Posted by psgels on 29 January 2012 with categories: OVA Impressions, Tales of Symphonia

Apologies for the lateness. I thought that this was one of the earlier OVAs.

In any case, with this we’re continuing with the Tales of Symphonia Story again, and this definitely was an interesting episode here. Again it had things that it did better than the game, things that it did worse, and things that are completely different.

The big difference really is that the creators cut out the entire storyline for the second half of the games. Seriously, from what I remember the games had this epic storyline that involved firing this giant mana cannon and an out of control world tree. All of that was cut out here in favor of the characters. An interesting decision here.

This episode was about the half-elves of the story: Genis, Raine and Yggdrassil. This however is one point where previous design decisions come back to bite this series, because from out of nowhere it suddenly introduces the themes of racism that were prevalent through the entire game. So yeah, the creators had to catch up to a lot of building up here in just forty minutes. And speaking of build-up: with all of the hints at Zelos’ betrayal, I thought that he’d get much more airtime in this episode, but he showed up just at the end of this episode. My guess is that the final episode will focus a lot of time on him.

Zelos’ betrayal was really well done by the way. And with this, the creators also neatly avoided the single biggest face-palm of the game (seriously, there were two paths in the games: one where he betrays the party, and one where he doesn’t; the latter reveals that with one heck of a Deus ex Machina). In the game, the small version of Mithos was also acting really weird. I mean, he’s acting really weird here, but there he did the strangest stuff, and nobody really questioned this. Here, his actions make much more sense. This episode was a tad too angsty for my tastes, but they did flesh out this guy pretty neatly and explained why he ended up as the main villain for this series.
OVA Episode Rating: 8.25/10

4 Responses

  1. Mikoto says:

    I dunno. It wasn’t really a deus ex machina if the Tales series writers explain it clearly in side materials and built Zelos up as a chess master when it comes to playing people for fools. Plus, if you see a particular hidden scene in the game right before the aforementioned betrayal, it’s revealed that whether or not Lloyd trusts him affects whether or not he decides to carry out with his suicidal plans.

    As for the build up to his betrayal, I thought his screen time was sufficient enough for it. All of his scenes in this were adapted from skits and scenes that fleshed out his character in the game and showed the players roughly what kind of confusion went on in his head before carrying it out (although the conversation with Lloyd actually happened AFTER he comes back to the party in the game, but it was a nice way to cement his friendship with Lloyd and his inner feelings).

  2. Brandon says:

    I think Zelos has a multi-dimensional personality, especially being the Chosen One from Tales of Symphonia. He’s a flirt, has strong convictions of protecting his sister and would travel to the ends of the earth just to make sure she’s safe, and he can really be empathetic in given situations.

    I think a lot of what’s emphasized in this Tales series is simply characters having many responsibilities and blemishes that they have to acknowledge, and knowing that sometimes it’s best to validate their worth towards the people they care for. Especially for Kratos Aurion, having a traumatic past with the death of his wife, and his relationship with Lloyd, along with being a trail of Mithos’ ambition to save the two worlds, he certainly has more pressure and conflicts than any other Tales of Symphonia character (in my opinion).

    Especially living for thousands of year with the Cruxis, having the motivation to still keep himself alive and balancing his devotion to his friend Mithos, his son, and others makes him an enticing role model to fans.

    Thanks for offering your impression on the Tales of Symphonia Story!

    • Brandon says:

      And I also believe Mithos himself was an interesting character, especially when he shifted from child to adult. It’s like he was trying to battle and seek balance with his psyche, going through waves of naivete and acting out the role of a god.

      I think he’s the person Lloyd would turn into if he couldn’t have found a reasonable way to resolve conflict between the two worlds. Because Mithos had an innocent demeanor when he was younger, and his adult self that’s more serious, cynical, and even apathetic towards most people, he’s just a recipe for disaster. There’s just so much complexity with these characters in the Tales series that makes me love the stories, OVAs, and the games as well.

  3. Firechick says:

    All the episodes of United World are out.

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  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 05:25 AM)
    But the fact that initially nobody knew what they were getting into with DeS made it a special instance in time. A moment of camaraderie between confused, scared yet amazed players. That was our beach. An element that is diminished with it each subsequent release. Bloodborne brought some back with its originality, but it became too famous and got plastered on all the websites, which took away that cozy wonderment.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 05:18 AM)
    Also it’s always hard to replicate your first Soul experience, so for us that got DeS first it will always have a special place. Hell, I still throw it on sometimes and multiplayer some areas. DSI built upon the foundation and made it bloom, so in many ways it was superior to DeS.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 05:15 AM)
    @Aidan: the last boss of DeS is not really a final fight type of boss, but rather another obtuse element that made it a cult classic. There was a lot to do in the 5 zones based on World Tendencies, so I hope you got those done before you ran into NG+, cuz that’s gonna be a bitch now.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, May 3. 2015 12:55 AM)
    Ah yes, that’s why swa was pissed. Hmmm..this is odd. As far as adaption goes I don’t see anything left out besides the monologues yet…it has so much less impact. Still this is gonna be a hard episode to blog.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, May 2. 2015 10:55 PM)
    That last boss of demon souls was a major letdown. Still after marathon the game it’s nice to reach the finale. Thought it would take me longer than this. It was better than dark souls 2 namely because it was fairer. But Dark souls 1 was far better.
    And now to watching UBW and see what swa is pissd about. Though I can guess…it can’t be that…
  • swa
    (Saturday, May 2. 2015 09:31 PM)
    Watching UBW, things meant to happen happen, move on, yeah, ok… Finally! The meat of the episode is about to be served! Ending plays…. FU!
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, May 2. 2015 09:01 PM)
    @Ratsgnof, when the sun rises in the west and sets in the east.
    …in other words no clue.
  • ratsgnoF
    (Saturday, May 2. 2015 07:17 PM)
    So… when is psgels coming back?
  • Emma
    (Saturday, May 2. 2015 06:20 PM)
    Well, having achieved the true ending/route, in my personal opinion at least this was actually game redeeming.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, May 2. 2015 12:48 PM)
    Hachiman, you magnificent, magnificent creature you….

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