´╗┐Tales of Xilla: Alvin Character Guide


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TABLE OF CONTENTS              [ToC]
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1: Table of Contents...............[ToC]
2: Introduction....................[Intro]
   2.1: Contact Information........[Contact]
3: Version History.................[Version]
4: Alvin FAQ........................[Alvin00]
   4.1: Alvin basic breakdown.......[Alvin01]
   4.2: Alvin Arte breakdown........[Alvin02]
   4.3: Alvin Recommendation........[Alvin03]
5: Legal Mumbo Jumbo...............[Legal]
6: Conclusion......................[Conc]

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INTRODUCTION                   [Intro]
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Hello, my user-name is dagoldenclip2 but everyone simply calls me Clip.
I started playing Tales in 2003 with Tales of Symphonia, but 
I didn't gain higher technical insight until I started getting
into solo and challenge runs. With many runs and character 
understanding under my belt over the years I've managed to gain
a good grasp in terms of how to effectively master the vast amount
of characters in the series.

Many fans are average players who simply enjoy the experience and move on.
However, there is a small fraction of the fan-base who engage in higher level
Tales game-play. The wide-spread misinformation amongst the fan-base has
slightly motivated me to correct this with character and mechanic guides
to explain everything I learned over my development as a Tales player.

This FAQ is here to specifically detail Alvin and all of his capabilities. 
This FAQ is not here to debate between characters in this game or other 
characters in the series. It's here to guide new players or old who
may want to get some understanding of how Alvin plays.

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CONTACT INFORMATION         [Contact]
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Considering I'm a human being (I think) there will most likely be mistakes.
This is all of the information I feel is worthy to note so any
additions you feel are necessary can be voiced in a PM sent on Youtube.

www.youtube.com/dagoldenclip2

If you decide to PM me be clear in what you feel needs to be added
or questioned. If you take the time to ask irrelevant questions you will be 
ignored. I ask that you title the PM "Alvin Information" or something to
that effect so I know what you're talking about.

My knowledge of ToX is stemming from 2011 for the most part. If you picked up
a technique or have something of interest to add don't hesitate to say
something.

In that same breathe the insight I give here is from a solo perspective.

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VERSION HISTORY             [Version]
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Version 1.00: Finished but subject for future updates



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ALVIN FAQ                   [Alvin00]
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Let's get cracking then. So you decided you wanted to step up your Alvin
or simply wanted to see more in-depth information on Alvin. You're 
at the right place. If you want to see Alvin in action I recommend you 
check out 
dagoldenclip2's Alvin solo
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSeHNaASeaUpUI9rJ3mfvX7z2bxQCb-33


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ALVIN BASIC BREAKDOWN       [Alvin01]
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Alvin plays the role as your mid-range melee unit. He does well as a front-line
unit, or plays a decent support role if you set him to focus on his ranged
artes.

The main ability and focus of Alvin is in the use of his charged artes. This 
gives Alvin access to essentially another set of artes, as he some artes change
dramatically when charged. Some are simple boost, but with his charge skills at 
hand Alvin can play a nice mix-up games with enemies.

Alvin is also the party's power-house character in terms of physical damage. He
hits hardest out of the cast (from my experience) and coupled with his rather
speedy game-play (when played correctly)
he can essentially bring the house down on enemies.

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ALVIN ARTE BREAKDOWN      [Alvin02]
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If you would like to get a visual of Alvin's artes I suggest you check out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elDCvhhnxbo
This is the Tales of Xillia 2 Arte Exhibition, but outside of his new artes
you can see what he has in ToX. I never did one for ToX unfortunately. 

I may use abbreviations of his artes here during the insight portion. They
shouldn't be hard to figure out. My insight is based on solo usefulness.
Just about every arte is useful in a party scenario as there are little risk.
OTG = Off the Ground (Pick-up effect)

Universal Arte Changes
-----------------------
100 - Crit Occurence +3%
200 - Power +5%
400 - Link Gauge increment increase +20%
1000 - TP consumption is cut to 2/3
2000 - Power bonus is increased to 20%
4000 - Arte has 25% of not consuming AC while linked
9999 - Arte has 50% of not consuming AC while linked


Demon Fang
-----------
-Gains the ability to penetrate after 400 uses.
-Gains OTG after 400 uses.

Clip's Insight: An arte that has usefulness in any game it appears in. For
Alvin, there is no exception. Great for positioning and the OTG effect is
great. I typically find this move best to use especially when attempting to
build charges. The stall factor and it has one of the fastest recovery time;
giving Alvin much space and time needed to charge.

Tiger Blade
------------
-Speed increases once after 200 uses.

Clip's Insight: I find it only nets usage after a Tornado Drive for me.
However, it works well enough on the ground. It's an arte I typically have set;
even if I don't use it much. Decent arte overall.

Sonic Thrust
-------------
-Aerial-enable after 100 uses.

Clip's Insight: A fantastic arte. One of Alvin's best artes for tech-chasing
enemies. By tech-chasing I simply mean hounding an enemy down without worrying
that your combo would be compromised. 

