Tales of Luminaria - August Episode 1: Checkmate

“Devoured by beasts, I can’t conceive of a more pathetic way to die.”

Of the revenge plots used in Tales, I think this is the best one in terms of execution. August’s motives for vengeance are shown and he plans everything out for the next nine years. He’s cold, calculating and merciless. He’s a very intelligent character and since there are hints that he’s the main villain of the story, he will be a very difficult enemy to take down.

August’s chapter is a very good introduction to the Gildilan Empire. While Leo’s first episode showed how Blaze functions and Celia’s showed how the school system worked, August’s showed how the Empire’s government worked as he becomes the newly appointed Imperial Chancellor. As Chancellor, he has access to all the people and resources he needs to fulfill his revenge, as shown in the first chapter.

I loved the buildup to Clay’s death. It felt so satisfying after going through one long chapter of August trying to accomplish his goals and getting trolled twice. There are hints that he had killed the previous director of the laboratory in the first chapter, meaning that killing people is an easy feat for him, but he doesn’t enjoy it. I do like how August keeps going even after murdering Clay. Usually, revenge plots have an end to them once the main culprit is defeated, but August keeps going with the Emperor as his next target. What is August’s ultimate goal? I want to see what it is.

Unlike Leo and Celia’s episodes, August’s first episode takes place one year before theirs on 997 YC. I have linked their ages below if you are curious. In this episode, August is 33. By chronological order, August’s episode takes place before Hugo joins the Empire and shows the lives of the other Empire characters before his enlistment.

The ages for August, Alexandra and Bastien

The ages for Falk and Amelie

 

The Empire characters are all very whimsical in their own way. August is calm and collected. Alexandra is earnest and noble. Laplace is enigmatic and flirty. Falk is hot-blooded and short-tempered. Amelie is optimistic. Bastien is calm but oblivious. It makes me curious about future characterization for these characters since not everything about them is shown here; it is August’s episode, after all.

While August’s story is compelling and the best of the three I’ve played so far, his gameplay is the worst of the three. I can go on and on about how bad his gameplay is, but I’ll remain calm—it is the first episode, after all. Why is August’s gameplay so bad? Because there’s only one chapter to showcase it! There are four chapters and three of them are just August traversing through hallways.

The first chapter is the inauguration ceremony, thus no reason for gameplay. This is understandable. The only irritating thing about the first chapter is the walking portion. These characters walk so slowly that it’s aggravating. Though, the walking portion ends rather quickly as August and Alexandra start running by the second portion of the chapter.

The second chapter feels very unnecessary. Why did the gameplay suddenly changed into dinosaur Mario Kart? It’s nice to show different capabilities of Luminaria’s gameplay, but this section could have easily been a mini-game and not be the entire chapter. The only good aspect of it is to show the world building but that’s about it. I also hate the fact that there are missable PB-Fragments, which forces replaying this chapter to collect them all.

The third chapter is where the action starts. August has two different styles of magic, his defensive fire magic and his offensive lightning magic. It can be switched by touching the lowermost left button on the screen. In all honesty, August’s gameplay is…very bad. He’s frail and loses a lot of HP when being damaged. His lightning magic doesn’t really do much damage unless charged; it’s not even that helpful with boss fights—only the enemy monsters. The defensive fire magic does more, ironically. As a mage, August is often accompanied by more offensive, close-ranged character. It’s very helpful since August is a long-ranged fighter. I don’t like how this chapter is the only opportunity to show off and train August; he will be lower leveled than Leo and Celia by the end of the episode.

The fourth and final chapter is another hallway travel, but with an NPC in tow; there are no fights. The buildup to the ending was satisfying, so I won’t really hark too much about this.

Other than that, there’s an interesting tidbit about August if you open up his “Chronology” section. August’s wife is named Bertina and his daughter is Lucina. If you do the math regarding the years listed on the timeline, you can see that August got married at 16 years old and had his daughter at 18. Had Lucina survived, she would have been the same age as Falk.

The story did a great job making Clay hateable, character-wise and appearance-wise. He’s narcissistic and lacks compassion for others. Seeing him get devoured by beasts was so satisfying because I no longer need to see this ass’s dry lips; he won’t need lip balm anymore.

While I am anticipating August’s next episode, I am also dreading the gameplay. I just hope this isn’t repetitive.

Tales of Luminaria
Tales of LuminariaTales of Luminaria is an upcoming Tales of Series original title for iOS and Android to be released November 2021. The game was first announced during Gamescom Opening Night Live. Unlike the recent Tales mobile games, Luminaria has been reported to have its own original world with only original characters and no previous Tales characters, as well as an English dub.

Info Page | News | Gallery | Official Website (EN) | Official Website (JP)

About Grace 41 Articles
Grace is an aspiring novelist currently rewriting her novel for the umpteenth time. When not writing or playing Tales games, she stares at her laptop for hours, ruining her eyes in the process, and watching anime and Let's plays. She is also VERY scatterbrained.
Contact: Website