Tales of Crestoria is an undertaking. It’s an attempt to get a full
sort of Tales experience in a mobile, free-to-play game available for a worldwide audience. Bandai Namco kicked things off in July 2020 and has since offered all sorts of events. To help provide a better idea of what went into it and its designs, Siliconera caught up with Producer Tomomi Tagawa to talk about the development, character choices, and its art.
Jenni Lada, Siliconera: There’s a darkness to Tales of Crestoria, with a story where our heroes are declared criminals and have Blood Sins. How did this concept come about? How did other darker Tales games, like Tales of Berseria, influence it?
Tomomi Tagawa, Bandai Namco: In today’s world, everyone has a mobile device and everything that happens is shared on social media, with information spreading in an instant. Tales of Crestoria—made specifically for mobile devices—is set in a dystopian world where information is similarly diffused through “vision orbs.” Criminals are tried, judged, and punished via the prayers of people receiving that information.
Against this dark backdrop, our heroic protagonists prepare to confront their society’s preconceptions with the strength of their convictions. Their beliefs take physical form in a special kind of weapon known as a blood sin.
As other titles in the Tales series have done, this game takes a contemporary theme and presents us with a world where good and evil are not clear-cut. We hope the drama that unfolds will captivate all Tales of Crestoria players.
The three main characters, Kanata, Misella, and Vicious, all seem to come with very different viewpoints and strong convictions. What led to each one’s development and personality and how does the dynamic work?
Tagawa:The original characters for this title were borne out of the need to present the game’s themes and are a crucial part of the story.
At a glance, Kanata and Misella may look like young lovers, but after being branded as transgressors and going on the run, they begin to realize how warped their perceptions were. They soon begin to discern the difference between how society views them, and who they really are. At the same time, the purity of their unwavering feelings for each other also becomes apparent.
Vicious saves the two of them and his presence soon has a significant impact on both their relationship and on their journey. After meeting the two of them, he begins to question his own values.
The stirring journey of these three characters, all with totally different beliefs, is a spirited one that we’re sure will keep players hooked.
They also run into the likes of Aegis, Yun, and Orwin along the way, all of whom have their own values and convictions. The key characters you’ll encounter in the game all have a variety of stories and episodes to share that players can really sink their teeth into.
The first five key characters revealed were Cress, Leon, Luke, Milia, and Velvet. How were these appearances picked? Did their skills and abilities in their original games play any part?
Tagawa: Within the scope of the main story, those characters help reflect the game’s motif of “sin,” and were specifically selected to help influence the story of the protagonists such as Kanata. I can’t go into detail here about connections to previous games since that could spoil the game for fans, but the story is one that rewards those familiar with the other titles in the series. There are other characters from the series who will appear over the course of the game, and I hope that players will enjoy seeing how these familiar faces are making their way in the world.
How will the general progression work for Tales of Crestoria?
Tagawa: I’d first want players to take in the main story. While they do that, they’ll learn about what kind of world Crestoria is and experience all the prosperity and conflict that arises amongst the characters.
Players will of course encounter difficult quests over the course of the story, so when they do, they can shift focus to beefing up their characters.
Players won’t need to rush through while they are taking in the story, but Tales of Crestoria also features raids and limited quests besides the main story. First and foremost, however, I think it’s best for players to take in the game at their own pace.
What sort of experience are you hoping to deliver for people who intend to play for free?
Tagawa: I hope that all players will enjoy the deep story of these characters on their journey. And while the story may focus on these new protagonists, players will also encounter characters from prior entries in the series. These classic characters will help add splashes of color to the story through episodes happening concurrently with the protagonists’ main quest. Players will encounter a variety of these kinds of little snippets over the course of their adventure. This gives series fans something else to look forward to and provides an experience only this title can achieve. I certainly hope we meet their high expectations with the series.
Tales of Crestoria has a number of returning familiar Tales artists coming back for character designs. like Mutsumi Inomata and Miyuki Kobayashi. How did each artist get involved and what was the process like for their creative process?
Tagawa: When it comes to the Tales series, we’ve relied on the skills and talents of numerous artists, including Mr. [Kousuke] Fujishima, Ms. [Mutsumi] Inomata, and Ms. [Miyuki] Kobayashi, and they’ve all come up with amazing character designs. Each and every artist has used their own distinct style to create charming new characters in Tales of Crestoria who will capture players’ hearts, even standing side-by-side with beloved characters from previous games.
In terms of the creative process, the story team and character concept artists share information on all of the concept art, the setting of the world, and character designs with the designers who then go about devising the game.
Also, while continuously communicating with each artist during the early stages of design, each character’s image started to take shape.
But we also made sure that each character felt like they were distinctly part of the Tales series, right down to designating color palettes, keeping all of the existing characters in mind while doing so. The designers paid attention to all the small details, even down to how characters look from behind, so we hope the players will appreciate this attention to detail.
Tales of Crestoria is available on Android and Apple iOS devices.