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Tales of Symphonia World Mechanics

~Symphonia World History~
Why was the world separated in two?
This is the history of this planet from its birth to the end of the Ancient War.

  • Derris Kharlan and the Birth of Life

In the past, no life existed on Earth, because it was lacking mana, source of all life. What brought mana to it was Derris Kharlan, a comet made of mana that approaches it once every century. It received mana from Derris Kharlan on such occasion, and as it received more and more mana with each contact, it became a planet. The elves, inhabitants of Derris Kharlan, decided to make it their new home and planted the Giant Kharlan Tree, which would provide mana to the planet. That is how new races such as humans, dwarves and summon spirits came into existence.


  • Outbreak of the Kharlan War

Global population soon increased, and the world was divided in several countries, which would eventually start to struggle for territory. In the end, a full-blown war broke out between Sylvarant and Tethe'alla, the two biggest countries at the time. It is now known as the Kharlan War. At the time, civilization was advanced and developed, and used magi-technology, a technology using mana as a power source. Magitech weapons were developed during the war, and quickly depleted the world’s mana supply. This happened 5000 years ago.


Races
Many different races live on the planet, such as elves, who came from Derris Kharlan, protozoans, the first beings born from mana on the world, humans, dwarves, summon spirits, and then half-elves, who are born from the union between an elf and a human. Protozoans were beings in constant evolution, and possessed incredible strength, which is why they were used in the war and became extinct as a result. Discrimination against half-elves, who are neither fully human nor elf, was already present before the war started.

  • The End of the War and the Separation of the Worlds

The Kharlan War, which lasted a millennium, was brought to an end by four heroes. However, the Giant Kharlan Tree was already dead by then and had only left one seed (the Great Seed) behind. The little mana the seed emitted was not enough to support the world. Without mana, source of life, the world would only head towards its destruction. So the only was to save the world was to use an enormous amount of mana, namely Derris Kharlan, to revive the Great Tree. However, the comet would not come before a few decades, and the world could not survive that long. That is why the hero Mithos decided to split the worlds. By separating Sylvarant and Tethe'alla and alternating the Great Seed’s mana between the two, Mithos ensured that no war would start again, preventing magitech from being used too much and consuming mana. Mithos used the power of the Eternal Sword to separate the world as a mean to save them time, and it was originally supposed to last only until Derris Kharlan’s approach. On the dawn of its approach, Mithos would revive the Giant Tree and unite the world again. However…


  • The World he Could Not Save

Just when Derris Kharlan was approaching again, a terrible tragedy happened to Mithos, and in result, to the world. Humans marched on to take possession of and monopolize the Great Seed’s mana. And Mithos’s sister Martel lost her life trying to protect the seed. The death of his beloved sister made Mithos lose hope in humans, who were always only thinking of themselves. But Martel’s soul was not entirely lost and tied itself to the Great Seed. By directing Derris Kharlan’s mana to the seed, the tree would be revived and the world saved, but Mithos forced the comet to stay near their world and directed its mana to Martel to keep her soul alive. If he could find someone whose mana signature was close to her, he could move her soul to that body and revive her. That is what Mithos decided. He could not see any worth anymore in a world without his sister, in a world that killed his sister.


Four Heroes
Mithos, his sister Martel, Yuan and Kratos were the four people who brought the war to an end; they are called the Four Heroes. Kratos was the only human among them, the others being half-elves. Their central figure, Mithos, made pacts with all the summon spirits and received the Eternal Sword from Origin, the king of the spirits. His vow to Origin was: “To protect the world, I will split it into two for a short while.” However, when his sister was killed, he lost the will to save the world and broke his promise to Origin. *Kratos and Yuan were from opposing countries, but they became allies, following Mithos’s ideals together. *Back then, Mithos was ready to help anyone, even if he had to face dangers or suffer in the process.
(Source: Tales of Symphonia Scenario Guide Book)

Translated by Yume

~The World Mithos Created~
Mithos, the fallen hero, now controls the world for his own goal.
The people are merely living in the system he has created.

  • The Organizations that Rule the World

Both worlds, whose path to salvation is now closed, are controlled by Mithos. Mithos founded Cruxis, the organization of Heaven, and the Desians who work under its authority. He hid the truth of the world situation to anyone but the members of those organizations and established a fake history. That way, he can get the people below to unknowingly work for his goals. Incidentally, most of the members of those organizations are half-elves like him. There also exists an underground organization opposing Cruxis and the Desians: the Renegades.

*The people on earth believe that Cruxis is an institution of Heaven and that the Desians is an evil group. This is all part of Cruxis’s plan.


→ Cruxis
An organization made of angels that Mithos directly commands. Its goal is Martel’s revival and an Age of Lifeless Beings. The Age of Lifeless Beings is a world without discrimination where everyone has become lifeless. This is Mithos’s answer to Martel’s wish of seeing a world without discrimination. To provide Martel’s soul with a “host” body, Mithos spread the cult of Martel on the earth and invented the Chosen system. He controls the mana lineage, a family whose members could become Martel’s vessels, in both worlds. Cruxis’s headquarters are located on Derris Kharlan, linked to the Earth near which it now stays - but the Towers of Salvation generate a barrier to hide it from the people.


Four Seraphims
The Four Heroes of the Ancient War have become the leaders of Cruxis, the “Four Seraphims”. Mithos stands at the top, and his will is Cruxis’s will. Kratos is in charge for supervising Sylvarant and Yuan Tethe'alla. Martel has the role of the goddess.

→ The Desians
The Desians are an organization of lower rank who is active in the declining world. Their task is to create the Exspheres necessary for the Age of Lifeless Beings. For that, they build Human Ranches on the declining world and capture humans from nearby villages and implant Exspheres on them. They also sometimes destroy towns or proceed with public executions, instilling fear in people’s hearts. They make their prisonners suffer to hasten the Exspheres’ development. They have a quota of the number of humans they can kill per year, to prevent the world’s population to decline.

*Some can get violent when not addressed properly (“It’s LORD Magnius, vermin!”).
*Humans implanted with Exspheres in human ranches are disposed of once the Exsphere has awaken.


Five Grand Cardinals
The Desian leaders, under Pronyma’s command. Pronyma excepted because she works directly at Mithos’s side, they all rule over a human ranch and supervise the area englobing nearby towns and villages. Among them, Kvar and Rodyle have secretly been planning together to overthrow Mithos and rule the world themselves.  

→ The Renegades
An organization working against Martel’s revival by Cruxis. Their true aim is to take possession of the Eternal Sword and redirect Derris Kharlan’s mana to the Great Seed to make it germinate. If Martel is revived, there are risks that she will absorb the Great Seed, so they have been hindering her revival by assassinating Chosens. They either do it themselves or influence politicians in the flourishing world to send assassins, telling them about the two worlds system. Their leader is one of Cruxis’s Four Seraphims, Yuan, but Cruxis is unaware of this. Actually, while they know of their existance, Cruxis has shown little interest in them.

*The people on earth do not know about the Renegades and believe that they are Desians.
*Tethe'alla’s assassins come to Sylvarant by Rheairds, which people can travel freely from one world to another with.


Yuan and Botta
Yuan is the Renegades’ leader, but also has his role as a member of Cruxis to fulfill in appearance. Thus, there are times when he has to leave the base. In those cases, he entrusts the leadership to his second-in-command, Botta. Botta himself often participates in Chosen assassinations or infiltration of human ranches to steal Exspheres.  

  • Inorganic Beings, Exspheres

Exspheres are inorganic living entities extracted in caves or mountains; they are living minerals. Cruxis’s goal is to create a world of Lifeless Beings. For that, they have Desians collect Exspheres. Exspheres that have just been extracted are in a dormant state, but can be awaken by paraziting humans and feeding on their emotions, especially fear, suffering and anger. That is why Desians are making host bodies suffer in human ranches. Awakened Exspheres are taken from the host bodies and offered to Cruxis, but Renegades sometimes manage to steal them. Attaching an Exsphere to one’s body increases one’s strength and abilities, but it causes disturbances in the body’s mana. If it stays in contact with the skin for too long, removing it will cause the mana to go out of control and the wearer will turn into a monster. Exspheres also slowly drain the host’s soul. To protect themselves against those effects, people use a “Key Crest” made of inhibitor ore on which angelic incantations are carved.

*Exspheres give strength to people, but can also serve to power machines.
*A person turns into a monster and lose his or her mind if his or her Exsphere is removed.


→ Cruxis Crystals and Angels
Cruxis Crystals, also known as High Exspheres, are evolved forms of Exspheres. The ones wearing one are called angels and have wings on their backs. Their body lose their living functions and they stop aging, lose the need to sleep, eat or excrete. Without a proper Key Crest, they even lose their souls. At present, the means of developing High Exspheres has been lost, and Chosens are given leftovers from the Kharlan War. However, as their supplies are running low, Cruxis is trying to make Exspheres evolve in humans’ bodies. This is the nature of the Angelus Project, lead by Kvar.


Angels
They are members of Cruxis with a High Exsphere. This art of strengthening people and stop their aging process was invented during the Kharlan War. 

