Tales of Symphonia E3 2003 Preshow Report

The latest in Namco's Tales RPG series will feature the largest cast of characters yet.

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Namco is working on the first fully next-generation update to the Tales series, titled Tales of Symphonia. The game is exclusive to the GameCube and will represent the series' first foray into true 3D graphics. The staff working on the game is made up mostly of developers who previously worked on Tales of Eternia (known as Tales of Destiny II in the United States), and the game's character designs and anime cutscenes are being handled by Kosuke Fujishima of Ah! My Goddess and Sakura Taisen fame.

Tales of Symphonia revolves around a main character named Lloyd, who is on a journey with his friends Genius and Colette to restore the prosperity of their world. They soon discover that the quality of their own world is the inverse of another, and thus to save their own planet they must effectively destroy another. Obviously, this presents a unique moral dilemma for Lloyd and friends. The game will feature a relationship system that keeps track of your character's friendship status with various characters. Your relationship is determined by the choices you make, and many characters' future actions will be based on how fondly they consider you at the time they face a decision of their own. The battle system in Tales of Symphonia has been dubbed the Multi-Line Linear Motion Battle system, and it will allow each character in your party to establish a plane between him- or herself and an enemy and then move around on that plane. Another character can then establish a plane with the same enemy, creating a feeling of 3D space in the battles.

Tales of Symphonia contains a host of other gameplay elements as well--ability development, character ranking, and even cooking will be available. Though Namco says the overall size of the game will be comparable to that of Tales of Destiny II, the length of the script is much greater, making for a lot of potential for story development. We'll bring you more information on Tales of Symphonia as it becomes available.

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