FAQ/Walkthrough by Shinarouji
Version: 1.575 | Updated: 2012-04-27
Table of Contents
- I. About This Guide
- II. Version History
- III. Game Introduction
- IV. Gameplay
- V. Childhood Arc Walkthrough
- VI. Adulthood Arc Walkthrough (Part I)
- VII. Adulthood Arc Walkthrough (Part II)
- VIII. Adulthood Arc Walkthrough (Part III)
- IX. Adulthood Arc Walkthrough (Part IV)
- Yu Liberte
- Warrior's Roost
- Amarcian Enclave
- Fendel Research Lab
- Fendel Tower
- Fendel Glacier Ruins
- X. Adulthood Arc Walkthrough (Part V)
- XI. Adulthood Arc Walkthrough (Part VI)
- XII. Adulthood Arc Walkthrough (Part VII)
- XIII. Future Arc Walkthrough
- Gustwork Ruins
- Strahta Desert Ruins
- Eleth Research Laboratory
- Arcadia Garden
- Lastalia Shaft
- Fodra's Core
- Role-Playing Dolls
- Grade Shop
- XIV. Sidequests
- XV. Library
- Unique Equipment
- Dualize Book
- Discovery Book
- Enemy Book
- XVI. Titles
- XVII. Shops
- Oul Raye
- Sable Izolle
- Yu Liberte
- Amarcian Enclave
- Telos Astue
- Turtlez Shop
- Katz Korner
- XVIII. Frequently Asked Questions
- XIX. Credits
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ~Tales of Graces f~ FAQ & Walkthrough Version 1.575 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
While this guide is currently a work in progress, by the time it's finished you'll be able to go through the entire game and get just about everything you like. Monster, Collector, and Discovery book sections will be added with details and locations, Skit locations and requirements will be posted, Inn Requests all be added, Titles will be fully covered, and a full Trophy guideline will be included. Till then though, we'll get through the main walkthrough segment and pick up all the extras we can along the way. This is my first time writing a guide (much less a formatted one), so I hope that you enjoy it! I'll do my best to assist your playthrough.
Now that we're done with the main walkthrough, all of the above will be filled in gradually. Stick around!
If you'd like to use your browser's search function to find something across the entire guide, feel free to scroll down to the bottom of the page and select one of the options where it says "View as a single printable page." Otherwise you'll only be able to search on the current page of the Formatted FAQ.
This FAQ also has a decently sized introduction, so click here: V. Childhood Arc Walkthrough if you'd like to jump right in!
Naturally, all trademarks belong to their respective owners. This guide may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission, meaning it must explicitly be received by the email I have provided below. Use of this guide on any other website or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright. GameFAQs is the only website that has permission to host this guide, so if you see it anywhere else, please let me know. I may allow other sites to host it when it is complete, but until then it's a GameFAQs exclusive.
Copyright 2012 Eli R. (Shinarouji)
If you have any questions about what I've written or would like to send some suggestions, feel free to contact me at gracesguide (a_t) gmail (d.o.t) com, or if you want a speedier response you can send me a PM on GameFAQs/post on the Tales of Graces f message board right here.
Latest and Greatest
April 26, 2012
1.575: Finished up the Enemy Book for now.
April 14, 2012
1.55: Title and Enemy Book updates.
April 11, 2012
1.525: Working through the Enemy Book now. Format has been redesigned in this section.
April 8, 2012
1.50: Almost completely filled the Collector's Book, and added a bit more to the Titles section as well. This includes Equipment, Materials, Manuscripts, Recipes and even Carta Cards. Also added a Strategy section under Gameplay.
April 2, 2012
1.325: Small updates here and there now while the title section is being updated. The numbers are basically just to show that there's still progress being made.
March 31, 2012
1.30: Minor update to the titles section, going through Asbel's.
March 28, 2012
1.25: Library section is up featuring all of the books, a few of which are filled in. Recipe section has been switched to the Collector's Book section. Sandshroud Ruins is added to the main walkthrough as are a few other sidequests, completing the Discovery Book. Titles are updated a bit as well.
March 26, 2012
1.15: Tidied up a few dungeon sections in the Future Arc and began adding a few more sidequests into the main guide.
March 25, 2012
1.10: Working on all of the books now. Added shop sections as well.
March 22, 2012
1.00: Finally done the main game! On to sidequests and filling in other sections now.
March 20, 2012
0.975: Approximately halfway through the Future Arc.
March 19, 2012
0.95: Done the Adulthood part of the game. Just Future Arc for now, then we'll get on to everything else.
March 18, 2012
0.85: Just some end game sidequests and the final dungeon to go through now. Versions 0.95 to 1.00 will be Future Arc, then I'll get to filling in the rest of the guide (i.e. the stuff in the opening paragraph)
March 17, 2012
0.80: Two updates in a day, oh my. Got through another two chapters and added Title and Recipe sections, though the former is just a draft to show what the organization will be like. Recipe list is almost complete. Also added an actual FAQ section to live up to the type of guide this is supposed to be (whoops).
March 17, 2012
0.60: Past the halfway point of the main guide.
March 16, 2012
0.45: Short little update that'll take you to the Fendel continent.
March 15, 2012
0.40: Really sunk my teeth into the main game with this one. This is about a third of the way through the main game.
March 14, 2012
0.25: Small update to get a bit into the adulthood arc.