 

  • The Church of Martel

Once upon a time, there existed a giant tree that was the source of mana. A war, however, caused this tree to wither away, and a hero’s life was sacrificed in order to take its place. Grieving over the loss, the goddess disappeared unto the heavens. The goddess left the angels with this edict: “You must wake me, for if I should sleep, the world shall be destroyed.” The angels bore the Chosen One, who headed towards the tower that reached up unto the heavens. And that marked the beginning of the regeneration of the world.—Legend of the World Regeneration, Preface

A cult worshiping the Goddess Martel exists in both worlds. Angels are holy beings granting oracles, and Desians are the source of disaster. The teachings on Mithos the Hero, the World Regeneration Journey and the Chosen of Mana are all lies fabricated by Cruxis to hide the true purpose of the journey - creating a vessel for Martel. The people who do not know the truth believe in the Church of Martel and give the Chosen of Mana special treatment.

*The people of the declining world ravaged by the Desians seek salvation in the Church of Martel.
*In Tethe'alla, the flourishing world, the Pope, leader of the Church, holds much political power and has his own private army.


→ The Chosens’ Mission

Cruxis named the family whose members have the mana signature the closest to Martel the “mana lineage”. They find other people close to Martel in the world and send an oracle to arrange their marriage into the lineage. Those born the closest to Martel in mana signature are picked as Chosens of Mana and are given a Cruxis Crystal at birth. The Chosens have different roles in both worlds. The Chosen of the declining world must go on the World Regeneration Journey to seal the Desians. The Chosen of the flourishing world must keep the line alive by marrying according to Cruxis’s oracle and having children.


Chosens of Both Worlds
The mana lineage chosen by Cruxis exists on both worlds, and Cruxis controls their marriage. As the Chosen who goes on the journey will become Martel’s vessel, only females are chosen in the declining world.  

→ The Truth Behind the World Regeneration Journey

The Chosen of the declining world goes on the World Regeneration and aims for the Tower of Salvation. If they succeed, the Desians will disappear, the Goddess will be revived and mana will be restored to the world. Then, the Chosen will become and angel. These are the teachings of the Church of Martel. But in truth, all the Chosen does is reverse the mana flow to make her world prosper and then becomes Martel’s vessel. If mana is kept only in one world, that world will start developing magitech, while the other will eventually die out. To prevent this, the Chosen releases various seals to reverse the flow of mana. At the same time, opposition from the Desians and fights against the guardians of the seals inflict her pain and facilitate her union with her Cruxis Crystal. Then, at the Tower of Salvation, the Chosen becomes a complete angel, a perfect vessel for Martel. After that, the Chosen is taken to Derris Kharlan to receive Martel’s soul in her body. If it succeeds, Martel will be revived. However, Chosen have failed through the ages to host her soul, and their bodies, put in coffins, are now drifting in the Tower of Salvation.


→ How the Journey Goes


Journey
When the Chosen of the declining world turns 16, an oracle descends and the Tower of Salvation appears. It designates the beginning of the World Regeneration Journey and is a symbol of hope for the people. The Chosen who receives the oracle from an angel attaches her Cruxis Crystal to her body and goes on a journey to release the seals.

Seal Release
The Chosen must release the four seals spread accross her world. That way, the mana flow between both worlds will slowly be reversed. She also has to face monsters and Desians through the journey, but this is to activate her Cruxis Crystal: the Desians will never kill her.

World Regeneration
When she reaches the Tower of Salvation, the Chosen is taken to Derris Kharlan to fuse her body with Martel’s soul. This is where Cruxis directs the Great Seed’s mana to the declining world, and this completes the inversion of the mana flow. The Desians are then moved to the other world.

The Chosen’s Angel Transformation
The more seals the Chosen releases, the closer she gets to becoming an angel. She gains wings and loses appetite at the first seal, becomes unable to sleep at the second, loses her sense of touch and pain at the third and her voice at the fourth. Then, at the Tower of Salvation, which is also the last seal, she loses her memories and her soul and becomes an empty shell, fit for being a vessel.  

  • Two Worlds

When split, the two worlds took the name of the two separated countries: Sylvarant and Tethe'alla. 4000 years later, the only one knowing about the two worlds are the ruling organizations and the elves. The two worlds keep existing by sharing the little mana produced by the Great Seed. Mana flows from one world to the other, whose civilizatiion will prosper. It is called the “flourishing world”. The other one is called the “declining world” and suffers from low provisions brought by the lack of mana and from Desian attacks. However, if the Chosen of the declining world completes her journey, the mana flow will reverse and the worlds’ states will inverse. Sylvarant and Tethe'alla have been alternating between decline and prosperity for a long time.


→ Schema of the World

→ The Spirits’ Role
In Sylvarant lie the seals of fire, water, wind and light, and in Tethe'alla lie the seals of ice, lightning, ground and darkness. Spirits from both world have an opposing attribute and protect the Great Seed. If someone makes a pact with opposing spirits in both worlds, the mana links will break and the protection around the Great Seed will be lowered. And if pacts are made with all spirits, the seed risks losing stability and be absorbed by one of the worlds. Mithos placed a special seal on Origin, the king of the spirits. That way, he can keep control of the Eternal Sword even after having broken his pact keep Derris Kharlan in place.


Attribute Opposition
                                      Sylvarant    ║    Tethe'alla
           Summon Spirit of Fire, Efreet ↔ Summon Spirit of Ice, Celsius
      Summon Spirit of Water, Undine ↔ Summon Spirit of Lightning, Volt
          Summon Spirit of Wind, Sylph ↔ Summon Spirit of Earth, Gnome
Summon Spirits of Light, Luna&Aska ↔ Summon Spirit of Darkness, Shadow

→ Today’s Sylvarant
Sylvarant has been declining for 800 years. The Journeys of World Regeneration have all failed because the Renegades kept assassinating the Chosens of Mana. Because of that, mana is running low, magitech does not exist and the civilization is underdeveloped. Besides, the low mana renders the ground infertile and producing food is difficult. On top of that, the increasing numbers of monsters and the Desians’ violence corner the people into despair. As the Desians tormenting the people are half-elves, hatred towards half-elves is common on this world The different towns have their own mayor or governor, but there is no king to hold global power.

*People travel in dragon carriages or by ship. Steam boats are a recent invention.
*Places full of history and ruins like Asgard, the Balacruf Mausoleum and Thoda Geyser are popular touristic spots.
*The Desians do what they please. People are praying for the Chosen’s success.
*Palmacosta has a militia to protect the townspeople from Desians.


→ Today’s Tethe'alla
The world governed by King Tethe'alla XVIII. The bonds between the Church and the royal family are strong, and the Chosen and the Pope hold the most influential power after the king. Thanks to the Renegades, the royal family knows about Sylvarant and receives Exspheres. Since the world has been prospering for a while, advanced magitech techniques were developed, but the development of the civilization is creating a gap between the rich and the poor, nobles and commoners. Half-elves hold the lowest position and are executed without exception if they commit a crime. The dense mana in the atmosphere affects the monsters, who flee to Sylvarant through the poles. Therefore, they are rare on Tethe'alla.

*Magitech inventions like Elecars and Wing Packs are numerous.
*An automatic drawbridge powered by Exspheres links two continents.
*Altamira’s amusement parc, theatre and casino make it a popular attraction resort.
*Research in various different fields is being conducted in Sybak’s Royal Research Institute.

(Source: Tales of Symphonia Scenario Guide Book)

Translated by Yume

The Mana Lineage


This is a post explaining the full function of the Mana Lineage in both the declining and flourishing worlds, and how it affects the lives of the people who are a part of it.

Purpose


In order to create a new body to host Martel’s soul, Mithos created the Mana Lineage and the Chosen system.[2] People who are the closest to Martel genetically are referred to as the “Mana Lineage”. Cruxis is present in both worlds in order to control their marriages via the Church of Martel.[1] The Church of Martel is merely a tool that Cruxis fabricated for controlling the worlds and the Mana Lineage. Those in the Lineage who have the mana signatures the closest to Martel’s are given a Cruxis Crystal at birth and the title of “Chosen of Mana”.[2]


The title of “Chosen” is either passed from parent to child when the child is born, or from the Chosen to a younger relative upon their death. In the declining world only girls are given the title, and it is passed down when a daughter is born. In the flourishing world it is the Chosen’s role to marry as dictated by the Oracle and produce children to continue the Mana Lineage. In the declining world girls who are picked as the “Chosen of Regeneration” must go on the Journey of Regeneration to become Martel’s vessel on their sixteenth birthday. All girls who are picked for the journey are given the title of Chosen of Regeneration upon receiving the Oracle on their birthday, but not all of the declining world’s Chosen are sent on the Journey.[2] [4]


The Journey of Regeneration


According to the scriptures of the Church of Martel, the Chosen’s journey of world regeneration serves three purposes. Awakening the Goddess, sealing the Desians, and restoring mana to the land. The Church tells the general populace that the Chosen of Regeneration is the child of an Angel and that during their journey they will become an Angel by releasing the mana seals to awaken the Summon Spirits. They also say that the Chosen ascends into Heaven after being reborn as a true Angel.[4]


The fact that the Chosen will die at the final seal is a closely guarded secret of the Mana Lineage.[3] The Chosen herself is informed of this fact at a young age. What she and her family are not told however, is that releasing the seals means losing her humanity.[4] The journey begins on her sixteenth birthday when the Oracle descends and attaches her key crest-less Cruxis Crystal and the Tower of Salvation appears. She is then instructed to travel around the world and release seals as she heads toward the Tower of Salvation.[2] The Chosen is not informed of the precise location of the seals, or how many she will have to release.[4] At the first seal she will gain wings and lose her ability to eat or taste food. At the second seal she will lose her ability to sleep. At the third seal she will lose the ability to feel. At the fourth seal she loses her voice. Finally at the Tower of Salvation she will lose her memories and her soul.[2] Because of all of this, it is quite common for Chosens to try to escape during the journey. In such cases they would be tied up with ropes and dragged through their journey by the priests that typically accompany them.[3]


