Tales of Xillia 2 is Bad (and You Should Feel Bad) – Broken Base
Xillia 2 Debt Pay-off [Major Spoilers] (btcmu.info) . It's not like a giant indicator was made "Paying back all this money ends the game". So calm. A description of tropes appearing in Tales of Xillia 2. The direct Big Brother Mentor: The relationship between Ludger and Elle is set to be a familial one. Given that Big Ol' Eyebrows: Bisley is definitely giving Van a run for his money with those things. . Milla challenges Ludger to a one-on-one near the end of the game. This post contains spoilers for Tales of Xillia and Tales of Xillia 2. All it did was retcon the ending to the first game that had wrapped up the story . This relationship culminates in a scene where Ludger has to kill his brother .. to make money, but never have I see a game as cynically produced as Xillia 2.
And after his wife died, he ended up in bed with her sister, which produced Ludger. Almost all of the male characters so far. Especially the Kresnik brothers.
Looks like good looks run in the the family. The parallel worlds are erased and the world is saved from being consumed by Canaan, but either Ludger or Elle sacrifices themselves to save the other.
Then there's the Julius Ending, where Ludger refuses to kill Julius, but in defending him must kill the rest of the party and doom the world. And even though the brothers find solace in each other, Julius is still infected by his divergence catalyst and has no hope of a cure. There are good news and bad news. The good news is that if Julius can hold on long enough, Bisley will most likely lose Elle during the inevitable fight with Chronos, thus turning her into the 1 millionth catalyst and saving Julius.
The bad news is that Elle will die instead. But the thing is if Elle becomes the 1 millionth catalyst, that means humanity failed the trial which while Julius might be cured, humanity is doomed. The atmosphere right from the start hammers in that things are about to get very bad. Even the gameplay reflects this, where you're suddenly given a time limit to rescuse NPCs who will die if you take too long. Adding to the sense that the chapter is not going to end well is the dungeon itself, which is a replica of the first game's Bleak Levelright down to the background music.
The chapter ends with Alternate Mila's death. Chapter 12, especially when that Chapter's fractured dimension is visited. Fractured dimensions are generally shown with a darker filter on colors, but it stands out especially strong in this one and the first information the party obtains in this dimension? Rowen was killed in this dimension a few years ago. The news just gets worse from there and, even after getting back from the dimension, the entire atmosphere is still very low and changes the dynamic between Elle and the rest of the cast.
On paper the Chromatus sounds like a awesome ability. However, continued usage risks turning the user into a Divergence Cataclyst, which in turn causes them to turn into a Fractured Dimension. Oh and powering it up to furthur stages does it even faster. In a significant departure from the usual Tales Series policy of Bloodless CarnageXillia 2 includes frequent blood splatters and Blood from the Mouthmostly when Ludger stabs someone to destroy their divergence catalyst.
The divergence catalysts do this to the characters that they have infected. In a rather blatant example, early on Ludger gets tricked into an absolutely massive 20 million Gald debt by the Smug Snake Rideaux simply for healing Ludger and Elle is basically held for ransom if he doesn't agree to take out a loan to pay for it.
Despite the choice system in the game at no point is the player or anyone else for that matter allowed to tell Rideaux to shove it, or even attempt it. Many of the dialog choices themselves are the same idea expressed two different ways.
One of the first lines Alt! Milla says to Jude is "you really are a do-gooder, aren't you? Due to the nature of the gamea lot of the callbacks amount to Fridge Horror. For example, the scene in which a fractured version of Alvin accidentally shoots Presa is disturbingly similar to the scene from the first game where Alvin shot Leia. And like the first game, it ends with Fractured Milla sacrificing herself. When Milla returns she quietly shushes Jude with a finger to the lips, just like she did in the first game when they first met and when she came back from the dead.
As you might expect, a number of the victory quotes are similar to the first game's, mainly when certain members are in your battle party. The Tales cameo costume DLC from X1 can be carried over to this game as well, and there's naturally new ones. There's a formerly preorder set for Jude, Ludger and Milla that gives them costumes, accessories and haircuts based off of Yuri Lowell including his BlastiaEmil Castagnier complete with haircut and sword prop and Asbel Lhant.
Along with that is a set of DLC attachments as well. One set features plushie versions of QuickieMieu, Tokunaga amd Repede while another set is a collection of hats worn by previous Tales series characters, which includes Rassius Luine 's feathered hat, Spada Belforma 's beret, Patty Fleur's tricorne and Beryl Benito 's customized witch hat.
