Tales of Xillia 2
|Tales of Xillia 2|
North American Cover art
|Developer(s)||Bandai Namco Games|
|Publisher(s)||Bandai Namco Games|
|Artist(s)||Kosuke Fujishima (character)
Mutsumi Inomata (character)
Daigo Okumura (character)
|Genre(s)||Role-playing video game|
|Mode(s)||Single player, co-op multiplayer|
Tales of Xillia 2 (Japanese: テイルズ オブ エクシリア2 Hepburn: Teiruzu obu Ekushiria 2?) is a Japanese role-playing game for the PlayStation 3 released on November 1, 2012 in Japan. It is the fourteenth core product in the Tales series and was developed and published by Bandai Namco Games. Versions of the game localized for North America and Europe were released in August 2014.
The game takes place after Tales of Xillia and follows Ludger Will Kresnik; the Kresnik family has the ability to infiltrate and destroy fractured dimensions. Since the spirit Origin is unable to support the abundance of souls, a famous company hires Ludger to destroy fractured dimensions to keep the world in balance. The game's central theme is Sentaku ga Mirai wo Tsumugu RPG (選択が未来を紡ぐRPG?, lit. "An RPG where your choices spin the future").
Tales of Xillia 2 consists primarily of two major areas: the field map and a battle screen. The field map is a realistically scaled 3D environment traversed by foot. On the field maps, various skits between the characters can be viewed. They involve animated character portraits, subtitles, and full voice acting. Skits concern anything from character development to side details. The battle screen is a 3D representation of an area, in which the player commands the characters in battles against CPU-controlled enemies.
During battle sequences, the game uses the Cross Dual Raid Linear Motion Battle System. The four characters are chosen to battle and characters not controlled by a player are controlled by artificial intelligence with instructions set by the players beforehand. The "Assault Counter" (AC) denotes the number of skills and actions a character can perform. Usage brings the AC down and is recharged over time. Skill usage costs "Technical Points" (TP) which can be refilled by attacking or using items. During battle, characters can link to each other to perform unified attacks.
The game takes place a year after Tales of Xillia. After failing in the exam to become an agent of the Spirius Corporation like his brother, Julius, Ludger Will Kresnik gets involved in a train hijacking by Exodus where he meets Elle Mel Marta, who was instructed by her father to look for the mystical Land of Canaan. Assisted by Jude Mathis they confront Exodus and have a sudden encounter with Julius, who prevents them from stopping the train, provoking an explosion that claims thousands of lives. Ludger and his friends are saved by a doctor called Rideaux who demands a huge compensation for his services and forces him to contract a staggering debt.
Learning that Julius was declared the culprit behind the hijacking, Ludger, Jude and Elle start traveling the world looking for answers while working to repay the debt, coming across strange, alternate realities, always escaping with the help of a new power Ludger obtained since his meeting with his brother onboard the train, and joining forces with the rest of Jude's old party, except for Milla Maxwell, whose whereabouts are unknown. Ludger is later contacted by Bisley Karscy Bakur, president of the Spirius Corporation who hires him to work in the company's Department of Other Dimension Affairs (DODA) division with the task of using his newfound power, known as "Chromatus", to destroy fractured dimensions that upset the balance of souls maintained by the spirit Origin. To do so, he must destroy the objects or individuals that serve as "divergence catalysts" for said dimensions to appear.
In their first mission, Ludger and his friends have an encounter with the spirit Chronos, who reveals that he is responsible for Milla's disappearance. After destroying the fractured dimension, they return home bringing a special artifact known as a "Waymarker", and accidentally, the Milla from that dimension as well, who somehow did not perish with the rest of her world. Ludger is then informed that there are five waymarkers spread across the dimensions and once gathered, they can open a path to the Land of Canaan, and the first human to reach there will be granted a wish by Origin. The party then travels to retrieve the other Waymarkers, joining forces with Gaius and Muzét along the way, but once three others are recovered, they learn that the final one is in a dimension whose access is blocked by the power of the original Milla. Upon learning that Exodus hijacked a ship to prevent the peace treaty between Elympios and Rieze Maxia from being ratified, the party boards the ship to stop them, but Rideaux attacks them soon after and performs a ritual to bring back the original Milla by sacrificing her alternate self.
