Tales of Symphonia is an RPG that begins in the tranquil village of Iselia. Lloyd Irving is a student under Professor Raine Sage’s tutelage specializing in magic and archaeology. Colette Brunel, his high school friend, is said to be the angel’s daughter. She was born with a sacred stone in her hand, and because of this, she is the “Chosen of Sylvarant.” To make the slowly dying world a true paradise, the Chosen must complete the world regeneration, a quest to unlock magical seals and enter the otherworldly Tower of Salvation. This will end the Desians, a half-elf race that now rules the land through work camps, fear, and force.
The characters grow not only through cut scenes, many of which feature voice acting, but also through “skits,” as the game refers to them. However, unlike in-game cutscenes, these “skits” do not include voice acting. When a skit becomes available, a warning appears on the bottom left side of the screen; it can then be activated by pressing Z. The performance usually involves two or more characters interacting. They will react to what is said, and the results can range from comic to tragic, depending on the characters and the situation. This system enables one to comprehend each character’s emotions.
Ex-Spheres, Strategy, and Cooking are unique features of the game. Ex-Spheres are particular objects that can enhance or grant a character new abilities. These abilities can impact battle or have an effect outside of combat. Each Ex-Sphere will have a level 1-4 with more powerful skills; each character can have up to four Ex-Spheres attached. Strategy can be applied to CPU-controlled players, such as ordering spell-casters to attack a specific enemy or staying behind the front lines. Cooking is an alternative method of healing characters, and this is determined by the character’s cooking ability and the ingredients used.
Like most RPGs, most of the game is spent in towns, dungeons, towers, sprawling world maps, and combat. Tales of Symphonia battles take place in real-time. Only four members of your party can participate, each with their fighting style. As the game progresses, you are not limited to using only Lloyd; all major characters are playable, allowing you to change your gaming style. Basic physical attacks are performed by pressing the A button and moving the control stick in different directions. The B button is used for special physical attacks and spell casting. These special attacks are frequently linked from basic physical attacks to Special Attacks in levels 1-3. You run in a straight line during combat and can jump over enemies. Up to three additional players may battle alongside you in Multiplayer.