Hello! This is Grace, also known as Ecargmura. This is a review of Chapter 4 of Tales of Crestoria! It contains spoilers for both Crestoria and Abyss so please turn back if you haven’t played either.
“What you’ve done can never be undone.”
Honestly, I think this is the best chapter so far. It exceeds Chapter 3. Why I think this is the best chapter is because of how it breaks the formula. Chapters 2 and 3 mainly showcased how bad the Vision Orb system is and repeated it. Chapter 2 had villagers wanting to condemn Veigue out of assumption. Chapter 3 had Aegis become a transgressor after being pinned as Rebecca’s killer. Chapter 4 had none of this repetitiveness. In fact, the Vision Orb wasn’t the main focus in this chapter. It is used towards the end of the chapter, but it’s not the central focus.
As an Abyss fan, this chapter excites yet terrifies me. Luke stars in this chapter, which is great; then, you realize Luke has long hair, a bratty personality, and is going to destroy yet another city. Unlike Abyss, Luke is an actual human being in this universe, which means he’s more aware of his actions without anyone telling him so.
If you thought Luke’s infamous “It’s not my fault” is annoying, this chapter makes that quote flip its head upside down. Goodness. “Luke did nothing wrong” sounds so eerie that it ran a chill down my spine when I heard it. Holy cow. I never expected that quote to be used like that. Basically, chapter 4 is a retelling of the first portion of Abyss but with Crestoria characters, human Luke, discount Van, Jade, and…Asbel? Why are you here? Where’s Guy?
Because this is a retelling of sorts, many changes happened, especially with the characters. Let’s give a moment of silence for Gailardia Galan Gardios, or best known as Guy Cecil, for he is no longer Luke’s servant in this universe. Instead, Asbel Lhant is Luke’s bodyguard. I don’t know why they made this change. Maybe because Asbel’s voice actor, Takahiro Sakurai, is popular so they wanted to put Asbel in a main story chapter? Asbel is popular in Japan, for he ranks high on popularity polls. Regardless, I think Asbel being a bodyguard kind of fits his character of wanting to protect. It makes me wonder if we’ll ever get Side Story: Asbel anytime soon. I want to see what sort changes the writers made with his story, since it seems as if he isn’t too keen on protecting everything like he was back in his original game. It makes me wonder if his relationship with Cheria would be better developed in Crestoria’s universe.
Jade’s just…Jade, I guess. He’s still a soldier, but he’s in a world where fomicry doesn’t exist—meaning he’s just a soldier. Jade is still his usual self, but less secretive about things. He’s actually a lot nicer too—more empathetic than his supposed sociopathic self in the original game. Jade being nice? What a weird feeling. His being a soldier from Toshimina, the city the Crestoria gang is heading towards, is interesting because we have yet to expand on anything regarding Toshimina or the continent it’s on. I hope that we get to see Jade again. Maybe he is a scientist in Crestoria’s world but we just don’t know it yet.
Like I mentioned before, Luke is human in this universe. Meaning, there is no existential crisis for Luke, which was blatant in Abyss. What’s interesting to note is that Luke’s sheltered upbringing in Crestoria comes from his parents becoming overprotective after his twin brother got abducted years ago. Yes, Asch, the original Luke fon Fabre, is Luke’s twin brother in the Crestoria universe. Since Van doesn’t appear in this chapter and is not associated with Luke in any way, Van might be implied to have been the abductor, since Crestoria does follow some canon elements from the original games. Why is Asch so miserable in both games? Also, the fact that Luke, as a human, is more aware of the severity of his actions in this universe surprises me. I honestly like both iterations of Luke, because he is the most developed protagonist in the franchise, in my opinion. Luke in Abyss realizes the severity of his actions after getting chewed out for being ignorant and too trusting of the true perpetrator so he decides to change and become a better person. Luke in Crestoria realizes the severity of his actions after getting duped by the true perpetrator and wants to be condemned. Who in this universe, other than Luke, wants to get condemned?
Another thing I want to talk about is the hegemon of the cave. Since it was a monster that can talk, I wonder if it’s a human experiment like how Mibaru was back in Cress’s side story. Was the creature the group killed actually a transgressor? Thinking about it is scary. That supposed person could have been someone’s family.
The Crestoria characters’ dynamic as a quartet is shown for the first. They all bicker, but seem to cooperate well given the situation. Aegis seems to be the knowledgeable one in the group for he knows a lot about the world and about Luke’s family. He did have some friction with Vicious at first, but knowing that they both have similar feelings regarding truly evil people, they put their differences aside. Vicious's keen perception is put to great use in this chapter for he could sense peculiarity in Luke's motives and with how Senegal is manipulating things from behind the scenes. I think this is also the first time he has been seen showing pure hatred for someone. He seems very willing to kill Senegal, and the party shared the same sentiment. Misella and Kanata, on the other hand, there seems to be some foreshadowing of possible conflict between them. There are two instances where Misella mutters about how Kanata is not being his usual self. This begs the question: Will they fight? Do you want to see them fight? I’m still not over the feeling about how Misella is going to be the resident Tales traitor. I just feel like she’s going to be given the circumstances of her and Kanata in this chapter. Kanata seems to accept that there is no true arbiter of the Vision orb system and that what happened in Southvein is true sin. Because of that, he needs to make things right. He seems to have a black and white approach regarding people's actions. Since this scenario is bad, the perpetrator and those involved are bad and can only be bad. This is fine in this scenario since Senegal cannot be redeemed no matter what. Misella's worries are valid because it could potentially lead to negative development in Kanata's part. I think it would be interesting to see Kanata gaining character development that negatively affects him.
Senegal is an evil man. Holy heck, this man kills CHILDREN! I mean, Makina killed people too, but she’s an enforcer that’s given a human form. Senegal is a straight up HUMAN BEING. He is just as evil as the king. Wow. I never had expected him to kill the remaining survivors of Southvein just like that--and for The group’s anger, especially Vicious’s, towards him is understandable. Also, the way he manipulates the aftermath of the destruction is so scummy of him. He didn’t do anything, so he had the greatest chance of persuading people and get away with his crimes. THIS GUY MANIPULATED THE VISION ORB SYSTEM FOR HIS OWN GAIN. We’ve seen different ways of how the Vision Orb can be used in previous chapters. This is the first time we see someone use it to not condemn someone for murder. Because of his ability to persuade, both he and Luke get away scot-free, blaming everything on Southvein people. I’m glad he’s dead!
The only gripe I have with this chapter is the use of genocide once again. We already got one in chapter 3 regarding the Nation of Sin’s destruction, so I was a bit disappointed when it was used again to wipe out the whole city. I just hope genocide isn’t the usual death method in future chapters. If chapter 5 has it, I will riot! I just kind of wished the party could have done more to prevent the survivors' deaths.
The scenery of this chapter felt glum, which coincides with its dark tone. There are many brown and gray tones. The featured photo of this post pretty much summarizes the mood of this entire chapter. The destruction of Southvein isn't as dark as the fall of Akzeriuth, but it's still tragic; no Qlipoth is involved in this destruction. The party's horrified reactions at the sight of the destroyed city was my reaction as well.
The entire chapter was focusing on helping out Luke to get some money, but the group did not get any. Money does not matter in this scenario. I hope Luke gets that haircut development soon. I do like how Luke is more independent in this universe—willing to go on a journey to find his redemption. I hope we get to see Luke again.