If you've been keeping up with Tales of The Rays news, you may remember that the October PV announced a livestream showcasing further information to the game. The stream did not disappoint, and you can watch an archive as well as read up on the news here!
Here's the stream archive, although the actual stream itself doesn't start until 16:55 in the video. As you can see from the thumbnail, the special guests this time are Sorey's Voice Actor Ryōhei Kimura and Mileena's voice actress Haruka Terui, injecting a lot of enthusiasm into the stream. Joining them are members of the Rays dev team, specifically the producers Yasuhiro Ikeno (glasses) and Shun Yanagisawa. Take note of the second name, because he writes most of the producer's letters for Rays! It's clear the love and enthusiasm they have for Rays and the Tales series runs deep, so show some appreciation for them too.
The stream background is also new! Previous Rays streams used the same backgrounds available through the in-game My Room feature. Perhaps this is a new room background being added for Arc 4? The Japanese aesthetics match those of the Bifrost Empire, and the last character to join in Arc 3 is Bifrost's princess Mercuria. Also, tweets from fans using a hashtag created for the Rays stream run along the bottom. The producers like reading the praise and wish the fans would send more!
Now for the first bit of actual news. We get to see Tales of The Rays Last Cradle's OP! If you'd like to see it, you don't have to dig around in the stream- fellow Abyssal Chronicles staff member Kiki has graciously provided us with english subtitles for the song. Give it a look and a listen below!
Tales of the Rays: Last Cradle's opening theme, I Believe by BoA will be released as a single on November 4, 2020. Pre-orders are available below:
- Game Edition Bluray Limited Edition
- Regular Edition CD Type A (Game Edition)
- Regular Edition CD Type B
If BoA sounds familiar to you, it's because she provided Tales with an opening before! She previously did White Wishes, the theme for Tales of Graces. As for the animation itself, Last Cradle's OP was animated by Wit Studio, Inc. who you may know for their work on anime such as Attack on Titan or Vinland Saga. As for what it depicts, it seems as though Last Cradle will cover events that fans who've been following along with Rays' plot have been awaiting... and dreading. Ix and Mileena will face off against Bifrost's king (and it may not go well for Ix), Ix will fight his Mirrite Kocis, and Sorey, Mikleo and Velvet will face off against Beseria villain Artorius. It also looks like Harold, Decus, Ion, Senel and Jay will take a more important role in this part of the story. We'll see how it'll play out in the upcoming story events! Speaking of Jay...
The next bit of news is a Second PV this month. Thankfully, Bandai Namco uploaded it separately as well, so check it out below!
October won't be events only despite what it looked like from the first PV. Tales of The Rays Last Cradle Chapter 1 will release this month (though no exact release date). The new characters on the banner are Jay and Moses Sandor from Tales of Legendia, finally completing that game's cast! The banner will also give Senel a new Overray Mirrage Arte, which we get to see a little preview of!
Finally we get a look at a brand new character: Baldr. Those who've been following along with Ray's plot may recognize Baldr as the Asgardian knight who possessed Flynn. Seems like he'll be making an appearance in his original body, which we now get to see for the first time. His voice actor is Kazuyuki Okitsu and his character designer is Kōsuke Fujishima! This is the first character design he's contributed to Rays. It's great to see Rays not only bringing back so many characters and voice actors, but also singers and artists who've worked on the series. It really makes Rays feel like a celebration of Tales, even through its original plot and characters.
Now we get a good look at Version 4. It seems it was made with support for higher resolutions and bigger screen sizes in mind! From the title screen to the home screen, the loading time is greatly improved as well, with the stream showing both versions loading side by side.
There's a lot of differences in the new home screen, including a new reddish background. There seems to be a new gauge on the top left though we're not sure what it's for. The passport button has moved from the bottom left to the top middle with random character quests taking its place, and banners advertising current deals have been rearranged and resized a little on the right. The news, Friends and Title buttons take up the top left, while missions and presents get a new resting place on the bottom right. Hope that doesn't interfere with muscle memory too much. The shape of the left sized buttons have been changed from Square to Diamond shaped, and there's two new ones.
