Tales of Series Producer Discusses Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn Design, Story & Presentation

Tales of Series Producer Discusses Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn Design, Story & Presentation

4Gamer recently conducted an interview with the Tales of series producer Yuusuke Tomizawa regarding the recently released Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn expansion.

Various subjects are discussed, such as the design of the new character Nazamil, reception to the base game, the overall presentation, and more.

Our team’s Ryuji translated several questions and responses, all quoted below:

4Gamer Interviewer: Thank you for joining us today. First of all, before we talk about the Beyond the Dawn DLC, I would like to talk about the main Tales of Arise game, which has just celebrated its second anniversary since its release. What was the reaction like after its release?

Tomizawa: We have received positive feedback from many players. We are taking on many challenges to make the Arise experience more unified than ever before, including visuals and UX based on the concept of accession and evolution. This is a statement to both Japanese and overseas fans that the “Tales of” series is moving into the future, and we are prepared to do what we have to do for the future of the series. As a result, we were able to record worldwide sales of over 2.7 million units, an unprecedented number for a standalone “Tales of” title.

4Gamer Interviewer: Are there any aspects of Tales of Arise that you felt would lead to the future of the “Tales of” series?

Tomizawa: Two things come to mind. The first is raising the head height of the characters, and the second is using the Atmospheric Shader, which gives the characters an illustration-like and/or watercolor look. We regularly receive requests to use that Shader in future titles, as well as in past releases. I think the Atmospheric Shaders played a part in why many people have accepted Arise as a form of evolution of the series.

4Gamer Interviewer: Does that mean the “Tales of” games in the future will be unified in the watercolor style with the Atmospheric Shader?

Tomizawa: Not necessarily. Tales of Vesperia, for example, has a history of using the cel-shaded look. I think we will continue to consider various options depending on the hardware, the characteristics of the title, and the concept we want to express.

4Gamer Interviewer: So the Atmospheric Shader is just but one direction?

Tomizawa: Yes, that’s right. We use the term “shader” as if it were a convenient tool, but to be honest, most of the tuning is done by hand. The more artistically oriented the shaders are, the more difficult it becomes to make the characters stand out by assimilating them with the background. To achieve this balance, we had to finely adjust the difference in resolution between the characters in the foreground and the background in the distance, and we also used lighting techniques to portray a proper atmosphere.

4Gamer Interviewer: Would you say the Atmospheric Shader influenced the character design?

Tomizawa: In a way, yes. Minoru Iwamoto, who served as both art director and character designer [for Arise], was very careful in this regard. For example, Alphen initially wore black armor that was close to a monotone color. If we had just applied the shaders without any adjustments, it would have resulted in a [solid] look, and the details we wanted to bring out would have been smashed. Furthermore, we tried to adjust the design and coloring in parallel to see where we could make it look better for the shaders, which was achieved because he was both the art director and the character designer.


4Gamer Interviewer: What is eye-catching about Nazamil’s design is that she has [odd-colored eyes].

Tomizawa: It was a design decision from the very beginning. This was done to express the uniqueness of [how Nazamil has] Dhana and Rena’s blood [in her veins]. The different colored eyes were designed to represent the high potential of using all the elements together: earth, water, fire, and wind, as well as light and darkness.

4Gamer Interviewer: By the way, I was surprised to see on the official live broadcast at the Tokyo Game Show 2023 and on the official website that Nazamil will not be playable but rather a character that will conflict with Alphen and his friends.

Tomizawa: Certainly, some people felt that it was a kind of spoiler, and we have received comments from people who wondered whether it was necessary to reveal so much before the game’s release. However, the fact that Nazamil confronts Alphen and the others is not a negative element or something that should be hidden from the public, but it is the core of the narrative that we want to portray. Beyond the Dawn tries a different approach to the narrative than the main Arise story, so we thought we would be frank about that.

4Gamer Intereviewer: A different approach, you say?

Tomizawa: Tales of Arise’s story was a party character-centered approach, focusing on the drama inherent in the party rather than confrontation and reconciliation with the enemy. On the other hand, Beyond the Dawn is a story in which the future is portrayed through confrontations with characters outside the party. We decided to tell players the position of Nazamil in advance so they could play the game after correctly judging the aims of what we wanted to portray.

4Gamer Interviewer: The release of a major DLC two years after the main game’s release is something that has not been seen previously. Could you tell us about the development process?

Tomizawa: It is not unusual these days for DLC to be developed in parallel with the production of the main game, but with Arise, we had put all of our efforts into the production of the main game, so we had not really started development for any major DLC. We were just thinking, “If things go well, it would be nice if we could continue the story.”

Fortunately, after the release of the game, we received requests from people who wanted to know what happened after the ending scene of the main story and wanted us to release DLC. Even though the main story had come to a conclusion, there was still room for many different thoughts about what happened after Alphen and his friends had created a brand-new world, so we simply decided on the direction of a sequel.

4Gamer Interviewer: Did you consider the option to develop it as a novel or a manga adaptation instead of a game?

Tomizawa: We were considering those options, but no matter which medium we decided to use, it was never going to be easy. Speaking of novels… (he then proceeds to talk about Beyond the Dawn Prelude and urges people to read it).

tales of arise beyond the dawn 7

In case you missed them, check out our review of Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn and the expansion’s launch trailer.

Before playing Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn, it’s worth reading through the brief official Prelude stories featuring Rinwell and LawKisara and Dohalim, and Alphen and Shionne.

The full Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn soundtrack, comprised of 38 songs, was added to streaming services alongside the main theme song.

Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn is a story set one year after the ending of Tales of Arise. Alphen, Shionne, and the rest of the party meet a new character by the name of Nazamil, a misfortunate young girl who is the daughter of a Renan lord and a Dahnan slave. Players can anticipate over 20 hours of content, with new dungeons, costumes, sidequests, and boss battles.

Regarding carry-over boons, players will be rewarded various bonuses dependent on their achievement progress in the main game. But you will still be able to play Beyond the Dawn even if you haven’t yet beaten Tales of Arise, even though you’ll need the base game to even play this content in the first place. Characters will also start at predetermined levels in this expansion for balancing reasons.

Tales of Arise Beyond the Dawn is available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC via Steam.

Check out our review of Tales of Arise’s PlayStation 5 version.

We discussed the number of Tales of games that have never been localized and those that have never been ported, making most of the franchise notably inaccessible to contemporary audiences.

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