Tales of Zestiria

Tales of Zestiria is the Tales of Series' 20th anniversary title. After what was practically two online countdowns, the game was initially revealed during a Nico Nico Douga online streaming event last December 12, 2013. Within the same day, the game's localization was already announced by Bandai Namco's  Western  branches. Prior to its reveal, the game name had already been trademarked both in Japan and in the West, hinting at the localization. The game is named after the word "Zest" (?????) meaning passion or enthusiasm and has a prominent feature of dragons, as illustrated in the game logo.

As the 20th anniversary title, the game featured four character designers, two game score composers and animation by ufotable. This was the first Tales game to reach PC via digital release on Steam for those in the West. It also features a seamless transition between field and battles, though that did pose some problems with the game camera. A short anime special by ufotable was also released with the game, which covers the first few moments of the game itself. Currently, a TV anime series titled Tales of Zestiria the X by ufotable is airing which aims to bridge the gap between this game and Tales of Berseria, its far off prequel and the latest upcoming mothership title.

The game is particularly well known for its controversy with regards to the depiction of its proper heroine and how the game was promoted as such, suffering immense backlash from the Japanese Tales fandom — earning it a majority of 1/5 ratings on Amazon Japan.

  • Name:
    • Tales of Zestiria (???? ?? ??????, teiruzu obu zesutiria)
  • Name Origin:
    • "Zest" (?????), meaning passion or enthusiasm
  • Developer:
    • Bandai Namco Studios
    • tri-Crescendo
  • Publisher:
    • Bandai Namco Games
  • Genre:
    • RPG of passion that illuminates the world; ?????????RPG (jounetsu ga sekai wo terasu RPG)
  • Character Design:
    • Mutsumi Inomata
    • Kosuke Fujishima
    • Daigo Okumura
    • Minoru Iwamoto
  • Music:
    • Motoi Sakuraba
    • Go Shiina
  • Animation:
    • ufotable
  • Opening Theme:
    • "White Light" by superfly (JP)
    • An instrumental rock version of White Light (US, EU)


  • Release Date: January 22, 2015
  • Platform: PlayStation 3
  • Rating: CERO B

  • Release Date: July 7, 2016
  • Platform: PlayStation 4
  • Rating: CERO B

North America

  • Release Date: October 20, 2015
  • Platform: PlayStation 3
  • Rating: ESRB T (Teen and Adolescents)

  • Release Date: October 20, 2015
  • Platform: PlayStation 4
  • Rating: ESRB T (Teen and Adolescents)

  • Release Date: October 20, 2015
  • Platform: PC Digital (via Steam)
  • Rating: ESRB T (Teen and Adolescents)


  • Release Date: October 16, 2015
  • Platform: PlayStation 3
  • Rating: PEGI 16

  • Release Date: October 16, 2015
  • Platform: PlayStation 4
  • Rating: PEGI 16

  • Release Date: October 20, 2015
  • Platform: PC Digital (via Steam)
  • Rating: PEGI 16

Main Characters

A youth enamored with ancient history


Sorey's closest friend and greatest rival


A princess who leads Sorey to the land below


A member of the Sparrowfeathers guild


The Lady of the Lake who guides the Shepherd


A sweet-looking girl with an acid tongue


A mysterious man on the hunt for someone


A wind seraph with unknown motives




The legend of the “Shepherds”…

In a bygone age of myths, when darkness threatened to enshroud the world,
it was they who reclaimed light from nothingness.
Over and over, as the world plunged into chaos,
the legend would come to people’s lips, and they would pray for salvation.
And lo, each time a Shepherd would appear to vanquish the darkness once more.
But with peace returned, it was never long before the Shepherds would vanish.
As for where they had gone… No one can truly say.
And as with all things, eventually they faded into legend.
Now, once again, the world is faced the threat of the darkness…

…And the people began to speak of the Shepherds once more.
But alas, no Shepherd came forth to guide his people to peace.

Official Story Description

Official Story Description

In the depths of a forest unbeknownst to humankind, there lies a grove called Elysia, home to the seraphim, a mysterious race that cannot be seen by the naked eye. With the continent shrouded by an evil force known as the “malevolence” and the invisible monsters called “hellions” that create it running wild, only Elysia has remained untouched by the malevolence in this Age of Chaos.

