Tales of Zestiria details Bartlow, Maltran, Map Battles, Map Actions, and more
posted on 07.16.14 at 05:45 PM EST by (@salromano)
New details from this week's Famitsu.

Famitsu this week features an eight-page spread on Tales of Zestiria, introducing new characters Baltro and Maltran, as well as new gameplay details.

Tales of Zestiria Tales of Zestiria

Bartlow (voiced by Yutaka Nakano) oversees both the bureaucracy and cabinet ministers of the Hyland Kingdom. Because the kingdom’s real political power now lies within its bureaucracy, with royalty and aristocrats becoming increasingly figurative, Bartlow is the essence of its leadership. He is cautious of Sorey and his friends.

Maltran (voiced by Mami Koyama) is a woman knight from the Hyland Kingdom known as “The Blue Valkyrie.” She taught Alisha to wield a spear from an early age, and is is the one person who’s always supported Alisha from behind the scenes. She serves as both an instructing knight and military adviser. Not only is she Alisha’s teacher, but she is also admired by her. Maltran’s fame extends even to the enemy empire of Rolance.

Tales of Zestiria Tales of Zestiria

“Real Map Battles” are one of Tales of Zestiria‘s new battle features. It allows fights to unfold on the same map players run across and explore, rather than transition into a separate arena like previous entries. The topography and obstacles present vary depending on location. Fighting in a watery area, for instance, will see characters splashing about as they run around the battlefield.

There is also a new “Map Action” system. With this, players can use Family of Heaven characters’ magic to pull off special actions on the field while exploring, which can be used to clear obstacles, move to different locations up ahead instantaneously, erecting barriers that make it difficult to be seen by enemies, and so on. Naturally, new paths in areas that have been previously visited can be opened in this manner once the right party member is present later on in the game. This also influences battles in that hitting enemy symbols on the field with good timing bestows advantages once fighting commences.

Party members will also accompany the player on the field this time around. They can be talked to, triggering a wide variety of conversations. Some are incidental, not unlike skits, but some also contain important information that’s worth paying attention to.

Here’s the rest of what’s new:

  • The interlude cutscenes are almost complete. Right now, they’re focusing all their attention on the opening movie.
  • Edna is much older than Mikleo and calls him by “Mikleo Boy.”
  • Lailah obtained a power beyond her natural ability by imposing a special pledge upon herself. But when the subject of the pledge is brought up, she’s quick to cover up any of the specifics. The rules that she has to follow as a result of the pledge seemingly relate to her past in some way.
  • The color white to Family of Heaven characters has special connotations, denoting an air of nobility and refinement.
  • Dezel has his reasons for obscuring his eyes with his hat, as well as why his heart hasn’t become impure despite his goals. Similarly, Zaveid has ulterior motives for continuing his work in hunting down the Hyouma.

Tales of Zestiria is in development for PlayStation 3.

Thanks, @ExeForce87.

Story by Sal Romano and Thomas James.

  • vileBrenman

    This is awesome! Hopefully since the party actually follows you around that Means multiplayer outside of combat

  • Budgiecat

    Maltran: best female design; devoid of that creepy huge saucer eye spaced out look and has an adult looking body.

    oh sorry cant play as her lol

    • Unretributed

      To be fair, when was the last time we were ever been able to play as a well designed adult female character in a Tales game?

      • Waifu Body Pillow

        All the time. Budgie-chan just has plebeian taste. Forgive him, he’s just a cat.

        • Budgiecat

          quiet Gariya

    • BossTuff

      Gonna attempt to call it now too, she betrays the party in the end.

    • abysswalker

      I’d agree with you if she wasn’t using a hair eyepatch.

  • fyi1191

    New info but nothing on release date.

    • Bobby Jennings

      They’ll probably reveal the release date on the 30th during the info stream.

    • The Watcher

      This is nothing new

  • Hatsuaki

    It’s a shame that Martran isn’t playable and that Zavida seems to be going down the same route despite being extremely important to the plot by now as well. …Fujishima, you’re all that’s left.

    • Samsara09

      Tales of don’t work with odd number,only even.if it isn’t six playable caracters,it’s eight.If it is seven,then the seventh is a temporary,usually.
      Zaveid seems to be going down the same route,but we will never know till the opening,box cover reveals.

      • Hatsuaki

        Well, playable characters aren’t always necessarily in the cover with this series, but I see what you mean. Then again, we won’t really know until Baba comes out and says it.

  • Protagonist

    I want it all.

  • The Grim Heaper

    best designed character unplayable

    thanks tales team, back to not playing them

    • Bobby Jennings

      You haven’t seen the rest of the characters though.

    • Samsara09

      Thanks for the comment of the year.

