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It took me a while to warm up to Tales of Symphonia; the plot seemed clichéd and those oh-so-fun plot twists made me uncomfortable. But when it came to the point in the game where all the party members began "sacrificing" themselves so that Lloyd could move onward and fight Mithos, I suddenly felt extremely emotional as each character left. I had grown attached to the characters, their stories, their relationships, and above all else, their devotion to Lloyd. That moment in particular made me realize that the real strength of Tales of Symphonia lies with its cast of characters. Through every plot twist and boss battle, you learn more and more about each character and, in my case, grow attached to them. Pretty dorky, huh? But really, I do love the game and its characters. It may be corny, but endearingly so.

I knew Raine would be a favorite from the start. Having a "healer" character who wasn't passive and docile was certainly a welcome change. Not to mention some great comedy relief, in terms of random NPC-smacking and archaeological mania. I could even relate on some levels (I've gone into history-fangirl mode in my share of museums and things of that sort). And even with her eccentricity, Raine still provided guidance and care for the rather hapless hero and his companions, even acting as a mother-figure for Genis. Beyond that, while Raine's character may not have made the most obvious change in the game, she shows an amazing deal of growth if you look close enough. She goes from cynical and untrusting to having faith in people and their ability to change the world. With Lloyd's help, she breaks out of her cold persona and confronts with her past, her struggle as a half-elf, and starts to believe in changing the world for the better. Raine essentially goes through hell and back, from her breakdown after meeting her mother to nearly sacrificing her life to help Lloyd stop Mithos' twisted system. Through her tragic backstory, her character evolution, and her eccentric personality, Raine really became the most interesting character out of the whole cast for me, making her a clear favorite. Sadly, fandom doesn't tend to agree, so I built this little site in part so I could maybe change a few minds. More people need to realize that Professor Sage is just plain awesome.

"Tales of Symphonia" and its characters © Namco. All other content belongs to Michelle.