March 13, 2012
0.20: First posting. All of the introduction is done including character profiles and battle assessments, explanations of the battle system and the dualize parts of the game, and the main walkthrough is done all the way up to the end of the Childhood Arc. Still have a long way to go though!
"From now on, no matter what happens, the three of us will always be friends." Such is the promise made by young Asbel, Richard, and Sophie. Along with Asbel's younger brother Hubert and the headstrong Cheria, the five enjoy their childhood lives together without interruption; that is, until a tragic event causes one of them to disappear.
Seven years later and the remaining members of the group have long since gone their separate ways. We follow the journey of Asbel, who has since been training to become a knight in order to protect the ones closest to him. However, the three kingdoms of his world-Windor, Strahta, and Fendel-are each competing for a substance called Cryas that has allowed civilizations to prosper and develop. As he traverses the land of Ephinea he meets new friends (including his instructor Malik and the moderately insane Pascal), reunites with old ones, and sees firsthand how time can change the people you once knew. As he is caught up in the ongoing conflict, will he be able to solve the mystery behind his missing friend?
Height: 5ft 9in (175 cm)
Weight: 143 lbs (65 kg)
Asbel is the eldest son and would-be successor of Aston Lhant, the lord of the Lhant territory that is located in the Windor kingdom by the border of Fendel. From a young age he was taught by his father the proper upbringing and skills needed to become a lord, but Asbel secretly always aspired to become a strong knight. After a tragedy that occurs in his childhood, he runs away from home and decides to enlist in the Knight academy located in the capital of Barona so that he can always be able to protect those close to him.
Height: 4ft 10in (147 cm)
Weight: 86 lbs (39 kg)
Sophie is an amnesiac who Asbel finds along with his brother during their first visit to the hill behind the town of Lhant. She is a girl of very few words, choosing to usually respond and stay close to Asbel. In battle she uses her aggressive combat skills to take down the enemy quickly, which may be a surprise considering her petite physique and overall attitude towards the people around her. After she spends a bit of time with Asbel, he names her "Sophie" after the sopheria flowers that bloom on Lhant Hill.
Weapon: Double Blades
Height: 5ft 7in (170 cm)
Weight: 148 lbs (67 kg)
Hubert is Asbel's younger brother who is currently of a lieutenant rank in the Strahtan military. During his childhood years he was very timid frail, but after an incident in his childhood he is sent away to be trained rigorously to become a respectable and talented fighter. He is as intelligent as he is controlling, and due to his upbringing he has a natural no-nonsense personality. He is short with most people, but no one more so than his older brother, Asbel.
Height: 5ft 3in (160 cm)
Weight: 103 lbs (47 kg)
Due to her grandfather Frederic being the Lhant family butler, Cheria has always been close to Asbel and Hubert. She clearly has at least a bit of a crush on him, though she'd sooner venture into Fendel territory than admit it. As a kind soul, she is liked and often admired by many of those she comes across in her travels due to her natural caring nature. She works diligently as a healer, using her powers to help people who are hurt wherever she goes. Cheria also possesses a strong sense of loyalty to both her friends and her hometown of Lhant.
Height: 6ft 1in (185 cm)
Weight: 167 lbs (76 kg)
Malik is an instructor at the knight training academy in Barona, the capital of Windor. He trains Asbel personally as the young man prepares to become a knight. Malik's skills as a fighter are exceptional and due to his many years spent teaching, his abilities are far above his peers. Despite appearances he's a caring man at heart, carefully watching over Asbel as he grows into a proud knight. Malik is greatly respected at the knight academy, and Asbel looks up to him like a father.
Height: 5ft 1in (155 cm)
Weight: 99 lbs (45 kg)
Pascal is an engineering prodigy who meets up with Asbel, Sophie and Richard on their travels. Despite her appearances she's actually quite intelligent, able to work vast kinds of machinery with little more than a second thought. With a bubbly and cheerful personality, she easily makes friends with the people around her and is almost never seen without an ear-to-ear grin on her face. She's also quite blunt about what she says, often not even noticing that what she has done may have changed the situation she's in slightly. She also has a terrible habit of going several days without baths due to being too wrapped up in experiments, a quality that Cheria often chastises her for.
Height: 5ft 10in (178 cm)
Weight: 148 lbs (67 kg)
Richard is the prince of the Windor kingdom and first meets with Asbel as a young child. As an adult, he meets the high expectations set by his father and receives great respect from the citizens. A man who dislikes conflict, Richard has a fundamentally sound personality that is key to being a good ruler. Despite his many positive qualities, there is uncertainty in the air around the palace as to who will be the next king. Richard makes it through the tough times thanks to his best friend, Asbel.
Asbel is your standard "Tales of" swordsman, except that his fighting style consists of both his sword and his sheath. Because he can do speedy transitions between the latter and the former, he's able to handle himself well in most of the situations he'll find himself in and can take care of a wide array of enemies with little issue. Switching from sword back to sheath takes a bit longer, but after you learn a few skills down the road you can go back and forth with no delay. He's a good fit in just about any party and easy to use, so he fits his role as a main character well.
