Tales of Phantasia (1995)

by Ji-yeong
5 minutes read


Tales of Phantasia is a landmark JRPG that introduced many elements now standard in the genre, from its real-time battle system to the integration of voice acting. Its story of time travel, friendship, and courage remains captivating to this day.


Tales of Phantasia stands out as a pioneering JRPG for the Super Famicom, marking the beginning of the renowned ‘Tales’ series. Its innovative gameplay mechanics, compelling narrative, and technical achievements set a new standard for the genre.


“Tales of Phantasia” is a legendary RPG that was first released in Japan in December 1995. Developed by Wolf Team and published by Namco, it marked the beginning of the renowned “Tales” series.

The game is set in the fantasy world of Aselia and follows the journey of a highly-trained swordsman named Cress Albane. Cress is driven by vengeance after his hometown is destroyed. However, he soon discovers his identity as the descendant of one of the four warriors. This revelation entangles him in a conflict concerning the war-mongering Dhaos, the game’s main antagonist.

Dhaos is a sinister being who wishes to drain the earth of its resources. He seeks the power of the Tree of Life to create a Mana seed. Cress, along with his companions Klarth, Chester, Archie, and Mint, must stop Dhaos before he destroys the world.

The game features a unique mechanic where players can use the Eternal Sword to travel through time. This allows them to meet interesting characters from different eras. The game also includes a variety of attack techniques that players can learn and execute using Street Fighter-esque controls.

Players can befriend Elemental Spirits and use them to cast spells. They can also fill their inventory with an arsenal of devastating weapons and life-saving items.

After Dhaos’s release from imprisonment, Cress and his allies must use time travel to gather allies who can help them put an end to Dhaos’s rampage once and for all. The game was written and programmed by Yoshiharu Gotanda, designed by Masaki Norimoto, and scored by Motoi Sakuraba, Shinji Tamura, and Ryota Furuya. The character designs were created by manga artist Kōsuke Fujishima.

“Tales of Phantasia” was highly anticipated but faced numerous delays and development setbacks, ultimately releasing at the end of the Super Famicom’s lifespan in 1995. Despite these challenges, the game has left a lasting impact on the RPG genre and continues to be celebrated by fans worldwide.

“Tales of Phantasia” is a game that combines a compelling storyline, rich characters, and innovative gameplay mechanics. It offers a unique blend of action and role-playing elements that have set the standard for future entries in the “Tales” series.


Cress Albane (protagonist), Mint Adenade, Claus F. Lester, Arche Klein, Chester Burklight, Dhaos (antagonist)


Tales of Phantasia introduces a real-time battle system known as the Linear Motion Battle System, allowing players direct control over characters in side-scrolling combat. This innovative system, combined with the use of voice acting and a dynamic, character-driven narrative, creates a unique and immersive gameplay experience.


Tales of Phantasia not only set a high bar for the JRPG genre but also laid the groundwork for a series that continues to be beloved by fans around the world. Its legacy as a groundbreaking title that pushed the limits of the Super Famicom endures.

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