Aska in one of the fractured dimensions. Can't Drop the Hero: Until you clear the game, Ludger can't be removed from your party.
Nova and Vera are Ludger's. They went to school together. And apparently Nova pursued Ludger in the past. Nope, an optional skit has Vera reveal that Nova was actually interested in Julius, something which Ludger misunderstood and Julius implies was briefly heartbroken over, once he found out.
Divergence catalysts, which empower their hosts but eventually consume them. It is later revealed that the use of Chromatus causes one to become a divergence catalyst, and the only way to avoid this is for a Key of Kresnik to act as a conduit Cruelty Is the Only Option: You want the Platinum Trophy?
Be prepared to have to kill off the entire gang from Xillia if you want it that badly. Xillia 2 is much less optimistic than the more recent titles in the Tales Seriesleaning more towards a Half-Empty Crapsaccharine Worldcomplete with a Bittersweet Ending.
The discovery that the party need a Soul Bridge to reach Canaan, and that either Ludger or Julius need to die in order to get it. Everyone from the original except Jude and Milla. There's still the Character Episodes, but aside from that, don't have a major involvement in the story arc itself.
Died in Your Arms Tonight: A parallel world Presa dies in Alvin's arms during one of his Character Episodes. Both Ludger and his older brother Julius dual wield. It's most likely something Julius taught Ludger. As expected, Ludger and Julius. Milla challenges Ludger to a one-on-one near the end of the game. Part of it is to test his resolve, but the other part is to make sure he can still use his chromatus after Elle leaves him to head to Canaan.
The fractured dimension in chapter 2 of Jude's story has shades of this. In the final episode of Muzet's Character Quest, Muzet schemes to set up a surprise attack against the party under the rationale that after she swoops in to save the day, everyone will like her.
Unsurprisingly it goes terribly wrong when the monster is far more powerful than she expected. While she does get chewed out for it, it does make everyone realise how ostracised she feels and leads to them making more of an effort to befriend her. Ludger chickens out at the last minute and decides not to kill Julius, however the party, and Julius himself, tries their hardest to convince him otherwise. Surprisingly, Ludger snaps and goes into full protective mode, snatching Julius' pocketwatch, and uses it to hit his third Chromatus form.
What follows is an epic cutscene where the entire party tries to fend off Ludger, which ultimately leads into the final battle of the Julius Ending Gameplay-wise, this could easily turn into Curbstomp Battlebut after the battle, we see Julius in absolute shock and horror, then we cut to a shot of Ludger looking at Canaan with bloody swords and blood smears on his cheek. The party is nowhere to be seen. Everyone you knew and loved from the first game, who had hopes and dreams and good futures ahead of them, all dead.
Of course, since Bisley is going to sacrifice Elle to save the world, and you decided not to help, she'll eventually die too. Deconstructed in true Tales fashion. To a certain extent, the parallel worlds are reality to those who inhabit it. Milla is very angry when it's explained to her that Ludger has just destroyed her world.
Elle gets very upset after the alternate Milla is sacrificed so that Milla Maxwell can return. To her, the former is the "real" Milla and she is upset by both her loss and the party's diminished reaction to it. Learning to accept Milla Maxwell as a person in her own right is one of the focal points of Elle's character arc.
Chapter 10 drives this home with the Epsilla Ruins and the divergence catalyst, Odin. One which knows it is one, due to having defeated all attempts to destroy it.
It has been waiting for over 90, years so that the people who have been digitized in its data banks can be revived. Before you fight it, Odin asks you to talk to some of the recorded memories before events force the fight. After it, the everyone feels just how hollow the victory was, and the price of it. And this point is underscored by The Reveal that Elle herself is from one of these parallel worlds.
Chronos shares a lot of his moveset and general disdain of humanity with Dhaosleading to many fans nicknaming him "Dhaos 2. Also another one for Chronos.
Not only that, being voiced by Junichi Suwabe makes it clear that Chronos has elements of Archer in him. Early in the game, Ludger obtains a 20 million Gald debt that must be paid off over the course of the game, but a certain amount must be paid off in order to advance along the story, which requires grinding for money and doing other monster and item fetch quests. A fair amount of the two different world's citizens don't feel fondly for one another, which only serves to make things more complicated considering that Elympios is dying and Exodus' actions have made hostilities worse.
Milla and alternate universe Milla. This is shown in their drastically different personalities, their status in the world, their abilities, and their relationship with the rest of the party.
