Tales of Luminaria - Charles Episode 1 Review: One to Reach the Primordial

“Hold on. Wouldn’t that imply that anything could be “just”…so long as you sincerely believe in what you’re doing?”

Have you ever had that moment where you would assume you’d like a character once you learn more about them? I didn’t like Maxime at first, but after his first episode, my opinion of him changed positively. I thought this would be the case for Charles. Unfortunately, Charles still remains as my least favorite character in Luminaria and the one I despise the most.

There is no denying that this episode is actually good. I really enjoyed it despite not being a fan of the perspective character. I loved the mystery behind Charles and how he’s able to teleport the group into a Primordial’s dimension. I loved the beautiful scenery of the dimension. I loved that all the adventurers are gathered together now.

This episode has the current record for having the shortest first chapter ever. There is only one segment and you’re immediately taken to Chapter 2 after learning how to control Charles. The rest of the chapters are much longer.

Charles’s gameplay is the most simple of the staff wielders. All he does is summon five turret crystals and then uses them to strike laser beams onto his enemies. I like that my attention does not have to fixate on the magic button on the bottom left corner like how August and Michelle are built. My only problem with Charles’s gameplay is that the crystals are not permanent. They will disappear once you hold the action button or advance onto the next segment. Replenishing them is kind of annoying since he’s kind of slow when summoning them, but that’s just a personal nitpick.

Navigating Aglaya’s dimension can get tedious on your second run. The game forces a multiple branch scenario. You can either pick Ed or Ana-Maria to side with and the dialogue is different for each side. However, you can only pick one per playthrough. So, if you pick Ed the first time in Chapter 3 and Ana-Maria in Chapter 4, you are going to have to replay the chapter just to pick your opposite choices out of dialogue curiosity. Replaying Chapters 3 and 4 gets frustrating because the paths look long and the same. Then again, what path in this game isn’t a repeat?

I loved the final boss of the episode! It was like participating in a Raid Battle! It’s too bad that I had to get stuck using Charles during the fight.

The best part of this episode is Edouard. Edouard is one of my top five Luminaria characters and he shines here. He serves as the other sane voice other than Raoul, but he does it in a more snarkier manner. Charles insults him like he does with anyone not named Ana-Maria and Edouard just snarks back and even puts him in his place at times. There was two moments with Ed I loved. One was when Ana-Maria and Charles are saying each other’s names endearingly and Edouard ruins the mood by telling them to shut up. The other is the entire dialogue sequence when you pick Lydie and Ed for the last portion of the story. Lydie and Edouard put Charles in his place and the former even pitied the latter for having to put up with Charles. It was amazing. They are amazing.

Despite being the focal character, I think Charles is the weakest part of the episode. All he does is just bitch and moan about everything that isn’t related to Ana-Maria and even tries to get sassy with Edouard. He gets no development and is mainly used as plot device for this episode. While he did play a role in making all the adventurers come together, it wasn’t by his choice. His behavior was a lot worse here than in Raoul episode 1. I just hope that Lydie, Edouard and Raoul put him in his place in future Adventurers chapter.

While there was a lot of world building in this episode, there are a lot of questions formed rather than answers. Who is Charles exactly? He did say that he’s not human, so what is he exactly? Android? Primordial vessel? Lab creation sent out to destroy Primordials? There’s a lot we don’t know about Charles. I hope that the remaining Adventurers episodes can give some insight to his identity and for him to get some character development. I want to see him walk a path that is truly his, just like what Aglaya wants from him.

I’m kind of sad that I didn’t find the last chest—the one that contains his accessory. I had navigated Chapters 3 & 4 three times and could not find that one chest. If anyone knows, please tell me!

Tales of Luminaria
Tales of LuminariaTales of Luminaria is an upcoming Tales of Series original title for iOS and Android 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. Unfortunately, the game has announced termination of service worldwide on July 19, 2022.

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

About Grace 59 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