      • The Grim Heaper

        ( ˘ ³˘)❤

        • Samsara09

          when you are finished with your pity party,add a constructive post.I will be waiting.

          • The Grim Heaper

            “pity party pit·y par·ty noun
            informal, chiefly US
            An instance of indulging in self-pity or eliciting pity from other people”

            i ain’t asking for pity, just stating a fact

            sorry if i hurt your feelings doe :<

            EDIT: wait no i'm not

  • Comandante Bushido


    • Budgiecat

      sooo indecisive…

    • Bobby Jennings

      Man, the game’s had me sold since it was revealed to be a Tales game.

      Then again, I’m a fiend. I’d do anything for Tales, lol

  • Lelouch Vi Britannia

    My Tales collection of Mothership titles nears completion.Same with Final Fantasy.

  • Bobby Jennings

    Really hoping the game will be finished by December.

    Hopefully we get that release date on the 30th.

    • https://twitter.com/GaleGlory89 KiQun

      Baba told the the game will be released in the same year for japanese and localized version. Consider it both to be 2015 anyway.

      • Bobby Jennings

        Doesn’t need to be 2015 to be within a year’s time. If the game comes out in December, US and EU just needs to get it before December of next year.

  • Penemue

    THIS GAME. I can’t believe how much the Tales Studio is stepping their game up with this iteration.
    No more battle transitions!
    Proper field exploration and field abilities!
    I’m gonna buy the CE of this entry, just to show my love for them pushing the series ahead with such quality.

  • Roger

    ”players can use Family of Heaven characters’ magic to pull off special actions on the field while exploring…..new paths in areas that have been previously visited can be opened in this manner once the right party member is present later on in the game”

    Looks similar to Golden Sun Psynergy system in theory. Really liked to hear about party members following the main character on the field/battles occurring on the same screen. Most interesting Tales of in years to me.

  • Roger

    If they add a flying transport/vehicle, this game will be basically the Dragon Quest VIII of the PS3,1:1 world map and stuff. I wouldn’t mind teleports, though…Wild Arms 5 worked well that way. It worked in Xillia too, but the maps were just too much repetitive and boring.

    Really satisfied with all the info released until now.

    • Samsara09

      Really unlikely.At most they will add something like FF X’s airship.Or a warp function.

      • Roger

        I mentioned teleport too. Similar to Xillia,etc.

  • Samsara09

    In August’s second Wednesday,jump is gonna publish more info about this game.Probably a new NPC,plus some bonus like today…well,let’s see until when this goes.I am gonna bet September-October.

  • gulabjamal

    It’s okay guys, she’ll be playable in Tales of Zestiria 2

  • Karysonson

    I’m liking the gameplay elements, but the designs are kinda over the place and have no cohesiveness…

    • Budgiecat

      thats cause theyre using multiple character artists as this is an anniversary game…

      • http://hatintime.com/ ShadowFang

        ^^ This.

        @Karyson: Namco’s actually gotten EVERY previous Tales character designer back for this game. If anything, you gotta be a little impressed they don’t look more diverse. I mean, I personally expected some 90’s-looking anime characters in this one. Would’ve been awesome, but would’ve looked SUPER out of place with the more contemporary anime style.

  • Guest

    hmm It appears the character’s design is more important for Tales fans…

  • Willgaea

    “It allows fights to unfold on the same map players run across and explore”

    I can take this two ways:

    A. They mean the community of players that make up the people that play the game. Meaning they mean “you” the players.

    B. “players” The game supports multiplayer functionality on the field. Whether it be online or traditonal couch co-op

    If it were up to me, I’d choose the latter. Option B would also have to support split screen. Unless the team would rather pan out the screen miles away, to compensate for a team splitting up on the field.

    • Thurrington

      What it means is when you get into battles, it doesn’t take you to a battle screen, the battles happen on the same map.

      • Willgaea

        I get that part, but there nothing that explains how co-op works.

  • PhoenixAutomatic~♪(๑ᴖ◡ᴖ๑)♪~

    So much epic-ness is poured into this. The new details are amazing. I wonder if they have a project for PS4 as well because that would be a Killer.

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

    I guess I’m playing this game alone. It seems more and more like a Rogue Galaxy style game with Tales stuff mixed in (which is great for single play, but not for co-op with my siblings, which is a shame). It also looks like you can never take the mages out of the party.

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

    If I’m battling in the actual world, let me jump mid-battle.

  • hakumen001

    I cant understand how they went from something as gorgeous as Vesperia to this generic modeling/texture style. The animations look stiff in the pix alone just by judging the poses… Tales seems dead. especially if Xillia is the way they’re moving forward. Oh Japan how I cant depend on you for great RPGs anymore… They’re so stuck in end of PS2 era it pains me. I just cant seem to get a great PS4 game out of them.