The true purpose of the journey, known only to Cruxis and the Renegades, is to bond the Chosen to her key crest-less Cruxis Crystal to turn the Chosen into an empty shell and ready them as Martel’s vessel. For this purpose Cruxis also releases monsters for the Chosen to fight and has the Desians terrorize, but never kill, her to strengthen her bond with the Crystal. If the journey is successful, the Chosen will lose her soul and then be taken to Derris-Kharlan where she will then receive Martel’s soul. If it fails however, her body will be placed in one of the coffins which can be seen drifting in the Tower of Salvation.[2]


The Desians are not really “sealed” if the Chosen succeeds in regenerating the world, simply moved from the former declining world to the once flourishing world. Likewise, the mana produced from the great seed is then redirected from one world to the other. If the World Regeneration is successful the process will simply be repeated again in the declining world until another Chosen successfully completes her journey.[2]


Chosens of the Past


Sylvarant has been in decline for 800 years. Many of the previous Chosens were assassinated by the Renegades. Either directly, as Botta tried to do with his men at the Temple of Martel at the start of the game. Or they influence politicians in the flourishing world to send assassins, such as Sheena, to do the job on their behalf.[2]


The first Chosen and Chosen of Regeneration of Sylvarant was known as Spiritua. In Sylvarant she is said to have founded the Church of Martel, having given her first sermon in Palmacosta’s Church.[4] Her journey of regeneration was successful and she carried out evangelism of the doctrine.[1] There are numerous books throughout the land relating to her. The Book of Regeneration contains a record of the legend of her journey.[4] There was also the “Spiritual Apocrypha” which was in Phaidra’s possession [5] another record of her journey which is found in the Tower of Mana and mentions that her guardian priests were named Wong and Lei.[4]


Spiritua is also known as “The Angel of Death” in Tethe'alla.[4] She is feared there for having brought upon their decline.[1] For a period there was also a Spiritua there who would oppress anyone who opposed the church of Martel.[4] It’s said that she even killed a king who tried to dispose of the Chosen at the time. However, there is still research underway to determine whether or not that Spiritua and Sylvarant’s Spiritua were the same person, or merely two different people who shared the same name.[1] By putting both legends together, we can deduce that she was probably a Angel fabricated by Cruxis for the purpose of spreading the Martel religion. However the truth is unknown.[2]


Another former Chosen of Regeneration known as Nora was involved in the destruction of old Triet. According to the Tower of Mana’s records, one of her priests became violent while she was releasing a seal located in the center of that town. As punishment, Cruxis released “the wrath of god”. That area is now ruins even though the Seal of Fire is still located there. The event became known as “Efreet’s Hellfire”.[4]


Aithra was Sylvarant’s previous and sixth Chosen of Regeneration. She was also Phaidra’s older sister. She went on her journey 70 years before Colette’s. Her journey was just treated as a part of a routine and was not taken seriously by Cruxis. This was because they predicted that the next Chosen would have a much better chance of being a closer match to Martel. Aithra’s bonding with her Cruxis Crystal failed at her third trial and she lost her mind. She was one of the Chosens who had to be tied up and dragged.[3]


While Remiel gave his speech while she was releasing the final seal, one of the priests cut his rope and attempted to save her. It turned out that he wasn’t a priest at all, but a half elf boy that Aithra had saved during her journey. He did not know that Aithra was going to die until he heard Remiel’s speech, and did not want to see his savior killed. Aithra, recognizing that the half elf boy was fighting for her briefly regained her mind long enough to take the attacks that the priests had aimed at him. After Aithra died Remiel slaughtered the priests and the half elf boy.[3] The people of Sylvarant believe that Aithra was killed by the Desians.[4]


After Aithra’s failure and death, the title of Chosen was passed down to Phaidra and she married as the Oracle told her. She gave birth to a daughter, who then gained the Chosen title. Phaidra’s daughter did not go on the journey, and was instructed to marry Frank by the Oracle. Eventually Colette, the new Chosen of Regeneration, was born.[2]


The Life of the Chosen Zelos and His Sister


Zelos’ life was extremely difficult despite being born into the flourishing world where the Mana Lineage is regarded as nobility outranked only by the royal family.[1] Zelos states that in Tethe'alla the Chosen are respected in name only and are treated as strange creatures that live as prisoners in their own homes where they live in fear of frequent assassination attempts.[4]


Both his mother Mylene and his father, the previous Chosen, had lovers before they were forced to marry each other under the orders of Cruxis’ Oracle.[2] [1] Zelos’ father and his half-elven lover had a daughter that they named “Seles” well into his marriage with Mylene. Mylene herself felt like after that point she no longer had any say in how her own life moved forward, and in her mind Zelos came to represent her resentment for how she was treated.[1] When Seles’ mother attempted to kill Zelos, so that Seles would take his place as Chosen, Mylene was hit in the crossfire. Mylene did not hesitate to tell him “You should never have been born”.[4][1]


After that event Seles’ mother was executed, and Seles was forced to go live in exile in the Southeastern Abbey. Zelos had also left his Cruxis Crystal with her at the abbey. Having been born without a Cruxis Crystal of her own, she has been raised as the daughter of a mere noble.[7] Seles does not seem to be aware of what happened between her mother and Zelos’ mother. She feels that she and Zelos do not get along because they are half-siblings.[1] She still loves and respects her brother however, and she considers the happiest time of her life to be when she and Zelos played together as children.[4]


Every aspect of Zelos’ life was also going to be decided for him under the supervision of Cruxis.[1] He briefly mentions that his marriage partner was picked for him when he was born. Zelos feels that his life would have no meaning nor value under this system, and was working with Cruxis in a attempt to have his title transferred to his sister.[4] In Tethe'alla the Church also has a faction that supports the Pope, and another that is loyal to the Chosen. Because of the Chosen faction and Zelos’ interference with the Pope’s plans, the Pope alienated Zelos and tried to have him killed. The Pope also wanted the Chosen title to be passed to Seles. She would only be treated as a figurehead and this would have granted the Pope full control of the Church.[6]


The Life of the Chosen Colette


Colette is Sylvarant’s seventh Chosen of Regeneration.[4] She has the closest mana signature to Martel out of any of the other Chosens produced in the past 4,000 years, nearly to the point of perfection.[1] Mithos stated that her compatibility was even closer than Spiritua’s.[3] She was even mistaken for Martel by the Unicorn. Because of this, her journey was taken very seriously by Cruxis.[4]


Her hometown, Iselia, is know as the “Village of Oracles” and it has been the home to Sylvarant’s Mana Lineage for generations. It is the only village that has a non-aggression treaty with the Desians, which was set in place to protect her.[4] In the village it is believed that Colette’s father, Frank Brunel, is not her biological father because his wife had an annunciation from Cruxis that Colette was fathered by an Angel.[7] Most people in the village believe that this is true. Colette lives with her father Frank and her maternal grandmother, Phaidra Brunel.[1] Phaidra raised her to be an ideal Chosen, teaching her the Angelic language and the teachings of the Church of Martel.[2] Colette grew up reading nothing but books written in Angelic since she was a child.[4]


When Colette was younger she was told that she would have to go on the Journey of Regeneration, and that when she left Iselia she would never return as it would end with her death. She also said that when she was really young she believed that everyone became an Angel when they died and it made her feel lonely when she was told that it was just her. Many of the people in Iselia refer to Colette as the Chosen, but Lloyd, Frank, Raine, and Genis did not. She says that Lloyd was the person who gave her the courage to protect the world and live her sixteen years to the fullest. But at the same time meeting him and making other friends made her fear death. She initially intended her conversation with Lloyd at his house before she left to be the last one that they would have, and left a letter behind for him at her house stating that she hoped that he would be able happy and peaceful life in the regenerated world.[4]


During her journey, Colette developed Chronic Angelus Crystallus Inofficium, which is a rejection of the Cruxis Crystal that occurs in one in a million people. Martel had contracted the illness when she was still alive, and Colette’s mana signature being so close to hers made her vulnerable to the disease as well.[2] While she had this disease she was useless as a vessel. The Rune Crest, which was attached to the key crest that Lloyd made for her, prevented the Cruxis Crystal from eroding, halted the crystallization process caused by the disease, and allowed Colette to “fully control” her Cruxis Crystal; curing Colette of the disease.[4]


In the New World


After the fall of Cruxis in Tales of Symphonia, the survivors of Cruxis departed the world on Derris-Kharlan with Kratos. As such, the Mana Lineage will no longer receive Oracles.[6] Those born into the Mana Lineage are now free to live as they please. However, both Colette and Zelos still have their share of hardships relating to their role as Chosen in the newly regenerated world. Colette is no longer expected to die and her grandmother now calls her by her name instead of “Chosen”, but she was blamed by many people for the rampage of the twisted Kharlan tree and the abnormal weather that came about after the worlds were combined.[5] Zelos has lost a great deal of influence in the Church of Martel, and although his sister is now free to live with him, she is treated harshly by some people and called “The Daughter of Sin”.[6] She is also having a difficult time coping without the Exsphere that she forfeited upon orders of the King.[1]