The second button removes the home screen character and zooms in on the background Mirrage/5* Art set to that character, which is really nice if you feel the character status art gets in the way of appreciating the beautiful pictures. They didn't show it, but the left button may let you pull the current Mirrage/5* art up in full screen. The stream also goes on to show a new Glossary function that explains terminology to make the plot easier to follow, especially for players just getting into it!
We also get a good look at the new Equipment system! The stream gives us a handy list summarizing all the main points of the version update:
1. New Homescreen
2. Equipment System Overhaul
-New system to determine stats
-Auto Limit Break/Sell Turned On By Default
-Removal of Inventory and Warehouse limits
-Artes are now learned the first time the corresponding weapon is acquired
3. Setting Artes is now done more like classic Tales games
- Artes can now be set separately from equipment
- The ability to turn Artes on or off for Auto battle/AI party members
4. The ability to set Artes to any enhancement level regardless of how far you enhanced them
5. Collaboration and Bonus Characters have an increased amount of Anima Spheres.
The stream continues on to show how all of these changes look. The most important change, of course, is the fact that this makes changing and upgrading artes and equipment much faster, and players no longer have to manage an inventory of thousands of weapons. After all, there's almost 200 characters, and each of them has at least 10 pieces of equipment. It's a very welcome change that will ensure more time is spent actually playing!
We also get a preview on a planned feature for version 4.1.0: The Master Disciple system that was talked about in previous producer's letters. The gist hasn't changed, one character can be selected as a Master to be paired up with Disciples who receive boosted stats from the Master. A single Master can have many disciples, the example pictures show Cress with up to 8!
Afterwards the stream treats us to a Unison Attack challenge. The two voice actors guest starring this time must play co-op in Unison Attack. There's no 3rd player though, so they publicly shared the room code so viewers could join in and participate. Ryōhei Kimurapicked Annie and Rutee while Haruka Terui picked Meredy and Fractured Milla. The third player joined in with Eleanor and Mint. The Unison Attack goes on, though with a slight hiccup in the form of a low battery notification in the middle of the match. Oops! No worries though, after it finished they announced all players will be given 100 more dia (that's in addition to the retweet campaign) to players. That's 200 dia to celebrate the stream in total, enough for a multi on the gacha!
Next we get a good look at some merch: Acrylic Stands based on the 3rd anniversary art! These were made for the 3rd anniversary party that was supposed to be held in March but unfortunately had to be rescheduled. The characters are Ix, Mileena, Kocis, Kohaku, Kratos, Reid, Milla, Spada, Leon and Marcus and Phil together. Also, they have officially announced a Full Voice pack for Arc 2, just like they did for Arc 1! Buying the Full Voice Pack will make All Story Cutscenes in Arc 2 fully voice acted. A lot of characters show up in Arc 2 so this is impressive! Naturally this also means we'll be getting a mission reset for Arc 2, which means another source of dia for people who've already cleared it. You don't need to buy voice packs for mission resets, so this is good news for everyone! And finally, the last piece of merch is a signed Acrylic Panel showing the key art for Tales of The Rays Last Cradle.
That's it for news from the stream. Each guest signs off, and we're then treated to a closing skit. The skit naturally stars Sorey and Mileena (since their voice actors were guests.) The skit has Sorey and Mileena confessing to having practiced with their respective crowds. Mileena says she likes Sorey's love of ruins because it's fun for Ickx, and Sorey marvels at how he and Velvet can be friends in the Rays world. Mileena then tries to say something about the restoration of Bifrost but messes up her lines repeatedly.
And that's the end of the stream! For only a couple of hours it was packed with news for us, which is a pleasant surprise for people who expected it to mostly be the voice actors joking around. In any case, that's it for now. For current Rays players, we're still in the middle of the Star Ocean crossover rerun, and for people just getting into rays, the Miracle Boss Challenge is still going on too. The game is also giving special log-in bonuses to count down to Arc 4, so if you're not already playing Rays and are interested, now's the perfect time to join up and prepare for the excitement of Last Cradle. Besides that, stick around for more news in the future, especially since there are more events planned this month!