A single human by the name of Sorey lives in the grove. He possesses a rare ability known as “resonance” that allows him to see the seraphim. Surrounded by gentle seraphim like his childhood friend, Mikleo, and the elders who raised him as if he were their own, Sorey has grown into a young man with a pure heart untouched by the evil influence of the malevolence. Elysia exists as a sanctuary, isolated from the outside world. Growing up in such a confined space, the only play available to Sorey was to explore the grove’s ancient ruins with Mikleo, and reading the Celestial Record, a written collection of the world’s folklore.

Inevitably growing interested in the ancient world, he comes to believe that the legend “that humans and Seraphim once coexisted” is far from a fairy tale but in fact, rooted in reality. He dreams of someday being the one to put that mystery to rest.

One day, while Sorey and Mikleo are exploring the ancient ruins near their village, a collapse drives them underground, where they discover a young woman who has lost consciousness. Mikleo distrusts her after she refuses to give her name, but Sorey does not hesitate to help the troubled young girl and takes her back with them to Elysia. Sorey’s naturally cheerful personality gradually chips away at the previously cautious young girl’s tension, leading her to finally reveal that her name is Alisha. Wanting to the rid the world of the chaos that has consumed it, she had set off on a journey to find a savior of legend. She insists that the savior is their only hope of saving the outside world from certain doom…

That fateful meeting with Alisha would finally take Sorey and Mikleo into the great expanse of the outside world. Consequently, their foray into the world would breathe new life into the legend of a world savior known as the Shepherd. So begins the journey of the Shepherd Sorey and his dream of making a past legend about humans and Seraphim into the future’s reality.



Tales of Zestiria is set in the continent of Glenwood, where two powers, the Kingdom of Hyland and the Empire of Rolance are fighting for supremacy. Despite the countless of wars and battles brought about by this, the people of the continent ceaselessly inherit their life’s work such as hunting, agriculture, trade and the arts. Within their lives, they all hold various religious beliefs that hold a big impact in their lives.

Civilization flourished despite the people’s different religious beliefs, but all those beliefs surprisingly have one thing in common: their belief in those that are called the Seraphim (??, tenzoku, literally “divine persons”). Though Seraphim are never seen or cannot be touched, their strong powers affect the world in many ways, making some honor them, some fear them, some avoid them while some even worship them.

Though the Seraphim are unseen, there are people who are able to communicate with them. These people form contracts with them, offering Seraphim to dwell within their “pure minds and bodies” and use their bodies as a vessel, and in turn, they are able to manipulate the powers of the Seraphim. Because of this display of power, some people have referred to these beings as gods, while some consider them as the devil.

Before long, the people have started to call these beings with the power to communicate with the Seraphim as the Shepherds (??, doushi, literally Priest, Monk, Sage, Guru, etc.). Eventually, the legends of the Shepherd had become a common thing in religions as much as the Seraphim were, sometimes even referring to them as “The savior granted with God’s power,” and the people started to look to them for aid and prayers.

It is said that Shepherds ideally have 4 Seraphim representing the 4 elements (Fire, Water, Wind, Earth) under his contract. Initially, the Shepherd will make a contract with a Prime Lord Seraphim and the Prime Lord will form a contract with the other Seraphim and make them her Sub Lords. These Sub Lords also impart their power with the Shepherd. Additionally, a Shepherd may also make a contract with a human to become his Squire, allowing them to use his powers from the Seraphim. The power of a Squire, however, seems to be limited by the level of resonance that the Squire will have inherently.

In Zestiria, manifestations of malevolence are called Hellions (??, hyouma) or monsters born from humans’ impure desires and thoughts. Beings corrupted that have been turned into Hellions can usually only be seen properly by Seraphim and the Shepherd – regular humans only see them as some sort of calamity, monsters or even as a human acting out of turn. Seraphim who have been completely corrupted by malevolence turn into Dragons that even regular humans will be able to see. Only the Flames of Purification that a Prime Lord Seraphim possess can purify Hellions, and this power is passed on to the Prime Lord’s Sub Lords, as well. Obviously, Sorey also has this ability once he becomes the Shepherd.

Full Story Summary

Not yet available.

Battle System

Battle System

Fusionic Chain Linear Motion Battle System

Tales of Zestiria makes use of the Fusionic Chain-LMBS, which features seamless transition between field and battles, the ability of Sorey and Rose to armatize with a seraph, the ability to quickstep and to free run and incorporates a mix of conventional arte use and performing combos akin to the previous CC (chain capacity) system in some of the previous games.

Real Map System

This feature lets the player enter battle right away once encountering the enemy symbol/model that’s walking around on the field or dungeon map. There are no transitions in-between field to battles anymore (well, there’s a slight transition but it’s almost negligible). The background terrain even stays the same in battle, and depending on the terrain, where you fight may be advantageous or a problem. ABasically, it’s a (semi) seamless transition between on field walking and into battle.