The general public is still not aware of the true purpose the Church nor the Mana Lineage. Those who were made aware that Cruxis was an organization of half-elves who were seeking to revive Martel during Tales of Symphonia opted to hide the knowledge to prevent troubles for the Church. Most people still believe that the Goddess Martel and the Angels of Cruxis continue to exist in their world.[6] While both Colette and Zelos are still largely viewed and treated as symbols of the Church, it is stated multiple time in DotNW that the Church of Martel is in a decline and that the Chosen system will soon be completely dissolved.[5]

Trivia

  • The Mana Lineage knows many unsharable secrets of the world, many concerning the fate of the Chosen. Because of this they have something of a mystic aura to other people.[3]
  • Raine speculates that among the other Chosen who die during their journey, it’s possible others may have contracted Chronic Angelus Crystallus Inofficium like Colette had.[4]
  • The Wilders are high nobility, and are second in line for the Tethe'allan throne after the Royal family.[1]
  • The method for producing Cruxis Crystals has been lost. Chosens are given leftover Cruxis Crystals from the Kharlan War and Cruxis is running low on supplies. It’s because of this that the Angelus Project was created by Kvar.[2]
  • Raine was informed of Colette’s fate as the Chosen of Regeneration when Phaidra requested that she accompany Colette on the journey.[3]
  • After Lloyd gave her a key crest Colette was able to eat, taste, feel temperature, and sleep again.[4]
  • Given that the Angels on Derris-Kharlan say that the last vessel that made it to the point of fusing with Martel came 800 years ago, it can be surmised that she was from Tethe'alla as that is how long that world has been flourishing.[4]  On that point, it would seem that only that Chosen, Aithra, and Colette made it to the final seal in the past 800 years.[3] [4]
References

[1]ToS-U Perfect Guide- Chosen p.787, Spiritua p.854, Seles p.855, Phaidra & Frank p.859, Mylene p.861
[2] ToS Official Scenario Book - “The World Mithos Created”, Chapter Four: Glossary
[3] Shokuzai no Kratos
[4] Tales of Symphonia Chronicles- Tower of Mana books ( they are different in PS2 and Chronicles ToS), Colette’s overworld affection skits, Zelos’ conversation at Dirk’s house, Zelos’ Flanoir scene, Colette’s Flanoir scene, Seles’ Coliseum sidequest, “The Angel” Martel Temple scene, “Human Ranch” Iselia Human Ranch scene, “Palmacosta” scene in the Palmacosta Church, “The Sacrificial Altar” Asgard scene, “The Unicorn Horn” Lake Umacy scene, That damn Coffee scene, “The Chosen” scene at the Tower of Salvation, “Necklace” Sybak scene, “Home” Fooji Mountains scene,“The Pope’s Downfall” scene in Meltokio, “A Ray of Hope” scene in Meltokio Castle, “To Derris-Kharlan” scene, “Welgaia” scene, “Cure for Colette” Altessa’s House scene, “Betrayal” Tower of Salvation Scene, Skit #071, Skit #118, Skit #206, Skit #261
[5] Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World- Skit “Summon Spirit Martel”, Skit “Seles Wilder”, Skit “Useless Research”, Lloyd mask sidequest.
[6] Successors of Hope- p.12, p.92, p.93, p.94
[7] Pellet Figurine Descriptions

*Please note- Adaptions of the original story such as the manga and OVA are not being referenced in this.

Written by Texanona

Exspheres and Cruxis Crystals


Exspheres and Cruxis Crystals play a very important role in Tales of Symphonia. The game never spends a lot of time explaining what they are exactly though so I’ve compiled everything that I can personally find on the subject; from how they’re made to what Lloyd is doing as far as collecting them; to maybe help clear up some of the confusion. There will be major spoilers for ToS. 


Alrighty, my sources will be posted at the bottom. Much of this will be based off of info given in the ToS Official Scenario Guide. There will be a fair amount of speculation here but for the most part I’m going to try to keep to things stated in official sources. No info from the OVAs will be included. Feel free to let me know if I should add or change something.


Exspheres


“EXSPHERES HAVE FEELINGS, TOO. THEY GET LONELY VERY EASILY. SO, THEY ARE ALWAYS TRYING TO BE TOGETHER WITH SOMEONE. THEIR LONELINESS ABSORBS PEOPLE’S LIVES.” -Tabatha


Cruxis is heavily involved in Exsphere production as they are necessary to carry out Mithos’ “Age of Lifeless Beings” plan. Exspheres are basically conscious stones that can act as a power source of sorts. They are harvested from mines in a dormant state and must feed on people before they can be used. According to Tabatha they posses their own emotions even in their un-awakened state. The only functional mine directly mentioned in-game is the Toize Valley owned by Regal’s Lezareno Company. The dormant Exspheres are harvested there and are sent to brokers who transport them to Sylvarant via undisclosed means; where they are then attached to humans in the Desian Ranches.


People seem to have different compatibilities and reactions to being implanted. Host bodies are sent to different ranches based on this aptitude. The dormant Exspheres feed and grow off of the host-body’s negative emotions. The Desians use various methods, from over-working to torture, to hasten the growth process. Once the Exsphere has awakened the host-bodies are “disposed of”. Their Exspheres are then removed and are sent as an offering to Cruxis who distribute some of them among the Desians and do who knows what with the rest.

The only large-scale Exsphere production takes place in the declining world. Most of the Exspheres found in the flourishing world are brought over from Renegade raids conducted by Botta. On that side they’re mainly used for powering machines. I can’t say for sure if all of the Exspheres in Tethe'alla come from the Renegades or not. It’s scary to think they stole all 3,000 of the Exspheres being used on that bridge in Tethe'alla because they’re only taking a small amount of what’s being produced.


Cruxis Crystals


“Angels can use special combat abilities developed during the Kharlan War. One ability uses the body’s mana to alter its metabolism and stop the body’s internal clock. This allows them to stop aging and become capable of living longer than elves…” - Elven storyteller

Cruxis Crystals, also known as “High Exspheres”, are an evolved form of Exsphere. There doesn’t seem to be any physical differences that a non-Dwarf can notice between the two which I will get into further down. According to the Scenario guide the method of producing them was lost. Chosens are given leftovers from the Kharlan war and Cruxis is running low on reserves. Cruxis created the Angelus Project to rediscover a method of production. Anna, Alicia, and Presea were experimented on in the project, Presea being the only known survivor. For more info on Angels specifically check here.


Using an Exsphere
+Enhanced abilities
+Increased durability
+Increased response to Healing Artes
-Disturbance to the user’s bodily mana
-They are capable of turning the user into an emotionless doll
-Improper removal or a malfunctioning sphere can result in transforming the user into an exbelua
-In the Igaguri sidequest it is stated that Exspheres make it easier for the body and heart(soul) to separate.

Using a Cruxis Crystal
-/+All of the pros and cons of above
+Further amplified strength and durability
+Heightened senses, and the ability to control them for individuals with a key crest
+Grants the user wings and angelic abilities
-Eliminates the users need to for food, sleep, and excretion
-Has the ability to stop the host’s internal clock. (This is generally portrayed negatively in-game.)


Both Exspheres and Cruxis Crystals must be equipped directly to the skin to work. When equipped with Key Crests made out of inhibitor ore the user can fully control the sphere/crystal whilst negating most of the cons listed above (note that Rune Crests are only needed for curing that disease with the hilariously long name). Some key crests made out of other materials however, such as Presea’s, can amplify them. Key crests and crystals/spheres seem to latch onto the skin through some kind of ~magical~ means that are not explained. When an Exsphere or Cruxis Crystal user turns into an emotionless husk it means that the lifeless being in the sphere/crystal has taken full control of their body. I’ve seen lots of speculation on whether or not it’s possible to remove Cruxis Crystals. Off the top of my head,  Mithos, the person who you pick as your BFF in-game, and Colette (in the drama CD) have all had Cruxis Crystals removed at some point. Also Rodyle equipped the one that Pronyma gave him for the Cannon stating “I think I’ll test its power first by equipping it on myself” (implying he wasn’t planning to keep it on). The game states multiples time that Cruxis crystals are just are just evolved Exspheres and “Cruxis Crystals possess the same qualities as Exspheres” and the game beats you over the head with how Exspheres need key crests to be removed. So I see absolutely no reason why they cannot be removed like an Exsphere can.


