Tales of Zestiria’s new combat systems detailed
posted on 05.29.14 at 10:25 AM EST by (@iiotenki)
A closer look at Lailah and Dezel's combat styles.

Tales of Zestiria

Bandai Namco has released new information and screenshots on Tales of Zestiria, currently in development for PlayStation 3, providing more details on Dezel, as well as insight on a handful of locations and combat mechanics.

Find the details below.

New Character

Dezel (voiced by: Daisuke Ono)
Gender: Male
Height: 185 cm (6’1″)

“I’ll say this much: you’d better stay out of my way. I don’t care if you’re a doshi, I won’t tolerate your interference.”

Possessing something of an outlaw-like vibe to him in comparison to his fellow members of the Family of Heaven, Dezel can perform wind-element Heaven Echo Artes, able to use the movements of the air to finely intuit the situation around him. Having once spent a long stretch of time around human mercenary bands, his experience in combat in plentiful and as such relies on two pendulums that he expertly wields like whips, often playing around with his enemies before subsequently overwhelming them. Rarely one to exhibit emotions, he’s a lone wolf that rarely ever converses with others. Nonetheless, he harbors great anger deep down towards a Hyouma who took his friend, searching for it in order to exact revenge and living in the shadows of human society. Still, despite his emotions, he has yet to be corrupted by this drive and his key to that is apparently a special secret.

On Chief Spirits and Sub Spirits
Members of the same clan within the Family of Heaven cam form pacts amongst themselves to bring out special powers. The main recipients of such contracts are known as “Chief Spirits,” while those operating below them are called “Sub Spirits.” Sub Spirits are obliged to cooperate with their Main Spirit, but in return, everyone involved in the pact gains access to unique powers that they can all utilize. Mikleo and Edna, for instance, are tied up with Lailah and are therefore her Sub Spirits. While few members of the Family of Heaven have their own Sub Spirits, in the distant past, it wasn’t so unusual for some to have hundreds of followers at their command, essentially acting not unlike proper gods in their own right.

Locations

Leddie Lake
Leddie Lake is the capitol city of Hyland Kingdom, sitting above a lake, as per the name. With its water flowing out to the Lake Pirow plateau, as well as having extensive water and sewer systems, waterwheel-driven manufacturing plants, and gorgeous waterfalls, it’s known as the “City of Water” for a reason. It also has time-honored traditions related to the doshi a plenty, ranging from the legend of the lake’s shrine maidens to the Holy Sword Festival. While its beauty is envied all throughout the land, Lake Leddie has in recent times seen a deterioration in its safety and image, a sinister air lurking within its borders that wasn’t always there in years past. Sensing impending danger, Alisha sets off in a journey in search of a way to face these threats befalling the city.

Damnonia Art Museum

Residing in the scholarly city of Marind, Damnonia Art Museum once held an extensive collection, but having gotten swept up in the ongoing trouble of the times, almost the entirety of its art is long gone. Criminal activity is believed to be behind the disappearances of the works, but with the nation as a whole in a state of chaos, there’s hardly any way to figure out the truth of it all, let alone come up with a way to get everything back. With its visitors having dwindled to nothing after becoming a pile of rubble, the only thing keeping watch over the darkness within its halls are the few works of art still standing.

Combat Systems

Spirit Chain Gauge

Spells and techniques used in combat in Tales of Zestiria take up a certain amount of Spirit Chain Points that are subtracted from the Spirit Chain Gauge every time they’re executed. Topping out at a maximum of 100 points, this gauge appears during battle as the blue bar in the lower portion of the screen. While you can normally only land four hits during your attacks, in the event that you still have a portion of your Spirit Chain Gauge left over after performing a combo, you can carry on into the next series of chained attacks. While waiting around on stand by will fill the gauge back up quickly enough, it’ll go even faster if you go on the defensive or successfully evade enemy attacks, with especially skilled players able to refill it in an instant and can even continuously link attacks together without ever exhausting the gauge!

Blast Gauge

The Blast Gauge is another type of gauge featured in Tales of Zestiria, one that fills up primarily by performing defensive moves and evading enemy hits. It’s signified by the light blue number with a circle around it. By spending some of your gauge, you can trigger effects that will prove useful to you in combat during both offense and defense. Such effects include healing up the Spirit Chain Gauge and blasting enemies away from you, among other things. While you can fire them off in single uses, with good timing and an eye for the right effects, the Blast Gauge can also be used to take fights to a whole other level altogether.