Variable Trigger
-----------------

Clip's Insight: I like using this arte if I need to maintain distance with the
opponent. It has quite a strong impact and slight knock-back on enemies that is
worth noting. 

Tornado Drive
--------------

Clip's Insight: Unfortunately, Alvin is really built for aerial combat; so this
arte finds little use. It works well in synchronization with Squall shot and
Dark Radiance though.

Arc Fire
----------
-Gains OTG effect after 200 uses.

Clip's Insight: Another good arte. Once it gains the OTG effect it boosts to be
on par with other OTG artes Alvin has. I personally have other preferences, but
this arte is worthy of usage depending on your taste. It is worth noting that
this arte hits a pretty decent range. Pretty good for crowd-control.

Guardian Field
---------------

Clip's Insight: An arte Alvin essentially needs to reserve a permanent slot
for. It heals a nice amount to you and any one close (link partner for example)
and is a relatively low-risk arte considering it heals. 

Punishing Shot
---------------
-Extra hit after 200 uses

Clip's Insight: I personally like this arte quite a bit. The push-back sets up
for easy follow-ups and even if say a boss tech's Alvin is more or less in a 
rather safe position to block or avoid. 

Moonlight Cleft
----------------

Clip's Insight: I don't use this arte too much since I typically only save one
slot for a non-elemental arte like Dragon Swarm. However, its useful for closer
positioning on the enemy; as Alvin will slide much closer to the enemy.

Squall Shot
---------------

Clip's Insight: This is a situation dependant arte. Alone, the multiple and
centralized AoE is a boon. I personally find it best to use this specifically
after Guardian Grove if you intend to maintain a combo. Otherwise, using it
stand-alone is rather pointless. The range isn't far and leaving Alvin
defense-less isn't worth it.

Terra Rupture
--------------
-Pulls enemies towards Alvin after 200 uses.

Clip's Insight: After 200 uses this arte becomes decent. The pull-in effect
saves this arte from being completely pointless. It drags the enemy in well
enough to follow-up with another arte. 

Homing Shot
---------------

Clip's Insight: I like this arte mainly for its awkward aerial physics. If you
jump and use homing shot Alvin will glide a rather decent distance. Makes a
good use for positioning or travelling the field safely.

Dragon Swarm
--------------
-Speed increases after 200 uses.

Clip's Insight:  An aesthetically pleasing arte for sure. It does its job well
with tech-chasing properties (as the second hit has a nice arc-range)
and makes for a good arte to close space on an opponent easily. After 200 uses
the speed increase increases the positive aspects even more.

Pulse Shot
---------------
-Gains OTG effect at 200 uses.

Clip's Insight: One of Alvin's best artes. The OTG alone makes this one of
Alvin's most useful artes. It hits a healthy number of times and is great for
many uses. OTG, Stalling, guard pressuring, and guard breaking. It travels a 
remarkable distance before fading out too; which helps follow up knock-down
combos where the enemy may of slid rather far.

Dark Radiance
--------------
-Aerial-enabled after 100 uses

Clip's Insight: A pretty good arte. The knock-back is immense and the damage
output alone helps secure this arte as a near-permenant for Alvin. The AoE is
rather large itself. So another great arte for crowd-control and scattering. 

Demon Inferno
--------------

Clip's Insight: Another must-have. I believe this and the charge variant do
the most damage out of Alvin's artes.  

Cross Cleave
------------
-Extra hit after 200 and 400 uses.

Clip's Insight: I am a fan of this arte. Maybe because of ToX2, but it does
its job well as an arte. It has a large push-back effect, but this arte is
easily to follow up with when combined with demon fang and sonic thrust. 

Fierce Demon Fang
------------------
-AoE increases after 400 uses of Demon Fang

Clip's Insight: This is a good arte. I don't use it much, but the knock-down
of this arte specifically has the property of "flattening" enemies. Where they
can't recover out of it, which is a good effect when applied correctly. 

Tiger Rage
-----------

Clip's Insight: Essentially the same feeling I have about Tiger Blade applies
here. It just has another hit.

Sonic Barrage
--------------

Clip's Insight: I like this arte quite a bit. I may not use it much, but if I
have an extra charge I typically use this in tangent with Pulse shot. The OTG
is ridiculously brilliant on the developer's part. Then the following
knock-back does well in punishing the inevitable recover (bosses at least.)

Variable Blast
---------------
Clip's Insight: It's the same effect as the non-charged variant. Same uses and
purposes as its original.

Cyclone Drive
--------------
Clip's Insight: I have a love-hate relationship with this arte. The extra-slash
is rather useless, but it isn't completely useless at the same time.

Arc Blaze
----------
-OTG effect after 200 uses of Arc Fire

Clip's Insight: It's a bigger radius, but has the same effects as the original
arte. Just preference as usual.

Guardian Grove
---------------
-Speed increases after 200 uses of Guardian Field.

Clip's Insight: Superior version of Guardian Field. The arte continues to
juggle enemies while Alvin is free after the initial frames. Good for setting
up with Squall shot or punishing enemies while they lay helpless in the arte.
On top of that it heals more. Must-have arte.