Styles: Sheath (Assault), Sword (Burst)
Sophie is a fairly unique character in that she uses nothing but her fists to plow through enemies. She is able to approach and evade very quickly, and can unleash a flurry of attacks in a very short timespan (both physical and ranged, depending on the style she's in.) Sophie even has a few healing spells in her artesenal (this was originally a typo but it's such a terrible pun that I'm keeping it), though they are single target. Despite being such a speedy girl she lacks area of effect attacks, making her easy to ambush. Still, you shouldn't have many situations where she's on her own, so she's a solid addition all the same.
Styles: Close Range Fists (Assault), Mixed (Burst)
Hubert's main weapon is a double-bladed sword that allows him to do a sizeable amount of damage, permitting him to physically take on enemies just as well as Asbel despite his looks. However, his defense and HP values aren't nearly as high as his brother's, meaning he'll need to space himself often in battle. Thankfully when he switches styles the sword splits off into two guns, which lets him not only keep his distance but also cast a healing spell should he need it. He's a bit like Sophie in this regard, albeit for different reasons; he can play keep-away easily, but without a support system he'll quickly fall prey to the enemy onslaught.
Styles: Twin Sword (Assault), Twin Pistols (Burst)
Cheria's an interesting character. In her assault mode she can throw daggers to damage the enemy physically from a safe distance, while in her burst mode she boasts both offensive and healing spells that target multiple enemies and allies respectively. The draw of Cheria's physical attacks is that she doesn't have to wait for them to hit; she can move again right after throwing and get herself to a safer distance. Another upside to her physical attacks is that due to the charging aspect of the CC system she can perform criticals the easiest in the entire party. This works very well in her favour, as her physical defense is even worse than Hubert's and she has one of the slowest movement speeds in battle. Surprisingly, her other stats are actually comparable to Asbel and she has the highest cryas defense in the party, making poor weapons throughout the main game one of her glaring shortcomings. With certain titles lowering her casting speed she can become quite the threat in battle, though she should definitely not be used directly by beginners as she has a steep learning curve.
Styles: Daggers (Assault), Magic (Burst)
Don't be fooled by his looks! Malik is a ranged character through and through. While he may seem similar to Cheria on paper, they do have certain noticeable differences. Cheria has no delay after throwing her daggers while Malik does have one after throwing his boomerang, however this is compensated due to his throwing arc being able to damage multiple enemies more easily. His burst style also features more offensive spells compared to his female counterpart, though he lacks any means of healing allies. Back to the "don't judge a book by its cover" thing, his high HP is counteracted by his lack of defense. He shouldn't be anywhere near enemies though, so the only thing to watch out for are long ranged attacks.
Styles: Boomerang Edge (Assault), Magic (Burst)
Pascal uses a good old rifle staff in battle. At first she'll have to get up close like a melee character to use it, but after you gain a few skills a ranged attack will be added on, allowing her to attack from a safer distance. Her attacks end up mixing both Malik's delay and Cheria's lack of one, depending on which artes are used. When she switches to her burst style you are given yet another mage, but this spellcaster has some very striking differences compared to the others. With very few exceptions, Pascal's magic does not hit enemies from a distance; instead, they take effect directly around her. They are very powerful spells, but you can imagine the consequence that comes with being so close to the opposition, especially as a mage. Eventually you can acquire skills that prevent her from being staggered, but even then she'll still receive the full force of enemy attacks. As the definition of a high-risk high-reward character, Pascal should only be used after the player has weighed their options carefully.
Styles: Rifle Staff (Assault), Magic (Burst)
Richard is the magic swordsman of this game. His assault style features him using his rapier to set up fast combos, while his burst style uses (wait for it...) spells. Shocker! There's really not much to say that hasn't been said already. He has the defense of a mage and yet the physical prowess of a swordsman, meaning you'll want Richard to jump between quick bouts at the front to get some hits in to dashing back and casting some spells from a safer distance. He has a good amount of power behind that stature though, so feel free to add him to your team as another fighter/spellcaster - just make sure your party doesn't load up on them!
Styles: Rapier (Assault), Magic (Burst)
So you're probably wondering what you should do with these available party members, right? Tales games are easy enough on normal difficulties that you can use just about whoever you want and not have any real trouble, but I'll provide some examples all the same. Keep in mind that these are made with a first playthrough in mind, as subsequent runs through the game get easier and easier (but I'll talk more about that later!)
Asbel, Sophie, Hubert, Cheria
This is probably the most balanced party in the entire game. You have a standard swordsman in Asbel who can handle single and multiple enemies alike without need of much backup, a quick fighter in Sophie who can hit hard and provide healing to one of your characters should they need it, a heavy hitter in Hubert who will be supported in close combat by both Asbel and Sophie, and a hybrid in Cheria who can cast both offensive and healing spells from a distance and, should the situation be safe enough, attack in closer quarters to add to the physical barrage. Almost every shortcoming each character has is complemented by at least two other characters, so you'll never be in a dire situation. Very recommended for your first time through. If you really want to you can substitute Cheria with Malik, but keep in mind that this means you won't have a dedicated group healer in the party.
Asbel, Sophie, Cheria, Pascal/Richard
A decent substitution to the party above, as both Pascal and Richard will spend most of their time next to the enemy. Sophie can quickly heal the inevitable hits the last two will take while Asbel keeps up his all-around strong showing. Cheria's there because you're more likely to need multiple characters heal at once since Pascal and Richard would be taking a fair amount of hits, as well as Asbel or Sophie (or maybe both!) Not as good as the first party, but it'll get the job done.
