Namco's upcoming Tales of Legendia, slated for release in Japan in less then 8 weeks, is still shrouded in a cloak of mystery. Even still, we here at RPGamer have managed to uncover a few more tidbits of info regarding this new entry in the Tales series.
When first seen, the battle system of Tales of Legendia seems like the standard RPG archetype. Each character has a set of skills that they will progressively learn as their level increases. Simple power-leveling is not the only thing needed to master these skills, however. Characters will also need to obtain particular items called "sculptures," which are dropped by certain monsters, in order to completely activate their new skill. Further, these sculptures are only dropped by monsters if the player can find and exploit the monster's weakness to defeat it swiftly. There will be many different types of sculptures, and each skill will require different types and numbers of each in order to fully activate it.
The four primary heroes, Senel, Chloe, Moses, and Jay will also possess an ultimate technique, which can be used after mastering specific numbers of lesser techniques. (Think Final Fantasy Limit Breaks kicked up a notch.) Each character can only use this technique once a certain set of requirements is met. For example, even after mastering all required lesser techniques, you will need to be fighting a certain type of monster that is afflicted with specific status elements in order to use the ultimate technique. As a result of the stringent requirements for its use, the ultimate technique will likely be the last move in a combo that you have already planned.
As for the storyline and the character quests mentioned previously, Namco has said that completing the main storyline should take around 30 hours. The completely non-linear character quests, which open up after the main story's end, add around 25 more hours to that total. These adventures will not only feature new dungeons, but also new characters. To sweeten the pot even further, old dungeons will feature new monsters and treasure for the meticulous gamer to slay and collect.
Tales of Legendia is looking to hit Japanese retailers on August 25. The game's North American localization is slated to be released in February 2006.