists! Err…other characters….

  • TheGioG

    I still can’t get over Miclio’s sassy glare
    “Girl, you dun even know!”

    • Brian De Agustini Pagua

      “You don’t dare touche mah frend u bich”

      Maybe… that’s better, but it’s still weird XD

    • Firekitty

      This screenshot makes me seriously wonder if they’re gonna make the Heroine > Hero < Hero's Best Friend love triangle canon this time, instead of just hinting like mad and then shoving a random chick at the hero like Graces did.

      Hell, Miclio's pretty enough they could probably get away with it by giving him a female VA in the west and just avoiding gendered pronouns in the script. I'd be fine with it as long as there's dual audio too…

      • Ixbran

        So whats wrong exactly with Miclio being a dude again?

        • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

          He’s not the dude from persona

          • Ixbran

            um … okay then?

          • Firekitty

            But he does have a few things in common with both Richard and Cheria from Graces, and we all know that the Childhood Friend always wins.

        • Firekitty

          Absolutely nothing, but if he were actually to be treated as a love interest for Slay, I’d put good money on him getting a sex change in translation?

          Not that Namco would ever actually go there in the first place, more’s the pity.

        • NOTHING.

    • Namuro

      “Back off, sister! I saw him first!”

    • Laphir

      Can’t wait for all the invisible-man funnies in this Tales, especially the battle victories if they keep the invisibility canon in battles with the characters that can’t see Miclio!

    • awat

      People are already making him Gay LOL hes such a cutie tho,

    • Daioh

      Everytime I see this image I keep thinking Miclio is saying: “You can’t see me!”

    • DyLaN

      Once you realize Slay is checking Miculio ass out ʘ‿ʘ

    • To me, the sassy glare is saying, “BITCH, PLEASE!” XD

  • Anthony Birken


    • TheGioG

      Hey, times call upon this 3 foot hunk of a Hylian to save the day. Tales of Link was made for a dang good reason.

  • Death Saved

    Ooh i hope that outfit means that armor can change your appearance.

    • Arcana Drill

      Nop, its an alternate costume of slay, it is just him without his coat.

      • Death Saved

        Ah well a an can dream though if the store outfit makes Bamco a lot of money then i doubt well see it any time soon.

        • Firekitty

          Honestly, I’d prefer costumes and armor (with stats) be totally separate, unless there’s some way to equip the looks of one with the stats of another…I don’t want to have to choose whether I want my characters to look decent in cutscenes or actually be useful in battle.

          • Death Saved

            Thats what i want but i doubt bamco will make stat based gear that changes appearance, when they can just sell them as stat-less costumes, i remember the good all days when we could unlock every single costume in the game.

  • Tienron

    liking it so far looks amazing cant wait to see the battle system XD!!

  • Cool lore. I take it that later on in the game it’s going to be revealed that Slay is a legendary Monk.

    • Arrei

      That seems a bit blah for Tales’ usual takes on the “chosen hero” story, after games like Symphonia, Abyss, and Xillia.

      My money’s on the latest batch of Monks being villains.

  • Rita Tong

    I have yet to have more fun with a battle system than Graces (granted that might have been because I was playing as Pascal aka miss ZOOM ACROSS THE SCREEN SHOOTING EVERYTHING SUMMONING GIANT SPIRITS but hey). After that, going back to the more traditional battle system in Xillia actually made me a little sad >_<
    That being said, I don't think there's a Tales game I haven't liked (I've erased Tempest from my memory so all is right again in the world) so I'm probably getting this one too.

  • Earthjolly

    Oh shi- The Illuminati are in the game

  • Ni ~Algidus~

    it’s okay. your typical Tales story here.
    the lack of battle system news is worrying me and since i play tales for the battle system my money is not into this game as of yet.

    >Those people signed contracts with them, as they gave their “pure minds and bodies” as a home and vessel for the Heavenly tribe,

    BL lovers rejoice

    • Firekitty

      Oh, we will, we will. Though this is Tales, so that just makes this Tuesday.

      I’d almost like to see a game where the dude the hero will inevitably be shipped with is treated as an ACTUAL potential love interest…but then I remember Cheria and Tear and realize I’d just end up shipping the hero with someone else anyway. I love Tales, but the romances tend to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

    • Crevox

      Pretty much the same way at this point in terms of the battle system. Only really interested in it for that, the story is like a side thing. Xillia was good, Xillia 2 was kinda broken but still fun, Graces was good.

      I’m hoping this one does it good as well.

  • Suriel Cruz

    I not gonna lie. I love how beautiful this looks.
    I. CAN’T. WAIT.

  • NeptuniasBeard

    Hmmm. Before they implied that Alicia couldn’t see him, but upon closer inspection it seems she can see him just fine. So I’m guessing he’s already possessed some boy already by the time that scene happens

  • Mind0105A


  • Enjoyed playing Tales of Graces f on ps3 – beutiful anime art, big map and ability to travel with spaceship, cliche plot, optional things and secrets – all reminds me of standart ps2 jrpg. Then i try to play Xillia, but it was very hollow in comparison – ugly anime art (especially in status), copy-paste dungeons and towns where you travel from A to B, slow-paced cliche plot, annoying chars and fetch quests – and THIS IS a so-called “flagship” of a modern JRPG?!

    • Arrei

      Err, uh, wha? You know everything you listed applies to Graces as well, and moreso than Xillia even? Ignoring the subjective parts, point A to point B, like the connecting roadways which were actually expanded into wide fields in Xillia? Slow-paced like Asbel taking forever to notice something’s wrong with Richard? *Optional* fetch quests like all of the Inn Requests?

  • LustEnvy

    Did someone say the Kingdom of Highland? LUCA BLIGHT IS KING.


  • Wow. The world looks pretty so far; if the rest looks this good, I’m quite excited! I’m pretty excited for this now. >u<
    I mean, I was already digging the characters and all, but now I just can't wait to see more and more.

  • DyLaN

    So its pretty much confirmed that Miculio will providing an artes to Slay?

    Loving the backgrounds/model for this.

  • Rogerrmark

    I like the fact that the story seems focused on a specific region (Greenwood continent), instead of the whole world map.

    Feels kinda Trails.

    Plus it probably won’t feel small like Graces f (even if it’s one of my favorite Tales, the world map surely felt small to me).

  • fairysun

    What? History lesson?

  • PenguinChan1119

    I’m excited for this but I would be so happy to get a release date for Xillia 2.

  • CirnoLakes

    I wonder if this game has an actual God, and whether that God is a good character or an antagonist.

    Like most Tales games, this contains a religion. And in most cases, that religion is corrupt in some way. Or any organization, in fact. That’s one of the ways to have a conflict. To have a group of people oppose an institutional power, whether a religion, a government, a corporation, or so forth.

    I kind of hope that the antagonistic organization in this game isn’t the religion in some way. I think it would be very refreshing and different.

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