Asbel, Sophie/Hubert, Cheria, Malik
Two melee, two mages. Malik has a bigger pool of offensive spells compared to Cheria and he can cast them at a much more reasonable distance compared to Pascal, plus his physical weapon is much safer compared to Richard. Sophie and Hubert are interchangeable depending on where you're at in the game; if you want battles to go by more quickly you can keep Hubert in, but if you're willing to sacrifice a bit more time and keep a faster secondary healer, Sophie is a fine choice as well.
Basically, you'll want to have Asbel and at least one of Sophie and Cheria for your first run through the game. Both is an even better option. If you choose to only have two of the three, Hubert does have a healing spell that can go with his physical attacks, but it takes some time to come out and goes for multiple characters whereas Sophie's is quick and direct, with Cheria handling the group. Malik is good crowd control and more of a standard mage, so if you like him then more power to you. Pascal and Richard should generally be avoided on your first time through and only used when the game forces you to because there are simply better options, but you can definitely change things up after your first playthrough since neither are bad characters.
Cheria, Malik, Pascal, Richard
Just like how the first team was about the best for your initial game, this is pretty much the worst. No dedicated physical fighters, terrible defense across the board and only one healer. You're in for a frustrating ride if you go for this team, so I'd really recommend against it. Spacing can only go so far when you don't actually have anyone to hold the enemies off. Keep in mind that switching Hubert with any of these characters would be just about as bad, especially if it was Cheria.
Asbel, Hubert, Malik, Pascal/Richard
This is a very strong offensive team, but you have one glaring problem: no healers. Yes, you have a quick fix group spell from Hubert that you might be able to get out if you distract the enemies long enough, but it's by no means reliable alone and by the time you try to use it it will likely be far too late. Asbel and Hubert can only hold them off so long without a healer before they fall, and after that it's easy pickings for the rest.
Sophie, Malik, Pascal, Asbel
In a way, you're as well off with this team as you are the one directly above. You switch the group heal that Hubert has with a quick single heal from Sophie, but it's just as unreliable. With Pascal having to constantly get in the enemy's face, Sophie will spend most of her time healing, which leaves you with only two main fighters.
So, what have we learned? That too many mages is a bad thing! Two should be the limit for your first playthrough, so choose carefully. If you pick only two out of Asbel/Sophie/Hubert, both Cheria and Malik are good secondary choices. Pascal's paper-thin defense and necessity to be close to the enemy to get a good attack going spells bad news for just about any team that doesn't have two healers, and Richard's best saved for after your first game.
|Button||Field Controls||Battle Controls|
|Select||Skit||Switch between Auto/Semi-Auto/Manual control of the current character|
|Directional Pad||N/A||Switch between characters|
|Right Stick||N/A||B Arte Shortcuts|
|O||Walk (Hold)||B Artes|
|Square||N/A||Charge CC (Hold) / Sidestep (Hold and move the Left Stick Up, Down, Left, or Right)|
|B1||Navigation Help||Mystic Arte (During Eleth Burst after using and holding arte buttons)|
|L2||N/A||Free Run (Hold and move the Left Stick in any direction)|
|R1||N/A||View HP of enemy / Switch current enemy by holding R1 and moving the Left Stick|
Before we jump into the battle system itself, let's start with how battles take place. When you're out on the field you'll see a bunch of monster avatars walking around. If you touch one of them, you're whisked away to a separate 3D plane outside of the field you were walking around in. From here on you're in this plane until you win or run away, and you have three forms of movement. The first is the standard walking around in a straight line that's done with the left stick. The second is the free run system that previous fans are used to; hold down L2 and you can move in any direction you like (however in this instalment free run is clunky and slow and eats up your CC points.) So here we are with a third new way to move around that's called "quick-step." By holding down the square button and moving the left stick in any of the four main directions, you can quickly move towards the enemy, away from them, or around them on either side. But what's with this new system, and what are CC points?
Tales of Graces uses the Style-Shift Linear Motion Battle System (SS-LMBS for short), which is an expansion on the classic Tales battle formula. There's one very big difference between Graces and other Tales games available in English, however, and that's that the TP system is completely done away with. If you've never played a Tales game before, you can think of TP as the MP of the series; used to execute special attacks that do more damage compared to your regular ones. When it runs out, you have to replenish it with an item or sleep at an inn to get it all back.
Instead, we have a CC system that takes its place. CC (or Chain Capacity) is a set value each character has based on their current equipment and level. There is both a minimum and maximum CC amount, with the lowest number being the lowest amount you can have during battle and the highest number being the highest. Each and every attack you use costs a certain amount of CC, and you can keep on using artes until you run out. CC can be increased by doing a combo with the current amount of CC you have; once the gauge underneath your HP bar is filled, your CC will increase by one point. This goes on and on until you reach your current maximum CC value. Conversely, taking hits will deplete the bar and eventually reduce your maximum CC by one, so watch out! Just note that in-game if your min CC is 3 and your max CC is 6, it'll be displayed as "3-6" and increased by doing a combo with your artes.
