By Phil Schipper / September 20th, 2013
WARNING: SPOILERS for Tales of Symphonia abound! If you don’t want to be spoiled, please stop reading. You have been warned.
Last time on the Tales of Symphonia stream, after finishing the Asgard region, we came to the destroyed city of Luin. This time, we’re striking back.
The Asgard Human Ranch is much more secure than the one we destroyed in the Palmacosta area. Guards patrol every inch of the place, so the only way we could get in was by disguising ourselves as some of their own. Raine wore the disguise and pretended that she’d captured the rest of us, and we entered the building.
It turns out that Human Ranches are actually factories that make Exspheres (the little gems that many characters in the game use to become stronger). Dodging our way past a different Desian group, the one from the Triet area–who don’t seem to get along with the local ones that well–we went in deeper to find out that Exspheres are actually created by consuming human lives.
But not without first meeting Kvar, who we dubbed a combination of Vegeta and George W. Bush. He told us all about his Angelus Project, a special Exsphere that was created using the life of Lloyd’s mother, Anna. Then he revealed that, like Marble and Clara, Anna had been turned into a monster by the Exsphere’s power, and Lloyd’s father was forced to kill her. (Lloyd, of course, didn’t think to ask Kvar who his father was.)
The group got surrounded by Desians. Rather than let us take them on now, Sheena appeared out of nowhere. Using a classic ninja smokescreen and the last of her Guardians, she managed to get us out of there instantly, and the group camped out for the night. They needed a moment to reflect on the truth about Exspheres. Lloyd nearly got rid of his, just out of anger that his mother was killed for it, but he knew that without it he would become powerless. Once the truth sank in, the party regrouped, and Sheena decided to join our ranks on our second attempt at the Ranch.
But we knew our previous plan wouldn’t work a second time. So Sheena directed us to Hima, where a friend of hers, Pietro went after escaping from the Ranch. We got there, only to hear that he had died. Just as we were about to become grave robbers, though, he suddenly appeared and started muttering random words like, well, a zombie. Turns out that Pietro had lost his mind, and the others thought it best to just declare him dead now. Luckily, before snapping, he told someone about a secret passage he used to escape the Ranch, and we got a magic orb that somehow opens it up.
Once we made our way back, Raine immediately started hacking into the computer. She determined that there were a lot of different mechanisms set up to protect Kvar. The main one happens to be connected to two separate switches on the opposite side of the Ranch. Raine slipped up and set off the alarms, so the only way we could easily free the captives and make it to Kvar before being overrun was by splitting into two teams. That meant that there were only 3 characters on each team, so Brian graciously sat out for the rest of the area.
As Lloyd, Kratos and Colette, we headed towards the room where Kvar was waiting. On the way, we turned off all the manufacturing in the Ranch. Next, we switched over to Raine, Genis, and Sheena, who freed the people imprisoned in the Ranch and deactivated the guard system so the other team could reach Kvar. On the way, I, playing as Genis, got into a magic duel with an enemy, because clearly that’s something that happens in this game.
Once that was done, we reverted to our first team, and went to battle Kvar. And died. And died. And died. I’m not sure how many Game Overs we got this time, constantly swapping out players, equipment and more, but it was… quite a lot. Kvar utilizes three floating machines that join in his lightning attacks, and they’re extremely annoying. He also has a lot of health and a variety of short and long-range spells, many of which he can cast almost instantly.
Nearly a half hour later, seemingly against all odds, we worked together to finish off all three of the machines, then Kvar himself. It was a pretty nice feeling to finally be through that. The other party members joined us, and we had a good moment. That is, until Kvar got back up for one last strike. Colette jumped in and took the shot to the back to save Lloyd. In anger, Lloyd came in and stabbed Kvar one last time, joined by Kratos, who spoke one of his most well-remembered lines.
Colette tried to play down the fact that she took Kvar’s attack, but Lloyd wouldn’t have it. He revealed her secret to the rest of the group, and they decided to take her back to the inn in Asgard. The party discussed the matter while she slept under the world’s most massive blanket. Even though we didn’t like what it was doing to Colette, we had to continue on the journey of world regeneration.
Thus, we headed towards the Tower of Mana, the next Seal in the sequence. We had to do a bit of running around to find the key that opens it, but we managed that quickly enough, so we’re ready to tackle that in the next session. Hope to see you then!
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