Tales of Zestiria has a decently interesting world. It saw fit to explain very little of that world, unless I missed a ton of skits or scenes. Now, I'm not saying this is a bad thing; it told me what I needed to know, and anyway, a world like this, with so many mysteries, is exactly what I would've loved writing fan fiction for. It leaves room for creative speculation.
One thing I would've liked to see explained further, though, is The Five Lords. Even Maotelus, despite his importance to the storyline, is largely a mystery. We can figure things out about him based on what we know about other seraphim, but not much. Do the iris gems tell more, maybe, if I play them in Lohgrin, or do they just repeat the scenes I saw when I picked them up? That's worth investigating when I have time. Which I don't, currently, so I'm going to pretend they don't exist until I'm done with my work and can go check.
1. Lailah's Oath
Who took Lailah's oath and gave her the power of purification? Given the power Maotelus is supposed to have - implied by what Lailah says after a skit showing several shepherds being present at once - and given the fact that he's "big" enough to use an entire continent has his vessel, it's reasonable to assume he handles this aspect of the Shepherd. However...
2. Seraphim reliance on worshipers
... a seraphim's power is proportional to the people worshiping her/him, and someone - probably Lailah - mentions that Maotelus's power stems from the vast number of his worshipers. He's the most popular of the five lords. So what happens when he's not this popular? Is he, by nature, still superior to the majority? Is taking the oath a thing he can do, regardless?
3. How about the other four lords?
We've got names for them: Musiphe, Amenoch, Hyanoa, Eumacia. At least three of them correspond to the other three elements (Maotelus being fire, I believe?), and I have no idea what the fifth one corresponds to. No element? Lightning? Usually Tales games have more than the usual four (ice, lightning light, dark, etc.), but ice is covered by Mikleo, apparently, and light/dark seem to have a lot more to do with individual purity, or lack thereof. I guess that's arguably more elemental, uh.
So anyway: who are these guys, and where are they, and why were they just sitting around while Maotelus sucked everything around him into the dark like a black hole?
4. Oaths, again.
I'm guessing there's some kind of non-interference pact. Or an oath. Lailah's pretty stubborn about her oath, so why not the other lords? They're probably on other continents, none of which we saw. They probably have their own problems. And since the whole shepherd-calamity thing is clearly a cycle that happens over and over again, because that's just the nature of life, maybe they don't have an interest in interfering. If Maotelus gets corrupted, well, it's not like another lord won't eventually rise in his place.
5. Which brings us to Innominat.
Who the fuck is Innominat? We get one mysterious skit about him, and then nothing-- except for some comments about his crest looking a lot like Maotelus's crest. See #4; there could be a lot of reasons for that, though. Innominat could have fallen and been replaced, or simply lost all of his worshipers and faded into obscurity, or maybe he left.
Or: maybe he is the one taking oaths. I kind of like the idea of this mysterious former seraph lord being the force behind the cycle. And Lailah is especially secretive about who and what he is, considering everyone already knows the great lords can be corrupted, and so if that was his fate, there'd be no reason to hide it. Zaveid and Edna are also cagey about it, which is especially suspicious.
EDIT 12/6: Also, you know... it'd be interesting if Maotelus began as a shepherd, and then took Innominat's place because he did what Sorey did, for example... if one assumes Sorey's fate was seraphim status. :D
6. The Shepherd and the Lord of Calamity
These two are fairly straightforward, and I think the symbolism of their recurring struggle is too. What's not clear is what secret Heldalf thought Sorey would learn, in the end - that "truth" about seraphim and shepherds that he promised during the scene in Aifread's Hunting Grounds. Is this secret one of the two things I just called obvious? If so, I guess I just wasn't impressed, and didn't think it was particularly mysterious.
Given Lailah's continued existence - and her memory of traveling with various Shepherds - Sorey's situation at the end is unusual. Most shepherds probably don't have to sacrifice their seraphim to win, or if they do, it was never Lailah... which is a twisted way to look at it. Hmm. The interdependence between races isn't particularly mysterious, and neither are the disadvantages... although I guess it's meaningful in its own way. Their history is interesting; if Zenrus was once worshiped as a god, and that just doesn't happen anymore...
Also: Is there really only one Shepherd and one Lord of Calamity? And always on this continent. Because they're totally the only important one, right? Come on now.
7. If I were dumb enough to write a fanfic for this game...
I would set it post-epilogue, and the goal Sorey and Mikleo would start out with would be to find Innominat. It would answer questions. As for the details... well, I don't know if I'll be stupid enough to do this, yet, so why give it away.
Also, we only see one damn continent. Don't tell me there aren't more.
In Zestiria's defense, I did try to finish the game quickly; I might've missed things. I tried not to, because I like completing things, dammit, but I had limited time. :/ I went for the prize, and didn't take the time to do the thing with Edna's brother, or the crucibles, so I dunno, maybe those explain more? (Although the crucibles looked more like gameplay challenges.)
So whatev. Either these are dumb questions, or the game needs a sequel, so I can buy it.
This entry was originally posted at https://myaru.dreamwidth.org/836613.html. Discuss here or there as you prefer.
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