With superb JRPG Tales of Arise now boasting a chunky campaign expansion in the form of Before the Dawn, which releases more than two years after the base game launched in September 2021, it would be totally understandable if you’ve forgotten exactly what transpired prior. For those folks and for others like me with the memory of a goldfish, we’ve got this handy story primer which brings you bang up to date with what transpired in Tales of Arise.
Tales Of Arise – The Story So Far
Beginning in the fantasy realm of Calagia against a backdrop where the technologically advanced world of Rena has enslaved the much less developed world of Dahna, a masked amnesiac Dahnan slave known appropriately as ‘Iron Mask’, finds himself under the employ of the Crimson Crows. A band of resistance fighters that aims to overthrow Balseph, the Renan lord who rules Calagia also free the slaves under his command, together, Iron Mask and the Crimson Crows liberate a Renan Girl called Shionne that Iron Mask finds oddly familiar, but isn’t quite able to place in his memories.
Somewhat tragically, it’s also revealed that Shionne suffers from a curse which harms anybody that makes contact with her. While attempting to escape, it is also discovered that Shionne possesses a Master Core – a vast storage of elemental energy that can be tapped into if it comes into contact with the right individual. Proving that fact, the masked slave conjures a sword wreathed in flame from Shionne’s Master Core and promptly puts it to work to defeat the pursuing Renan squads.
It’s also at this point that we realise that our masked hero has an affliction of his own – namely that he cannot feel pain and as such, is the only individual that can use the flaming sword conjured from Shionne’s Master Core. Using this knowledge, Shionne and the slave make a pact to take down the five Renan Lords and collect the Master Cores they own in the process. After defeating Balseph, the slave remembers that he has a name – Alphen – and after Calaglia has been freed, Shionne, Alphen and the leader of the Crimson Crows, Zephyr, all set out to the realm of Cyslodia. After arriving, Zephyr is immediately nabbed by Law, who not only happens to be his son, but belongs to a group of agents that serve Ganabelt Valkyris, the local lord of Cyslodia.
Though initially sour on his father after what appears to be an extended period of poor relations, Law changes his mind when it becomes clear that his father is facing a public execution and in doing so, decides to aid Shionne and Alphen in rescuing Zephyr. Sadly, Zephyr is killed by Lord Ganabelt himself, sending Law into a rage which results in Shionne, Alphen and new ally Rinwell, a talented Dahnan mage, joining forces with him to kill Lord Ganabelt in turn, thus liberating Cyslodia as a result.
After freeing Cyslodia, our plucky group makes their way to Elde Menancia where its lord, Dohalim il Qaras, takes a progressive view on the struggle between the Renan and Dahnan people by abolishing slavery and allowing the two peoples to peacefully coexist under his watchful eye. It isn’t long however until the party are told by the gravely injured Migal, the leader of an undercover group known as the Golden Dust Cats, that a conspiracy has been put into motion by Kelzalik, the senior aide of Dohalim, to syphon away the astral energy of the Dahnans that live in Elde Menancia.
Aided by the brave Dahnan knight Kisara, who lends her sword to Alphen and friends after her brother Migal passes away, the group put a halt to Kelzalik’s schemes at which point Dohalim promptly sends him into exile. Realising that they both can do more in the wider world beyond the borders of Elde Menancia, both Kisara and Dohalim join the party as they venture deep into the realm of Mahag Saar.
Upon the arrival of the group at Mahag Saar, they soon discover that the Dark Wings, a group of mineral hunters, have displaced the local Lord Almeidrea Kaineris, who has subsequently disappeared. During their search for Almedirea, Shionne reveals to the party that her ultimate goal is to accumulate all of the Master Cores to create ‘Renas Alma’, the ultimate Master Core which will provide Shionne with the power necessary to lift her curse. After learning that Almeidrea has been ensnared by local forces, the group appears at her public execution to not only realise it was a ruse to kill the Dark Wings and extract their astral energy, but also for Rinwell to shockingly realise that Almeidrea was the lord that murdered her parents many years prior.