Looking for the last Waymarker, the party reaches a fractured dimension that is actually Elle's own dimension where she reunites with her father, Victor, who is revealed to be an alternate, future version of Ludger. Victor reveals that Elle has a special power known as the "Key of Kresnik", that is the true source of power to Ludger's Chromatus. He also warns that continued use of it will eventually lead Elle to be transformed into a catalyst as well. Victor then confronts the party, and Ludger is forced to kill him, retrieving the final Waymarker in the process. With all waymarkers in hand, the party has the Land of Canaan revealed up in the sky, but Chronos attacks them in sequence. After the battle, Julius and Elle disappear and Ludger is called back to the Spirius Corporation, where he is promoted to vice president and relieved from his debt. However, he also learns that Bisley intends to use Elle's power to reach Canaan and use Origin's wish to enslave all spirits in the world to have them destroy the fractured dimensions. Bisley also reveals that Origin has been containing a dark substance called Miasma in control to sustain the world's cycle of reincarnation: Ludger's ancestors were given their power as part of a test to see whether humanity could strive for goodness while containing the negative energy.
Assisted by his friends, Ludger escapes from the Spirius Corporation and learns that to reach Canaan, an individual with the power of the Chromatus must be sacrificed to open a path. Julius then confronts his brother to test his strength: if Ludger refuses to kill Julius, he is forced to kill the rest of the party. This triggers the game's bad ending, where the test issued by Origin is failed, but Ludger and Julius are reunited. If Ludger fulfills his duty, Julius is killed by him, allowing the party to travel to Canaan. After confronting and defeating Chronos and Bisley, Ludger and Elle are allowed to make a wish to Origin, and use them to destroy all the fractured dimensions. The player's choices then lead to one of two possible endings. In the normal ending, Elle disappears with the other dimensions as well, and Ludger becomes president of the Spirius Corporation, eventually meeting the woman who would become the mother to Elle in the prime dimension. In the true ending, Ludger sacrifices himself to save her instead and an adult Elle is seen years later, moving on with her life.
Development and release
On May 9, 2012, Weekly Shōnen Jump announced a Tales game will be revealed on June 2, 2012. On May 14, 2012, Bandai Namco Games opened a website counting down to the reveal. Hideo Baba described the game as more modernized than past games and the phrase "Are you prepared to destroy the world for the girl?" as a tie to the game's plot. On the reveal date, Tales of Xillia 2 was revealed along with its new characters and battle system. The game will also have a bundle with a specially designed DualShock 3. The day after, the official site revealed the game's central theme is revealed to be Sentaku ga Mirai wo Tsumugu RPG (選択が未来を紡ぐRPG?, lit. "An RPG where your choices spin the future"). On June 27, 2012, Baba announced the game's release date for November 1, 2012 during a live broadcast. On July 18, 2012, Baba stated there were no Western localization plans at the time but expressed interest in localizing the game to complement with the prequel's English localization. Between August 1 and 7, Bandai Namco Games hosted a survey on Famitsu to determine which version of the game's demo will be playable at an event. On September 23, 2012, the games theme song is revealed to be "Song 4 U" by Ayumi Hamasaki. On July 6, 2013, a localization for North America and Europe was announced. The localization was announced to be released on August 19 and 22 in North America and Europe, respectively.
Baba conceived the game's plot while thinking about Tales of Xillia's plot and imagined what the history and aftermath of Xillia was like. Because a large proportion of the world and lore of Xillia had only been referred to in speech or text, the decision was made to create a sequel, with a central theme inspired by the choices that must be made by people in both casual and dire situations. A choice mechanic was implemented to help players form a deeper connection with Ludger. Five unused concepts for alternative timelines were revealed in Tales of Xillia 2 Official World Guidance: A world where Leia Rolando was never born and events are mostly unchanged; a world where a fatalist Ludger Will Kresnik accepts his world's eventual demise and lives a normal life; a world where Jude Mathis is an enemy of Milla Maxwell; a world where Gaius' country is still at war; and a world where Agria was not excommunicated by her noble lineage.