Around Step

Around Steps are an evasive technique you can pull off that, with good timing, will trigger a “Reflexive Evasion,” allowing you to not only get out of the way enemy attacks unscratched, but will also make enemies falter, bring your Spirit Chain Gauge back up, and incur various other benefits that exceed those attained through standard evasions. If you can get yourself to avoid vertical attacks by moving laterally and horizontal attacks by stepping forwards and backwards, you’ll be well on your way to pulling off this speedy technique!

Lailah’s Combat Style

Lailah is able to manipulate fire by way of scattering her special paper strips that are imbued with spiritual energy, using them as a medium. Highly proficient at binding enemies, she has a knack for being a good attacker even after her combos are wrapped up. Naturally, her main element with it comes to Heaven Echo Artes is fire and she’s especially good at close quarter combat in tandem with her powerful magic.

Dezel’s Combat Style

Dezel controls the power of wind and has a fighting style that revolves around his decorative pendulums, which, like Lailah’s paper strips, are rich in spiritual energy. Able to twist and turn his pendulums like whips, he can cover a wide area and with clever footwork can fill for time quite well. His main element with respect to Heaven Echo Artes is wind and has at his disposal spells that can be dispensed in straight lines both vertically and horizontally. Used effectively, he can hold his own and then some against large groups of enemies all on his own.

View a new set of screenshots at the gallery.

  • Akari Akaza

    Can’t wait….to link up..^_^

    • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 武神水樹

      Link start

  • Northstar
    • DyLaN

      Relationship diagram.

    • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

      They’re just showing who connected to whom. Leila tells Edna and Mikillo what to do. Slay met Alicia. And it’s unknown if Dezel will follow Leila’s orders.

  • EX+

    Looks like I’ll be using Dezel the most. I’m a wind guy.

    • Samsara09

      What I like in tales of like xillia and zestiria is that all caracters are both useful and unique.
      Well,I am an all around guy,so I will be using everyone the most,lol.Layla and Dezel do look badass.

      • EX+

        Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m going to have play everyone pretty frequently, but Dezel will most likely always be in my party. I’m also an all around guy.

        • Samsara09

          Don’t worry!Everyone is free to play however they like!All that matters is that you have fun!I just wanted to see if you know that you could have even more fun.And I got what I wanted.

          Man,hopefully we get more caracters!This game is gonna be the elite of the tales of.

  • Samsara09

    http://toz.tales-ch.jp/chara/dezeru.php they added Dezel to the site.You can hear his voice.Man,that Daisuke did a marvelous job.I think the guy who did Richter(Kyle Hebert) would be perfect for the dub.

    Well,I find it funny.Sheena used paper tags too,but she was useless in close combat.Low defenses,low attack power.But by Layla’s description,she seems to be a powerhouse.

    • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

      That seems backwards. A ninja should be a powerhouse, and a witch/mage should be a beast at spells not close combat. I was always confused why Sheena always seemed to not be able to drop foes by herself in battle. All her skills were elemental but not strong. Jay in Legendia had some of those problems. But he made up for hit with better combos and dodging.

      • Samsara09

        that’s final fantasy for ya.

        Well,Layla isn’t a ninja.But yeah,It surprised me too in symphonia.

  • talesoffan

    This looks and sounds fantastic!

  • rurifan

    This sounds really similar to Tales of Graces.
    Which is perfect!

    • Samsara09

      this sounds better.What I hated in graces was how every caracter was a glass cannon.Maybe that was made to stimulate the around step,but that butched all caracters that weren’t named Asbel or Sophie.

      • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

        By “glass cannon” you mean great for dealing damage but bad for taking hits?

        • Samsara09

          Hi there,Hubert,Malik,Richard and Cheria.

          Ah yes,Pascal wasn’t.

          • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

            Hubert and Richard didn’t seem that bad at def to me. Not as good as Asbel and Sophie but decent.

      • rurifan

        Really? I thought everybody was fun to play in graces (even mages, which was unusual). But I mainly played Sophie so maybe it was annoying in hard fghts…

      • Bobby Jennings

        Nothing that being good at the game couldn’t solve :o

  • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

    Those character icons in the battle system look good. I’m also liking the behind the back camera angle which Graces did sometimes too. But I hope this is a Tales game that’s good for multiple players. Xillia 1 and 2 aren’t so much. Two players, yeah, but 3 or 4, no way. You can’t do team up skills without giving up control of the other 2 characters. I personally don’t want them to do that again unless it’s a Tales meant to be played alone like Hearts, Innocence or Legendia.

  • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

    Does anyone think Dezel will be that jack of all trades character who can do well as a mage and as a melee? There’s usually at least one. Milla, Jade, Malik for example. Usually the veteran characters.

    • CeroSuerte

      You must be really good at the game,
      Jude was fantasric for me, With milla and malik i used magic 95% of e timet .
      I hate fighting in mid air and air comobos so most of Milla potential i didnt use. As for malik or others who throw stuff i forget they even have a weapon and just use their magic

      In tales i dont get close with magic users, i even use them if i want play while am eating or drinking..

      • kaotron

        In early game it gets annoying waiting while the black mage cast for an hour just to perform a weak starter spell.

        I like to switch characters in mid-battle though, especially during boss battles where the AI can get all loopy on me(cause even after I set the healers to stay back and focus on healing they still try to run up to the boss and get ko’d)

        • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

          I haven’t seen that much in the last 3 games. Though I won’t lie, that does happen sometimes.

        • CeroSuerte

          Tell me about, i go nutts waiting for crappy “splash & fireball”

          And because of what you said, most of my boss battels were spent using healers..

      • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

        I do alright.
        I like some mages but melee is my main thing. I like martial arts. I really want Dezel to be the jack of all trades so they’ll be more melee options. Right now the cast looks like a mostly magic group. And too many mages is a problem when you want variety in the melee department.

        • CeroSuerte

          I am confused about that with this game,
          So far there is a sword, spear, staff, umbrella

          • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

            Well since it’s based off Graces’ battle system maybe everyone has a bit of a combo capability.

          • kaotron

            well, that’s how tales has been for the most part, there’s the main with the sword(either that or fist like jude/senel) while weapons like bows and spears are pretty rare and mages can pretty much have any bizarre thing as a weapon because they mostly use magic at a distance.

      • Samsara09

        i don’t use air combos much,but the possiblity should be there.But honestly,air combos tend to break the game,lol.

  • ConkerBFD

    Some of these characters and places remind me of One Piece. Think it’s a good thing.

  • Fringe_Agent13

    I’m so hyped for this.

  • CeroSuerte

    I really hope difficulty matters in the game
    Xillia was so fun (shame the link seems gone, but new system sounds very promising also) , finishing xillia on easy and hard (even hard wasnt that hard) was the same trophy wise.

    Chaos mode in Graces was amazing , you can spend long timesin random battles alone, i logged in 200+ hours in that game thanks to that..

    I wonder if they gonna assign each char its element exclusively it will force me to use all (also no one get all the nice moves alone) i know some tales games i didnt use some characters at ALL

    • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

      I play all my games on normal. I like a challenge but losing to the same fight more than 5 times pisses me off. I’m not a bonehead who just attacks a lot and expects victory, so it angers me even more when I come up with a tactic and the boss is unaffected by it in every way.

      • CeroSuerte

        And you dont feel like you missed out?
        Cuz if you grind to learn skills and play on normal the game becomes very easy and if you dont grind and win on normal you might finish the game without seeing all skills and/or you will only use the good skills for the last 1-2 hours in the game

        • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

          Good point. But I thought the Tales heroes stopped learning skills/spells around 60 when is where I usually beat the game 65-70. And in FFs I beat the game around 60-70. Only Star Ocean games, where the last level is 244 do I beat the game at 80+.

          • kaotron

            Most of the games usually have that one boss who’s difficulty spike is insane(besides the optional bosses), in graces I had a hard time with kurt, I switched my strategies and got gameover dozens times until I got fed up and switched it on easy just for him.

            Depending on the game though you’re usually rewarded for playing on a harder mode(xp, money etc),

            • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

              I hear you on that. Kurt in Graces was a big deal. A lot of the bosses are monsters but the humanoid ones were powerhouses in that game (Emeraude and the continue plus final boss). Again, generally a fun game. I don’t think I could feel the same about it if I pumped the level up to hard the whole time. I nearly was wiped by the continue plus last boss at start since I hadn’t figured out the dungeon before running into her.

              • kaotron

                Yeah some of the dungeons are like mazes to the point where i spent most of the time being lost

    • AdamBoy64

      Yeah, I always play a game on the hardest difficulty possible.
      I enjoy unlocking the harder difficulties too for a second playthrough.

      The harder the better, for sure.

  • The Moeshit

    No TP? Bummer. I’m the minority here but I’m really not into the CC system Graces has, still enjoyed it though.

    • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

      You’re not alone. I like Graces a lot. But Abyss and Vesperia were the fav battle systems for me. Graces beat them in Mystics though.

      • The Moeshit

        Same here. I always like TP system. People go on and on about how CC allows you to combo endlessly.

        Well, I feel the opposite. Waiting for CC to fill up so I can attack is inconvenient, meanwhile I can attack more in Xillia(it has AC, but is still more convenient because of TP) and Vesperia.

        • kaotron

          Even a full bar of tp wont let you do as many artes as the cc point system.

          both cc and tp have their pro&cons but with tp you have to worry more about conserving points(even if you’re stacked on gel) for the the next battle(sucks more if you’re in a big dungeon) and when at 0tp you’re pretty much crippled.

          • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

            Kinda yeah. but because you hit foes you get TP back. So it may end up being a longer fight if you run out of TP and TP healing items. But it’s still doable.

            • kaotron

              It restores about 2-3tp per hit(which is pretty slow)because most decent artes later game wants about 20+tp so you find yourself saving too much and only playing for real on boss battles.

              another thing I didnt like about tp back then was that to do a mystic arte you usually needed 100tp for it.

              • Bobby Jennings

                Yeah I remember that actually.

                I don’t like the TP system. It limits too much compared to CC which can be restored by playing well and whatnot. imo the CC system is just more flexible.

                • kaotron

                  yeah, later in the game it’s gets really easy to restore cc points, there are many alternatives to just waiting for it(a single step dodge can almost refill it instantly) and later around the endgame(depending on the setup) you get more points than you even need.

                  The only things I dont like about cc is:
                  -Even the basic non-arte attacks use cc
                  -Free running in battle takes alot points(but free running for the most part is almost barely needed)
                  -No gels to restore cc points
                  -No tp means no out of battle healing(but graces f had an abundance of healing items everywhere)

                  • Bobby Jennings

                    Agreed on all points. I think Tales of Destiny Directors cut did the CC system perfectly. I mean that game is just magnificent.

        • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

          Agreed. TP, as long as you keep it full or half full you can do a lot. But I guess both styles work. Once your chara reach higher levels CC and TP in both battle systems is high. And there’s even way to lessen the costs of skills.

  • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

    Looks like from these screens that melee type have to be linked to magic types. Check the chara icon below.

    http://www.rpgsite.net/system/images/images/000/025/982/original/ToZ_May292014_15.jpg

    • Samsara09

      that was already said.The “mages” are the tenzoku-the divine family or the family of heaven.

      In this game,humans can make pacts with them…like Slay.if you partner a tenzoku with a human,he will be able to wield the respective tenzoku’s power.”Link up” with Edna?Earth elemental artes,etc.

      Tenzoku can also partner up with other tenzoku,to merge their powers.Edna and Merculio makes ice elemental spells,for exemple.

      And…perhaps humans can partner up with other humans,lol.I doubt what the hell they would gain from such a thing…but maybe it will happen.Maybe it will just up the stats?

      • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

        But it might end up like with Xillia where you lose control over linked characters. And in this, you can only really have two melee and two mages. I like mixing and matching the party. Sometimes I want to have 3 fighters and a healer. Or 3 mages and a fighter. Is that level of freedom gonna be gone in this game? If so, this may be another Tales game that not good for co-op play.

        • Samsara09

          Losing control?Ah yes,multiplayer.Never used it,so I don’t mind it.But it doesn’t looks like the issue will be here.

          • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

            Yeah in Xillia and Xillia 2 when you connect characters for team attacks, the person who WAS using that character can do so no longer. I’d like this format in a 1player only game like the handheld ones, but not of the PS3 or 4.

            • Samsara09

              jrpg players,at least in my eyes,tend to play by themselves,as few games allow multiplayer.

  • PrinceHeir

    great!!!

  • Samsara09

    Oh…look.A new type of enemy.People were pissed that most tales of reused tales of the abyss’s enemies.Oh well,guess they vanished now.

    • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

      A lot of enemies I saw in Xillia looked new. And all the monster bosses were too. Especially that worm that attacks over and over underground.

  • Bobby Jennings

    I can’t wait for this. a buffed up Graces/Destiny Battle system is everything I wanted.

    Not only that, I’m looking forward to playing Micurio(Or Miculo whichever it is)

  • https://www.behance.net/cobaltcomet KOKAYI5

    Really look at that pic up there. Those are goblins with cannons or catapults. Looks like there may be other talking species other than humans and dragons.

  • Bobby Jennings

    Slay can fuse with the divine!