Newly enraged, the group manages to find their way onto Almeidrea’s battleship and defeat her. Before the killing blow can be landed however, Vholran, the Lord of the realm of Ganath Haros, manifests and instead kills Almeidrea himself and then promptly enters into battle with Alphen. During said scrap, Alphen’s mask is entirely shattered which not only restores his enemy, but so too does it bring back the sense of pain he was lacking before, shocking Alphen and blinding him to the fact that Vholran’s forces have captured Shionne.
After narrowly escaping Vhorlan and his horde, Alphen confesses to the rest of the group that he is from a much earlier time in history, revealing that he was actually involved in secret Renan experiments that unfolded more than three centuries prior. More crucially, Alphen also reveals that in partnership with Shionne’s Renan ancestor, Naori Imeris, he was coerced to play a role in a spirit channelling ceremony using a completed version of the Renas Alma. Tragically, not only was the ceremony a catastrophic failure that caused a massive loss of life, but it’s also made known that Naori was the one responsible for making Alphen wear the mask which served to suppress his pain and memories in the first place. After this, she promptly sends him back to Dahna, locked in a spaceship that preserved his body in cold storage until he was revived just one year before the events of Tales of Arise begin.
With the only course of action being to track down and take out Vholran, the party storm his castle quickly, killing Vholran, rescuing Shionne and gaining possession of all of the Master Cores. Sadly, the party’s victory appears short-lived as an enigmatic figure appears and uses a previously unrevealed sixth Master Core to drain astral energy from the original five Master Cores to fashion the Renas Alma, escaping with both it and Vhloran’s corpse to boot. As time passes and with no new leads as to the missing Master Cores, Shionne, Alphen and the other members of the group devote the following month to aid the seemingly pleasant folks of Ganath Haros in rebuilding their battle-scarred realm. Of course, it isn’t long before things start to head south and soon they discover that a structure is being used by the Renans to drain the entirety of the astral energy possessed by Dahna and redirect it to Lenegis, the moon of Rena.
After preventing the operation of this structure and saving Dahna in the process, the party stumbles upon the spaceship that Alphen originally arrived on three hundred years ago. After restoring the craft and making their way to Lenegis, the group realises that Vholran has not only been resurrected, but so too has the Renas Alma fallen into the clutches of the Helganquill, a Renan predecessor race that intends to use it to repeat the spirit channelling ceremony to suck Dahna completely dry of astral energy. After landing on Lenegis, it is also revealed that the human Renans which exist on Lenegis are actually direct descendants of Dahnans that had been previously captured to take part in the aforementioned ceremony, which if successful, would empower the Great Spirit of Rena with the strength needed to obliterate Dahna completely.
Realising that the only way forward is to vanquish the Great Spirit, the party attacks it directly, destroying both the Great Spirit and its Master Core, allowing the Renas Alma to be safely collected and enabling the party to commence the ritual in order to suppress its powers. Just as the ritual begins however, an enraged Vholran appears and attacks the group, managing to obtain the Renas Alma during the subsequent melee. At this point, Vhloran challenges Alphen to a one on one battle and subsequently loses, but rather than suffer defeat, decides to take his own life by exploding himself – killing him and destroying the Renas Alma in the process.
Becoming increasingly desperate, Shionne begs Alphen to refocus and finish off the Great Spirit, but now Alphen refuses and instead calls upon the Great Spirit of Dahna to fuse with its Renan counterpart, resulting in both worlds becoming one, uniting its people and removing Shionne’s curse into the bargain. With a rather uplifting ending to say the least, Tales of Arise concludes with Shionne and Alphen tying the knot as they reconcile with the rest of the group and begin living in a realm where both Dahnans and Renans now live peacefully side by side.
Now you’re up to date with the story, it’s time to take the next step. Grab the Tales of Arise – Beyond the Dawn Expansion for less when you shop with Green Man Gaming. Begin the next part of your adventure with us.
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