Tales of Xillia (2011)

by Ji-yeong
7 minutes read


Tales of Xillia distinguishes itself within the JRPG genre with its unique approach to storytelling and gameplay. Following Jude Mathis and Milla Maxwell, players are drawn into a rich narrative about the dangers of technological exploitation and the power of conviction. The game’s emphasis on character interaction and strategic combat ensures a deeply engaging experience.


Tales of Xillia, released in 2011 by Bandai Namco, is a standout title in the long-running ‘Tales of’ series. It introduces a world teetering on the brink of ecological disaster, saved by the unlikely alliance of a medical student and a mysterious woman with spiritual companions.


“Tales of Xillia” is an action role-playing game developed by Namco Tales Studio and published by Namco Bandai Games. Released exclusively for the PlayStation 3, it is the thirteenth main installment of the Tales series. The game was first launched in Japan on September 7, 2011, and later localized in North America and the PAL region in August 2013.

The game is set in a fictional world called Rieze Maxia, where humans and ethereal spirits coexist in harmony. The plot’s central theme is “Yuruginaki shinnen no RPG” (揺るぎなき信念のRPG), which translates to “RPG of Unwavering Convictions”.

The story follows two main characters: Jude Mathis, a clever medical student attending school in the capital city, and Milla Maxwell, a mysterious woman accompanied by four unseen beings. Players can choose either Milla or Jude at the outset of their adventure.

Jude Mathis is an aspiring medical student at Rashugal’s capital, Fennmont. His supervisor, Professor Haus, is awarded a prestigious honor at Laforte Research Center and leaves Jude in charge for the day. When his professor does not return, Jude decides to check on him but is denied entrance to Laforte. He then meets Milla Maxwell, a mysterious woman claiming to be the Lord of Spirits, who is investigating the recent deaths of a number of spirits.

Milla claims to be “Maxwell”, the legendary Lord of Spirits, and has come to investigate a recent wave of spirit deaths within Rashugal. Together, she and Jude discover a horrific secret lurking in the heart of Rashugal, and are soon forced to flee from the military.

The game begins with the choice of following either Jude Mathis or Milla Maxwell. The choice affects certain scenes with some characters, as well as the environments the player will encounter. The game takes place in a world where humans and monsters coexist with spirits. The spirits support human civilization by granting wishes, such as the ability to channel mana as spirit power, and in turn are protected by those wishes.

In Rieze Maxia, there are two main countries vying for supremacy. Rashugal is an empire with a long history whose free use of spirit power has granted it incredible majesty and prosperity. Auj Oule is a developing country whose power is derived from the control of monsters and the might of its military.

The game’s reception in Japan was highly positive. At the time of its release in Japan, it was the most preordered Tales game in the series and sold half a million copies in a week. The game also won awards from Sony and Famitsu. The English localization received positive reception for its battle system, neutral to positive reviews for its plot and characters, and criticism for the map designs.

A sequel to the game, titled “Tales of Xillia 2”, was released in November 2012 in Japan and in August 2014 in North America and the PAL region. The sequel is set one year after the original story.

“Tales of Xillia” is a game that explores the themes of conviction, harmony, and the complex relationship between humans, spirits, and the world they inhabit. Its compelling narrative, immersive gameplay, and richly detailed world make it a standout title in the Tales series.


Jude Mathis, a bright medical student; Milla Maxwell, with the power to command spirits; and an ensemble cast including Alvin, Leia Rolando, Elize Lutus, and Rowen J. Ilbert, each bringing their unique skills and backgrounds to the story.


The game features a real-time battle system that allows for dynamic combat strategies, with the ‘Dual Raid Linear Motion Battle System’ enabling players to link with characters for powerful attacks. Exploration and interaction with the environment and NPCs are key to discovering the rich lore of Rieze Maxia.


Tales of Xillia is a memorable journey through a beautifully realized world, marked by its compelling narrative, innovative gameplay, and profound messages about environmentalism and unity. It’s a must-play for JRPG fans and a shining example of the genre’s potential to tell meaningful stories.

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