Now, there are two kinds of artes: Assault and Burst. (Hereby referred to as A and B artes.) A artes are arranged like a skill tree, and cost 1 CC, 2 CC, 3 CC and 4 CC respectively. You'll notice that each attack is mapped out to a certain movement of the control stick, so you can choose which arte you wish to use based on how you move the stick while you're pushing the buttons. You can go through this skill tree until you run out of CC, and then you must let it recharge. B artes on the other hand are unrestrained artes, meaning that you don't have to follow a set path based on the skill tree. They can be used freely and interchangeably as long as you possess sufficient CC. What's even more entertaining is that you can throw a B arte wherever you want in the middle of an A arte combo, and then you can continue the A arte combo as if nothing had happened, current CC value permitting.
Example: CC1 > CC2 > Arte/Spell > CC3 > CC4
So you won't have to start the A arte combo over again. Now if you chain a spell in the middle of a combo, the casting speed is reduced based on how far down the line you've gone. So,
CC1 > Spell > CC2
Will have a bit of a reduced casting time, whereas,
CC1 > CC2 > CC3 > CC4 > Spell
Will have a drastically reduced casting time. Of course, you can't reach this point until you get a good amount of CC behind you.
Arguably the most important aspect of this battle system to master is dodging enemy attacks. By holding square and moving the left control stick to the left or right, you can circle the enemy and attack them in a vulnerable state. This will become standard fare after a few battles, but simply dodging attacks whenever you see them isn't enough to get the full benefits it can grant. If you move out of the way just as the attacks are about to strike you instead of as soon as they come out, you'll be granted additional CC to then attack the enemy with. Practice with some weaker monsters to learn the proper timing and take advantage of this system.
Each of the characters have customizable AI through the strategy section in the main menu. The categories are split up into five categories: Focus, Balance, Style, Defend, and when acquired in the Future Arc, Accel. Options are the exact same for all characters.
This deals with how the AI acts in relation to the enemies around them and how the general situation of the battle is.
|01||Up to You||Act according to your own judgment.|
|02||Nearby Enemies||Attack enemies that are closest to you.|
|03||Leader's Target||Attack the enemy the player is targeting.|
|04||Protect Allies||Stay near and protect allies with low HP.|
|05||Strong Enemies||Aim for higher-level enemies first.|
|06||Reduce Numbers||Aim for low-HP enemies and their weak points.|
|07||Multiple Enemies||Focus on targeting multiple enemies at once.|
|08||Cancel Spells||Focus on interrupting enemy spell artes.|
|09||Other Targets||Attack enemies not targeted by the player.|
|10||Distant Enemies||Attack enemies farthest from the player.|
Tells the AI what type of artes to use, and how often to use them.
|01||A Only||Use only A-Artes.|
|02||A Heavy||Use mostly A-Artes.|
|03||Balanced||Use both A-Artes and B-Artes equally.|
|04||B Heavy||Use mostly B-Artes.|
|05||B Only||Use only B-Artes.|
Directs aggression levels against attacking enemies.
|01||Passive||Never attack enemies.|
|02||Defensive||Focus on countering.|
|03||Balanced||Attack with relative frequency.|
|04||Offensive||Focus on attacking.|
|05||Aggressive||Never stop attacking.|
Controls how often the AI guards and/or heals, depending on whether the character in question has healing artes or not.
|01||Always||Guard/heal when HP falls under 100%.|
|02||Often||Guard/heal when HP falls under 75%.|
|03||Regularly||Guard/heal when HP falls under 50%.|
|04||Rarely||Guard/heal when HP falls under 25%.|
|05||Never||Pay no mind to HP levels.|
Finally, this lets the AI know when to activate their Accel gauge, or if they should at all.
|01||Up to You||Activate according to your own judgment.|
|02||100% Gauge||Activate when the Accel Gauge reaches 100%.|
|03||Near-Death||Activate when HP falls under 25%.|
|04||50% Gauge||Activate when the Accel Gauge reaches 50%.|
|05||Don't Use||Don't use Accel Mode.|
You'll notice while you're playing that Titles have a decidedly different effect compared to their usual function in the series. You actually get both status upgrades and new artes by leveling up your titles with SP that you get after each and every battle. Once you get enough SP your title will go up a rank (indicated by the stars on both the title screen and at the end of every battle), and you can check to see how much SP you need on the title screen. You can also push triangle and individually set how often titles are automatically switched; for the most part having it set to switch when the title hits Rank 3 is good enough to get a wide variety of skills and stats boosts, but the choice is entirely yours. Be sure to hunt for lots of SP while you play!
After a certain event you'll gain the Eleth Gauge, a thin bar on the left side of your screen that's divided between you and the enemy. The top part of the bar increases when you attack, guard, sidestep, and defeat enemies. Once the bar fills you'll automatically enter Eleth Vurst, which grants all of your characters unlimited CC for a limited time. You are also immune to staggering when attacked and all critical hits are negated, but any damage you take while guarding will go right through as if you were being hit regularly, so don't bother. Later on in the game you'll be able to activate Mystic Artes by using any kind of arte and pushing B1 while the enemy is staggered, and which one you perform depends on what level of Burst you're in (indicated by a number on the gauge itself.)
The bottom half is the enemy's own version of the Burst. Unfortunately it fills gradually when the enemy takes hits or guards, so them activating it is an inevitability. Eleth Break will activate when the other side of the gauge fills, and when this occurs the enemy cannot be staggered or hit with criticals. Watch out for this during boss battles, as they have their own Mystic Artes.
