Tales of Symphonia is a literary masterwork, feat of storytelling and programming that I could write multiple essays analyzing. Every character has significant interactions and relationships with every other one. They hold distinct positions and have individual goals. The plot’s ending is wedged in the beginning, creating the ancient chiasmatic narrative structure. Further, time cycles are expressed by interlinked recurring traumas (Lloyd’s father, Regal, and then Lloyd himself experiencing the same thing).
The greater story expressed an objective study of religion. Do not wait for a saviour like the chosen or Martel. Become someone who doesn’t need saving. Do not accept arbitrary dichotomies, that one group must exist at the expense of another, like divisive polarized politics. Break the system and find the middle path, the golden mean of Aristotle, uniting the worlds.
Interestingly this got a rating of -9 on the Tales subreddit, especially from Abyss fans, proving that (since no one explained why my critique of that title in my comment was incorrect) at best that some people on reddit have strong emotional responses, which should come to no surprise. Unfortunate for all parties.
I’m still working through Tales of the Abyss, nearing the end. It has both good and bad elements, and I’m tentatively expecting the ending to tie together and elevate the parts I’m hesitant about.