For newcomes and returning veterans alike, we've put together a quick and handy guide covering all the basics of the Tales series and some of the newer additions to Tales of Xillia in particular.
A good chunk of your time in Tales of Xillia will take place on the battlefield so it only makes sense to start there! Unlike many other RPGs, Tales of Xillia sports what is called the Linear Motion Battle System. In battle, you will control one character at a time while the computer takes care of your allies. Combat takes place primarily on a two-dimensional plane though you can hold the free run button to move in a full three dimensions if you want to position yourself better. The actual flow of combat is very similar to an action or fighting game as you will string together chains of attacks and skills while blocking and dodging your enemies' attacks.
A returning favorite for long-time fans of the Tales series are Artes. These are the special skills and spells of characters in Tales of Xillia. You can assign up to four Artes to your character's list at a time (though this can be changed during battle) and pressing the Artes button and a direction will unleash the assigned Arte. Repeated use of your Artes will eventually result in them growing stronger over time.
Other than HP, there are two resources to keep track of during combat. The first will be familiar to many RPG veterans, your TP. Every time you use an Arte in combat it drains your TP though there are numerous ways to restore. Your other resource is unique to the Tales series, AC. This is a count of how many consecutive actions a character can combo between basic attacks and Artes. Unlike TP, your AC will change multiple times during battle and there are ways to temporarily increase it above a character's usual maximum. As you level, you will find additional ways to increase and
restore your AC and TP during battle, allowing you to string together longer chains of actions.
As traditional as you can get, memory rings are Tales of Xillia's opportunity to save your game and rest for a moment. What's unique about these points is that touching one will not only remove all negative status conditions from your party but any unconscious characters will be revived and restored to half of their maximum HP.
As you adventure throughout Reize Maxia, you will notice that the main characters often converse with each other and you often get the opportunity to listen in. At various times you will notice an icon appear in the bottom left corner of your screen. Pressing the Select button while this is visible will play a short conversation between the characters. While these skits aren't often relevant to the overall plot of the game, they offer an expanded background and information for Tales of Xillia's cast and world.
Lilium Orbs and Character Customization
One of Tales of Xillia's newest features is the Lilium Orb. These orbs allow characters to unlock and develop their latent talents and offer a great way to further customize characters. Lilium Orbs appear as a large web with several colored nodes. Each one of these nodes represents an upgrade to the character's attributes and as you level you will earn GP which can be used to unlock these nodes. As you progress the strings along the web will light up between connecting nodes and by connecting an entire square of nodes, you will unlock additional Artes and Skills for your characters. Eventually the Lilium Orbs will grow in size with additional nodes, skills and Artes for you to unlock for every character.
Skills are support abilities that your characters will learn as they progress along their Lilium Orbs. Just unlocking the skills isn't enough however, once you've learned a skill you will need to open the skills menu and activate it. Every character has a set amount of skill points that represent how many skills they can have "equipped" at a time and every skill consumes a certain amount when it is activated. By leveling up and progressing on the Lilium Orb you will eventually increase your characters' maximum skill points, giving you even more options in battle.
Get to know the characters in Tales of Xillia: