The latest issue of Jump introduces a new character for Tales of Zestiria, along with confirming the rumors of having real time battles in the map terrain. In addition, accompanying party members now walk with you on field, too.
The new character's name is Martran ( マルトラン, marutoran, romanization not yet official) and will be voiced by Mami Koyama. She is Alicia's fighting mentor or teacher and is the one who taught Alicia all she knows in battle. She is an important figure in the Highland Kingdom and is also dubbed as the Blue Valkyrie. For the first time in a while, this character seems to be human.
Slay and the others meet her when they visit Highland. Like with Zabida, it is not mentioned whether she is a party member or not.
The magazine also introduces the rumored Real Map Battle system, the first in the entirety of the Tales of Series. As you may have guessed (or, as a bunch of people have been guessing about), this new system allows the player to enter battle immediately in the current map or terrain conditions. Basically, it'll be like seamless battles. Upon coming in contact with the enemy symbol or model on the field map, the player immediately enters battle with them, offering a completely new battle experience. Depending on the terrain, where you fight may be advantageous or a problem.
An added feature also includes Map Actions on the field, which are various gimmicks that can be done to help you through fields. One of them allows you to break through boulders and such, while the other, when timed right when an enemy is near, grants a barrier on the character against the enemy.
Additional features on the field include the accompanying characters of the leader character (i.e. the character you're controlling on field) will also be walking with you. It's not that clear in the scan above, but Alicia is right behind Slay there. They may also strike up a conversation from time to time on varying subjects, similar to Tales of Xillia's short chats system, only you actually have the character talking there. Only little info has been released so far about this, but hopefully they'll shed more light. This feature might get hectic if all available party members are walking around, so we hope there are restrictions in place.
Tales of Zestiria will be released in Japan, North America and Europe sometime in the future. Pre-orders are now available at the following shops: