Retronauts Episode 408: Tales of Series

Prepare your ears for 100 straight minutes of shouting attack names

The Super Nintendo was a very popular video game console. We know this, you know this, and anyone who touched the thing knows this. What we might not all know is how popular the Super Famicom was in Japan, particularly when it came to Japanese RPGs. Sure, we got Final Fantasy "II" and "III" (and MYSTIC QUEST) but local fans got so much more than we ever saw.

This week's episode is dedicated to one such series, a very popular franchise with more than 25 years under its belt that's still going strong in 2021. Collectively, it is known as the "Tales of" series because those two words begin every title, followed by a noun that may or may not make any sense. I leave it to you to judge whether the most recent release, Tales of Arise, sounds like a plausible combination of words in English.

I suppose this is the perfect time to admit my culpability in this series struggling to catch on outside Japan, for I used to be a regular Tokyo Game Show attendee and every time I visited Bandai Namco HQ for media days, they always had a new Tales of game to show us and I never knew what to do with that information. Now I know I should have paid more attention!

Joining Bob on Retronauts this week are first-time guest Eric Van Allen from Destructoid and returning Patreon supporter Victor Hunter, all of whom have experienced their fair share of the Linear Mobile Battle System in its many adjective-laden incarnations.

Description: When the plucky developer Wolf Team set out to make a Super Famicom RPG on a grand scale in the mid-90s, the resulting production nearly destroyed the group, but resulted in Tales of Phantasia. Now, nearly 26 years later, the Tales of series stands as one of the few b-tier RPG brands from the 90s that's still going strong with regular installments, while the Star Oceans and Wild Armses of the world have fallen by the wayside. On this episode of Retronauts, join Bob Mackey, Victor Hunter, and Destructoid's Eric Van Allen as the crew discusses just where the Tales of series has been over the past quarter-century.

Retronauts is a completely fan-funded operation. To support the show, and get exclusive episodes every month, please visit the official Retronauts Patreon.

MP3, 48 MB | 1:44:57 Direct download Retronauts on iTunes Retronauts at Libsyn

As with all of the episodes Bob produces, this week’s cover art is by Nick Daniel. Check out his Twitter, or patronize his Patreon!