Exspheres and Our Characters


“The Exsphere mine produced a great deal of wealth for the family. They most likely sold the Exspheres through a broker who passed them onto the Desians. The fortunes I possess were paid for by the blood of the people of Sylvarant.” - Regal

  • Lloyd wears his on his left hand. He has the Exsphere equivalent of Ash’s Pikachu I swear. Everyone says it’s really powerful, and special, and all of the bad guys want it. It’s also mentioned that his Exsphere looks special but it’s the same palette color as all of the other blue ones in ToS. They fix this in DotNW. Supposedly its evolving, which is why he can kick the butts of dudes thousands of years his senior. In Tales of Fandom 2 Kratos mentions that Lloyd’s exposure to the Exsphere in utero may have given him a unique compatibility with it. I’ll get into his wings further down.
  • Genis wears his on his right hand. He got it from Marble and his key crest was made for Marble by Dirk. He mentions that it feels warm like how he felt with Marble when he uses it.
  • Colette has a Cruxis Crystal on her neck. They said she was born with it in her hand, I doubt that’s true. It’s possible that some kind of Cruxis official put it there after she was born. It didn’t have a key crest until Lloyd gave her one with her necklace. The key crest that was given to her allowed her to “-freely control the Cruxis Crystal”. She is capable of feeling temperature, getting hungry, eating, and sleeping after she is given her key crest. Somehow Lloyd’s makeshift key crest was involved with her outbreak of Chronic Angelus Crystallus Inofficium (The crystal rash caused by it was made to resemble the Exspheres on the Tethe'alla bridge for some reason). A lot of people wonder why she didn’t take it off once the party knew was happening with that illness. In-game Raine mentions that the Rune Crest will prevent the crystal from eroding. It’s likely it was unsafe to remove it while she was like that, and that removal would also ruin the crystal (hence why Rodyle couldn’t use her, he would’ve just killed her if that was an option). Her Cruxis Crystal is removed in the CD Drama “A Long Time Ago” and it’s mentioned that she can’t fly without it.
  • Kratos wears his on his left hand. He was using his Cruxis Crystal the entire time he was in the group. It doesn’t change color or anything when he goes back to Cruxis, I checked the models. He even holds the hand that he wears it on in front of his face when he’s letting his wings out for the first time. The Kratos novel also confirms that he was wearing his crystal the whole time. Everyone thought it was just a regular Exsphere and it looks like one too. Kratos is capable of tasting food according to skits. Tales of Fandom 2 implies that he, along with his 3 BFFs, had Cruxis Crystals and Angelic powers during the Kharlan war. The Kratos novel also states that Kratos is capable of manipulating his senses and body temperature(probably not beyond what a human can tolerate) at will. He states that he’s going to get rid of all of Derris Kharlan’s Exspheres, which I most likely includes his own(HE’S ON DK TOO), at the end of the game.
  • Raine got hers from Botta’s broken sword. She uses it with a key crest that Lloyd fixed for her. She wears it on her left wrist and it can only be seen when you have her in her swimsuit or at the hotspring. States that she wears it “On my right thigh” in a gag panel of the manga which is now known to be incorrect.
  • Sheena Got her Exsphere from the Imperial Research Academy. She also states “ The technology was originally brought over by the Renegades”. She claims that she wears it “Under the left breast, somewhere below my heart, I mean” in a gag panel of the manga. That sounds uncomfortable. After ToS she relinquishes her Exsphere on orders of the king, and is using one with permission in DotNW.
  • Zelos uses an Exsphere and a Cruxis Crystal, both worn on his chest, with no visible difference between the two. He claims that he received his Exsphere from the Renegades. Skit #198 confirms that he wasn’t an Angel until after he retrieved his crystal from Seles. He does become an Angel in every route; which can be supported by the presence of his wings when he uses Shining Bind.  He asks Lloyd break his Cruxis Crystal while he is dying if the player selects that route.  I’d also like to mention that his little sister Seles is very reliant on her Exsphere due to her poor health. She gives it up right away when the King requests that everyone turn theirs in though.
  • Presea wears her Exsphere on her chest. She stopped aging 16 years ago due to negative effects created by her special key crest. Note that her Exsphere is still an Exsphere. If it had turned into a Cruxis Crystal she would have died. Kate even states “The Exsphere itself is nothing special. It just has a special Key Crest placed on it.”. Also during a skit Presea mentions “My Exsphere…was made from the life of someone in this world, too.” which suggests they had used an awakened Exsphere in her experimentation.
  • Regal, Regal, Regal. Not only was he involved in Exsphere production, he lost his girlfriend because of one. Alicia turned into an exbelua because her experimentation failed 8 years before the the game started, forcing Regal to kill her. They’ve changed this several times in other materials. Also I’ve seen people think that Alicia was still a little girl when she died, but she was already this much taller than Presea at that time. Regal demolished all active veins of the Toize Valley mine after ToS. He mentions that he wears his Exsphere under his cuffs in a gag panel of the manga.
  • Mithos wears his on his chest. He’s a lifeless being by the time that he’s introduced in the story as Yggdrasill. He’s not really living via his body anymore but through his Cruxis Crystal. He can change his appearance at will and is able to manipulate the crystal independently from his body to an extent. At one point he uses these abilities to fake his own death. It’s possible that he’s making a concious decision to be so lifeless going off of Lloyd stating “Maybe he just wants to reject everything about who he is. Being human, being being elven…even being half-elven.” Note that he was still alive after the confrontation in the Great Seed chamber, his real physical body was on Derris-Kharlan where his Cruxis Crystal reunited with it before the final fight; and I’m not sure what happened with that exactly. When Lloyd broke Mithos’ crystal it turned into glitter and the glitter flew into Lloyd’s Exsphere. When the Great Seed started floating away Lloyd’s Exsphere got really bright and glittery.
And then this happened.

And then in DotNW this happened.

I think Mithos had something to do with triggering the wings. I don’t know if Lloyd still has them or not and it doesn’t strike me as something he would use much anyways. But yeah, it seems that Mithos became one with the tree, a theory that is also confirmed in the “A Long Time Ago” Audio Drama where Yuan also states that Lloyd named the tree Yggdrasil. So now he’s judging Lloyd from beyond the grave or something. Get a hobby Mithos, damn.


Future


“Oh, I get it. That sounds like a good idea. We should put the Exspheres somewhere people will never get their hands on them again…for the sake of living beings, as well as for the lifeless ones.” -Zelos

Lloyd stated that once they defeated Mithos and put the worlds back together that he was going to collect ~all~ of the Exspheres. Not only to protect the people of the new world, but also to keep the Lifeless Beings contained within them from being exploited again as a way of thanking them. But what does that entail exactly? I mean it’s such a vague goal to have to begin with and a bunch of them are under a big ol’ pile of Human Ranch rubble with the Desians they were attached to. “I’M GOING TO COLLECT ALL OF THE 9V BATTERIES IN THE WORLD!” is comparable. Don’t get me wrong, he has a great reason for doing what he’s doing, and it’s definately an issue that is near and dear to his heart. But yeah. How long is it going to take? “To be honest, I don’t even know if I’ll be able to collect all of them in my lifetime”(Regal Heimdall scene). Okay, where are you putting them? “Under a rocky stretch in Mt Fooji” (A Long Time Ago audio drama)

Seems legit.


I kind of doubt that Lloyd’s really the only person looking for the damn things in the first place. We know the Vanguard took what they could find. The King of Tethe'alla also ordered all citizens to relinquish their Exspheres. I’m sure the Lezareno company has some involvement in rounding them up even if Regal isn’t actively involved as well; simply for the fact that they were mining and distributing the damn things in the first place. These are just the groups that we are aware of that are searching for them too. So it’s assured that the Exsphere search is much more widespread and thorough than anything Lloyd could accomplish with Noishe and his friend of your choice. I also seriously doubt that Lloyd’s planning to live forever to look for the things either. I will note here that while he does get wings at the end of the game it has been directly stated by Takumi Miyajima/DotNW multiple times that he and the rest of the crew are still aging/mortal. Not to mention all of the other things I’ve already gone over in this.


As for how successful he is long term, Tales of Phantasia a game that takes place in the future of the same world has a couple of things that could be Exspheres. Most notably this.

I’ve always wondered if things like the Unicorn Earring and maybe the Elemental Orb could be as well. But ToP came out waaaay before Symphonia and this stuff is probably just coincidental to begin with. I’ve seen numerous people speculate that Dhaos may have a Cruxis Crystal himself, which I’m iffy about and got into in this.


Random points of interest


  • Exspheres can malfunction via various means. Tabatha referred to this as them getting sick.
  • Shards of Exspheres have some power.
  • All of the people who were shown to have had their souls completely absorbed by their sphere/crystal died with it on, in the game at least. This includes Martel, Alicia, Mithos, and maybe Marble. Zelos asked you to break his as he was dying so this wouldn’t happen if you took that route. With Alicia in particular it was somewhat stated that her Exsphere did the thing BEFORE she died with it on. This is speculation, but it’s possible that what’s happening when this occurs is that the Exsphere caused their soul to separate from their body, like what happened with the Mizuho chief, and without a physical body to return to the Exsphere becomes the only link that their soul has to the physical world; where it is then slowly taken over/merged with the lifeless being contained inside.
  • Pronyma, Rodyle, and Kvar are probably the only people in Cruxis’ Desian rank that are aware of Mithos’ Age of Lifeless Beings plan. The Desians think they’re working towards a world where half-elves rule over all other races and that they’re valued on some level. But they’re not they’re being used hardcore.
  • Colette and Zelos never explain why they don’t want to give up their Cruxis Crystals in DotNW. I really think the answer is simply why would they want to give their enemies something that will make them insanely powerful and ageless? When they probably still need the power it offers because dudes are always giving them a hard time? Also they’re going to take over the world together mark my words.
  • The anti-aging effects of equipping a Cruxis Crystal are not permanent. Kratos states that Noishe is going to outlive him, which means that Kratos is capable of dying. Takumi Miyajima stated that she originally wanted DotNW to take place 400 years after ToS at which time the only surviving party members would be Genis and Raine. That idea was turned down because the rest of the development staff wanted to have a more mature Lloyd & co in that game.
  • The game never explains why someone can’t simply remove their own Exsphere and key crest, put the key crest on another person equipped with un-key crested Exsphere, and remove it like that. There’s nothing wrong with using used key crests. Raine used one that she literally found on the ground. Dirk made one for an Exsphere that he had never seen that Genis wound up using. Just removing an Exsphere for a period doesn’t seem to be a big deal either since most of the party does this after the Asgard Ranch after they find out how they’re made.
  • ohhossanight added
    “Regarding the issue you had with removing Exspheres and whatnot, I feel like the Key Crest acts as a proxy for the mana being used by the Exsphere to the person’s body. Think of it like a fail safe for a bomb you have to deactivate before you deactivate the bomb itself. If you just rip it out, you’re gonna die. …. I dunno if that makes sense. BUT THAT ANALYSIS IS SUPER GREAT AND HNNNG by the way ” Thank you ohhossanight!
  • If Exspheres already have their own awareness and a person turning soulless ala Presea&Colette means the sphere/crystal has taken over their body, does that mean that the two are switching places? Do the normal ones even take the whole soul? Could it be like one of those Horcrux type dealies? Could the lifeless being contained in the Exsphere be taking on the personality of the host in a way? CAN I DO THIS ALL DAY? Y U NO DEVELOP THINGS GAME?