Their victory quotes are often mirror images, but slightly different. For Want of a Nail: The Alternate Worlds run on this, usually having one key difference that is centered around whatever or whoever has been infected by the divergence catalyst. With a surprisingly awful dash of Call-Back.
Chapter 11's premise is nearly identical to the S. Zenethra level from Tales of Xillia. Exodus has taken over a ship and, at least partially at King Gaius's behest, you infiltrate the ship to stop them. The music is the same, and the characters even point out that the two ships have the same design. It's no surprise, then, that the whole chapter ends once again with Milla's Heroic Sacrifice.
Future Me Scares Me: Victor causes this for Ludger.
Tales of Xillia 2 is Bad (and You Should Feel Bad)
I Hate Past Me: Alvin encounters a fractured version of himself in chapter 4 of his character story. He already hated how he used to be, but seeing himself first-hand painfully drives it home. Gameplay and Story Segregation: When you leave a town, your party remains the same and you can't change it unless you return to town despite the characters being there and commenting on events. Especially odd since in the first game you could switch in the middle of battle.
With the return of the affinity system absent from the first game, Ludger can choose to flirst with all party members, male or female. Gotta Catch 'Em All: The cat sidequest, which involves you finding and adopting several stray cats many of which bear a resemblance to certain Tales Series charactersthen forming your own cat army to scavenge the streets for items and funny hats.
There is no part of the preceding sentence that is inaccurate. A divergence catalyst in the process of forming manifests on its host as black patches on their skin and possibly red eyes if it spreads to their face before the host becomes a full-fledged catalyst.
Once the transformation begins, the only way to stop it is to kill the host. Should Ludger refuse to kill Julius the team turns against him. It doesn't end well. The three Prime Spirits set up the events of the game to test whether humans were inherently selfish or selfless. Unfortunately, because one of them really hates humanity, the test is unfairly stacked against humanity's success.
After seeing Ludger's surprised expression about suddenly having 15 Million Gald debt to Rideaux for medical bills, Rideaux asks if Ludger can honestly put a price on a person's life. When Rideaux obviously just put a price on a person's life.
Guess what kind of animal serves as the mascot for this game, and guess what species of animal you have to track down of in order to help you complete a sidequest and utilize a game mechanic based around the animal? In the Epsilla Ruins, Rollo wanders off for a little bit before Elle finds him again. However, he doesn't appear on the title screen or kitty dispatch menu, which happens whenever he's not traveling with the party, spoiling that it's actually a fractured Rollo.
The "Xillia Encyclopedia" entry on Kresnik the Genesis Sage refers to them using female pronouns, despite their gender not being mentioned in the previous game. So it's obvious their gender is going to be a plot point in this one This could be blamed on Lost in Translation though.
The original Maxwell is implied to have had this relationship with the genesis sage, Milla Kresnikespecially since two thousand years after she died, he still cared enough to give her name to Milla Maxwell. Howe, the man who developed spirit artes, turns out to have done so because of his attempts to woo Celsius.
This discovery gives Jude the epiphany he needs to perfect spyrite technology. Also applies to Jude and Milla if Milla's feelings towards Jude are interpreted romantically, since she is now a full spirit.
There's also Ship Tease between Gaius and Muzet. It Runs in the Family: The Chromatus Ability, the ability to cross through worlds, runs through the Kresnik family blood. The pocket watches serve as keys to triggering the ability.
Like YuriLudger is a grown man who's past his teenage years. Killed Off for Real: The body count by the end of the game is surprisingly highwith the parallel universes allowing for plenty of carnage.
Of the main characters though: Milla dies no matter what you do. The entire party is killed by Ludger if you choose to save Julius. Julius has to die for the party to be able to go to Canaan. And either Elle or Ludger have to sacrifice themselves to complete Origin's trial. Pretty much the only main character who survives no matter what is Rollo.
Light Is Not Good: The player must fight the great spirit of Light, Aska, in two separate fractured dimensions, though only one is required. Afterwards, Aska admits that he is inclined to agree with Chronos if the player choose to re-capture the spirit rather than set him free. Elle could go either way at the moment. Collecting all the cats is this as well, as kitty dispatch is the only way to find some of them. The poker mini-game, obviously. Ludger's mother, Claudia Kresnik, according to supplementary materials.