In Tales of Zestiria, though you are allowed to control the Seraphim like Mikleo, Lailah,  Edna, Dezel and Zaveid. You’ll find that most of the time you’ll be focused on controlling the human characters (meaning Sorey, Rose and Alisha), particularly Sorey and Rose for the Armatizations.

There is a sort of partner system, where each human character in the party can have a Seraphim partner. That said, this restricts the members of the active party to always have a balance in numbers between human and Seraphim. For example, if your entire party only has Sorey as its sole human and has the rest of the Seraphim, then only ONE Seraphim can actually enter the battle with you. The partner Seraphim of your controlled character can be changed with the directional pad buttons. A knocked out Seraphim can be switched out for a conscious one, and while off screen, the knocked out Seraphim can be given time to recover.

For Armatization, only Sorey and Rose can Armatize. Alisha cannot.

Spirit Chain (SC)

SC is a gauge that reflects the energy a character has and is used in creating combos. The maximum is 100, but a character always starts with his/her initial SC in battle. It is used by performing actions, such as artes and quickstepping, and can be replenished by standing idle, guarding, completing combos, defeating enemies or just moving around (not including Free Run). As you use artes repeatedly and increase its star rank, it’ll lessen the SC required to be performed.  Other features of SC include having low SC increases damage dealt while having high SC increases defense.


Quickstepping can be done left or right, forward or backward with the Square + Left Stick. Quickstepping costs SC, but successfully using a Quickstep to evade will recover some SC.

Blast Gauge (BG)

The blast gauge are used to perform more powerful attacks. Normally, up to 3 BG can be stored at a time. It can be built by guarding or evading enemies with quick step while in the normal state. Attacking doesn’t normally fill it, but certain skills can make it recharge through attacks.

Chain Blast

In the normal state, a Chain Blast can be performed by performing a 3-hit combo by holding down the R button. This uses up 1 BG and recover 50 SC, and also continues the combo. Once done though, it resets the combo count.

Partner Blast

Similar to Chain Blast, hold R2 after the 3-hit combo. This will consume 1 BG, restore 50 SC to a partner and then instantly perform a follow-up attack on your target with your partner.

Blow Blast

With the use of 1 BG, you can perform a special attack that will almost invariably knock down the enemy.


Sorey, and eventually Rose, have the ability to fuse with their partner Seraphim, allowing them to take on a more powerful form via Armatization. Pressing L1 will Armatize, consuming 1 BG. This more powerful form combines the controlled human and the Seraphim’s stats and equipment skill effects. In addition, if the human character is knocked out, Armatizing with their partner Seraphim will revive them into the Armartized state. While Armatized, you can use Hidden and Seraphic Artes that are dependent on which Seraphim you’re Armatized with. Seraphic Arte casting time is greatly reduced, as well. Seraphic Artes can also be blocked while in this state. Armatization doesn’t have a time limit and can be removed by pressing L1 again, but note that it takes longer for BG to recover while Armatized. Pressing R2 can also cast a Rejuvenation that’s also dependent on which Seraphim you’re Armatized with.

Banish Blast

At the cost of 1 BG, a Banish Blast can be done, with double the chance of inflicting status ailments and have a high chance of stunning enemies. They can, however, leave you vulnerable. It is performed as a follow-up to a combo while pressing R2. Note that it has to be preceded by a combo, otherwise your character will perform a Rejuvenation instead.


Artes are divided into martial artes, hidden artes and seraphic artes.

Martial Artes

Martial Artes are performed with the circle button. Depending on how many are locked to it, you can perform up to a 4-hit combo. They are grouped in combo sets relating to the left stick and can’t be modified manually, but some of the artes will change over time.  Vertical movement on the left stick are for charging and piercing attacks while horizontal movement on the left stick are for mobile and area-of-effect attacks. Damage is determined by Attack and enemy Defense stats, their SC consumption is fairly low and they are able to interrupt Seraphic Arte casting.

Hidden Artes

Hidden artes are used with the X button and can be combined with Martial Artes for combos. Up to five Hidden Artes can be tied to the X button plus the directions of the left stick. Some Hidden Artes also have higher artes that can let you learn battle actions and that will let you perform the higher arte from the base arte. You’re immune from Martial Artes while performing Hidden Artes, but you can’t interrupt Seraphic Artes with them. SC cost is higher than Martial Artes, and damage is determined by Attack + Arte Attack and enemy’s Defense + Arte Defense stats.