These are requests that can be done from town to town whenever you wish. People will ask you to deliver them certain items, and if you do you'll be rewarded with SP to help speed along your title growth, as well as either certain items or glad. A little under ten of them are missable, but besides those don't worry if you don't have the required items to complete the request as you can always revisit them.
Dualizing is the way to customize your items in Graces. Returning fans of the series can use Din's Shop in Abyss or the weapon customization in Vesperia as references. Graces mixes the best of both: not only can you power up your weapons, but you can create completely new ones from pre-existing materials. The first example you'll come across in the game is mixing an Apple and a Gel Seed to make an Apple Gel. Fun! You can make a variety of food items that can then be put in the Eleth Mixer (To be covered in the actual guide!) which is basically takes the place of Cooking in this game. With equipment you can go the Vesperia route and take a pre-existing weapon/armor and add a material, or you can put two pieces of equipment together themselves. This can increase boast a number of benefits, namely strength/defense boosts or adding elemental effects.
You can also add certain little colored shards on your equipment to increase parameters depending on their color. Orange ones increase CC and CC recovery(!), blue ones increase your standard stat points on the status screen like herbs do in previous games, yellowy ones add HP recovery effects and purple ones add the elemental effect to weapons that I talked about in the paragraph above. These each have a rank (with 1 being the weakest and 9 being the strongest), so try and get higher ranked shards!
Now then, on to the main guide.
V. Childhood Arc Walkthrough
As you start up a new game, you're brought straight to the options screen so that you can configure what you would like for your playthrough. All of these, including the difficulty can be changed at any time, so don't worry if you can't make a decision right away. Do keep in mind that you can unlock the Evil difficulty by playing 200 battles on Hard and the Chaos difficulty by playing 300 battles on Evil, so feel free to do so if you're up for a challenge. Playing on higher difficulties also grants you more Gald, EXP, Shards, and SP, if you need the extra incentive. The rest of the menu is pretty self-explanatory so I'll let you go about your business.
- Apple Gel x3
- Life Bottle
We start off with little Asbel and Hubert at the hill behind their town. Asbel wants to see the flowers in bloom, something their father wouldn't approve of them doing due to the monsters, so he's snuck away to go on an adventure because he's 11 years old and he goes where he wants!
As soon as you enter you'll see a treasure chest to the left, so walk on up and open it. Inside you'll find three Apple Gels, recovery items that restore your HP by 30%. Not bad. Afterwards you'll see a monster avatar moving around by the treasure chest, so walk over to it and let's start the first battle in the game.
You'll be given brief tutorials while you fight throughout this arc of the story, so be sure to pay attention! Basically right now all you need to know is that each attack uses up a bit of your CC which then recharges automatically after you run out. Using X and moving the control stick in certain directions will allow you to do different types of attacks and you can move around the enemies by holding square and moving the control stick as well, so feel free to experiment when the game allows you to. If you aren't able to take everything you need from the provided tutorials, an in-depth analysis of the battle system can be read up in the IV. Gameplay section.
Did you make it out alright? Good. You may have lost a sizeable amount of HP in that first fight, so let's continue to the right and check out the fountain here. Walk up to and examine it to completely restore your health. You should also have noticed a little box popping up telling you that you can push the Select button to view a skit. Skits are fully voiced conversations between characters that can occur at any time, so push it and watch Asbel tease Hubert about the water. Skits will be coming up at a regular intervals now, so be sure to watch them if you want to learn more about the characters. You can usually get them at save points, as well as always after finding a Discovery.
Anyway, ignore the path leading up past the fountain and go to the right to see a treasure chest by the big tree in the foreground. Open it and you'll find a Glassphere, an item that'll be exchanged for Gald later on. Go up the aforementioned path and you'll see a Save Point, which you can use at your own discretion. Before heading up into the meadow though, go directly right of the save point. You'll see a hidden treasure chest that contains a Life Bottle. Go up to the next screen.
After a short anime sequence and the resulting cutscene, Asbel and Hubert will be joined by a mysterious amnesiac purple-haired girl with an odd affinity for the growing sopheria flowers on Lhant Hill. When all's said and done, you'll get the Plucked Flower key item. There's not much else to do here, so let's go back to the previous screen and exit south of where the game started. Take a quick stop at the fountain if need be.
Out on the field, you can now hold B1 to see where you need to go next, as well as learn information on various nearby locations. You'll see it says "Return to Lhant" if you hold it right now, so let's head east and get back to town.
- Pork x2
- Apple Gel
- Pickled Plum
- Apple x3
- 100 Gald
- Discovery Book
- Enemy Book
- Apple Trees
- Lord Windegarde
- Family Portrait
After a short scene, your friend Cheria will join the party and you'll lose the Plucked Flower item you got a few minutes ago. Right off the bat go up and speak with the chicken, as he not only teaches the extremely useless ways of walking, but also shows that you can talk to animals in this game. This is important because to get a certain set of titles later on you need to speak with as many people as you can, so be sure to converse with each and every townsfolk and animal you come across. After that, head on up the stairs and enter the house directly to the right of the windmill. Once you're inside check the top right corner of this room to open the closet and find two pieces of Pork. Then go into the room on the right and talk to the dog to get an Apple Gel, and the grandmother to get a Pickled Plum.
