Tales (video game series)

Tales series
Tales of Series logo image.png
The Tales emblem as seen in Tales of the Abyss. Each entry in the series uses its own font and styling.
Genre(s)Action role-playing game
Developer(s)Bandai Namco Studios (2012 – present)
Namco Tales Studio (formerly Wolf Team) (1995–2011)
Publisher(s)Bandai Namco Entertainment
Creator(s)Yoshiharu Gotanda
Platform(s)Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, GameCube, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, Mobile phone, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, Super Famicom, Web Browser, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One
First releaseTales of Phantasia
15 December 1995
Latest releaseTales of Berseria
18 August 2016

The Tales series, known in Japan as the Tales of series (Japanese: 「テイルズ オブ」シリーズ, Hepburn: "Teiruzu Obu" Shirīzu), is a franchise of fantasy role-playing video games published by Bandai Namco Entertainment (formerly Namco), and developed by its subsidiary, Namco Tales Studio until 2011 and presently by Bandai Namco. First begun in 1995 with the development and release of Tales of Phantasia for the Super Famicom, the series currently spans sixteen main titles, multiple spin-off games and supplementary media in the form of manga series, anime series, and audio dramas.

While entries in the series generally stand independent of each other with different characters and stories, they are commonly linked by their gameplay, themes and high fantasy settings. The series is characterized by its art style, which draws from Japanese manga and anime, and its action-based fighting system called the "Linear Motion Battle System". Multiple people have become linked with the series, including character designers Kōsuke Fujishima and Mutsumi Inomata, producers Hideo Baba and Makoto Yoshizumi, and composer Motoi Sakuraba. The series was created by Yoshiharu Gotanda.

Most of the main Tales games have been localized for North America and Europe, although almost none of the spinoff titles have been released abroad. While generally seen as a niche series in English speaking regions, Tales is considered a high-profile property in Japan. 1UP.com's Jeremy Parish, speaking in 2006, referred to the franchise as the third biggest RPG series in Japan behind Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.[1] The series has been gaining popularity in the West since the release of Tales of Symphonia, which is still considered one of its most popular titles. As of December 2013, the series has shipped 16 million units worldwide.



Since the first installment was released in 1995, the Tales series has grown to include the main entries and multiple spin-offs that derive multiple gameplay and narrative elements from the main entries.[2][3][4] Except when indicated by naming, the main Tales entries are separate from each other apart from gameplay mechanics and themes.[5][6] While Tales titles are often ported to new consoles after their original release, these remakes are rarely localized.[7] The 2006 Nintendo DS game Tales of the Tempest was originally seen as a main entry in the series, but in 2007 was classified as a spin-off, possibly due to poor reception of that particular title.[2][8]

Main series

Timeline of release years
1995Tales of Phantasia
1997Tales of Destiny
2000Tales of Eternia
2002Tales of Destiny 2
2003Tales of Symphonia
2004Tales of Rebirth
2005Tales of Legendia
Tales of the Abyss
2007Tales of Innocence
2008Tales of Vesperia
Tales of Hearts
2009Tales of Graces
2011Tales of Xillia
2012Tales of Xillia 2
2015Tales of Zestiria
2016Tales of Berseria

The series debuted on the Super Famicom with Tales of Phantasia in 1995, and introduced multiple elements that would become staples of the Tales series.[9] It was released in the west on the Game Boy Advance in 2006. It was also ported to the PlayStation, PlayStation Portable and iOS.[10][11][12] The PlayStation received two original Tales games: Tales of Destiny in 1997, which was the first title to be released in North America,[13] and Tales of Eternia in 2000, which was released in North America as Tales of Destiny 2 in 2001.[14]

Five titles have been released on the PlayStation 2. The true direct sequel to Destiny, Tales of Destiny 2, was released on the PlayStation 2 in 2001 across Asian territories, and ported to the PlayStation Portable in Japan in 2007; both versions have yet to receive a western release.[15][16] Tales of Symphonia was released in Japan on the PS2 and Nintendo GameCube. The GameCube version was also released North America and Europe.[17][18] It was the first entry to feature 3D graphics for its characters and environments and the first to be released in Europe.[9][19] Tales of Rebirth was released in 2004,[20] ported to the PlayStation Portable in 2008, and has yet to receive a western localization.[21] Tales of Legendia and Tales of the Abyss were both released in Japan in 2005, with both being released in North America the following year.[22][23] Legendia was the first and only Tales game developed by Namco internal development team "Project Melfes",[24] while Abyss was developed by the same team that developed Symphonia, and used its same graphics engine.[19] Abyss was later ported to the Nintendo 3DS and released in Japan, North America and Europe.[25][26]