In closing, no seriously, Y U NO DEVELOP THINGS GAME?

Written by Texanona

Derris-Kharlan


  • First Mentioned In: Tales of Phantasia
  • Native People: Dhaos, Karion, Silverberg, Meltia Bandi (27 years old), Dios Bandi (27 years old), General Bandi, and the Elven race
  • Native Spirits: Ratatosk and his Centurions, Norn, Undine, Efreet, Sylph, Gnome, Shadow, Luna, Aska, Volt, Celsius, Origin, and Maxwell
  • Stated Population: Around 1 billion people (ToP era only)
  • Locations: Welgaia and Vinheim (ToS only), Palace Gudra, Palace Sedam, Elusion, Dhaos’ Castle, the Loki Magic Research Laboratory, the Crystal Valley, Glitnir Mountain, and various flashbacks in the “Void World”
Origin of Life

“Well you see, mana didn’t originally exist in this world. The arrival of the comet Derris-Kharlan and me, and finally the transfer of the Giant Kharlan Tree onto this world, resulted in mana creating life"    -Ratatosk[8]


Derris-Kharlan, a comet composed entirely of mana, was the origin or the elves, spirits, centurions, and the Giant Kharlan Tree.[5][8] Every 100 years it approached a planet that was habitable only to demons, bestowing more and more mana upon it with each passing. As the mana from Derris-Kharlan accumulated it gave that world the basic qualities needed to support non-demonic life. Eventually the Elves who inhabited Derris-Kharlan decided to make that planet their new home.[6][8]


Around 10,000 years before the start of Tales of Symphonia the Elves transplanted their Giant Kharlan Tree onto the other world and created a cutting of it to remain on Derris-Kharlan; ensuring that the comet would not die off. The spirit known as Norn became the guardian of the newly created tree. At the same time Ratatosk, the guardian of the original Giant Kharlan Tree, descended upon the new world with his centurions, sealed the demons behind the Ginnungagap, and saw to to even distribution of mana with his centurions. The other spirits also settled onto the new planet, and the presence of mana brought new races such as the protozoans, dwarves, and humans into existence.[8] Derris-Kharlan continued to pass by the planet every 100 years as a comet.[6]


Around 6,000 years later, the Giant Kharlan Tree withered due to excessive mana consumption during the Kharlan War, leaving behind the Great Seed.[6] The Great Seed required an enormous amount of mana to sprout, an amount that of mana that could only be found on Derris-Kharlan.[5] Mithos, after ending the war with Martel, Yuan, and Kratos, used his Eternal sword split the world and prevent it from running out of mana entirely in the decades that it would take Derris-Kharlan to return on its orbit.[6]


As Derris-Kharlan was approaching Martel was killed while protecting the Great Seed from humans who wished to monopolize the control of mana. After her death, Martel’s soul tied itself to the Great Seed. If the tree were ever to be revived Martel would disappear, but if she was revived then the seed would disappear within her. Instead of using Derris-Kharlan’s mana to germinate the Great Seed, Mithos instead directed mana from the comet to Martel in order to keep her soul in the seed and forced Derris-Kharlan to remain in place.[5][6]


The Stronghold of Cruxis

”Even the Angels that dwell in here in Welgaia, in order to live for far too long, have paralyzed their sense of time and become empty“    - Kratos[7]


Mithos began seeking a way to revive Martel along with Kratos and Yuan, which lead to the creation of Cruxis which included their lower ranking organization the Desians, the Angels, and the highest rank known as the "Four Seraphim” which was the position the former four heroes held. In order to keep Derris-Kharlan in place after breaking his pact of  “To protect the world, I will split it into two for a short while”, Mithos placed a special seal on Origin. Derris-Kharlan became the headquarters of Cruxis. It was linked to both of the split worlds by the Tower of Salvation, which also emitted a barrier that concealed it. The appearance of the tower itself was controlled by the Cruxis core system.[5][6].


Along with emitting a barrier that concealed Derris-Kharlan, the tower also acted as a signal that the world was flourishing or that the Journey or Regeneration had begun; also serving as a route between the two worlds and the City of Welgaia and Vinheim. Vinheim was Mithos’ castle, and Welgaia was home to selectively bred Angels involved with the World Prolongation, Age of Half-Elves, and Martel revival projects. The Angels were the only people living there at the time, even stating to the ToS party that they had not seen any non-Angelic lifeforms since Martel’s last potential vessel was brought there after she had completed her Journey 800 years prior.[5]


Many of the Angels in Welgaia did not seem to posses their own free will. Kratos took advantage of the system that controlled their thoughts and sent the guards off on other tasks to help the party escape after they were captured during their search for a mana fragment.[5][7] Upon seeing the many Angels of the city Colette and Presea related, taking pity upon their frozen emotionless state while Sheena stated that what Cruxis was doing to them was wrong.[5]


While the Angels on Derris-Kharlan and the Desians in the declining world seemed to believe that they were working for an age where Half-Elves would be superior to humans, in reality Mithos was using them to bring forth an Age of Lifeless Beings; a world where everyone was lifeless and free from all discrimination. The Desians also believed that even if Sylvarant and Tethe’alla were lost, Lord Yggdrasill would allow them to live on Derris-Kharlan. To the contrary, Kratos stated that to Yggdrasill they were all “expendable pawns” that he’d never bother to save.[5]

Later on after Colette was abducted and successfully fused with Martel in the Great Seed chamber, Martel told Mithos herself that what he had done was wrong. Martel’s rejection devastated Mithos. After a key crest was place on Colette, Martel began to shift back in the Great Seed, leaving Mithos with the words-[5]

“Goodbye, Mithos. This is my final wish. Please, return this twisted world back to its original form. If things were going to end up like this, perhaps the elves should never have left Derris-Kharlan. If they hadn’t, people like us would never have been born…” [5]


Mithos took that as her saying that she wanted to go home and responded by trying to take the Great Seed with him to Derris-Kharlan. A move that would have left the worlds to die from mana exhaustion. The party was forced to kill Mithos to make him stop. Or at least they thought they killed him. In actuality he somehow teleported his body to Vinheim and left his Cruxis Crystal behind for Genis to pick up. Mithos would later destroy the Tower of Salvation and reveal Derris-Kharlan to the people of both worlds after possessing the body of one of Lloyd’s friends. After the party went to Derris-Kharlan and made it through the castle, Mithos’ Cruxis Crystal returned to his body, and the final battle between Mithos and the ToS party began.[5]

Departure

“I am… a human of the past. I have a duty to settle the past and entrust the future. Those who should walk together with Lloyd towards the future are his friends, not me ” -Kratos[7]


After his defeat, Mithos requested that Lloyd destroy his Crystal before Derris-Kharlan drifted away and he was no longer himself. Lloyd shattered Mithos’ Cruxis Crystal and it turned into an energy that flew into Lloyd’s Exsphere. Lloyd then commanded the Eternal Sword to restore the true form of the two worlds. The worlds were rejoined, but were quickly running out of mana. Derris-Kharlan was drifting too far away for its mana to be redirected without causing harm to Lloyd. The Great Seed had also lost its light, and Colette stated it was already dead.[5]


Then, Lloyd’s Exsphere began to glow, and he grew wings which he used to fly to the Great Seed. The energy that had entered Lloyd’s Exsphere went into the Great Seed and its light returned. Lloyd, joined by Colette, then used the Eternal Sword to direct the mana from Derris-Kharlan to the Great Seed. The new World Tree was born along with its guardian spirit Martel.[5] Lloyd would later state that Mithos lent them his power when they regenerated the world and that Mithos became one with the tree.[8]


Not long after the world was regenerated Kratos requested that Lloyd send him to Derris-Kharlan along with the surviving members of Cruxis. This was so they could atone for what Cruxis had done[10], make things easier for the half-elves not affiliated with Cruxis, and allow for Kratos to disperse the Exspheres on Derris-Kharlan into space.[5] Kratos had also previously stated that unlike Yuan who had tried to uphold Martel’s words, he personally had stood by while Mithos likely became the greatest mass murderer of all history. Since he had believed in Mithos’ ideals despite it all he felt that he also bore the burden for those massacres.[7]


Lloyd reluctantly sent Kratos to Derris-Kharlan with the other survivors of Cruxis where it once again began to wander space as a comet.[5] Kratos secretly kept in touch with Yuan for two years after leaving, the two informing one another of the happenings at their respective posts. After reaching the communication range limit they bid farewell to one another as friends, and Derris-Kharlan continued to wander the vastness of space.[8][10]


Though in NDX Dhaos stated that his mother planet, the comet Derris-Kharlan, still passed by Aselia once every 100 years.[9]


Distant World

“…Children, do you have the resolution to face the weight of your crimes?"    -Norn[9]


What exactly happened to Derris-Kharlan after Kratos’ last transmission to Yuan is a mystery. By Phantasia’s era it had developed into a fully formed civilization with several countries and a population of about a billion.[1][4] The people of Derris-Kharlan have displayed the ability to use magic and sense mana like half-elves do; but Dhaos’ mana has been stated to not feel like a half-elf’s, and Derris-Kharlan’s people do not identify as half-elven when asked.[2][9] In was also originally established that their society had either only just recently discovered Aselia or had no idea it even existed, and had no prior knowledge of half-elves or humans.[2][3][4] In NDX Derris-Kharlan was shown to contain cities, grasslands, trees, large bodies of water, mountains, and a beautiful crystal path.[9]


It was not a peaceful place however. A conflict between two of the smaller countries, Palace Sedam and Palace Gudra, started as a minor dispute which eventually erupted into a major war. Sedam clearly outmatched Gudra, but General Bandi who led Gudra’s army refused to surrender. Secretly the General’s adopted daughter Meltia had been constructing a mana cannon as a trump card against Sedam, fueling the General’s arrogance. The General went so far as to have the messenger sent by Dhaos, the prince of the world’s largest country, put to death for requesting that they cease their fighting which was taking a toll on Derris-Kharlan’s civilians.[4]


After an attack from Sedam, Gudra lost 80% of its population and the majority of its military forces. Before he died, the General ordered his adopted son Dios to fire the mana cannon. General Bandi stated that their country had no future after losing to Sedam and that it was his final order to Dios as his superior officer and his father.[4]


Dios made it to where Meltia had been working on the mana cannon to find her covered in blood. She asked him what it had all been for before dying. Believing that Gudra was already doomed Dios started the preparations to fire the mana cannon; remarking ”Is this an act of heaven or hell?“ when he realized the systems were still functional and fired.[4]


The mana cannon immediately killed around 150,000 people and the Giant Kharlan Tree after firing. Dios was able to feel mana fading before he died himself.[4]


Several details of these events were changed and expanded upon in NDX. Such as the war between Gudra and Sedam resulting in a extended winter; Instead of taking in Meltia and Dios as babies the General adopted Meltia after her mother abandoned her, and Dios after his parents were killed; General Bandi died when a wall collapsed on him in an attack after he told Dios to remember what happened to his parents and fire the cannon; and Meltia wasn’t injured when Dios made it to the cannon, telling him that the cannon would be safe to fire if he gave her 3 more days to work on it. Dios believed that there wasn’t any time for that however and fired it anyways, killing them both and the Giant Kharlan Tree while also frying the Glitnir Mountain region.[9]


Regardless, in both versions Meltia who built the cannon and Dios who fired it were approached by Norn after dying. She told them that they needed to be punished for what had happened and that she would reincarnate them in another time and place to judge whether they were truly good or evil. If they showed any signs of repeating their previous mistakes she would kill them for good. They were then sent to Aselia in the year 4395 AC as infants and were renamed Mel and Dio.[4][9]

Dhaos’ Mission

"Yes… I’ve lived with the failure of my own heart. That is a fact engraved in history. Even if I were to go back in time, I would not be able to change this… Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lurks in the hearts of people. Therefor, the most dreadful enemy that can be defeated is one’s own heart.“    - Dhaos[4]


Dhaos had been reluctant to involve his country, named "Elusion” in NDX, in the war between Sedam and Gudra due to his dislike for conflict.[9] After the death of the Giant Kharlan Tree he blamed the tragedy that befell Derris-Kharlan on his own inaction and made it his personal mission to seek out a Great Seed to save his people.[3]


While the methods that Dhaos has used to arrive on Aselia have varied, him departing his homeworld alone has been consistent.[2][3][4][9] Originally he was given the power to time jump a limited number of times for the search at the cost of the lives of his palace sorcerers and his girlfriend Karion. He checked different planets and time periods without success before finally arriving to Aselia around 4201 AC. During that time Midgard was exhausting the world’s mana with the same magitechnology that had put Derris-Kharlan in its dire situation.[2][3] The development of Midgard’s magitechnology was being largely assisted by Jestona of the demons. It was a part of the demon’s plans to weaken and kill Yggdrasil, so that they could fully invade Aselia once it was free of the mana that was toxic to them.[2]


The World Tree Yggdrasil wouldn’t be able to produce the Great Seed that Dhaos needed if the mana there was being exhausted. He attempted to explain how magitechnology was hurting the world’s mana to Midgard’s General Leisen, but Leisen refused to listen. After a violent encounter with Leisen, Dhaos decided that the only way to stop magitech use on Aselia would be to use force. That started the chain of events that would lead to Dhaos becoming known as the “Demon King” and the ToP party’s quest to kill him.[1][2]


Dhaos did not explain that he was trying to save his doomed homeworld to Cless and the rest until he was dying.[1] Cless would later acknowledge that from Derris-Kharlan’s point of view he was the one that destroyed their hope. He said that Aselia only needed mana for magic and magitech while Dhaos’ people needed it to survive. But he did not regret what he did even if his justice wasn’t absolute.[4] In NDX he also states that he wished that someone had listened to what Dhaos had to say before it was too late, and that people shouldn’t call him a hero for doing what he did. [9]


Derris-Kharlan was not finished however. After Cless, Mint, Klarth, Arche, and Chester went back to their own times Martel brought Dhaos’ corpse before the World Tree Yggdrasill and said-[1]


“O holy God… of this holy land… of this holy universe! I beg thee to find it within thy benevolent heart… to grant this lowly sinner thy grace! Arise, Great Seed!”1]


-sending Dhaos back home as a part of the Great Seed.[1] Derris-Kharlan was saved and Martel would later become known as both the savior of their world and Dhaos’ lost soul.[4]

Trivia

  • The English translations of Derris-Kharlan’s name have varied, but it’s always been spelled as “デリス・カーラーン” in Japanese.
  • Yuan watching over the new World Tree post-game while keeping in touch with Kratos on Derris-Kharlan also came up in the Audio Drama “A Long Time Ago”. That Audio Drama came out in July of 2004, less than a year after ToS.
  • It’s never been stated whether or not Dhaos is an Angel like those seen in ToS. However, he did have wings under certain circumstances[1][9], used the angel arte Judgement in some escort titles such as “Tales of VS.”, doesn’t appear to age, and doesn’t need to eat.[1][9] He had green wings in most versions of ToP, excluding NDX where they were blue. Dhaos is also the only person on or off Derris-Kharlan with these abilities in Phantasia, Narikiri Dungeon, and Narikiri Dungeon X.
  • The term “Giant Kharlan Tree” was originally used to refer to Derris-Kharlan’s Great Tree in Phantasia-related works. The distinction between the terms Giant Kharlan Tree and Aselia’s own World Tree Yggdrasil was kept consistent even in the original Narikiri Dungeon.
  • The appearance of an Angel’s wings are dependent on the individual’s innate ability to control mana. The reason that the Angels on Welgaia have white feathered wings is because they cannot control mana as well as the characters with colored light wings.[11]
  • Symphonia’s claim that the Elves originally came from Derris-Kharlan was actually consistent with ToP. In ToP there is a book that states that the Elves were thought to have originally descended from a “city in the sky”.[1]
  • Derris-Kharlan has been a different color in most things that it has appeared in. In the ToP OVA is was red, in ToS and its OVA it was purple, and in NDX it was white.
  • Aionis is a type of ore that can only be mined on Derris-Kharlan. It can absorb mana from its surroundings and if a human ingests it they gain the ability to use magic. Kratos did just that by consuming it in a powdered form in a process that Cruxis referred to as “magic transfusion”.[5]
  • In a DotNW side event Yuan stated that Derris-Kharlan had its own Great Tree with its own guardian spirit which was a reference to Norn. That has resulted in NDX’s retcon that she was born from a “Tear of Hope”, created from the Great Seed that Martel sent, to be a source of confusion for people who played both games.
  • Kratos departed with the survivors of Cruxis in order to make things easier for the other half-elves of the world[5], and they are treated significantly better in human communities by Phantasia’s time. Half elves live freely out in the open, serve as mayors in towns, are highly valued as magic researchers, and hold ties with one of the most powerful monarchies in the world. The Elves began to treat them quite harshly on 4192 AC for involvement in magitech research, but they had begun to reconsider their stance by 4354 AC.[1]
Notes

[1] Tales of Phantasia, PSX
[2] Katararezaru Rekishi
[3] ToP Audio Drama
[4] Narikiri Dungeon, Gameboy Color- “AC 4408: Present”, “Unknown Space-Time”
[5] Tales of Symphonia- “Back Again” Palmacosta Ranch scene,“Hour of Salvation” Tower of Mana scene, “Last Human Ranch” Iselia Ranch scene, “A Ray of Hope” Tethe'alla Castle scene, “Escape” Welgaia scene, “Showdown” Great Seed chamber scene, “Destruction” Heimdall scene, “The Derris Emblem” Derris-Kharlan scene, Ending; post-Flanoir Altessa house scene; skit #47, skit #61, skit #265, skit #266; Pellet Figure descriptions #273-274
[6] ToS Official Scenario Book- “Symphonia World History” and “The World Mithos Created
[7] Tales of Fandom vol. 2 Tales of Symphonia chapter- “An Empty World”, “A New Hope”, “Entrust Your Thoughts”, “Meeting”, “A Decision”
[8] Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World - Chapter 2, Chapter 8, Yuan sub events, skit “History of Mana”, skit “Mithos the Hero”
[9] Narikiri Dungeon X, PSP
[10] Successors of Hope- Prologue
[11] Shokuzai no Kratos

*Notice 1- The Centurions aren’t spirits, but they lived there too and didn’t fit in anywhere else
*Notice 2- Narikiri Dungeon and its remake Narikiri Dungeon X (the X is pronounced as “cross”), are the ToS/ToP games that most heavily involves Derris-Kharlan. NDX retconned many important worldbuilding and plot details regarding Derris-Kharlan but I am doing my best to explain what happened in both because NDX added some nice details too even though it also goes against all of ToP’s old side materials.