Exit the house and go back down the stairs. Ignore the bridge for now and go around the corner to find your manor. After an event with the butler Frederic, go back to the bridge we passed and cross it, then head left. A hungry Asbel will lead to an event by the apple tree where you'll get the Discovery Book. This will allow you to keep various monuments and points in interest in the book and unlock extra skits. Walk up to the Apple Tree and push X to add it to your book, as well as receive three Apples. Keep in mind that if you leave the area and come back, you can check any Discovery place and receive another one of the item it gives. While you're here, talk to the guard right beside you. Answer his questions with "Wolf Pup", "Wooly Boar", and "Giant Bee" to get 100 Gald. Now then, head back to the windmill and examine it to put Lord Windegarde in your Discovery Book, and then go inside your manor and up the first set of stairs to examine and add the Lhant Family Portrait as well. Head up to the right to enter Asbel and Hubert's room, and check the desk on the far right to get the Enemy Book. You may have noticed that you can buy an item called the "Manual Manual" from the shop in town, but hold on for just a little bit. You can get it for free very soon.
That's all we can do here right now, so if you're ready, let's head out the west entrance of town. It's by the apple tree we checked out earlier. If you haven't yet, speak with the guard on the bridge as you go by to open it up.
West Lhant Road
- Magic Carta No. 3 (Philia Felice)
- Gel Seeds x3
- Rice x5
- Gel Seeds
Go west until you see a little path above with a man standing by and examine the tree to get three Gel Seeds and the Gel Seeds Discovery. Afterwards open the treasure chest to get a second Glassphere and continue on your way. When the path opens up and you reach the beach, talk to the guy in the peculiar outfit to get a short tutorial on Dualizing. Dualize replaces Synthesis from Vesperia, but it's fairly similar. The Turtlez will have you put together an Apple and one of the Gel Seeds you just picked up to create an Apple Gel that you can now use to restore your health. Directly west of the Turtlez is a chest that contains 5 helpings of Rice, so be sure to pick them up. Speak with the Beastmaster here for a short scene and you can head back to town. Keep in mind that if you search the shining spots on the ground in this area, you may find the Philia Felice Carta Card. You'll also receive the Enemy Book from a fight if you didn't pick it up in Asbel's room.
No need to fear, you won't gain a crazy hairstyle and start dueling with them. Carta Cards are throwbacks to previous entries in the Tales series, and there's one for every main character in the series (save two or three) up to but not including Tales of Xillia. Sometimes the only way to find them are by checking the random shining spots around areas as you walk by and it may take a few tries to find them, so if they don't interest you you need not bother with them. They're needed for a few costumes and sidequests later on though, so be sure to pick them up if you don't want to miss out.
As soon as we get back head to the manor for a scene with the two boys' mother, Kerri. Cheria will leave the party, but before we go in to speak with their father go back and walk to the house to the left of the windmill. Cheria will be here, and if you talk to her twice you will get an Apple Gel. Back to the manor and into the first door on the left to speak with Asbel and Hubert's father, Aston. After he tells Asbel about a certain visitor and tries to take the mysterious girl away from him, Asbel storms out and gains the Lord's Heir title. Before you go outside, head up to the left side of the second floor and approach the gold star to overhear a conversation between Aston and Kerri. Afterwards, head out and the group will be greeted by Cheria, and then after a bit of conversation the mysterious girl will finally have a name! Asbel attempts to name her Tiger Festival (much to the dismay of Hubert and Cheria), but after some thought they decide to name her "Sophie" after the sopheria flowers the group picked back at Lhant Hill. She then very appropriately gains the Named after a Flower title. This time when you walk across the bridge go south instead of west and you'll end up at East Lhant Highroad.
East Lhant Highroad
- Magic Carta No. 1 (Stahn Aileron)
- Apple Gel x2
- Cryas Shards
Go down by the river and open the treasure chest for two Apple Gels. There is a shining spot that randomly appears by the log at the top right part of this screen, but you'll likely have to go to town and come back multiple times for it to show up. When it does, you can find the Stahn Aileron Carta Card. If this is taking longer than you'd like, you can come back a bit later and progress further into the area, meaning there will be more shining spots and more of a chance to get Stahn's card. Then you can check the blue things in the water that almost look like fish swimming around for the Cryas Shards Discovery.
Head back up and go to the right for a quick battle against a Prairie Eagle, and then a quick scene with Aston will take place right afterwards. Back to Lhant.
Head to the manor, but instead of going straight in walk through the garden and head around the right side of the house to meet Richard. His sword trainer Bryce will burst in and end the party, but Richard isn't feeling well enough to practice so Asbel takes his place. You'll be back inside the manor, so exit and your party will switch up a little bit. Hubert and Cheria will leave, and Richard will join. Just like Cheria however, Richard doesn't fight currently so really you've just lost a member in battle. Ah well. After the duel between Asbel and Bryce, our young protagonist decides he wants his brand new friend to see the meadow from the start of the game, so head back to Lhant Hill and show Richard the flowers.
North Lhant Road
- Magic Carta No. 4 (Garr Kelvin)
While we're going back, check the shining spots along the way and you can find the Garr Kelvin Carta Card. You can also find a Glassphere in a treasure chest to the west of the sign. Now then, to Lhant Hill.
- Spring of Healing
Remember the fountain from the start of the game that restored your health? Check it out now to add it to your Discovery Book, and then go up to the back meadow again where we first met Sophie.
