Monday, April 17, 2017

What is this warm feeling

I could have finished Tales of Berseria last night. The final dungeon was unlocked and I was a boat ride away from the confrontation with the big bad (or badder, Velvel is still pretty bad). But I didn't go. Instead of I checked my quests list, saw that a bunch had unlocked, and set about cleaning up the list. What the hell?

Either I am getting soft or the absolute blandness of Final Fantasy: NSync edition has left me desperate for characters that I enjoy being around. The main cast in Berseria is not large - only six. That has allowed each to have their back stories and motivations explored in relative detail. All but two are honestly evil, either blatantly or in a self serving way, and have chosen to remain true to themselves in spite of multiple opportunities to turn themselves around.

Velvet lives for revenge. She wants nothing more than to murder and eat the man whom she believes (wait for it) killed her brother.


Velvet's brother, Laphicet, actually volunteered to be a sacrifice to Inominat the Suppressor. He wanted to help Artorious revive the old god to create a world without pain and, on the more evil side, without free will. He is consequently reincarnated as Inominat and, at the world possible time, reveals himself to Velvet. Her reaction? She has a psychotic break, first embracing him and then futilely stabbing him in the chest over and over.

It takes time but Velvet pulls herself back together, embraces her title of Lord of Calamity, and decides that killing god is still on her to do list. She will not admit that it is to save the rest of humanity from having their minds stripped away, instead insisting that Laphicet's betrayal is just as bad as Artorious'. Yes, she is a bad ass.

Each main character has the same depth. Eizen is a malak pirate who, because of the reaper's curse, can never visit his sister without putting her in terrible danger. Instead he writes letters that his sister never replies to. Rokurou was so obsessed with defeating his brother that he became a demon and forged a pact with an ancient swordsmith (another demon in the form of a headless set of armor) to create a blade strong enough destroy him. The swordsmith forged himself into a sword and Rokurou killed his brother after sharing a drink.

Magilou's heart was broken by abuse from her adopted father/teacher who happens to be one of the four big bads. Eleanor started out as an exorcist but had the sense to travel with a bunch of demons when she figured out that the abbey wasn't much better. Even Phi, the annoying child, is on a journey of self discovery after being freed.

Every character is likeable. I will not say that the writing is any good (translation issues ha ha) but I have played enough JRPGs to ignore that problem. These are characters, not stereotypes, putting it so far ahead of Final Fantasy that it isn't even fair.

So instead of finishing the game last night I wandered, taking care of things that should have been done long ago based on the rewards. It didn't matter, it was just a little more time to be with my motley crew. There was even a cameo from Tales of Xillia: Jude, the protagonist, showed up. He had been turned into a penguin for some reason.

I kicked his ass anyway. That is just how Velvet rolls.

1 comment:

  1. (Grumblegrumble) makin' me wanna' play a Tails game... (Grumblegrumble...)