Also revealed in Tales of Xillia 2 Official World Guidance was a draft of the game's plot. The main character's mother bet that the protagonists from the prequel would fail on their quest; having lost and encumbered debt from that bet, the mother disappears leaving her son to repay the money. The protagonist learns he is a descendant from a clan who protects the timestream which puts him at odds with the spirit of time who is attempting to alter the timestream to revive the spirit Origin. The protagonist's companions in the draft would have included: Elle Mel Marta an amnesiac girl who can only recall the terms "Kresnik" and "Land of Canaan"; Elize Lutus, the protagonist from the prequel who is partnered with her doll and a spyrite pet; and a humanoid spyrite of the spirit Luna.
Tales of Xillia's downloadable content is usable in Tales of Xillia 2. Aside from the prequel's content, Tales of Xillia 2 offers new costumes for the playable characters. A preorder bonus for the game is a costume of Emil Castagnier for Ludger. The first print of the game contains a Yuri Lowell costume for Jude and a Asbel Lhant costume for Milla. On the game's release date, a Code Geass costume set was made available. On November 8, a hairstyle and a sports theme set were made available. On November 15 there were four sets of DLC released: a Puella Magi Madoka Magica costume set for Milla, Elize, and Leia; A school themed set and a swimsuit set were released for Ludger, Gaius, and Muzét; and a set of doll attachments were released. On November 22, a Tales set for Ludger, Gaius, and Muzét were released to make them resemble other characters from the Tales series. On the same day, a hat set and an additional set of doll attachments were released.
Tales of Xillia 2 spawned four manga adaptions: two anthology series and two traditional manga series. The first anthology series is Tales of Xillia Yonkoma Kings[Jp 1] by Ichijinsha with two volumes released on February 2013 and January 2014. The second is Tales of Xillia 2 Comic Anthology[Jp 2] by DNA Media Comics which released a volume in March 2013.
The Tales of Xillia 2 manga series is an adaption of the game's storyline. Its prelude was published in the December 2012 issue of Viva Tales of Magazine. It began serialization in Dengeki Maoh beginning January 2013. The series Tales of Xillia 2: Bipolar Crossroads[Jp 3] is published by ASCII Media Works. It takes place between the first and second Xillia games and follows Jude and Alvin.
Tales of Xillia 2 had three different strategy guides published; one each from Yamashita Books, Shueisha, and Enterbrain. The book Tales of Xillia 2 Official World Guidance[Jp 4] was released by Yamashita Books and details the in-universe information of the game. It was released on March 2, 2013. Tales of Xillia 2 Official Scenario Book[Jp 5] was published by Bandai Namco Games and Yamashita Books. It details the in-game plot and acts as a guide.
A drama CD called Anthology Drama CD: Tales of Xillia 2 2013 Winter[Jp 6] by Frontier Works was released in January 2014. Tales of Xillia 2 Original Soundtrack[Jp 7] was released by Avex Group on November 2, 2012 in a regular and limited edition. It peaked 87th on Oricon's charts.
Tales of Xillia 2 was received with generally positive reviews, albeit usually lower than its precessor. It sold half a million copies in Japan and failed to meet Namco Bandai Game's target sales. Famitsu's review of the game was positive and commented on how the game will meet expectations of fans of the series. Hardcore Gamer gave the game a 4/5, calling it a "well-designed RPG bursting with content."  The Game Scouts praised Xillia 2 with an 8.5/10 by saying: "Building upon its predecessor’s successful framework, Xillia 2 is not only a gratifying sequel but may be one of the franchise’s biggest highlights."
Notes and references
- テイルズ オブ エクシリア 4コマ Kings Teiruzu obu Ekushiria Yonkoma Kings
- テイルズ オブ エクシリア2 コミックアンソロジー Teiruzu obu Ekushiria 2 Komikku Ansorojī
- テイルズ オブ エクシリア2 双極のクロスロード Teiruzu obu ekushiria 2 Sōkyoku no Kurosurōdo
- テイルズ オブ エクシリア2 公式設定資料集 Teiruzu obu Ekushiria 2 Kōshiki Settei Shiryōshū
- テイルズ オブ エクシリア2 公式シナリオブック Teiruzu obu Ekushiria 2 Kōshiki Shinario Bukku
- アンソロジードラマCD テイルズ オブ エクシリア2 2013 Winter Ansorojī Dorama CD Teiruzu obu Ekushiria 2 2013 Winter
- テイルズ オブ エクシリア2 オリジナル･サウンドトラック Teiruzu obu Ekushiria 2 Orijinaru Saundotorakku
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