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Tales of Xillia Update

A summary of the prologue, a closer look at Alvin, and new battle system details.

 
Milla, one of the two main characters in Tales of Xillia. The new PS3 title is the third most wanted game amongst Famitsu's readers.

Famitsu has a two page spread on Tales of Xillia this week, covering new character, story and battle details for the PS3's first original Tales game.

The big revelation is Alvin, a Kosuke Fujima designed character who was mentioned briefly in a recent Weekly Shounen Jump issue. As usual, Famitsu has far more in the way of details, right down to height. Alvin is 182 centimeters tall (be sure and add him to the Tales character height chart you're maintaining on the wall in the back of your closet).

The 26-year-old Alvin (voiced by Tomokazu Sugita) is a skilled mercenary who's been traveling the world. He's friendly and will approach anyone unassumingly. He takes on a friendly attitude, and skillfully hides his true intentions. While he appears to be living his life by just going with the flow, he's actually planning everything out.

Alvin will encounter dual main characters Jude and Milla early in the game as he comes to their assistance following a major happening (see below if you want details). What is Alvin's true intention?

Jude and Milla. Screens of Alvin have yet to be released online.

For those who want some specifics on how Xillia beings, Famitsu provided a summary on the game's opening moments. This is all Namco Bandai released info, but if you want to approach the game totally fresh, you may want to skip a couple of paragraphs down for some gameplay details.

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Jude and Milla first encounter one-another following some sort of change in the "spirits," entities that support the world. The two meet as they visit a military research facility in the capital city. Here, they stumble upon unfamiliar weapons and what look like man-sized test tube devices. They also come under attack from a mysterious girl.

It turns out that somewhere in all this, Milla and Jude managed to see the army's biggest secret, and they're now being pursued by the army as criminals. They manage to escape the research facility, but Milla, who normally has the ability to summon the four spirits of earth, water, wind and fire, finds that she no longer has this power.

At the capital city's harbor area, Milla and Jude end up in a confrontation with the army goons who are after them. This is where Alvin comes to their rescue. Following the fight, the three end up heading to Milla's shrine. Milla believes that by redoing a summon ritual, she will be able to get her control of the spirits back.

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Joining the story and character details, Famitsu has a look this week at a few gameplay elements.

As previously detailed, Xillia makes use of the "Double Raid Linear Motion Battle System." While retaining the fundamentals of the Linear Motion Battle Systems of past Tales games, this new system adds "Link Mode," where you link up your character to another party member for group battle. When linked up, the character you control is called "Master" and the paired character is "Partner." The Partner character will support you, attacking the enemy you attack, attacking enemies who come at you from behind, and covering you from attacks.

You don't have to use the link system if you don't want. In fact, you may want to keep everyone separate when there are lots of enemies.

Two parameters are used in the battle system: AP and TP. AC, or Assault Counter, is depleted as you perform attacks, but not when you move or perform defensive moves. All attacks deplete 1 AC unit regardless of the type. You recover AP automatically after attacking. TP, or Technical Points, is depleted when you use skills. Different skills deplete different amounts. TP does not recover automatically, so you'll have to use items perform certain actions in battle to get it back.

Newly revealed in Famitsu this week are special personal skills that each character has. The magazine introduces three such skills:

Jude: Concentrated Evasion
Jude evades an enemy attack through a back step, then rotates around to the enemy's back side.
Milla: Magi
By pressing the arts/skill button briefly, you'll make Milla perform her "Magi" skill. This seems to change the property of the corresponding skill. In the case of a "fireball" skill, the attack will change to "flare bomb," causing an explosion in Milla's hand.
Alvin: Charge
After unleashing a skill, keep holding the button and Alvin will switch to "charge" state where he combines the broad sword he carries in his right hand with the gun he carries in his left hand. This changes the given skill into a charge skill.

These skills can be used both in link mode and non-link mode. You'll find that they see some changes as you build up the owner.

Outside of battle, you'll find special moves called "Map Actions." These can be used to find new paths in areas that might otherwise serve as road blocks -- high ledges and small passages, for instance. As an example of a map action, a screen in Famitsu shows the circle button popping up as Jude approaches a high ledge. Press circle, and he'll leap up, grab the ledge, and pull himself up.

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