She disappeared when she found out she was pregnant so he wouldn't be drawn into Origin's trial or the Kresnik clan's infighting. She was even willing to kill her own nephew when she thought he had been sent by Bisley to retrieve Ludger. Unfortunately, Julius found them completely by accident and had no intention of taking Ludger anywhere, but Claudia didn't believe him so he was forced to kill her in self-defense. They're such a powerful, influential and omnipresent organisation in Elympios that they may as well be considered its de facto rulers.
Having a private army helps in that regard. Ludger, Rideaux, and Nova. The former even has differently coloured eyebrows. There are five confirmed endings, including two gag endings. Ludger chooses to sacrifice the world to save his brother, Julius. The world is saved, but Elle has to sacrifice herself in the process. Humanity technically passes Origin's trial, but on a bittersweet note because of Elle's sacrifice. The world is saved, but Ludger sacrifices himself in place of Elle so that she can live.
Humanity technically fails Origin's trial, but Origin allows them to pass anyway because Ludger's selflessness proves the point the trial was meant to test. One ending includes a Hot Springs Episode! Beyond the obvious callbacks to the first Tales of Xilliathere are plenty more: The poorly drawn wanted posters return.
The art for the cooking items is lifted directly from Tales of Graces. You can also find the ice pop win sticks. One of Elle's victory poses matches Pascal's almost completely, random confetti and all. She also references the Strahtan Beach Brigade by name. In fan fiction, it is considered extremely gauche, or at least very immature, for an author to create characters based on him- or herself.
This promo costume is just too perfect. I am not entirely sure of the reason behind making him a silent protagonist, though I have my theories. In any case, the player is meant to think of him or herself as Ludger in the game. Plenty of RPGs, usually games with Western origins, tend to operate with this premise. However, those games are designed for having a self-insert as the protagonist. Dropping a silent self-insert protagonist into a game with a pre-established universe, let alone as a sequel instead of a standalone title is incredibly jarring.
Ludger as a character is not grounded within the world set up in the first Xillia. He comes out of nowhere and is thrown at the player. There is no sign of him or most of his rather influential family in the first game yet another sign that this sequel was hastily thrown together and not originally planned. He has no real prior connection to the main cast aside from his last name. His existence felt very intrusive to an already established world.
For example, in Final Fantasy XIII-2, the sister of the main character from the first game, Serah, serves as one of the new protagonists. Serah played a minor role in the first game; so she was an already established character. A new male character, Noel, is introduced who ends up meeting her and joining her on her quest. Serah serves as a character that grounds Noel within the world. Yes, Noel sort of comes out of nowhere, but through his interactions with Serah, I felt that he had at least some connection to the cast from the first game and thus the world in general.
For instance, in the first game each character in the six-person main cast has an explanation for why they are proficient at combat. These explanations fit in well with their respective backstories and serve to give the sense that they are talented in certain areas but not with others.
Unlike the rest of the cast, Ludger can switch between three different weapons: His proficiency with dual blades is explained in relation to his backstory. Compared to the cast of the first game, it makes Ludger far less believable as a character. This also becomes an issue in terms of gameplay mechanics. In the first Xillia, the player was free to use most of the cast and they could deal with most of what the game would throw at them in terms of challenges.
Xillia 2 uses a similar combat system but adds a weakness-based system. In this system, there are three types of physical damage: Out of the entire 9-character cast, Ludger is the only character who can hit enemy weaknesses consistently. In Xillia 2, hitting weaknesses is a crucial part of fighting battles efficiently. No other single character can do damage as efficiently as he can. Compared to past Tales of games where many characters were viable to use for most of the game, this felt really obnoxious to me.
Even when I switched to another character in combat, the in-battle camera is positioned to focus on Ludger at the beginning of battle as though to remind me of my mistake.
The game forces Ludger on the player. Never in a Tales of game since the very first game Tales of Phantasia, on the Super Famicom have I seen a battle system that so plainly favors one character over others. While Ludger is fun to play as, I resented the fact that the combat system was built around him.Tales of Xillia 2 Money Ending
Ludger is simply too competent in combat compared to the rest of the cast. Even characters who are canonically more experienced in combat. After all, before the game starts, Ludger was working in a cafeteria for goodness sakes. After the more realistic approach of the first Xillia, this really killed my suspension of disbelief. Not only is Ludger designed to be better than the rest of the cast, Xillia 2 also nerfs some of the returning characters.
Another character who is a martial artist, Jude, has his speed cut and some of his other moves changed to make him all around worse than he was in the first game. In the story itself, the first Xillia often mentioned that Jude was a good cook.