Written by Texanona

The Moons

Aselia’s Moons Tethe’alla and Sylvarant. Sylvarant is the larger blue moon and Tethe’alla is the smaller rust-colored one. The four screenshots at the bottom are in timeline order from Tales of Symphonia, to Dawn of the New World, to Tales of Phantasia, and then Narikiri Dungeon.


Symphonia specifies that the moon Tethe’alla was named Selene until the end of the Kharlan War, after the worlds were split, which also separated the moons. The name of the then lone-moon was changed at the request of Sylvarant’s Church of Martel. It then became legend that the people of Tethe’alla migrated to the moon (which was just a rumor, Tethe'alla was shifted to a different dimensional space along with Sylvarant). The same also occurred in Tethe'alla which was confirmed in the PS2 version of he game.


Once the worlds were rejoined at the end of ToS both moons were visible together again.

Written by Texanona

Magic and Techniques of Aselia

I’m doing a run down on the different types of Magic/Techniques and their function in Tales of Symphonia and Phantasia. I’m keeping my focus on plot relevant info. There will be spoilers like crazy crazy.


Before I get started I just wanted to say that I’m mainly focusing on just ToS and ToP with this. It might be easier to understand what I’m going on about if you’ve read my Aselia Timeline. My sources will be posted at the bottom and if you feel that I need to change or add anything feel free to let me know. 


魔術/Majutsu/Magic


Okay, a bit of the problem with the localizations for these games is that they fail to really specify that there’s different kinds of magic. The majority of what’s encountered in both ToS and ToP is known as Majutsu in Japanese. It is a destructive form of magic that can only be used by half-elves. Mana is necessary to perform it and it steadily grows weaker with the Tree in ToP going off of what the NPCs say.

In Aselia destructive and offensive spells are much more abundant and easy to use than restorative types.

It was also stated in both games that originally only Elves were capable of using magic. Elves generally use it for day-to-day stuff such as heating their homes and digging holes. Their culture generally frowns upon using it to harm others. Half-Elves generally are much less prudent in their usage of magic and that’s one of the main reasons why Elves dislike them so much.


From what I understand Elven blood is required to use magic in both games as catalyst for drawing mana from the environment to manipulate for spells and such. Humans can manipulate their own bodily mana, but they lack the ability to effectively sense and control the mana around them. Magical ability is partially dependent on the ratio of elf blood that the user posses and their innate ability to control mana. Half-elves don’t seem to have too much of a power difference than regular elves. They’re even implied to be more powerful than Elves in some instances.


There are a few loopholes for humans to get around this though. Kratos and Zelos were both capable of using magic because they consumed Aionis. In Kratos’ case it was specifically stated by Altessa that “Lord Kratos drank Aionis in powdered form. Cruxis calls it magic  transfusion”, where as Zelos kind of implied that he just ate the rock. Which gives me a mental image on them handing him the rock, and him staring at it for a bit before he shrugs and plops it in his mouth.


Adorable.


Also, it should be noted that ToS’ insistence that Aionis can only be mined on Derris-Kharlan is pretty important to the Aselia timeline. If Cless and his friends had access to something like that in ToP it would have broken the plot. Ahahahaha.


治癒術/Chiyu-Jutsu/Healing Artes


This is what Raine, Zelos, and Kratos use for healing. This Healing Technique requires a user to have some Elf blood and it seems to also rely on mana like Majutsu does. At one point Raine mentions that it isn’t as effective on people who do not posses Exspheres. This could be an effect of the Exsphere amplifying the effects of her healing on the person that it is being used on, or the possibility that her magic was created with the intention of being used on people equipped with Exspheres from the get-go.


That said the technique that Raine uses on people do not have Exspheres, Clara who was an Exbuela, and plants issss-


ボルトマンの術/Boltzman’s technique


In ToS it’s stated that all Healing Artes originated from Boltzman’s research.  Now here’s where me saying “technique” and not magic is important. The game also makes this distinction because while chiyu-jutsu requires the user to have some elf blood and relies on mana; the real heart of his research proposed that all people had another power within themselves that could be used for healing. He passed away before his research was completed though.

Every time Raine uses the Unicorn’s power she uses Boltzman’s technique. This is what allows her to use resurrection, heal Clara who was thought to be beyond help, and render aid to Altessa when her usual magic would not work. This technique is eventually perfected and that leads us tooooo


法術/Hojutsu/Methodist Artes/Cleric Artes


OH BOY OH BOY THIS THING HAS WAAAAY TOO MANY NAMES. I think Methodism is the most accurate translation myself according to Kanji dictionariesand some stuff that I will get into further down. This is the Healing Technique used by Mint in Tales of Phantasia. It is likely that Raine’s wish that Boltzman’s Technique would be perfected in the future was a reference to Carol Adenade’s creation of Hojutsu and which was followed by the order of Clerics in 4210 AC.


Hojutsu is a healing technique that can be used by people with elf blood or humans and does not rely on mana. It was still perfectly usable even after the Mana Tree was just a dried up trunk in ToP.


Despite how it may appear hojutsu does not require the user to be any kind of pure maiden. The Unicorn is very important to the order as it played a large role in Carol’s development of the Artes and there seems to be a link between the function of the two. But as Trinicus and Edward Morrison also used it, and were very much non-virgin males, maidenhood itself doesn’t qualify one as a hojutsu user. The technique itself doesn’t seem to hold any relation with divine power at all really, it’s more of a “harnessing the power within” kind of deal.


Hojutsu seems to have some methods of manipulating time. The skill that Trinicus used to send Cless and Mint back in time at the start of the game was hojutsu, as is Mint’s “Time Stop” Mystic Arte. Time travel methods like the machine in Thor and the Eternal Sword’s power are not linked to hojutsu, but instances of one person manipulating time by their own power appear to be. Which is important when you get to Dhaos, who cannot time travel by his own power, and only has a vague set number of jumps that he can use. Dhaos also cannot use healing techniques(discounting one of his final boss forms healing to make the fight harder), and he never had a opportunity to familiarize himself with hojutsu since by the time it was created he and Carol were not on good terms.


召喚術/Shokan-Jutsu/Summoning Artes


This is a really tricky duck in the Aselia. Tricky, sticky, wicky, writethethingTexdamnokay.


Okay, so both ToS and ToP require that the summoner beat the Spirit in a fight and make a vow to form a pact. Summoning is not purely related towards calling upon the power of Spirits. Forbidden summoning Artes allow the user to form pacts with Demons as well.


In ToS Mithos and Sheena are the only summoners that you really hear about. The general implication in this game seems to be that summoners need to have some elf in their lineage AND they seem to be born with the capability to summoner. The former was implied by Verius’ ” Sheena, descendent of those who control powers of summoning“ comment and the other spirits stating that she has the rite of the pact at least; but it makes some sense from a connectivity stand point as well.

In ToP Klarth states that he recently perfected his method of Summoning and that it’s based off of some Ancient technique. But Klarth NEEDS a pact ring to make a pact and so do other magic users in Narikiri Dungeon. Said rings were created by the Dwarf Aegis, and the Elf Leonardo back during the age on antiquity. The method of creating new rings is a lost art and the rings that the party finds are very rare.


This is speculation, but I would venture to guess that the rings were created as a way for anyone to summon, regardless of blood. Which helps Klarth bypass both the “you need elf blood” and “DESCENDENT” plotholes that ToS created. Not to mention that it is implied that his Tattoos are related to his Artes as well going off of a skit and Sylph’s comment that he had “prepared his body”.  But ahahaha it’s just an idea.


Anyways, regardless of whether some people are born capable of summoning or not, summoning artes do have to be learned. I’m not sure who could have taught Mithos, but this likely holds true for him as well.


The Rest


  • The Human characters using Beast and stuff like that is likely a result of them manipulating their own mana or inner energy.
  • Regal’s healing might have a relation with IRL Qigong (going off of the kanji 気功術) and it seems to have more to do with his Traubel style martial artes than magic. But seeing as Qigong is real (albeit ineffective) thing in our world I’d say it gets a pass as being a plothole.
  • Angel Artes are really confusing. Only characters equipped with Cruxis Crystals have them but the game and its side materials don’t clarify how they work at all. Colette is human and she never took aionis or anything like that and she can still use them, so it’s not drawing mana from the environment. But spells like Judgement don’t seem to come from within either. That said, the appearance of their wings is a reflection of the individual’s ability to control mana. Weaker Angels have white feathered wings. Stronger angels have the sparkly colorful kind (according to the Kratos novel). 
  • DotNW seemed to let people use Centurion Cores to cast magic to a much greater extent than Aionis did. But it’s another one of the confusing ones since Marta’s core wasn’t even real and it’s all ?????? Largely, I believe that Marta’s ability to cast Healing Artes at the same level as Raine was a gameplay mechanic.

Resources

ToS Character Relationship scenes

Skit Scripts

Let’s Play Archive’s Tales of Symphonia

MJ Phantasian

And my good friend Angie who got me thinking about this stuff from the get-go, YOU GO GURL WOOOOO

Written by Texanona