Punishing Beam
----------------
-OTG effect after 200 uses of Punishing Beam.

Clip's Insight: The OTG into knock-down is better down with Sonic Barrage, but
this is another arte that works well with Pulse shot. 

Twin Moonlight Cleft
---------------------

Clip's Insight: It's the same as the original, except done twice. Same effects
and uses here.

Storm Shot
-----------

Clip's Insight: Eh, the range is too spread and the lack of centralization
hurts this arte for me. It works if you're dealing with multiple enemies
though as the range is large and scattered.

Terra Fissure
--------------

Clip's Insight: This is has more of an impact from an aesthetic view, but still
has the same properties and uses as the original arte. However, the 3rd hit
does have a knock-down effect if the enemy is hit.

Homing Cannon
---------------

Clip's Insight: The same as the original. Three shots is just a boon.

Dragon Salvo
-------------

Clip's Insight: The last hit has a knock-down effect if I recall. This more or
less becomes a great arte for positioning and using knock-down for whatever
reason you may need.

Sweeping Shot
--------------
-OTG effect after 200 uses of Pulse Shot

Clip's Insight: It works the same as Pulse shot outside of Alvin's model
position. Refer to the original arte for my insight.

Devil Flare
------------
-Aerial-enabled after 100 uses of Dark Radiance

Clip's Insight: The larger radius amplifies the knock-back and of course the
damage done to enemies. If you have a charge then feel free to use it. I do
find it better to use this on the ground vs Dark Radiance itself.

Abyssal Inferno
----------------

Clip's Insight: Alvin's most damage move no doubt. The large fireball actually
staggers reliably and has a nice range. The following explosion has great
knock-back as well. Fantastic arte; especially when used with Guardian Grove.

Muzzle Roar
------------
-Adds extra hits after 200 and 400 uses of Cross Cleave

Clip's Insight: I believe this variation is a bit slower that Cross Cleave. It
adds a bit more in terms of reliability, but the recovery frames hinder it
compared to Cross Cleave (faster recovery)

Hell Fryer
-----------

Clip's Insight: This is a powerful move. Useful for the knock-down, but the 
aerial aftermath hinders it a bit. When charged it speeds up considerably and
Alvin lands before the enemy is really launched into the air. 

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ALVIN RECOMMENDATIONS [Alvin03]
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Clip
------
 -Once you get the hang of Alvin, you'll realize he plays really fast.

 -The best artes to charge with are Demon Fang and Guardian Grove.

 -Using Guardian Grove helps set up combos with Squall shot and
Abyssal Inferno. 
 - Ex. Guardian Grove -> Squall shot -> Sonic Thrust -> Tornado Drive -> Dark
 Radiance is one of my favorite arte chains.
 - Ex. Guardian Grove -> Abyssal Inferno
 
 - Use Dragon Swarm and Sonic thrust whenever you want to tech-chase an enemy.
  - Ex. Cross Cleave -> Demon Fang -> Sonic Thrust (Tech-chase)
  - Ex. Punishing Beam -> Dragon Swarm (Tech-chase)
  
 -Terra Fissure is also a great follow-up to Punishing beam if you want to 
  bring the enemy back in melee range.
 
 -Pulse shot is Alvin's best tool for zoning. If you're looking to inflict
 status effects then this arte takes on the elemental property of your
 weapon.
 
 -Variable Blast, Demon Fang, and Pulse shot work well together for stalling
 or zoning.
 
 -Alvin has better synchronization with Jude and Milla. His guard breaking
 ability is a useful linked skill and while controlled he has a great arsenal
 of melee LAs.
 
 -When fighting bosses or enemies that recover use Sonic Barrage to force the
 recovery and effectively punish it. A Fierce Demon Fang would do the trick for
 its special knock-down property.
 
 -Focus on getting Alvin's charge skills immediately. The speed is absolutely
 fantastic once you get all of the skills.
 
 -Homing Cannon is great for field travel instead of running/avoiding enemies.
Just remember to run -> jump to maintain the momentum.

 -If you intend to use charges plan them accordingly. Alvin lacks Charge Blow
 in this game, so if you're going to use 2 or 3 charges, then make sure you
 know what artes will follow. 
 
-Overall Alvin is really easy to pick-up and understand. He doesn't have
 anything necissarily "advanced" per-say, but he gets the job done and is a
 easy introduction for players to get the hang of a more "complicated"
 so to speak. 

 

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LEGAL MUMBO JUMBO           [Legal]
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All characters and Tales material belong to Namco.
The links provided in this guide belong to myself.
The only site allowed to host this is Gamefaqs.
Use of this guide for profit is plain crazy and just don't do it. Or face
the wrath of Plantix.

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CONCLUSION                  [Conc]
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Special thanks to...

Gamefaqs for hosting said guide.
Aseliawiki for extra arte information.
Kouli since his guides over the years kept me interested in the series.
Namco for making said series and bringing this title over here.
You for reading it.

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