The game makes changes both story-wise and mechanics-wise to put Ludger over the other characters in the story. An even more specific example is a major mechanic from the first game: Link Artes have two characters team up to perform a combined attack. All of the best Link Artes are with Ludger and another party member.
Other party members have their own, but they are for the most part inferior to those involving Ludger. Some of the Link Artes are even programmed to place Ludger in a more advantageous position relative to the enemy compared to the other character involved. Special cinematic attacks called Mystic Artes have a similar bias: Ludger has special Mystic Artes with every character. No other character possesses as many dual Mystic Artes.
He also has a transformation mode that temporarily removes all other party members from the battle field and lets him do combos without limit for a brief period of time!
No one else has anything approaching this ability. Because you need a super special form to destroy alternate dimensions… or something? In fact, Xillia 2 feels nothing more than a story all about the inter-dimensional drama of the Kresnik family.
Suddenly the plot revolves around this one group of people, and it starts to feel as though nothing that the player accomplished in the first game even mattered. As a result of the retcons, the intricate worldbuilding of the first Xillia loses much of its consistency.
Alternate dimensions, which did not exist in the first game, are also yet another example of the story and world being twisted to accommodate Ludger and his family.
Engaging relationships and thrilling combat - A winning combo
After all, Ludger has the power to destroy these worlds, which is a major part of what makes him so important to the story. As for established canon characters, Xillia 2 goes out of its way to show how much everyone loves Ludger.
Whereas in the first Xillia, much of the story had the main cast gradually growing to trust one another, no such thing occurs in Xillia 2. Within 5 minutes of meeting Ludger, almost every returning character from the first game immediately falls in love with him.
Nevermind personal chemistry or anything: This culminates in the side episodes focused on characters from the first game.
Since the player must have Ludger in the party at all times, Ludger also participates in these often very personal character episodes. In some cases, Ludger being there at all makes no sense as he has no connection whatsoever to what is going on. This leads to some incredibly awkward scenes. Yet at the end of most of these character episodes, the character involved always thanks Ludger for helping them through their tough situation. This really killed my willing suspension of disbelief.
He comes out of nowhere, as I mentioned before. He has no real prior connection to the world or characters. He is far, far too competent considering his established backstory. Everyone begins trusting him far too quickly when in the first Xillia characters had to build trust between each other.
In fact, this event has already occurred in an alternate dimension as part of the main plot. Thus, the game establishes that Ludger is stronger than the entire cast of the first game combined despite the fact that the cast from the first game is composed of people ranging from those with far more combat experience than Ludger has to an actual deity.
Tales of Xillia 2 (Video Game) - TV Tropes
I was really tired of everything revolving around Ludger by the time I got to the end of the game. I dislike how he was incorporated into the story and world. On his own, Ludger is actually an amusing character. However, when the game tries to convince me that the entire world revolves around him and his obnoxious family, I start taking issue with his role as protagonist.
If he had been given his own game where he could be better established in the world and given more organic development, I think I would have really enjoyed him as a protagonist. In this ending, the player as Ludger can make the choice to save his brother… at the cost of the lives of the entire cast of the first Xillia game.
I am not joking: A touching scene between Ludger and his brother as they walk away from the scene of the slaughter to… an uncertain future. Nevermind that Julius will die anyway. Nevermind that the plot points to the world ending when Ludger shirks his responsibility so that he can save his brother.
The problem is that the bad ending is dark and sad in an incredibly stupid way. Your favorite TV show has just started its second season. The first episode airs and you eagerly tune in. Oh, some new character? As the season goes on, however, you notice that the characters you enjoyed from the first season are getting less spotlight than this new character.
Not only that, certain details about the world in which the show takes place from last season seem to have been changed to revolve around this new character. Now imagine that season 2 ends rather unsatisfactorily with no plans for a 3rd season. The DVD comes out and you find out that it has a new ending included as bonus content! In this ending, the new character suddenly turns against the older characters and kills them all!
The commentary from the creators acts like this ending is some kind of poignant, sad moment full of emotion. To sum up the bad ending: Killing off characters for stupid reasons. And you must love their shiny new protagonist. You must feel bad for him because other NPCs fill in his backstory for you! You must be sad for his brother because the game keeps telling you how much Ludger loves him!
Mother 3 made me sad. This scene just made me angry. In conclusion, nothing meaningful was accomplished except Bandai Namco making a quick buck The bad ending accomplishes nothing.
Why should I as the viewer care?