Our old buddy Bryce is back to take on Richard this time, but we don't really want that to happen so let's make up for the thrashing he gave us back at the manor.
The first real boss in the game, and he's pretty much a joke. It's to be expected since this is the prologue and you don't have any special moves to use yet, but he really is quite easy. With a pitiful 1320 HP on Normal he's no more of a threat than any of your regular battles. Just be sure to guard efficiently and the tag-team duo of Asbel and Sophie will bring him down in no time. He probably won't even use any of his Artes, though he does have a few hard hitters such as Flame Drive and Inverse Pressure; thankfully they're all pretty easy to dodge. If you're playing on Moderate or Hard, switching to Sophie would be a wise course of action. You'll likely inadvertently get your first trophy here: defeating Bryce in under one minute.
Lhant Hill Cliffs
- Pickled Plum x3
- Life Bottle x2
- Abandoned Nest
- Friendship Tree
After the fight you'll be down below on the beach and have to climb your way back up. Richard has magically had his partypreventitis cured after falling fifty feet and landing on his face, so we're back up to three battle members. Before heading up the slope, check in between it and the rock and you'll see a treasure chest; open it to get another three Pickled Plums. Head on up and I'd recommend you hold O to walk, since if you run you'll end up falling off the cliff and be washed up on shore again. Walk out to the little raised part of the cliff to get two Life Bottles, and then head up. On your way to the save point, check out the Abandoned Nest to add it to your Discovery Book and save your game. A short scripted battle will occur, but it shouldn't pose any trouble to you (especially now that Richard is fighting too.) Afterwards grab the Glassphere from the nearby chest and climb the roots back up to the meadow. After another scene, Asbel, Sophie, and Richard will all receive the Pact Maker title. Check the tree to get the Friendship Tree Discovery, and head on back to Lhant.
Back to Lhant for a few events, and then we automatically get the key item Richard's Ring so we can visit him later on. Asbel's a rebellious little guy, so we'll be heading back out to East Lhant Highroad.
East Lhant Highroad
- Manual Manual
- 300 Gald
- Milk x3
- Windor Cows
Head on over to the bridge on the right side that we were denied access to earlier when we fought the Prairie Eagle. Cross it and open the treasure chest there for a Glassphere, and then go right up the hill. Now that we can explore more of the area we'll have an easier time of finding Stahn's Carta Card, so be sure to grab it now from the shining spots on the ground if you haven't already. Keep going until you reach a little wooden cabin on the far right side of the map and you'll get a scene. Afterwards head up into the house and grab the Manual Manual from the chest here. This allows you to fight battles in Manual as opposed to Semi-Auto, which gives you more freedom to perform actions.
Exit the house and go right up yet another hill. Stick to the right wall as you walk and eventually you'll come across a chest containing 300 Gald. From here you can see a bunch of cattle down in the field, so go down and examine the green-spotted yellow one (poor thing) and add Windor Cows to the Discovery Book. You'll also get three bottles of Milk from it, though I don't know if I'd want to drink milk from a yellow cow. Go back to the main road and continue following it to reach the port.
Port to Barona
- Bread x2
- Lettuce x2
- Dried Seaweed
As soon as you arrive you should see a little guy crouched over on the left by the awnings. Talk to him and you'll get a bowl of Rice, and then head into the house on the left. On the left side of the room you'll see two cabinets; open the bottom left one for two pieces of Bread, and the top left one for two heads of Lettuce. Exit the house and speak with the man right next to it to receive some free Dried Seaweed. And we didn't even have to steal it from him! That's all for this quaint little port, so speak with the Captain and have him take you to Barona Port for 10 Gald.
- Dried Seaweed x3
- Pie Sheet x2
- Egg x2
As you walk up into the main part of Barona, you'll run into Cheria who will join your party once again. Head up the stairs and at the top speak with the elderly woman sitting on the bench to receive a Feather. Head down the stairs to the right and speak with the guard to get a bit of info on cryas and eleth, as well as receive a Tomato. Head to the right of the guard to find the Inn of this lovely capital. Go upstairs, enter the room on the right and check out the closet in the top left to get three pieces of Dried Seaweed. Now exit the inn and go up the middle stairs to reach the upper area of Barona.
Up here, go over to the right and enter the house. Check both cabinets just like back at Port to Barona for two Pie Sheets and two Eggs. Exit, head all the way to the left and go up and around to reach the castle. Note on your way up that there's a path to the left being blocked by two chatty women. Speak with the left guard here for a scene, and then head back to where the women were. They'll be out of the way, so go up this new path and head up to the giant green monument. After the scene, Richard will join your party. Tiger Festival! Thankfully he's still able to participate in battle, unlike Cheria. Afterwards, check the green monument for the Gloandi Discovery. If you'd like you can go back to where the Inn was and head east to meet Malik, but otherwise you can head back down to the middle part and go straight up, and we'll be back on the field.
North Barona Road
- Magic Carta No. 2 (Rutee Katrea)
- Beef x2
Not much to do here, just take the left path when it branches for yet another Glassphere and head up the main path. Along the way be sure to check the shining spots for the Rutee Katrea Carta Card. About halfway through you'll see a treasure chest nestled comfortably in the shade of a tree on the right side of the road, so open it up to get two pieces of Beef. There's nothing of interest in the cabin, so go straight up to the little cliff overlooking the land for a scene and then head back to town.