The recent discussion about Tales of Berseria and it's female protagonist has gotten me to think about the traditions found in the series once more. I think it is a very interesting topic and while it may not offer too much to discuss, I wanted to write this up.
(For the record, I don't want to pull the discussion of Velvet's design in here, I may write about Character Design some other time though.)
There be spoilers!
When we think about traditions in a video game series, of course gameplay traditions will come to mind. All main series games in the franchise go about story progression, world exploration and battles the same way, even though details are changed and it is constantly worked and experimented with (for better or for worse).
But then again, if this wasn't the case, the game in question would have trouble being considered a main series game, right?
This is where it gets more interesting, in my opinion.
Games in the Tales series have until recently always had a male protagonist and a major female lead as well.
The male protagonist always uses a sword except for two exceptions (Senel in Legendia and Jude in Xillia), while the female lead varies in fighting style, though she often fulfils a support role via healing for example. She is also often a love interest for the protagonist, be it confirmed or merely hinted at strongly.
The female lead often fulfils a key role in the plot for a stretch of the game, often as a matter of motivation or being special in a plot-important way. Examples are in Tales of Hearts, in Tales of Symphonia and in Tales of Graces.
However, the series has gotten a little more flexible with this in recent years. Sometimes the main protagonist himself would have plot-relevant circumstances as well, like (Tales of Hearts), (Tales of Symphonia) and (Tales of the Abyss)
In Tales of Xillia, a secondary female lead did not exist. Instead, there were two protagonists, one male one female. Interesting in this is that Milla does fulfil the tradition of being a swordfighter, as well as the tradition of being plot-relevant-ly special, while Jude was one of the healers on the team.
Tales of Xillia 2 continued to toy with this by having the new (arguable) female lead not be playable at all.
And now, coming Tales of Berseria, we have our first sole female protagonist. And I am curious to see what the secondary lead will be like...
Now, I know there is more, but I also want to get you in this, in case you're interested, so here's your homework:
What other series traditions can you think of?
Do you think breaking or playing with traditions is a good thing? (Why?/Why not?)
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