Tales of Innocence was released in Japan on the Nintendo DS in 2007.[27] A remake of the game, Innocence R was released on the PlayStation Vita in 2012.[28] Neither version has been released in the west.[29] The first release on seventh-generation consoles, Tales of Vesperia for Xbox 360, was released in Japan and North America in 2008 and in Europe in 2009.[30][31][32] A Japan-exclusive PlayStation 3 port was released in 2009 as well.[33] Tales of Hearts was released on the Nintendo DS in 2008.[34] A remake, Hearts R, was released in 2013 in Japan and 2014 in North America and Europe.[4][35]

The twelfth entry, Tales of Graces, released on the Wii in Japan in 2009.[36] A PlayStation 3 port, Graces f, was released in 2010 in Japan, and in 2012 in North America and Europe.[36][37][38] Tales of Xillia, the series' 15th anniversary title,[39] was released in Japan for PlayStation 3 in 2011,[40] and in North America and Europe in 2013.[41][42] Xillia's direct sequel and the fourteenth main title, Tales of Xillia 2, was released in 2012 in Japan and 2014 in North America and Europe.[43][44][45] The fifteenth main title, Tales of Zestiria, was released in January 2015 in Japan and it was released in North America on 20 October 2015.[4][46][47] The sixteenth main title, Tales of Berseria, was released in Japan for PS3 and PlayStation 4 in August 2016.[48] While both Tales of Symphonia and Tales of Zestiria had received ports to Microsoft Windows after their initial releases, Tales of Berseria is the first game in the series to receive a simultaneous Windows release with the console versions in Western markets.

Sequels and spin-offs

The series has received a small number of sequels, and a large amount of spin-off titles and subseries. With the exception of Tempest, worked on by multiple staff from the main series and treated as a precursor to Innocence, they are derivative rather than original works.[3][49] Three direct sequels have been produced: Destiny 2, Xillia 2 and Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World.[4] Eternia received an MMORPG spin-off for PC platforms titled Tales of Eternia Online.[50] Multiple crossover games have been made for mobile platforms, including Tales of Link, the Tales of Mobile series, Tales of Card Evolve, Tales of Kizna and Tales of Asteria.[51][52][53][54] Two titles for the PlayStation Portable have been released in Japan: Tales of VS. in 2009,[55] and Tales of the Heroes: Twin Brave in 2012.[56] The main spin-off subseries is Tales of the World, which has grown to include ten games beginning with Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon, released in Japan on the Game Boy Color in 2000.[57] Only Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology has been released in the west.[58] A second subseries, Tales of Fandom, includes two games released respectively for the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 in 2002 and 2007.[59][60]

Related media

The Tales series has expanded into other media, including CD dramas, manga and anime. Multiple Tales games have been adapted into anime OVAs and TV series. The Symphonia OVA was released in three parts between 2007 and 2011, and released as a single collection in 2013.[61] Abyss was adapted into a 26-episode TV series between October 2008 and March 2009.[62] Phantasia and Eternia have also received anime adaptations.[63] The series' first theatrical film, a prequel to Vesperia called Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike, was released in 2009 in Japan and 2012 in North America.[64] A made-for-television anime based on the opening sections of Zestiria, Dawn of the Shepard, was produced as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations related to the title. It was also released on the game disc.[65] A full series based on Zestiria began airing in July 2016.[66]

Books and audio dramas have also been made. Phantasia received multiple CD dramas, including four collected into anthologies in January and March 2000.[67][68] and a stand-alone drama in December 2001.[69] Symphonia received seven audio dramas following the game's plot.[70] Two CD dramas for Legendia were respectively released in August and September 2005.[71][72] A manga of Phantasia was written and serialized in 2008 and 2009,[73] while Abyss received three manga adaptations in the years after its release.[74] Symphonia was adapted in both novelizations and a manga serial.[75] Others to receive adaptations of these kinds are Destiny, Graces and Xillia.[76][77][78][79][80]

Other Languages
العربية: تايلس
català: Tales of
Deutsch: Tales
español: Tales of
français: Tales of
italiano: Tales of
norsk: Tales
português: Tales (série)
suomi: Tales of
中文: 傳奇系列