Tales of Xillia is a Japanese role-playing game set in the fantastical world of Rieze Maxima, a world that relies on spirits and humans to work together as one, to provide a fruitful future for both entities. Aside from the main narrative, Xillia tells a story of evolution, growth, and finding your place in the world against all adversities. Although the world of Xillia is completely different from the world we know today, it tells a realistic tale of human behaviour better than most titles set in a realistic environment.
Xillia gives players the option to play as two separate characters – Milla Maxwell or Jude Mathis. As I decided to play as Jude, I was surprisingly attached to the character’s personality. Jude is a young man trying to find his calling in life. His parents have been so focused on their own working lives – running – their own medical clinic, that he has found himself unknown on the man he is becoming. Surprisingly, we first meet Jude at Talim Medical School, one of the most prestigious schools in its field, as he looks to follow in the family business. After a series of events, his life is turned upside down, making him question his path, his dreams and personality, as he continues on his path to adulthood.
The transition from your teenage years, to adulthood isn’t easy. It is a pivotal period in everyone’s lives: we leave high school, choose our career path, and slowly leave the nest our parents have provided. However, it is easier for some, than it is for others. Some choose one path, only to find that the direction doesn’t lead to their desired destination. Though Jude exists in a world where spirits are common practice in daily tasks, the same transitional issues to become an adult still exist. As Jude meets an array of characters throughout his journey, he continues to struggle to find his life-long “mission” – a feeling that resonated with me on a strong level. When you choose your path, only to find it crumble along the way – due to unforeseen circumstances – you must struggle and fight against all oppositions to find out who you truly are.
Tales of Xillia doesn’t shy away from the fact humans can lose their true meaning in life, no matter what age they may be. Our main cast of characters range from a mid-twenties mercenary who has found himself alone in life, an elderly man who regrets choices he has made in the past, and a young child who has never experienced family or friendship. The problems these cast of characters must face are exquisitely portrayed, each character having found themselves lost during their lives, and meandering in uncertainty on where their path will take them. It provides a mirror image into problems many of us have faced throughout our lives: maybe we have made bad choices, maybe we have pushed those we care about away, or maybe we have once been considered “different,” holding us back from making many friends.
It is during these situations where we can look deep inside ourselves, find out who we truly are, and evolve towards a stronger future. Jude Mathis experiences these changes throughout his adventure – the once bumbling teenager is presented with tough situations, and it is his ability to cope with these problems and continue to move forward that are truly impressive. Xillia continuously makes it apparent that the world isn’t going to hold your hand: bad decisions will be made, evil people exist, and sometimes luck won’t go your way. These very ideals also exist in the real-world, however unfair it may be.
The idea that everyone has a “mission” in life is an interesting one. It can be as simple as allowing yourself to find happiness, or in Jude’s case, to save the world. However, it is the journey of watching Jude grow that makes his adventure and evolution so intriguing. In many ways, Jude is the hero many of us dream we could be – the one to risk our lives to help others and the one willing to stand against the evil when the cards are laid out on the table. It makes an inspiring tale, which continued to uplift my spirits until the credits rolled. I wanted to see Jude become the man he wanted to be, and I wanted him to find out his own “mission” in life. The beauty of Tales of Xillia is that, if Jude’s journey doesn’t mirror experiences you have faced in reality, one of the minor cast of characters will surely be experiencing problems you can relate too. It allows Xillia’s character progression to stay grounded in reality, even though they could not be further from the world we know today.
As my journey came to a fitting conclusion, I felt a sense of will that I haven’t felt in many years: the will to stand up for my own beliefs, values, and morals, giving me the sense that anything was truly possible. There may be blockades on you pathway as you’ll find your own “mission,” or your own dreams, but Xillia provides that inspiration to never give-up, no matter what. It showcased the human ability to bond together with each other, to form strong friendships that are there when you need them most. No individual is perfect, and that ability to ignore imperfections, bond together, and stand against anything that gets in your way is a moral value many of us should hold dear.
Tales of Xillia is a fantastic game, but it is also a brilliant life lesson. Transitioning from the hectic teenage years to finally becoming your own person is a challenging time for anyone’s life. Yet problems will continue to arise: from life changing, to the minor faults in life. But it is how we deal with these problems, moving forward and holding our head up high that epitomises the person we want to become. Jude Mathis showed passion that could inspire those around him to make better lives for themselves. However, his ability to evolve into the man he wanted to become has also inspired me along the way.
Stay tuned to Analog Addiction for our full Tales of Xillia review very soon.