“Wow, all this time and that’s all the progress you made? Wait to go, The Flash. So, when are you going to abandon this project and start another one?”
Wonder no more.
After much thought, I have decided to drop the Tales of Hearts fan translation project. There are many factors that went into this decision, such as lack of fan interest. Therefore, it pleases me to announce that instead, in celebration of the (somewhat) recent release of Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon X, I will be unveiling my newest project, Tales of the World: Summoner’s Lineage.
Summoner’s Lineage puts you in the shoes of Flein K. Lester, the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of Klarth F. Lester, the famed summoner from Tales of Phantasia. He wants to be the best summoner — in fact, the best there ever was. He is ransacking some ancient ruins in search of Pact Rings when the floor collapses and he stumbles upon Macaron, a fairy born of magitechnology, sleeping in stasis and awaiting her next master.
Meanwhile, in Alvanista, Dr. Garrell is spending some quality time with his son, Xex. Xex is a kind-hearted boy, as gentle as can be. Only he’s not the good Doctor’s biological son — he’s a creation of magitechnology. Oh, boy, magitechnology! It’s perfect and stable and it never brings misfortune upon those who mess with it. Never in the history of the Aselian calendar has magitechnology caused any sort of catastrophic problem that may in fact hang the fate of the entire world in the balance, no siree. … Wait.
Needless to say, shit goes down, Dr. Garrell dies (oops, spoiler!!), and Xex wants to raze all of human civilization, what with being a living weapon of mass destruction and all. Flein, a plucky young summoner, and Macaron, a fairy, are the only ones who can stop him. Yeah, the world is doomed. But wait! It’s not quite doomed, because Flein can summon generic allies to his aid! Also, other characters join him along the way to form a ragtag band of good-hearted adventurers that will surely put an end to the menace of the evil Xex.
But wait, that’s not all! Later in the game, Macaron will be able to call the Heroes of Time forth from five hundred years in the past to join Flein in his quest!
Yes, that’s right, the heroes of Tales of Phantasia make an appearance in this canon entry to the Aselia timeline series of Tales games. Before you ask if there are any “high ohgees”, though, I should probably warn you: Summoner’s Lineage is an SRPG. That is, you move guys around on a grid, instead of Free Running around the battlefield in real-time like a headless chicken. You can form teams comprised of up to three units, which if formed properly can pulverize the opposition with special power attacks.
As you can see, Cless is taking the opportunity to team up with a couple of lovely ladies. He’s more compatible with them for increased battlefield effectiveness, he says. Mint just isn’t the right elemental type, he says. That sly dog!
What makes the story of this game truly incredible is the juxtaposition of the deleterious effects of magitechnology with the social commentary about how any given technology or creed is only as bad as you make it. After all, if there is evil in this world, it lies within the hearts of men. Macaron and Xex are on opposite ends of the scale, where one wishes to help preserve the world and the other wishes to see it burn to the ground, in order to avenge the death of his surrogate father. The irony of the situation is not lost on Flein, who realizes that the good Doctor would never have wanted the otherwise kind-hearted Xex to commit such atrocities. Interestingly, it appears that the reason Xex hates humans specifically is because they have the power to choose to be what they want, and yet they often choose the path of evil anyway. Of course, this also applies to Xex himself, making him a dark tragic antihero villain in the same vein as those from timeless classic works of literature, such as Sasuke Uchiha. By the way, this post is obviously once again a total joke. Please pretend it’s real if you comment in the comments section below… Thanks! There are heavy parallels between Summoner’s Lineage and Tales of Phantasia, of course. The similarity between Xex and Dhaos is obvious. What is not as clear is the relationship between the hero group and the hero group of old. Has humanity learned its lesson, or has it forgotten it over the long five hundred-year period? Will the Heroes of Time be able to draw upon their previous experiences and errors to guide Flein onto the true path of justice? It is philosophical questions like these that make this game a masterpiece.
Well, I suppose I’ve written enough about how good this game is. Apologies to the small number of you that were looking forward to Tales of Hearts, but as this game has the larger fanbase, I feel it is a better choice.
Please look forward to seeing an English translation patch for Tales of the World: Summoner’s Lineage!