“Flowers are living things, just like us!”
This is the most wholesome episode so far. It does a great job focusing on Yelsy since she was a bit enigmatic aside from being that cheerful upperclassman from Leo Episode 1. While the Federation episodes I’ve played mainly focused on the underclassmen and Lisette, this episode primarily focuses on the upperclassmen and how well they work together as a group.
The story was also unique in that they had two flashback chapters that did not revolve around fighting—highlighting the focus on Yelsy and Toto’s relationship.
The central focus is on Yelsy since, like what I said earlier, it’s her episode. This episode mainly focuses on who she is, why she became a knight and what motivates her to keep moving forward. It all revolves around her friend Toto.
Before meeting Toto, she was just Yelsy Twelteu Huainaz'jin, an ordinary princess from the land of Izamille, munching on waffles, admiring flowers and living life to the fullest until she meets Toto admiring the flower gardens near her town. The catch is that only she can see Toto, which reminds me a lot of Sorey since he’s the only human character in the story that was able to see the seraphim full on. The people in her hometown thinks she’s odd or that she’s just deluded into having an imaginary friend, while still being polite about it since she is their princess after all. I think this episode did a good job showcasing a side of the world that won’t be explored until later.
Like with Sorey, Yelsy’s ability to see Toto foretells her great destiny as the next Queen, as stated by the current queen, who is her mother. Because of that, Yelsy decides to train and become a knight at the Jerle Federation, bringing Toto along with her. Toto’s identity is unknown as of now. All the story told was that Toto is made of Mana. I speculate that Toto is a Primordial Beast offspring of sorts.
From the get-go, Toto is a very important friend to Yelsy. Not only is it because she’s the only one that can see her, but it’s the bond they share. While Toto remains stagnant as a cute mascot character, it’s not until the fourth chapter that shows off how much Toto cares for Yelsy. Toto actually talks to protect Yelsy! The amount of love they have for each other makes me smile.
The side characters were actually important in this episode as they try their best to understand Yelsy and try to believe in Toto’s existence. Vanessa was smart enough to try to look at the direction that Yelsy talks to Toto in to thank the latter. Lucien was very curious about Toto and tried to ask questions about her. Maxime liked to meander between belief and denial but was mainly in denial until the end of the story. It kind of shows the difference in treatment that Yelsy got from the townspeople.
Toto is a very cute character, but I cannot really say much about her since she doesn’t do much but be cute. I hope that Toto is important to the overall story other than being Yelsy’s imaginary friend. I’m curious on what her identity is. Also, Toto is regarded in female pronouns, which is rare as Tales mascots are normally male. I’m not sure if she’s the first female mascot, but she’s one of the few.
Regarding gameplay, Yelsy is quite fun to play as. She mainly focuses on using her spear to jump and then descend to attack enemies; her way of fighting reminds me of a dragoon of sorts. She plays a lot different than Alisha and Eleanor who mainly use a lance on the ground, but Eleanor is good at aerial combos. I feel like Yelsy would be the aerial master if she were in a console game.
The only thing I dislike about the gameplay is the “protect your comrade” mission. Like with Celia in Leo Episode 1, Maxime has to be protected in this episode. I don’t like these missions because of the worry I get when attacking the enemies. I can’t see all of them, so some of them are bound to approach the target and I can’t do anything about that other than relying on an AI. I feel like Luminaria’s camera is the biggest enemy in these chapters at times.
Overall, I think this episode is great. While August’s first episode is still my favorite, Yelsy takes a solid second place in the best first episodes list. I hope to see more Yelsy in the future. Her personality and story really makes me invested in her. This episode also made me crave waffles. Did I get some after playing this episode? Yes I did and they were amazing.