Seraphic Artes

Like Hidden Artes, Seraphic Artes are also tied to the X button but have a casting time longer than the previous artes mentioned. Holding down X beyond the casting time will let you keep it charged, allowing the use of the left stick to switch targets. While casting, Hidden Artes cannot stagger you and will also halve your casting speed. Seraphic Artes also have higher artes. Damage is determined by your Arte Attack and enemy Arte Defense.

Mystic Artes

Mystic Artes are cast by holding down Circle + R2 during a combo while your BG is at 3 or greater. The targeted enemy must have taken damage during the combo or the arte will not activate. While in Armatized state, the BG requirement rises to 4. Some Mystic Artes, like the DLC ones, have a combo requirement.

Game/World System

Game and World System

Fields, Towns and Dungeons

Similar to Tales of Xillia and Xillia 2, Zestiria does not have a world map, but instead seamlessly connects towns, dungeons and fields into a 1:1 scale. This allows more explorable areas.

Skit System

Skits can be found at Save Points, Discovery Points or while staying at the Inns. Zestiria skits feature full-body animated images with a mix of cut-ins here and there. Sometimes, at the lower right of the screen, your characters will also hold short conversations, shown by their icons and small dialogue boxes.

Companion Character

In Tales of Zestiria, a character from the party can accompany Sorey while walking around. You can talk to them to know about the next objective or to get some hints on ongoing sidequests. They’re usually automatic, and at the latter part in the game, it’s usually humans who are companion characters to Sorey, and not the Seraphim.

Map Actions

Map Actions are various gimmicks that can be done to help you through fields and dungeons with the help of the Seraphim’s powers. Initially, the only available Map Action is Sorey swinging his sword, but as you progress, the elemental ones (Silver Flame for lighting up torches and removing impurities, Spectral Cloak which makes you invisible but forces you to just walk, Wind Rush which lets you cross ravines and other inaccessible areas in ground range and Giant’s Strength which can destroy huge boulders and other objects) also become available. They can also be used to initially make an attack on enemy models on the field to gain an advantage during battle.


Normin are special Seraphim that can be found all over the world. There are a total of 50 to be found. If you talk to them, they’ll offer to add their equipment skill to a piece of your equipment and they will also go to the Lord of the Land

Lord of the Land

The Lord of the Land is basically a Seraphim who has placed his blessing in a certain area of the continent. Once they are restored to their area (either through the story line or through sidequests), you can access their menu by talking to them directly or through a Save Point under their domain. Fighting within their domain will increase their Blessing level in the area, and in turn give you more Boons and Normin to choose from. They offer travel in between Save Points, set Boons which can affect battles mostly, Set Normin to make dropped items in that area more likely to have the Normin’s skill, convert items to Grade and Sanctify equipment at +10 or more to double the effects of the first skill.


Turtlez can be found in towns and will sell you their maps, giving you a better map to work with in new areas you arrive in. Some Turtlez also sell items in dungeons and fields.


Equipment come with Skills that can give you perks such as increased stats or immunities. Aside from the basic skills that come with equipment, bonus skills can also come up based on the placement of basic skills on the skill sheet grid. There are Stack Skills which are activated by equipping multiple instances of the same basic skill, G-Union skills which are activated by vertically lining up 5 skills from the same group and E-Union skills which are activated by placing 2 or more bonus skills in a horizontal line.


Under the Fashion option of the Main Menu, you can equip attachments to your characters. Their placement, size and color can be changed. From this menu, you can also change the hairstyle and costume.

Support Talents

Each character has a group of talents that can be helpful in the game. They are strengthened by being used repeatedly and new ones can sometimes be learned by staying at inns. Talents vary from snack preparation to money, treasure and Normin finding.

Food and Snacks

Tales of Zestiria, unfortunately, does not have a Cooking System. There are still food and dishes available as items which can be used to heal the party or give battle boosts. Food can also be bought from the Inn or made with the Snack Preparation support talent.

Battle Actions

Battle Actions are a set of abilities used in battle. They are accessed via the main menu and require Action Points (AP) to be set. AP can be gained by leveling up and locating discovery points and monoliths.

Collection Items

Aside from the obvious treasure chests, on the field you will sometimes find items such as plants that will give herbs or sacks containing materials. You can also find Discovery Points, which are special points of interest in the field and may trigger a skit, and Monoliths, which have lost battle techniques written on them. Both Discovery Points and Monoliths grant AP.